2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Odds, Best Bets for Mitchell, Lipsky
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Keith Mitchell plays a shot from a bunker
2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks
Favorite We’re Backing
- Jason Sobel: Seamus Power
- Chris Murphy: Viktor Hovland
- Matt Vincenzi: Viktor Hovland
- Spencer Aguiar: Matt Fitzpatrick
- Nick Bretwisch: Matt Fitzpatrick
Best Long Shot
- Sobel: Callum Tarren
- Murphy: Taylor Moore
- Vincenzi: Erik Van Rooyen
- Aguiar: Brendon Todd
- Bretwisch: Robby Shelton
- Sobel: Denny McCarthy
- Murphy: Joel Dahmen
- Vincenzi: Tom Hoge
- Aguiar: Troy Merritt
- Bretwisch: David Lipsky
Contrarian Player To Target
- Sobel: Beau Hossler
- Murphy: Nate Lashley
- Vincenzi: Danny Willett
- Aguiar: Scott Stallings
- Bretwisch: Scott Piercy
Trend That Guides Your Betting Strategy
Sobel: Just like the previous two weeks, this tournament is played on multiple courses, which means a greater number of variables. By that rationale, we shouldn’t expect a very clear picture of the potential contenders until late Saturday, once every player has competed on every venue.
That ostensibly suggests we should hold some bankroll and play some live outrights who aren’t at the top of the board but perhaps played the toughest of the tracks in the opening round. Ah, but not so fast, my friends.
Over the past four years, the eventual winner has been inside of the top-11 after Round 1 every time, and two of them (Tom Hoge last year and Nick Taylor in 2020) actually held the first-round lead. I still like waiting to play a few live outrights, but I’ll be looking for decent prices without searching too far down the leaderboard.
Murphy: This is a unique event, played across three courses with long rounds and usually has some potential for difficult weather. I am going to back the course horse method when targeting players as I will dial in my betting card around players who have played and had success in this event in the past. They’ll know what they are in for and how to handle it, which will give them a leg up on the newcomers this week.
Aguiar: The three-course rotational aspect and 54-hole cut will generate another flawed handicapping process, especially since ‘Stat Tracker’ is only present at Pebble Beach. That should push most bettors and DFS gamers into this mindset of their models generating more luck than skill, but I have to wonder if it is as defective of a problem as some might believe.
The ability to find connections between the three properties is more pronounced than it appears on the surface, and the proficiency to highlight and translate those similarities into a tangible outlook is where I hope we can find our edge for the event.
None of that suggests we have an ideal board with no faults, but you don’t have to look any further than most gamblers in the space ending up on the exact same ticket as the player next to them to realize people are running their numbers in way too similar of a fashion. As a bettor who always tries to find deviations from the masses, it can be a decent week to pinpoint spots where you are different from the rest of the industry.
Bretwish: I’m looking for strong putters who are in good recent form and excel with their short irons from 100-150 yards out. My numbers seem to heavily weigh the importance of that yardage dispersion and par-5 scoring as you really need to take advantage of those this weekend.
Like most golf courses, it’s a ball striker’s tournament, but you’ll need to make a lot of putts to compete in an event that is likely going to give up a winning score around 20-under par.
Your Best Bet
Sobel: Keith Mitchell Top-10 Finish +375
I’d never suggest that we should throw all analytics out the window, but I’m also looking at some intangibles this week. As I wrote in my preview, I’m admittedly more bullish on Mitchell long-term than maybe any other player in relation to the public. This week feels like a nice spot to play some guys whom you play frequently anyway.
There’s more to it than that for this one, though: Mitchell is the type of personality who relishes competing with a partner and trying to succeed for someone other than just himself. He’ll be playing alongside Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen once again, a partnership which led to an individual T-12 result last year. I expect him to revel in the revelry, those good vibes translating into another strong finish.
Murphy: David Lipsky +8000 (PointsBet)
It’s longshot season, and I will be digging deep to throw some darts this week. There are a number of names I like, and while my favorite is Taylor Moore, we’ve already covered him, so I’ll go to my next-best with David Lipsky at +8000.
He is a player who is showing up at the top end of every metric I want to see this week as he has been great on approach and specifically with his short wedge game. Lipsky also checks the box for me with his history in this event having posted a T24 finish last year.
He’s someone who may not be the most familiar name to casual golf fans as he spent the early parts of his professional career overseas, where he put together three wins, including an Alfred Dunhill Championship. Lipsky has proven in those experiences that he knows how to close out a win, and when I combine that winning experience with his course fit for this event, he lines up well as a longshot pick.
Vincenzi: Justin Suh +10000 (FanDuel)
Not too long ago, Justin Suh was sitting at a press conference beside Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff. The group was pegged as the next crop of stars ascending to the PGA TOUR, but Suh’s path (along with Wolff’s, but for different reasons) has diverged from the others. While Morikawa and Hovland have already become stars, Suh has just found himself on TOUR three years after graduating from USC.
Speaking of Southern California, Suh is plenty familiar with West Coast golf. The 23-year-old was a four-time All-American and eight-time winner as a Trojan. He’s had limited success thus far on the PGA TOUR, but what success he’s had has been on the West Coast. In 2020, which was a season filled with adversity, Suh finished eighth at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
He’s also begun to play some decent golf during the current California swing. The results have been encouraging but unspectacular. He gained 2.2 strokes putting at The American Express and another 4.2 at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished in 20th in the strong field. Historically, he’s loved putting on West Coast Poa Annua greens.
A weaker field event on a short track is a good spot to buy low on Suh and hope he can make strides towards fulfilling his potential.
Pick: Justin Suh Outright +10000
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Aguiar: Greyson Sigg (-110) Over Troy Merritt (DraftKings)
It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone reading this article that I am attempting to take on a golfer who is getting boosted up the board because of a course history return. Sure, Troy Merritt’s past success at Pebble Beach can’t be refuted or denied, but at what point are we overanalyzing the retrieval of information for a golfer who has generated one top-50 finish in his last nine starts?
From a statistical standpoint, it is not all doom and gloom when we look into the 37-year-old rendering massive increases when it comes to my weighted tee-to-green expectation. However, how precise is that data when his game has gone south over the last few months?
I believe this is one of those situations where if we removed course history, Merritt very well may have been 150/1 to win this event (not 80/1), so if you are telling me that the improvement in odds stems solely from one minor factor, give me the golfer who is appropriately priced in that same range in Greyson Sigg.
Bretwisch: Scott Piercy Top 40 +175 (bet365)
I never thought I would be writing about backing Scott Piercy, but here we are. As Spencer discussed above, the betting market seems to love Troy Merritt due to course history, but there isn’t a word about Scott Piercy, who has similar venue success.
The difference here is that Piercy is actually finding form coming off of three straight events of gaining strokes with his irons and his around the green play. I’ll roll the dice that Piercy is finding his groove and wants to continue his Pebble Beach success here this weekend.
My only concern with little data to warrant concern is that this is his fourth tournament in a row. At the age of 44, I could imagine that is a bit tiring.
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