GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Genesis Invitational

Rory McIlroy is the new No. 1 player in the world and the favorite at the Genesis Invitational. Even at short odds, we can consider him on our short list this week. Who else makes for a promising wager?

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the Genesis Invitational based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

In what is arguably the best field of the year bar the PGA Championship and PLAYERS Championship, the PGA Tour visits the Pacific Palisades this week for what should be a terrific tournament. In a slight tweak to the format, the event is now invitation-only, which means the field is chopped from over 140 golfers to just 121 this year. That means more than half the field will make the cut, and our eventual winner will have to hack his way through most of the best players on the planet.

Recent history shows that big hitters and elite golfers are the way to go, so we will focus our picks on the best of the best and only dabble further down the market if we have an undervalued asset ripe for a bounce back.

For more info on Riviera Country Club, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Rory McIlroy (+750) - Any case for McIlroy could easily be applied to Jon Rahm or Justin Thomas (both +1000) -- all three have multiple wins over the past six months and are top 10 machines. We'll give the edge to the new World No. 1 player even at a slightly higher cost. The reigning Player of the Year has been dominant off the tee, and in any given week he can just run away with an event against even the strongest fields. We don't usually opt for the outright favorite at single-digit odds, but Rory is undeniable this week. He was T20 in each of his first two turns at Riviera, and a T4 last year puts him right on track to get another trophy this time around.

Dustin Johnson (+1200) - DJ has seen his odds fall since opening at 14/1, and at the top of the market, he is easily the best value given his course form. He loves these bumpy poa greens, and his worst finish in the past six trips to Riviera is a T16 in 2018. He won in 2017 and has just a good a chance to do so this week as the big three at the top.

Value Spots

Jordan Spieth (+3400) - If we are really honing in on the Augusta corollary this week, it is hard to ignore Spieth at this number. Even in his disastrous ballstriking years, Spieth still managed to contend at the Masters. His price immediately jumps out as a value and in fact, he's shorter to win the Masters (+2700) than he is this week. He has shown signs of life with the irons last week, gaining 5.2 strokes via his approaches in his two measured rounds at Pebble Beach en route to a T9 finish. He's desperate to claw his way back into the top of the world rankings, and as he showed a few years ago he is close to unstoppable when he puts everything together. Another high finish and this might be the longest we see him for a few months, so it's worth jumping on early and taking advantage of the good number while we can.

Paul Casey (+4500) - If Casey had just shot even par on Sunday at Pebble and finished something like 20th, what would his number be? Alas, he completely imploded in windy conditions and got killed especially on the greens, losing 4.6 strokes putting in just his final round. It is fair to guess he'd be closer to 30/1 had he just tread water, so we'll grab the free value before he gets his mojo back. He ended last week losing strokes both on approach and on the greens, and a tough course that requires elite ballstriking is the perfect bounce-back opportunity. He wins so infrequently that many will be right to trust him regardless of number, so throw a penny on the decent odds for a Top 20 Finish (+220).

Long Shots

Scottie Scheffler (+9000) - Scheffler is one of the best young ballstrikers on Tour, and in his first elite field as a Tour member, he will need to show the world where he stands. He dominated Korn Ferry fields last year and the weaker PGA events in the fall, but going toe to toe with the big boys is a different animal entirely. Scheffler has missed the cut in his last two events at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and after a week off he should be laser-focused on reaching the weekend and clawing his way up the leaderboard at Riviera.

Danny Willett (+13000) - The 2016 Masters champion made his Riviera debut last year and grinded his way to a T33 finish. His form is a bit spotty but he does have spike weeks where he vaults into contention every few events, and catching him on the upswing is always something of a guessing game. It's far more likely to come here than in Florida, so we'll pose a guess at a big-time long shot with a pedigree this week to round out our betting card. We'll hedge our bets with a solid value for a Top 10 Finish (+1400).