The Genesis Invitational Picks, Odds and Predictions

The time has finally arrived.

Tiger Woods is playing in a competitive golf tournament. This isn't the PNC, where he has teed it up with his son Charlie a couple times now, and it's not some hit-and-giggle that you would see him show up to just to hit a few balls.

This is the Genesis. It's HIS tournament. And it's also the scene of one of the most tragic moments in recent golf history.

Two years ago, Tiger was driving to an early morning shoot at the Genesis, when his SUV went off the road, flipped several times and hit a tree. Two years later, he is competing in the tournament, and it's certainly a surprise to see him play a tournament before the Masters in April, but it is not unwelcome.

Tiger's appearance will not overshadow this field though, as 96 of the top 100 golfers in the OWGR are set to tee it up this week.

Let's jump right into it.

Tiger Woods will be making his 2023 PGA Tour debut at the Genesis. (Getty)

2023 The Genesis Invitational

In the broad sense, Riviera is a course that compares to Augusta National with how strategic it is and how favorable it has been to lefties.

Augusta National has seen lefties Bubba WatsonPhil Mickelson, and Mike Weir win there this century, and all three of those guys are multiple-time winners at Riviera as well. The ability to have more control on playing a fade (for lefties) over a draw (for righties) plays a part in the undulations and layout of both tracks, as guys who have found success at one of those two venues, tend to find success at the other at some point.

Another recent winner here that also owns a green jacket is Adam Scott, and he has certainly seen some betting steam as well.

Other issues Riviera can bring are all around the greens, with sand saves and scrambling skills needing to be showcased at some point for all potential contenders.

There have been a few past winners that gained separation on the field, but for the most part the winning score will be in that -13 to -15 range where a solid four days of -3 or -4 every time out clearly gives you a chance.

Can't be putting up too many crooked numbers to get to that end result, so saving par after some issues earlier in the hole can be critical to guys keeping their good rounds going.

Players with strong approach games won't have to worry about that so much, but again, knowing where to land the ball and more importantly where to miss – like at Augusta National – is how guys avoid those disaster scores as well.

Updated on 05/25/2024
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The Genesis Invitational
Betting Resources

No shock here at all, Jon Rahm comes into this tournament as the favorite at +750, and he's still having an incredible season. The man hasn't placed below T8 in any of the six events he's played in and has 2 wins already.

Take your pick of the names behind Rahm though, as Rory McIlroy (+950), Scottie Scheffler (+1000), Justin Thomas (+1600), Xander Schauffele (+1800), Tony Finau (+1800) and Collin Morikawa (+2200) reside are all up next in price and are viable threats to win the tournament this weekend.

Beyond that we've got names like Max Homa (+2200), Patrick Cantlay (+2500), Viktor Hovland (+2800), Sungjae Im (+3000), Cameron Young(+3500) and Sam Burns (+3500) right there as well.

The Genesis Invitational
Betting Odds

The Genesis Invitational Contenders

  • Jon Rahm +750
  • Rory McIlroy +950
  • Scottie Scheffler +1000
  • Justin Thomas +1600
  • Xander Schauffele +1800
  • Tony Finau +1800
  • Collin Morikawa +2200
  • More Golfers
  • (Odds Subject to Change)

That kind of quality at the top suggests there really isn't that bad of a choice at the top of this field, but at the same time, it might be tough to see all of those names listed involved with a chance on Sunday. There isn't much difference in the game of most of those guys statistically, so if the execution isn't there for one of them and tickets on them go down, that's also just the nature of the beast.

Contender to Back
The Genesis Invitational

Justin Thomas +1600

Thomas has a complicated history at Riviera -- some good, some bad.

From his three top-10 finishes to missing the cut twice, all in the past 5 seasons, JT definitely has an up-and-down history at this course. But there are plenty of reasons to put your faith in him this week to come out ahead.

First of all, JT is seemingly back to his old self. His ball-striking is absolutely on point, and he gained over 8 strokes in ball-striking at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He's also by far the best around the green player on Tour, which is a major key here with all the bunker complexes and elevation changes around the green that this course showcases.

He's not the prettiest model result, as his Good Drives Gained number leaves something to be desired, but he has shown in previous years to be able to overcome that and place highly. Last year, he gained the sixth-highest amount of strokes Off the Tee in the field, and his shot-shaping ability and creativity is one of the best on the PGA Tour.

Mid-Range Value
The Genesis Invitational

Jason Day is listed as high as 50/1 odds to win this week's tournament. (Getty)

Jason Day +5000

Jason Day seems like he's finally back, and what a wondrous sight it is to behold. It's really good that he's having a solid season so far, with 3 top 10s in his last 4 tournaments and his back seemingly not giving him any trouble, because his course history at Riviera is simply not good.

Day has top 60th place finishes and 3 missed cuts at this event over the course of his career, and while that would normally automatically exclude him from my betting card, I am making an exception this week after he came in 4th in my model this week, with his highlights being 3rd in Good Drives Gained, 4th in Scrambling Gained, and 11th in the 150-175 proximity bucket, which made up 26% of the approach shots last year here.

Now this could simply not be Day's course, but it's notable that he has been dealing with injury issues for years at this point, so it wouldn't shock me if they have affected him at this tournament before.

I am ready to trust Day at a great number this week with him playing some inspired golf lately, and hopefully he shows up on the front page of the leaderboard on Sunday just like he has at multiple times so far this season.

Long Shot Pick
The Genesis Invitational

Si Woo Kim +10000

Rooting for Si Woo is like rooting for the guy who you know has all the talent in the world, but is still working on putting it all together, and you know he's going to get there very, very soon.

Now Kim is no newbie. He has a Players' Championship win under his belt, as well as a handful of other strong performances and wins in the last couple seasons. Winning at Riviera though, would be a true showing of how strong his game has become in the last couple seasons.

He's had a group of off performances at this event, but in 2018, he placed solo 3rd, and showed he can play this track strongly.

Looking at what he'll need to win, the flat stick will be key for him. Last year, he lost the 12th-most strokes putting in comparison to the field, and he struggled on approach as well. He came in 10th in the model though, and key points for him were his longer proximity, par 5 scoring, Good Drives Gained, and Bogeys Avoided, all of which he ranks in the top 25 in.

Top 20 Golfer
The Genesis Invitational

Tom Kim +190

Now, Kim has never played Riviera in competition before, so he has no idea the type of dangers can lurk around every corner during competition here.

What he does have though, is a strong resolve in addition to one of the cleanest golf games on Tour. He is an absolutely wizard with his irons and can hit nearly every shot you want. He also has been solid in hitting fairways, as he ranks in the top 30 in Good Drives Gained among his peers.

Kim isn't playing his best golf right now, and people have said to stay away from him due to the toughness of this course on first-timers, but he has passed every test that has been thrown at him since he burst onto the scene last year, and I can't expect that to change at this point. He attacks his problems head on and with an intensity I haven't seen from a young golfer in years, so I am backing him at nearly 2 to 1 odds to make the top 20 in this one. He can get there.

How to Bet on Golf

Golf betting has gained much more exposure and interest in the past few years, and with plenty of plus-money prices littered throughout the various forms of golf wagers, the chance for bigger scores is part of the reason behind that increased popularity.

2023 Golf Betting Schedule

Sportsbooks ensure that there are no shortage of wagering options on golf tournaments every week, and it isn't all about picking the winner. Grabbing the outright winner of a golf tournament is the best way to get that 'big score' but it's also the hardest wager to cash. After all, a typical professional golf tournament has a field of 140+ different players to consider.

Understanding Golf Odds and Bets

Most golf odds are listed in the fractional format – 10/1 on Dustin Johnson for example – and in that particular case you would multiply the amount bet by that first number to project your winnings. So a $100 bet on DJ to win that particular event would win you $1000.

If you are more comfortable with the American version of odds listings that you typically see across the other major North American sports – ie +1000 – these numbers are easily convertible. Online and app based books may already have that option built in, but the easiest way to do it yourself is to add two zeros to the first number in the fraction. So a 10/1 price on DJ converts to +1000 in that format.