AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Predictions to Win
When: February 11-14, 2016
Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links - Pebble Beach, CA
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Betting Analyst, Predictem.com
The final bell just rang on the NFL season, so what are we all going to watch now? I’m not sure about you but it is still mid-winter where I am so I tend to flip the channel to golf on Sundays, even if it is just to remember what green grass looks like. The PGA Tour spent last week in the desert but travels back to California this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The Pro-Am atmosphere is crazy and turns plenty of PGA pros off but it does make for good TV because who doesn’t want to see Toby Keith and Kenny G trying to hit that impossible flop shot. This tournament might just give you that last NFL fix as Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith are among the celebrity amateurs scheduled to attend. Alongside their celebrity counterparts, the best in the golf world are here and the field is led by Jordan Spieth. Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and a good chunk of the rest of the top-25 in the world will be teeing it up at Pebble so there is a legit title on the line for whoever emerges with the win.
Golf just isn’t golf without Pebble Beach and the historically popular course is a fan favorite. Like other Pro-Ams, multiple courses are in play with players rotating between Pebble, Spyglass and Monterey Peninsula over the first three rounds. A 54-hole cut is in effect and the remaining play moves back to Pebble Beach for the Sunday finish. None of the three courses are going to be very hard. All three are short by Tour standards with forgiving roughs and pretty tame pin placements. That environment really gives the non-pros the best chance to get around without embarrassing themselves and it gives the PGA pros a ripe scoring environment. Brandt Snedeker is the defending champ and he set a tournament record last year after shooting 22-under. He carded a 19-under total in winning just a couple years back and a good chunk of the field is going to find their way into the double digits under par. Winning here is all about scoring and that is mostly about shotmaking on the approaches and getting hot with the putter. This event has produced several multi-time champs with Phil Mickelson winning four times and Mark O’Meara winning an impressive five Pebble titles. We will see if Snedeker can win his third but prior success is a good indicator of future performance here.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that we think are the best bets to win. We make a few picks two win and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches that you can find at Bovada Sportsbook. Here are our picks to win the 2016 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Brandt Snedeker (15 to 1 odds to win)
Spieth, Day and a short list of others are rightful favorites but they are awful short odds to win and really not that profitable, even with a win. Snedeker fits right in that spot of providing good value on top of being a viable threat to win. A win this week will be his third Pebble win in four seasons and stretches of good play have proven to be almost certain for Brandt. Earlier this year, Sneds turned in a three week run that saw him go T3/P2 and then a win at the Farmers. There are degrees of hot and not many outside of Spieth or vintage Tiger have turned in those kinds of spurts. Snedeker is turning up the dial on is driving distance but he won’t need that skill much this week. He remains a solid ballstriker, a top-5 putter and his demeanor is perfectly fit to handle the loose atmosphere. Brandt has turned all his good swings into the 12th best scoring average and no one is going to be surprised if he is in the hunt for another title.
J.B. Holmes (25 to 1)
Holmes has long been one of the better check-cashers on Tour and that usually makes for a better head-to-head option than a bet to win play but J.B. has turned in back-to-back T6’s and was 10th here last year. He most certainly can win this week and he will likely do so behind the 5th longest driver on Tour. He can bomb away at a relatively soft course and get really short irons into nearly every green. He putts well enough to net 4.25 birdies per round and leads the Tour in putting from 15 to 20 feet. That is going to be a common birdie distance for a lot of the field this week and a hot week on the greens is all J.B. needs to turn those T6’s into wins. He’s been bugged by that untimely bogey but stormed to a hot finish last week so he is trending in the right direction for sure.
Matt Jones (60 to 1)
Golf is so international now that it is hard to keep track of all the talented foreign-born players. Matt Jones is an Aussie player that is making a good living on Tour but hasn’t been able to jump ahead of the McIlroys in terms of popularity. Among his three straight Pebble made cuts, he popped for a T7 here last year that could have been better if he didn’t falter with a Sunday 73. Jones is long by Tour standards, ranking 22nd in distance and uses that length well, netting 4.2 birdies per round. He is an average putter for the most part but is streaky and is inside the top-40 on Tour in 1-putt percentage. If he can turn a bunch of 1-putts this week, that will mean big birdie numbers and that will be necessary to be relevant this week. He is an outside of the box pick but there is a big slog of uninteresting longshots this week with pretty weak records here so Jones has a leg up over that crew.
Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check with one of our recommended online sportsbooks for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Bubba Watson v. Dustin Johnson (pick to win: Watson)
You couldn’t find a closer statistical matchup if you tried as two of the Tour’s biggest hitters on Tour face-off at Pebble. Both men are overly powerful for this course so it makes a bigger difference in what they can do with the rest of their bag. Watson is leading the 2016 battle in terms of greens hit and ballstriking. Neither player is putting well at all right now but that isn’t too big of a deal in the early season and both are scoring about the same. There isn’t much that Johnson doesn’t do well but Bubba is the better iron player, especially in terms of being able to shape a shot to fit conditions. Watson is able to hit that cut shot or draw to get just a bit closer to the pin and he can recover from just about anywhere. I think that skill is more important this week than the power stats in play so look for Bubba to get a bit better of these courses and a match win.
Bill Haas v. Ryan Palmer (pick to win: Palmer)
A couple of good Tour grinders go at it in this one but I think Palmer is the clear pick here despite the fact both men are about the same odds to win the event outright. Ballstriking will prove important and Palmer has the edge there, checking in at 22nd on Tour. Palmer is significantly longer than Haas and that proximity to the green gives him the edge in ability to hit greens. Despite a below-average putter in 2016, Palmer has been able to turn in a top-10 scoring average, 73 spots better than Haas at this point. Longer, better into the greens, and the better scoring average heading into a shootout is a mix that simply points to Palmer as the favorite in this match. Where are you betting your Pebble Beach Pro-Am picks? Did you know that you can wager at discounted odds at 5Dimes? Not just golf either! They offer reduced odds on ALL sports! They pay fast too! Make the switch today… You’ll be glad you did!
Good luck and good golf!