Genesis Open: How to Bet the Second Round

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© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After 18 holes at Riviera Country Club, the Genesis Open is, well… wide open.

An opening-round 74 by the pre-tournament favorite Dustin Johnson caused his number to win the event to drop from +500 to +2500.

Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay will begin Friday with a share of lead at 5-under after rounds of 66. Finau dropped from +6600 to +900, while Cantlay saw his price cut from +5000 to +1000.

Justin Thomas is next on the betting odds at +1200 following a 2-under par round. A group of three long shots, Tom Hoge, Dominic Bozzelli and Sam Saunders, are one stroke off the pace. It was good to see Saunders (who was +12500 in pre-event odds) get off to a nice start after The Action Network’s tournament preview tabbed him at +400 to finish in the top 20. That should give us something interesting to track on Sunday.

Tiger Woods (+8000) and Phil Mickelson (+2200) both had up and down rounds, with Phil finishing 1-under and Tiger at 1-over par.

At this point, the tournament has pretty much any option you want to take. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth both shot even par and are available for slightly better prices than before the first round; Spieth is +1600 and McIlroy is +2200. I don’t think an even par start on a course playing as tough as Riviera really hurts their chances. If you like either of them, this would be the time to add.

What I’ll be doing instead is adding two other players at big numbers. Bud Cauley at +10000 and Billy Horschel at +12500 both caught my eye because of their tee-to-green game. Horschel was seventh in strokes gained: tee to green in the first round, while Cauley was 14th.

Both struggled with the putter, and that’s where I like to look for an edge. (Players can turn putting around in an instant if the other ingredients of a successful round/tournament are in place.) Horschel and Cauley are giving themselves the birdie looks necessary to post solid rounds and contend over the weekend.


Top photo: Tony Finau via Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

All odds per Bovada on Feb. 15.