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Perry’s 2020 Safeway Open Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Fade the Favorites in Golf’s Season Opener

Perry’s 2020 Safeway Open Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Fade the Favorites in Golf’s Season Opener article feature image

Chris Keane/Getty Images. Pictured: Mark Hubbard.

  • Joshua Perry breaks down the 2020 Safeway Open from a betting perspective, and he's targeting three in the mid-tier and three longshots.
  • He's relying on a little bit of course history and a ton on ball striking, as off the tee performance has been an indicator of success in the past here.
  • Get Perry's full card for the PGA TOUR's season opener below.

The TOUR Championship hadn’t even concluded by the time we were presented odds for the 2020-21 PGA TOUR season opener.

The TOUR limited the offseason to two days this year as the golf calendar shifts to the fall swing.

The Safeway Open will usually draw a couple of the big names, but with most of the game’s elite in Atlanta and the U.S. Open looming next week, none of the 30 participants at East Lake made the trek to California this year.


The Course

Silverado Country Club measures at around 7,200 yards for a par 72 and has hosted this event since 2014.

The tee ball has been a strong trait of the previous winners here. Whether they bomb it like Cameron Champ or find an accuracy/length balance like Brendan Steele and Emiliano Grillo, having the driver dialed in this week will be key. All four par 5s are short enough that a solid drive will set up a plethora of easy birdie chances.

The short game and comfort on Poa greens will be a nice bonus as we shift back to California this week. Adam Hadwin, Brandt Snedeker and Kevin Na all have finished second here and aren’t necessarily known for their ability to drive it.

The Favorites

With the stars at East Lake, we’ve got an unusual odds board this week. Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson open as co-favorites at +2000. Mickelson, fresh off his Champions Tour triumph, is one of three players in the field this week with multiple top 10s on the course, along with Steele and Martin Laird.

Shane Lowry is next in line at +2500 as he makes his debut at Silverado. Past winners Steele and Grillo cap off this range at +2800.

Not much interests me here as usual. The six players in this group have a combined six top 10s on the PGA TOUR between them since the restart back in June.

[Bet now at bet365. NJ only.]

The Mid-tier

I’m not going to invest too much into this event early. With a field like this, my strategy is to target a few of the players further down the board, then see how things play out and try to find an opportunity to add to the card after the first or second round.

I’ll start off here with Mark Hubbard at +7000 on Bet365. Hubbard has been fairly consistent in the last three months. He’s made nine out of 10 cuts in much stronger fields than this. He was also 13th here last year, so the course seems to be a decent fit.

I’ll also back Patrick Rodgers at +7500 on Bet365. Rodgers is strong off the tee and putts well on Poa greens, so he’s checking off the main boxes I’m looking at. He was also sixth here in 2015, so he’s shown the ability to play well at Silverado.

Lastly, I’ll take Maverick McNealy at +8000 on Bet365. McNealy has made the cut in the past three years here and has a couple of top 10s in the past few months. The ball striking numbers haven’t been great, but the Stanford alum putts great on Poa.

[Bet now at bet365. NJ only.]

The Longshots

I’ll start here with Chris Baker at 175/1 on Bet365. Baker hasn’t had many starts in the past three month, but his ball-striking has been great in each event. He doesn’t have a high-end finish in those fields, but he’s made the cut in each event since June.

I’m going to back Joseph Bramlett here at 175/1 on Bet365. Bramlett is a California native who has made the cut in his only appearance in the event. During his last trip at west to the Barracuda, he played well, finishing 12th. His only other top 20 in 2020 came at Pebble Beach.

I’ll close out the card with Zac Blair at 175/1 on Bet365. Blair has played well here throughout his career, making four of five cuts, including a fourth-place finish last year.

The Safeway Card

  • Mark Hubbard +7000 (.47 units)
  • Patrick Rodgers +7500 (.44 units)
  • Maverick McNealy +8000 (.41 units)
  • Chris Baker +17500 (.19 units)
  • Joseph Bramlett +17500 (.19 units)
  • Zac Blair +17500 (.19 units)

Total Stake: 1.89 units

[Bet now at bet365. NJ only.]

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