Genesis Open: How to Bet the Final Round
© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
The picture is finally clearing up a bit at Riviera Country Club as we head into Sunday at the Genesis Open.
Bubba Watson will head into the final round as a +250 favorite after a third-round 65 propelled him to a one-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay, who is next in line at +500.
We also saw a 7-under par round from the No. 1 player in the world, Dustin Johnson, who crept to within four shots of Watson. Johnson moved from +4000 at the start of the day to +600 to finish the comeback.
Which players offer the most value on Sunday? Let’s dig in.
Leaderboard after Saturday @genesisopen ?
1. Bubba Watson (-10)
2. Patrick Cantlay (-9)
T3. Cameron Smith (-8)
T3. Kevin Na
T3. Tony Finau
T3. Graeme McDowell
7. Derek Fathauer (-7)
T8. Justin Thomas (-6)
T8. Aaron Baddeley
T8. Dustin Johnson
T8. Scott Stallings
T8. Ryan Moore pic.twitter.com/M6nVBn5hU3
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 18, 2018
I don’t normally advise betting on favorites, but +250 on Watson may have some value here.
The thing about Bubba is he has his specific tournaments where he excels. Six of his nine career wins have come in three spots — Augusta, TPC River Highlands (which hosts the Travelers) and Riviera. When Bubba gets in contention on one of his tracks, he tends to close out wins. He’s been off his game for a year now, but recovering from an undisclosed illness and changing his ball seem to have him back in peak form.
I’ll be also look to Watson in a head-to-head against Patrick Cantlay; Watson is the -120 favorite in that matchup. Cantlay really cooled off with his approach game on Saturday, but he gained over three strokes with the putter to stay near the top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile, we think of Watson as a bomber, but he’s actually leading the field this week in Strokes Gained: Approach. Overall, it’s a Watson track in a final group on Sunday. I trust him to put a solid round together in that spot.
Looking a little further down the betting odds, Cameron Smith at +1100 is worth consideration. Smith is still searching for his first solo PGA Tour title (he won the team event in New Orleans with Jonas Blixt), and he’s been playing consistently across the board. He’s gained strokes with irons, short game and the putter, and on a difficult course like Riveria, I’m looking for someone who has the fewest leaks in his game. If Bubba slips up, Smith is just two shots back and would be in good position to take advantage.
Top photo: Bubba Watson
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports