2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks, Odds: Seamus Power, More Bets
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Seamus Power.
- The PGA Tour moves up the California coast for the 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
- Matt Fitzpatrick tops the odds board, but Jason Sobel is looking elsewhere for his picks.
- Check out Sobel's Pebble Beach picks and tournament preview below.
Click arrow to expand the Pebble Beach Pro-Am odds via BetMGM
|Erik van Rooyen||+8000|
|Byeong Hun An||+10000|
|Paul Haley II||+35000|
|J. B. Holmes||+40000|
|Ted Potter Jr||+100000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+100000|
This was always bound to happen — especially this year.
It’s difficult to maintain that the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am hasn’t lost some luster since the ol’ Clambake days, when the likes of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope would give the game a much-needed — and much-anticipated — celebrity turn, as the game’s most popular players intermingled with the world’s biggest stars at one of the more iconic locations on the entire planet.
From then until now, something changed along the way — and we can collectively admit that this something was more us than the tournament.
As a society, we’ve become more cynical. While watching a celebrity try to hit a six-iron was once so rare that we couldn’t look away, the prospect of having to witness a Ray Romano swing on our televisions is enough for most fans to race to their nearest device and thumb out their displeasure–not that I’m arguing.
I do think the CBS/Golf Channel broadcasts have done a much better job in recent years of giving the people what they want. We’ve become numb to C-list celebs missing fairways and making dad jokes. We want to see the actual golfers, they’ve been told, and they’ve (mostly) responded in kind.
Meanwhile, the players themselves have become more discerning. There are a lot of tournaments each year, and they’ve gotta pick and choose. For as beautiful as Pebble Beach is, it’s usually chilly, damp and fraught with six-hour rounds on three different courses.
Over the years, that’s been enough to keep most elite players away, but now there’s even more of a reason. With the decree that they must compete in 20 designated events — most of which are already decided for them — the decision on which events to skip has become an easier one. Throw in this week’s Saudi International, which has already attracted the LIV Golf talent and is claiming some PGA Tour regulars, too — and we’re left with a tourney which looks like a shell of the revered Clambake.
This week’s field includes just 23 players in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking, seven in the top 50 (Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Jordan Spieth, Seamus Power, Tom Hoge, Kevin Kisner and Kurt Kitayama), three in the top 20 and one in the top 10.
Those numbers pale in comparison to even recent editions of this event, which didn’t exactly have stellar field lists, and really pale in comparison to the first four events of this year, which accrued plenty of star-power, even on those non-designated weeks.
If there’s a silver lining to this situation, it probably won’t come this week — although a Fitzpatrick/Hovland/Spieth leaderboard on Sunday afternoon would do wonders to help overall interest.
No, any cause for optimism comes in the implementation of four rotating designated events each year. There’s no telling whether this could or would be considered as one of ‘em for next season, but if the PGA Tour wants to harken back to the heyday of one of its long-standing grand events — even for just a one-time only outlier — the powers-that-be have now armed themselves with the capability to do just that.
It’s tough to say any singular event “deserves” such recognition more than others, but this one certainly feels like it could serve as a massive celebration of the game, should the Tour mandate that the Rorys and Rahms and JTs of the world “have to” spend four days playing on some of golf’s best eye-candy.
The lack of field strength will get all of the headlines this week, but it’s that built-in ability to change it moving forward which should at least be part of the consideration.
All of that said, these are the weeks we love.
Sure, it’s always fun to dig into a tourney loaded with the game’s top talents, but one which isn’t rife with superstars and offers some bigger prices on potential winners leaves the real bettors licking their chops, as well.
Let’s get to the plays, beginning with a pair of outrights on guys who have a little something in common.
Outright Winner (Short Odds)
One player to win the tournament.
Seamus Power (+2500)
There are a few things that I love about Seamus Power – some on a long-term basis, some specific to this week. I’ll start with the former: He’s a player who does everything pretty well and nothing poorly, although his iron game has been admittedly poor so far this season. The fact that he still owns three top-five results in seven starts – including his second career victory – hints that there’s room for improvement, and an even deeper investigation shows that a few very poor performances have skewed the numbers beyond the baseline.
With the Ryder Cup in mind and a closing window for the 35-year-old late-bloomer, every event is important, which leads us to the benefits of playing him this week.
A lookahead to the weather forecast on the Monterey Peninsula shows four tournament rounds where the temperature barely breaks 60 degrees and conditions are predictably damp. That sounds like the perfect setup for an Irishman who should feel right at home, as last year’s ninth-place finish suggests (Power also held the 36-hole lead by five shots).
In an event which seems to have a line of demarcation between the have and have-nots, Power is teetering on the former while being priced a bit like the latter. I’d expect this number to shrink as the week continues, so jump on it sooner rather than later.
Pick: Seamus Power Outright
Outright Winner (Long odds)
One player to win the tournament
Callum Tarren (+13000)
I’m not gonna lie: A year ago at this time, Callum Tarren was just another name at the bottom of every PGA Tour priority ranking, a guy who many of us would’ve thought – if we thought about him at all – was struggling through his one year in the big leagues and would soon revert to even more anonymity somewhere else.
This tournament was his eighth missed cut in a row, interrupted by one WD. He soon got back on our collective radar, though, posting a few top 10s and qualifying for the U.S. Open, where he first really caught my attention, as he contended for the first couple of rounds.
Since then, he’s proven to be a solid and potentially undervalued player at this level – sort of a poor man’s Power, if you will, a late-comer in his own right who appears relentless in trying to make up for lost time.
I still have a bit of concern that the Englishman hasn’t figured out West Coast golf, though a T25 at Torrey Pines last week helps assuage that concern just a bit. In the end, though, his impressive wedge play from 100-125 yards, a range which will often be in play this week, is too much of a strength to overlook, especially at these odds.
Pick: Callum Tarren Outright +13000
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
Jordan Spieth (+900)
Look, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know here. Spieth is an AT&T guy, always shows up for his sponsor, loves the pro-am format and usually contends on these tracks, with a win back in 2017 and six top 10s in 10 starts, including a pair of top-three finishes in each of the last two years. He’s the safe play. If you have one spot for Jordan all year and don’t think he’ll take down another major, then this should probably be the spot.
Whether you pick him or not is less a question about him and more a question about you. Are you the type who’s willing to tread water in the pool at this early point in the year and simply keep pace with the others? Then he’s probably the play. Or do you want to employ a contrarian strategy right off the bat? Then he probably isn’t.
These decisions often correlate to pool size. The smallest OAD that I’m in has 25 entrants, which suggests just keeping pace is good enough. The biggest one that I’m in has 1,000, where it’s more of a reward to fade the chalk. It’s tough to think Spieth won’t be on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon, but whether you’re riding with him depends on your own personal pool strategies.
Matthew NeSmith (+10000)
At this price, Matthew NeSmith is a guy whom I like more in the outright/prop market than as an OAD selection this week. Nonetheless, I’m putting him here for the sake of the preview because I think it’s difficult to get too different at this one, and he at least represents an opportunity to do that.
We’ve seen NeSmith’s ceiling already this season, as he posted a runner-up and two other top 10s during the fall portion of the schedule, but we’ve also seen the cavernous floor, with three straight MCs, including two in a row to start the year. This one comes with plenty of warning labels, which is why I’d rather take him for high-risk/high-reward plays, but if you’re really trying to get contrarian for OADs, a guy with two top 20s in three career starts could certainly pop here once again.
One player to finish in the top five
Keith Mitchell (+750 for top five)
With such a weak field this week – have I mentioned that yet? – it poses a nice chance to play your own favorite mix tape. Essentially, if you’ve got a few guys whom you back on a regular basis, and they’re in this field, you might as well keep on keeping on. I’m probably more bullish on Mitchell in relation to the public than just about any other player. I thought last season was going to be a serious breakthrough, and while he was very solid, he hasn’t quite made that leap I’ve been expecting.
He is, though, a player who thrives on fun and partnerships and camaraderie – and as such, I like him more in a competitive pro-am environment than, say, a quiet, introverted type who simply wants to go about his business. I see Mitchell in the same vein as a Brandt Snedeker or Kevin Streelman, guys who have enjoyed success at this event because they enjoy competing with a partner, not in spite of that fact.
Though I haven’t seen the pairings at the time of this writing, I’m going to assume he’s once again playing alongside Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, a partnership which yielded Mitchell a T12 finish last year.
One player to finish in the top 10
Andrew Putnam (+275 for top-10)
I went a little too all-in on Putnam for The American Express two weeks ago, and while a T36 result wasn’t a total loss, he certainly didn’t live up to my personal expectations. I don’t mind going back to the well on the West Coaster here, though, as he was 54-hole co-leader last year and eventually finished in a share of sixth place. With a pair of top 10s – and no missed cuts! – in 10 starts so far this season, there’s no reason to think he won’t be back on the leaderboard this time.
One player to finish in the top 20
Harry Hall (+500 for top 20)
Only two of the four competitive rounds will include measured statistics this week, but based on those 36 holes from last year’s edition, 10 of the top 11 on the final leaderboard finished ahead of the field in Strokes Gained: Putting. Let’s not mince words, though: You need to putt well, but you don’t necessarily have to be a good putter.
Even so, I’ll take a chance here on a rookie who happens to be leading the PGA Tour in putting. (Try that trivia question at your favorite 19th hole, and I guarantee every diehard fan will think it’s Taylor Montgomery instead.) Perhaps more importantly, he’s been putting well on the West Coast, as the England native and Las Vegas resident seems more comfortable than most on California Poa Annua. You’ll have to play some longshots this week, and Hall feels like a smart one to back. I don’t mind a top-five or top-10 play, either.
One player to finish in the top 30
Brent Grant (+500 for top 30)
Excuse me for going the recency bias route here, but Brent Grant looked impressive – for the first couple of rounds, at least – in posting a T25 at the Famers last week. There are signs throughout his previous KFT days that while he might never be the most consistent player, he tends to build on some of that momentum.
One player to finish in the top 40
Paul Haley II (+280 for top 40)
When there are only 23 top-100 players in the field and you’re seeking a sleeper play for a top 40, well, you’re gonna need to dig a little. Haley is a guy who was very good on the KFT circuit but hasn’t done much since a T12 at the Fortinet Championship to start his rookie campaign. Here’s hoping the NorCal vibes could return, as the Texas native is a strong wedge player and should have plenty of opportunities to brandish those scoring clubs.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
With Spieth listed above in this piece, the Bingo play essentially came down to Fitzpatrick and Hovland, but I went with Fitz for the sole reason that I really like his approach to events such as these. He reminds me of Patrick Cantlay in the way they each prepare for every tournament as if it’s the biggest one they’ll ever play.
There will be plenty of hijinks and frivolity at Pebble this week – and as I wrote in the section on Mitchell, that’s a good thing for some players – but the avoidance of being sucked into the party atmosphere feels like a good way to continue climbing the leaderboard throughout the weekend. If I’m spending up in the lineups, I’m spending on Fitz.
A medium-priced option for DFS lineups
Yet another player on whom I’ve very bullish – and yet another one who fits a handful of different categories this week. At +7000, I don’t completely love the outright number, but I find it tough to believe Hardy will play poor golf, especially coming off a week at Torrey Pines where his ball-striking performance outshined his T44 result. I’ll lock him into plenty of lineups and am confident that he should own a lofty floor this week.
A lower-priced option for DFS lineups
Five years ago, those who were paying serious attention might’ve made the connection between Silverman’s victory on the Korn Ferry Tour last week and his inclusion in this week’s PGA Tour field and used it to own some leverage over their fellow competitors, just by keeping on eye on things.
These days, though, there’s so much smart content all over the Internet that I’m guessing even casual players will know all about Silverman by Thursday morning, and he’ll actually be overexposed.
Hey, that’s great. I love that the masses have become smarter about situations like this. As I often say, betting/fantasy has made golf fans more intelligent about what they’re watching (and whom they’re watching), which in turn helps create a more knowledgeable community. Go ahead and fire on Silverman, who nearly blew a massive lead on the KFT, only to win in a playoff, but don’t blame me if he’s much higher owned than you expected.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Just like last week and the week before that, this tournament features a multi-course rotation which makes FRL betting an exacting proposition. As always, I’m writing before tee times have been released, so I’ll simply leave this open-ended on Hossler: Last year, he followed an opening 70 on Monterey Peninsula CC with a pair of 65s on Spyglass and Pebble.
One of the emerging better putters on the PGA Tour and a guy who’s played well in his native California previously, I like him for full-tourney plays but believe he owns even more value as a single-round play for his ability to go low at a moment’s notice, as he showed here twice last year.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Erik Van Rooyen (+7500)
There were a few different reasons to be encouraged by Van Rooyen’s play at The AmEx two weeks ago, but none more than that it represents a stark early turnaround from his play last year, when he posted just a pair of global top 10s and nearly as many missed cuts (10) as made cuts (11).
Not many players make first-time fatherhood look as easy on the golf course as Max Homa, and without knowing anything, maybe there was a transition time for the South African.
In any case, that year-opening T6 in Palm Desert might’ve been the sign we needed that EVR is ready to play the type of world-class golf he’d been playing in previous years. I suggest jumping on him before the oddsmakers figure it out.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value
Joel Dahmen (+4000), Nick Taylor (+6000), Taylor Moore (+6000), Kurt Kitayama (+7000), Greyson Sigg (+9000), Webb Simpson (+10000), Joseph Bramlett (+11000), Harry Higgs (+15000)
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