2024 The American Express Predictions: Justin Thomas, J.T. Poston & More PGA Tour Bets

2024 The American Express Predictions: Justin Thomas, J.T. Poston & More PGA Tour Bets article feature image

Via Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured (left to right): J.T. Poston, Justin Thomas and Eric Cole.

Here's everything you need to know about 2024 The American Express predictions — our expert PGA Tour betting preview.

As they say in one of my favorite shows, Ted Lasso, “It’s the hope that kills you.”

When you bet on golf long enough, you expect to lose more weeks than you win. That’s the nature of betting on outrights. What sticks with you isn’t if you lose a bet – it’s how you lose a bet.

If Byeong Hun An would have struggled on the back nine and finished T7, it would have been a lot easier to stomach. Instead, he missed a 13-footer for eagle on his 72nd hole. Nonetheless, his score was still low enough to get him in a three-man playoff with Grayson Murray and Keegan Bradley.

If you didn’t see the playoff, let me provide a quick recap. An and Bradley both hit great drives and left themselves with a chance to get to the green in two. Murray pulled his drive and made contact with some palm trees and had to lay up on his second shot. An hit his second shot a tad short and Bradley missed way left.

Murray hit his 100-yard approach shot to 35 feet, Bradley chipped up to around 20 feet, and An hit a beautiful chip to about four feet.

I’ve been doing this for many years, so I knew not to count my chickens before they hatched. However, my experience with bad beats didn’t make this one any less painful. Murray sinks his 35-foot putt and An misses his four-foot putt. Absolutely brutal.

And to make matters worse, Eric Cole missed his top 10 by a shot, and Brendon Todd missed his top 20 by two. Golf is a beautiful and cruel game, and the ups and downs are why we love it so much.

This week we have The American Express, which is one of the more unique tournaments on the PGA Tour. It’s a pro-am on three different courses – PGA West Pete Dye Stadium Course, PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club.

If you aren’t familiar with the format, golfers will play one of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. After 54 holes, there will be a cut as the top 65 and ties will move on and play the Stadium Course on Sunday.

It’s hard to gleam too much from past results from this tournament, as we have ShotLink data from two of four rounds at only the Stadium Course. There’s also more variance with switching courses each day and the pro-am format. If you look at course history, you’ll notice a lot of inconsistency for most players in the field.

Here’s what we do know about these three courses – they are all par-72s that measure fewer than 7,200 yards and are all easy compared to PGA Tour standards. In fact, these are typically three of the 10 easiest courses on the PGA Tour rotation each year. It’s hard to really narrow down a course fit for this event, but I am looking for golfers who make birdies, can score on par-5s and have plenty of experience playing in California.

  • Starting bankroll: $1,000
  • Last week: -$100
  • Current bankroll: $858

2024 The American Express Predictions

Justin Thomas Outright +2500 (BetMGM)

Bet $20 to pay $520

I usually like to see some recent course history from my outright bets, but I am making an exception for Justin Thomas this week. He hasn’t played here since 2017 when he finished in a tie for seventh. I plan to bet Thomas early and often this year, as I am expecting a big bounce-back season.

He’s certainly in good form, as he’s finished tied for fifth or better in each of his last three starts worldwide. When he’s striking it well, he can rack up birdies with the best of them. It wound’t surprise me to see him jumpstart his 2024 campaign with a win.

J.T. Poston Outright +3300 (FanDuel)

Bet $20 to pay $680

J.T. Poston has put together tremendous Sunday rounds in each of the first two events of the year. He vaulted up the leaderboards and finished T5 at The Sentry and T6 at the Sony Open. He has one of the best short games on the PGA Tour, and that’s been on full display the last couple of weeks.

Over the last 18 months, he has made significant improvements with his ball-striking, which is why he has become a much more consistent golfer on Tour. He tends to play this event every year and has two top-10 finishes in the last five years.

Eric Cole Outright +3500 (DraftKings)  | Top 10 +350  (bet365)

Bet $20 to pay $720 | Bet $20 to pay $90

I’m doubling down on Eric Cole this week, as I’m betting him outright and to finish in the top 10. Winning Rookie of the Year certainly didn’t go to his head, as he’s finished in the top 15 in both events to start the new year. He’s shown an ability to play well on all types of courses, and I like that he’s getting to see many of these tracks for a second time (T36 here last year).

If birdies are imperative this week, it’s hard not to like Cole. He leads this field in Birdie or Better Rate over the last four months and over the last eight months. He’s going to put together four rounds and rattle off a win soon, and I plan to be there when it happens.

Andrew Putnam Top 20 +250 (bet365)

Bet $20 to pay $70

Andrew Putnam is coming off of another solid performance after finishing in a tie for 10th at the Sony Open in Hawaii last week. That is his third top-10 finish in his last six starts on the PGA Tour.

He’s known as a short-game specialist, but he has made big strides with his iron play over the last couple of years. In fact, he’s among the top 20 in this field in Strokes Gained: Approach over the last six months and the last 12 months. He returns to an event where he’s shined over the years, with five straight top-35 finishes. He’s been a top-20 machine recently and clearly likes something about these courses.

Good luck this week, and let’s try to add to our bankroll.

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