Pebble Beach - Best Bets
February 7, 2018
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Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Pebble Beach – Par 72 – 6,816 yards
Spyglass Hill – Par 72 – 6,953 yards
Monterey Peninsula – Par 71 – 6,816 yards
Like we had a few weeks ago, this week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am consists of the entire field playing one round at each of the three courses involved with the lone cut coming after Round 3. Pebble Beach gets the spotlight for Round 4 on Sunday, but you've got to be in the Top 60 (and ties) to get there.
All three courses are relatively similar in their strategy and thus finding a few guys that either have strong tournament history here or do the necessary things well is where you should begin your handicapping.
In terms of guys with strong course history, a few of the big names – in what is quite a loaded field – should jump off the board. Jordan Spieth (12/10) is the defending champion here, but at those odds he's actually fifth in terms of favorites with other top golfers coming in ahead of him.
The favorite of the entire field is two-time winner Dustin Johnson (11/2) who has used his length off the tee and very forgivable fairways at all three venues to play the driver-wedge game to a tee here in the past.
Phil Mickelson (28/1) has won this tournament four times during his illustrious career, and Brandt Snedeker (33/1) is a two-time champ as well; both of which have come since 2013 with a 4th place coming here a year ago.
Things golfers need to do well here is be accurate with their approaches and not blow up with big numbers. The fairways are some of the more generous ones these guys will see all year, but with tiny greens littered throughout, hitting GIR and making those wedge shots count in terms of proximity to the hole is how guys separate themselves here. Knocking in a few putts never hurts either as the winner of this event is usually approaching the -20 number. So let's get right to a few guys you should keep in mind this week.
Betting Odds per Sportsbetting.ag
Golfers to Watch:
Rory McIlroy (9/1) – Grabbing a favorite under 10/1 in a loaded field like this is not something I particularly like to do, but Rory's making his first trip stateside for this event and he's tough to ignore. McIlroy gets to start at Spyglass Hill on Tuesday as he gets to go around with Mickelson. Watching a four-time champion of this event attack any of the three courses is going to be a plus and Rory's just the guy that will take advantage of any slim edge he gets or even perceives to get.
Rory doesn't have the course history here that the other big names have which will likely make him more of an overlooked guy here, but with a T3 and 2nd place finishes on his resume since taking some much needed time off, it's hard to argue that his game isn't sharp right now. He's got all the length in the world to play the driver-wedge game, and the forgiving fairways will be a welcomed sight for him. Throw in his accuracy in the approach game and if a few putts can drop from distance, expect Rory to announce his rival stateside in a championship-type of way this week.
Phil Mickelson (28/1) – It's hard to ignore Mickelson's track record here as a four-time champion, but although the last of those victories came back in 2012, Mickelson also has a 2nd place finish here as recently as 2016. Last year he finished 65th as a disastrous Sunday (77) capped off a tough week for him, but the way he showed great form at Phoenix last week suggests that Mickelson's game is starting the path to peak at the right time.
Mickelson's T5 finish last week was impressive, but the fact that he finished in the 60's for the final three rounds tells me he's starting to find his groove again out there on the course. He's always loved to play the Phoenix Open since coming out of Arizona State, and now he gets another very friendly/comfortable course a week later. Put that strong form here again this week – he is currently 6th in Strokes Gained: Approach - and as long as Mickelson doesn't get in his own way – which is usually with the driver and that's less of an issue here – another Top 10 finish should be in the cards.
Patrick Reed (33/1) – Reed is another guy who finished strong last week in Phoenix as three straight rounds in the 60's after an opening 71 put him T17 when all was said and done. That makes it three of four finishes in the Top 23 or better for Reed in his last four events, and he now gets to come to Pebble and play an event where he's been quite close in recent years.
Reed finished T6 here back in 2016 as struggles in Round 1 and 3 did him in after he shot a pair of 65's in the other two rounds. Last year it was a T23 as the weekend did not go according to plan, but like Mickelson, current form suggests that Reed is an event or two away from completely getting over the hump. He's great in terms of his approach game right now (22nd), even after a bit of a down week in that regard in Phoenix, but comfort and form suggests that 33-1 is a great price for a guy who's been known to step up on occasion when all the best players in the world are around.
Pebble Beach Pro-Am Odds per Sportsbetting.ag
Dustin Johnson 11/2
Jon Rahm 9/1
Rory McIlroy 9/1
Jason Day 10/1
Jordan Spieth 12/1
Gary Woodland 22/1
Paul Casey 28/1
Phil Mickelson 28/1
Matt Kuchar 28/1
Pat Perez 33/1
Brandt Snedeker 33/1
Patrick Reed 33/1
Patrick Cantlay 40/1
Branden Grace 40/1
Kevin Kisner 50/1
Adam Scott 50/1
Chez Reavie 50/1
Chesson Hadley 50/1
Kevin Chappell 50/1
J B Holmes 66/1
James Hahn 66/1
Bryson Dechambeau 66/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 66/1
Shane Lowry 66/1
Charley Hoffman 66/1
Kevin Streelman 66/1
Austin Cook 66/1
Chris Kirk 80/1
Jason Kokrak 80/1
Scott Piercy 80/1
Beau Hossler 80/1
Bubba Watson 80/1
Paul Dunne 80/1
Russell Henley 100/1
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