Genesis Invitational Analysis & Value Plays
Event: Genesis Invitational
Where: Riviera Country Club
Watch: Golf Channel/CBS
When: Feb. 16-19
Following a weekend in the Arizona desert, the PGA Tour returns to Southern California for the final stop on its West Coast swing, the Genesis Invitational, this weekend at the venerable Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.
A field that includes 19 of the World Golf Ranking’s top 20 players, plus some guy named Woods, will tee it up this weekend for pieces of another $20 million purse.
Last week Scottie Scheffler pocketed $3.6 million from a $20 million purse when he won the Phoenix Open for the second straight year. Scheffler shot 68-64-68-65 to come in at 19-under par, two shots clear of Canadian Nick Taylor. Jon Rahm showed third; Justin Thomas – our top pick last week at 20/1 – finished fourth; Jason Day took fifth; Sam Burns, Sungjae Im, Jordan Spieth, and Tyrrell Hatton tied for sixth; and Wyndham Clark, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler and Adam Hadwin tied for tenth.
The Riviera CC, home to this event basically since 1973, plays to a par-71 at around 7,320 yards for the pros. It also apparently provides a pretty good test; Joaquin Niemann shot the lights out last year to win at -19 but the averaging winning score the previous four years at Riviera was -12.
Niemann started 63-63 last year on his way to -19 and the win at odds of 70/1. Collin Morikawa and Cam Young tied for second, two shots back; Adam Scott and Viktor Hovland tied for fourth; Justin Thomas placed sixth; Mav McNealy and Scottie Scheffler tied for seventh; CT Pan placed ninth; and Chez Reavie, Rory McIlroy, and Max Homa tied for tenth.
Each week we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight what we believe to be some of the best values on the board, plus a few betting picks. Odds to win and pairings for this week can be found at Bovada. Here’s our take on some of the field in this week’s Genesis Invitational.
Jon Rahm, after finishing third at Phoenix last week, tops Bovada’s Genesis Invitational betting board at +800. He’s followed by Rory McIlroy, who T-10 last week at +900; and Scheffler at +1100. But we’re looking outside the top three for our picks.
Max Homa +1800 to win
This native Californian finished T-5 at the Genesis Invitational in 2020, then won it in a playoff with Tony Finau in 2021, then finished T-10 here last year. He also just won at Torrey Pines three weeks ago. Homa disappointed a bit last week, falling out of contention on the weekend, but he might be ripe for a rebound effort this week.
Viktor Hovland +2800 to win
Hovland took a T-5 here two years ago, then T-4 here last year, This year, he hasn’t been great, but not bad either, with a T-18 at Kapalua, a T-13 at Pebble Beach and a T-42 last week at Phoenix. Hovland’s No. 11 in the World and 28/1 seems like good value.
Adam Scott +1000 to finish top-5
Scott’s got one of the better recent track records at Riviera; he was T-7 here in 2019, won this event in 2020, and T-4 here last year. Scott doesn’t play all that many events anymore, just twice so far this year, finishing 29th and T-21 at a couple of the Hawaiian events. But he seems to pop up with contending performances fairly regularly. We’ll take the 10/1 on a top-5 finish here.
Elsewhere among Bovada’s Genesis Invitational betting offerings, Homa is paired with Spieth at +1200 on the “two chances” board; and Sungjae Im, who finished T-6 last week at Phoenix and T-4 three weeks ago at Torrey Pines, is getting +4000 on the “first-round leader” board.
Finally, in honor of Mr. Woods’ return to the links this week, Bovada is offering a slew of Tiger-based prop bets. The price is +2000 on a top-5 finish, +135 to make the cut, and +3300 to play in the final group on Sunday.
But frankly, the -185 to miss the cut might be the smart money.
The first groups for this Genesis Invitational go off at 7:24 am Thursday morning ET, 10:24 local time.