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Farmers Insurance Open

Torrey Pines North – Par 72 – 7,250 yards
Torrey Pines South – Par 72 – 7,700 yards

Last week was the second straight one on Tour where I had a guy in the final group on Sunday who failed to get the job done. Two weeks ago it was more of a longshot that Keith Mitchell could make a run at the guys he was playing with, but at the Desert Classic last week, Adam Hadwin had things in control for the majority of Sunday.

In the end, an adrenaline filled shot on 18 from the middle of the fairway put Hadwin behind the eight ball in the three-way tie he had going into the last, and it was Adam Long who drained his birdie putt for his first career PGA Tour victory.

And while missing out on those pre-tournament winners always stings, the fact that I've had Mitchell and Hadwin in the final group these past two weeks has created tremendous hedging opportunities that proved to be profitable both times. Most of the time that's all you can ask for in golf wagering, and through three weeks of 2019, having one winner (Xander Schauffele) and two guys with a clear shot on Sunday is about as good as it gets.

It won't stay like that forever this year, but hopefully the run continues into this week as we've got our first loaded field of the calendar year with the Farmers Insurance Open on tap.

This tournament is played at the famous Torrey Pines Golf Club, with both courses seeing action for the first two days. The North course is by far the easier venue of the two, and with only one round of the four being played there, guys better make the most of their time spent on that track. That's because the South course is a dastardly challenge – one that's hosted Majors in the past – and requires length, accuracy, scrambling, and strong putting to have success.

The South course is the longest these guys will see on Tour, so length off the tee (and overall) is definitely an asset here, but scrambling and avoiding the big numbers on these long holes is equally as critical. Past winners of this event tend to finish with scores in the -10 to -15 range, although only once in the past five years have we seen a winning score lower than -10. That was Jon Rahm back in 2017, and it's his skill set (long off the tee, can get hot with putter) that you should look for in potential guys to back.

So let's get right to the guys I've already booked a ticket with this week:

Odds per -

Golfers to Watch

Patrick Cantlay (+2200) – Cantlay finished with a 51st here a year ago for his second professional trip here (first since a MC in 2013). That result is nothing special, but after shaking off the winter rust with a 9th place finish last week at the Desert Classic – his last event was the Hero World Challenge at the end of November – I do believe we see a big week from Cantlay.

Cantlay meets the prerequisite of having length off the tee (ranked 38th on Tour in driving distance last year at 303.1 yards), and his Strokes Gained numbers both off-the-tee and in the approach game should give him a huge edge over a large portion of this field already. He's made plenty of improvements in his scrambling, and like with so many other “bombers” on tour, Cantlay's top tier results are always dependant on his putting. But he did finish the Desert Classic with 22 birdies and 2 eagles for the week, and while his three most recent events have come on much easier courses, he's had 20+ birdies in all three of them.

Cantlay will still have to avoid grabbing a ticket on his favorite “bogey train” if he'll want to hoist the trophy on Sunday, but without needing to go extremely low to win at Torrey Pines, the odd bogey here and there shouldn't kill Cantlay's chances like they can do at the easier tracks.

Brandt Snedeker (+4000) – Snedeker's skill set doesn't scream to be a pick at this event, but his tournament history definitely does. Snedeker has won this tournament twice this decade (2012, 2016), and he's also got two runner-ups and six Top 10's in nine starts here since 2010. He's a guy that simply knows how to get around this lengthy course and with that kind of pedigree, +4000 is an easy price to back.

Snedeker may not be the longest guy off the tee, but his short game and scrambling skills are tremendous and will be on full display for these four days once again. You don't have that many quality results here without being a great putter/scrambler, and his long iron play shouldn't let him down either.

On those rare occasions where Snedeker gets a wedge in his hand (Par 5's etc), he should be pin-seeking every time, and if his flat stick is warm at a minimum, he'll make sure his name is on the first page of the leaderboard over the weekend.

Hideki Matsuyama (+5000) – Admittedly it's a little odd to see Matsuyama's odds come in this range, and although he wasn't at his best for the better part of 2018, he's too talented of a guy – with skills that fit this event – not to look to back here.

Matsuyama's length off the tee will serve him well this week, as long as he's able to find the fairway. Driving accuracy can be an issue for him at times, and is a big reason why his results have gone south the past six months, but he's more than capable of turning things around in a week, and with a 12th place finish here last year (after 33rd in 2017), this is a place where he's had some relative success.

Similar to Cantlay, Matsuyama's putting can be a concern as well, but when he's on the good side of one of those streaks, the birdies come in waves, and should we catch one of those waves with him this week, the +5000 price tag will look like a steal.

Farmers Insurance Open -
Jon Rahm 10/1
Jason Day 14/1
Justin Rose 14/1
Rory McIlroy 14/1
Tiger Woods 14/1
Xander Schauffele 18/1
Marc Leishman 20/1
Tony Finau 20/1
Patrick Cantlay 22/1
Rickie Fowler 22/1
Charles Howell III 28/1
Gary Woodland 28/1
Cameron Smith 33/1
Jordan Spieth 33/1
Patrick Reed 33/1
Abraham Ancer 40/1
Alex Noren 40/1
Brandt Snedeker 40/1
Cameron Champ 40/1
Keegan Bradley 40/1
Aaron Wise 50/1
Billy Horschel 50/1
Emiliano Grillo 50/1
Hideki Matsuyama 50/1
J.B Holmes 50/1
Kyle Stanley 50/1
Sungjae Im 50/1
Adam Scott 66/1
Branden Grace 66/1
C.T. Pan 66/1
Daniel Berger 66/1
Luke List 66/1
J. J. Spaun 80/1
Russell Knox 80/1
Ryan Palmer 80/1
Si Woo Kim 80/1
Beau Hossler 100/1
Danny Willett 100/1
Dylan Frittelli 100/1
Harold Varner III 100/1
Hudson Swafford 100/1
Jimmy Walker 100/1
Joaquin Niemann 100/1
Kevin Tway 100/1
Pat Perez 100/1
Peter Uihlein 100/1
Ryan Moore 100/1
Bill Haas 125/1
Braden Thornberry 125/1
Brian Harman 125/1
Charl Schwartzel 125/1
Danny Lee 125/1
Harris English 125/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 125/1
Patrick Rodgers 125/1
Richy Werenski 125/1
Brendan Steele 150/1
Charley Hoffman 150/1
J.T. Poston 150/1
Jason Kokrak 150/1
Stewart Cink 150/1

Odds Subject to Change

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