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2022 Genesis Invitational: Public Taking Opposite Approaches With Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa & Other Betting Notes

2022 Genesis Invitational: Public Taking Opposite Approaches With Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa & Other Betting Notes article feature image
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Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa

We haven’t seen Rory McIlroy playing golf in the United States since December, and Collin Morikawa makes his first PGA TOUR start since the first week of January.

And bettors are taking completely opposite approaches on the perceived layoffs at this week’s Genesis Invitational.

With McIlroy, bettors are taking a “wait-and-see approach, mostly staying away,” PointsBet’s Senior Editor Teddy Greenstein said. As for Morikawa, he’s getting hit at PointsBet and is the most popular play of the week at BetMGM.

Morikawa is +2200 at PointsBet, but is down to +1800 at BetMGM after receiving more bets and total dollars in the outright market than any other golfer in the field. McIlroy’s price has lengthened from +1800 to +2000 at BetMGM.

Of course, neither is actually on a layoff. It just seems that way. Morikawa played three times in January, but the only one on the TOUR was the Tournament of Champions. McIlroy finished third at the end of January in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Bettors see the “20” in front of Morikawa’s price and are jumping at it, but at least for SuperBook VP of Risk Management Jeff Sherman, it’s a lot of public action.

“Sharps are consistently fading Morikawa in matchups and other markets,” Sherman said. Sherman posted Morikawa against Viktor Hovland, with Hovland as the pick for sharps. Respected money is also on Morikawa to not finish in the top 20.

Morikawa isn’t the only public vs. professional play Sherman sees. Fresh off a T-3 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Brooks Koepka is still 40-1 at the SuperBook and collecting the second-most bets of the week behind Morikawa. However, it’s mostly small action with sharps going against Koepka in the matchup market.

“Jordan Spieth is getting sharp action against Brooks, but I think it’s more anti-Brooks money than it is pro-Jordan,” Sherman said.

Other sharp play at the SuperBook includes Cam Smith in the top-20 market, Patrick Cantlay in the top-10 market and fading Spieth, Koepka, Morikawa and Will Zalatoris in placing markets.

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There are some familiar names with unfamiliar prices due to the strength of the field.

Two players usually closer to +3000 or +4000 getting attention at PointsBet are Joaquin Niemann (+6100) and Maverick McNealy (+8100). At the SuperBook, defending champion Max Homa was adjusted to +4000 from +5000 after an $800 outright wager.

Abraham Ancer and Corey Conners are getting looks in triple digits, odds those players aren’t accustomed to seeing. No longshot is more popular than Thomas Pieters, who was moved from +8000 to +6000 on Sherman’s board.

Sherman is personally on McNealy at +9000 believing he will breakthrough this year. But his favorite play is on Dustin Johnson at +1500.

“The last three or four years he’s been the favorite or co-favorite and no longer than 12-1. He clearly has an affinity for this course and played okay in his last two events. I think anything beyond 14-1 is value.”

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