AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Predictions to Win
Dates: February 12-15
Course: Pebble Beach GL (multiple courses) Pebble Beach, CA
TV: CBS/The Golf Channel
by Evergreen, PGA Betting Handicapper, Predictem.com
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There are a few marquee courses in the U.S. and the PGA Tour heads to one of those courses this week as Pebble Beach plays host to the AT&T National Pro-Am. Pebble is one of the most famous and recognizable layouts in all of golf and you have probably played there, at least in video game form. Pebble Beach, along with Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula CC, will host the pros and celebrity amateurs for one of the more fun events on Tour. Players will log one round at each course before the cut is made and remaining players return to Pebble for the finish. Like most of the Pro-Am events, the courses will be set up pretty easy to accommodate the non-pros and none of the three stretches past 6,950 yards. Scoring will be fast-paced and these courses can be handled by nearly any style of play. Jimmy Walker is the defending champion and he will have a tough field to wade through if he wants to make it two in a row.
One thing needed to conquer these courses and the field is a hot putter. Not many will struggle to get in position for birdies but only the best putters through the week will do any moving up the leaderboard. Scores can be tremendously low here, especially if someone gets really hot and makes more than their share of 20-footers. Scrambling becomes a key stat as well for those instances where players do miss target. Giving back strokes is extra painful when the rest of the field is moving forward so a few key par saves will go a long way towards hoisting the trophy come Sunday.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have both won here, as has Dustin Johnson so you might think the longer players have an edge but Brandt Snedeker and Aaron Oberholser have also won here so control players can get it done also. Talent, attitude and luck seem to play equal parts at Pebble so this is a pretty tough tournament to handicap overall. We are looking to pick three winners in a row after correctly picking Brooks Koepka and Jason Day over the last two events.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that we think have the best chance to win. We make a few picks to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any golf sportsbook. Here are our picks to win the 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National.
Jordan Spieth (11 to 1 to win)
A missed cut at Torrey last week was a surprise, especially after a T7 the week prior in Phoenix. Despite the shaky week, Spieth is looking good here based on his T4 last year and his stellar putter. There isnt much to say about Jordan from tee-to-green but he is 2ndin putting average, 2ndin putts per round and 1stin one-putt percentage. That prowess on the greens also leads to a top-15 scrambling, helping Spieth saves strokes and turn in the 6th best birdie average. Despite his youth, Jordan is among the best clutch players on Tour and is easy-going enough to handle to the pro-am atmosphere.
Nick Watney (25 to 1 odds to win)
Watney was a longshot pick to win last week and he was in position to cash in after two rounds but a 1-over weekend left him T7. That is still a solid overall result and Watney should be in the groove as he makes his eighth start of the season. Nick has some Pebble success with a T6 here in 2011 and he can handle the variety of courses with a solid overall game. Watney checks in as the 12thbest overall driver on Tour, adding a 32ndrank in greens hit for a top-15 ballstriking stat. That tee-to-green success will allow Watney to be in position to score regularly but he needs a hot week on the greens to make a run. He is an average putter at best and while that would normally be a trouble spot, he is playing well and that includes some good putting performances over the last few weeks. He is getting a little more love this week but his 25 to 1 will still bring a nice return if he can put it all together.
Billy Horschel (40 to 1)
It will be hard for Billy to reclaim the form that saw him win the FedExCup but weeks like this should be right up his alley. Horschel is a steady pro that wont be affected by celebrity distractions and his accuracy stats should only improve on these short tracks. Billy is 11thin total driving, 23rdin fairways and an impressive 4thin greens hit. The putter is alright, ranking 57thoverall but he will have plenty of chances behind the 3rdbest overall ballstriking stat. Horschel likely has a lower ceiling than many in this field but has a higher floor and should be able to grind out a nice contending run.
Pat Perez (100 to 1)
Longshots are fun and longshots at full-field events bring mega-value. Perez has been a pro-am warrior over the years with a runner-up here in 2002 and a win at the Hope. Success in these events is sometimes a matter of mindset and it is clear that Pat has the correct one. During his pro-am successes he has set scoring records so it is clear that he isnt afraid of shootout scoring. He is at 100 to 1 for a reason but he was T7 last year and hasnt missed a cut in 2015 so there is a little there to suggest he can prove his odds wrong. This is a boom-or-bust pick, but he does putt well, especially in streaks and that might very well be good enough to cash a big bet here.
Head to Head Matches
Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets. For the most prop bets online and to find the lowest betting odds on the net, check out the web’s best sportsbook: 5Dimes.
Jason Day v. Jimmy Walker (pick to win: Day)
This match is very popular at the books and pits the defending champion versus the winner from last week. Walker finished off a tremendous start to the season by winning Pebble but hasnt won since so Day has the trend advantage. The stats suggest similar strengths and weaknesses between the two but Day is the better scrambler and I believe that par-saving is just as important in these birdie-fests as it is during the tough-scoring Majors. Both players should be on the radar to win it all but Day is the slight favorite based on recent results and the apparent ability to grind out slightly better rounds.
Hunter Mahan v. Ryan Palmer (pick to win: Palmer)
As the much longer player, Palmer has a distance advantage in this one but wont mean much on two of the shortest courses on Tour. Palmer will be able to take advantage on some holes but his edge here comes more from a much better birdie average. Mahan is just 70th in birdies while Palmer is 6thand that is meaningful when scoring is a requirement. Ryan is a slightly lesser ballstriker due to some loose tee shots but is actually the better scrambler and that should prove useful in this match as well. Mahan and his wife just welcomed their second child last week so there is a little bit of a question mark with Hunter in terms of what his preparation was leading into this event.
Good luck and good golf!