Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

Safeway Open - Best Bets

PGA Tour Betting Preview

Safeway Open
Thursday Sept. 26 to Sunday Sept. 29
Silverado Country Club – Par 72 – 7,160 yards

The third stop of the new PGA Tour season tees off in California this week, as the Safeway Open is the first event of the season that has a handful of the best names in the game teeing it up. That's not to discredit the wins by Joaquin Niemann or Sebastian Munoz through the first two events, but the depth of the field at the Safeway Open is the first one where we've got some of the highest ranked players in the world participating.
While names like Justin Thomas (+650), Patrick Cantlay (+1000), Hideki Matsuyama (+1400), Adam Scott (+1600), Bryson DeChambeau (+2200) and Francesco Molinari (+2500) and Phil Mickelson (+5000) create more overall depth in this field and consequently help potential viewership for the tournament this weekend, interestingly enough, the Safeway Open has a history of being one where you do want to back the favorites.
I say that because, since the Tour moved this tournament to the Silverado Country Club in 2014, you'd be surprised at just how good the results have been for the top seven (and ties in terms of odds) guys on the odds board have been. There were three Top 10 finishes from them in 2014, three more in 2015, four in 2016, three in 2017 (which were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd), and just two a season ago, but both of them – Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker finished T2 after falling in the playoff to Kevin Tway.
Now, most of the names that come into this event favored each year do tend to change, but there may be some generic reasoning behind these top guys consistently doing well here. Silverado Country Club isn't a course that's overly long and doesn't tend to favor a certain style of play (bombers over shorter hitters for example). It's just a solid test of all-around golf for these guys to deal with for four days, and generally speaking the best players in the world tend to be better then most at minimizing their mistakes and taking advantage of their opportunities.
The other common thread for this event, even dating back to further years when it was played at other courses, is that guys better be able to hold their water down the stretch on Sunday if they are one of the few in contention. The winning margin by anyone in the past 12 years hasn't been greater than two strokes, with five champions being crowned via a playoff. Last year, we didn't see the winner come from the group of favorites, but Snedeker and Moore were both apart of that group and they were the ones sharing the tee with Tway in extra holes.
Guys don't climb up the world rankings by accident on Tour, as they've had more experience then most knowing what it takes to perform under pressure, and for the past five years, there have been quite a few of those favorites at least apply pressure to those around them on Sunday.
So with that in mind, it's the top of the betting board this week where the focus remains, as if history at Silverado is any indication, we should see plenty of the favorites stalking this trophy on Sunday afternoon.

Golfers to Watch

Patrick Cantlay (10/1)

Other then his very slow play (which may get tested more this season), Cantlay is the full package in terms of his skill set on the golf course, and it was at this event a year ago that he entered as the favorite. A 17th place finish in his first start here is nothing to shake your head at, and with three Top 12's or better in his last four starts to end last season, he shouldn't have to search long to regain that form after a month away.
Where Cantlay tends to dominate fields is in the approach game, as he's one of the more accurate ball strikers in today's game when he's on. Putting can abandon him at times, but the greens at Silverado tend to be slower then most on Tour, and it's never a bad thing to routinely give yourself birdie putts no matter the length.
As long as Cantlay doesn't fall victim to missing too many greens and be forced to rely on his scrambling abilities – can be his downfall as well – another Top 20 finish is probably the floor for him this week.

Adam Scott (16/1)

Scott is another guy known for his superb ball striking, and with a full season under his belt of being able to keep the flag stick in the cup while putting, his putting woes appear to be theoretically solved. He's now a guy that can hone in on the stick visually and not necessarily fear blowing putts by or leaving them well short when the goal is essentially to hit the stick. He was drastically improved on the greens with these new rules, and 2020 should be the year where we see him get back into the winner's circle on the PGA Tour for the first time since 2016.
What could be keeping many off of the Aussie this week is his favored odds combined with never competing at Silverado, and admittedly that is somewhat of a concern. But it would be more of a concern for say someone like Cantlay then Scott in my mind, based on the overall PGA Tour experience the two have. With Scott finishing last season with finishes of 5th, 9th, and 5th in his last three starts, he's another one that shouldn't be too negatively affected by a month away from competition on this side of the pond, and if his approach game is dialed in like it tends to be, he should add his name among the list of favored guys here who find themselves with at least a Top 10.

Charley Hoffman (100/1)

Hoffman isn't a guy that fits the historical context of being a favorite here at this price, and given that only one of the winners at Silverado has teeed off with worse then about 60-1 odds, there is that knock on him as well.
But he is another guy who can really get it rolling well when his entire game is relatively in sync, and even though he's more known for getting the putter going on faster greens like Augusta National, it's not like he can't go on one of his birdie runs on slower surfaces as well.
A 23rd finish last week at Sanderson Farms was a good sign that his game could be much sharper this season then it was last, and while winning outright may be a bit of a stretch for Charley this week, he's more then capable of getting it done.

Odds to win Safeway Open

Justin Thomas 7/1
Patrick Cantlay 10/1
Hideki Matsuyma 16/1
Adam Scott 16/1
Bryson DeChambeau 20/1
Collin Morikawa 25/1
Sungjae Im 25/1
Byeong Hun An 30/1
Francesco Molinari 30/1
Brandt Snedeker 30/1
Marc Leishman 40/1
Chez Reavie 40/1
Ryan Moore 40/1
Kevin Na 40/1
Emiliano Grillo 50/1
Scott Piercy 50/1
Lucas Glover 50/1
Dylan FrittelliI 50/1
Kevin Streelman 50/1
Abraham Ancer 50/1
Phil Mickelson 60/1
Bud Cauley 60/1
Corey Conners 60/1
Sebastian Munoz 60/1
Charles Howell III 60/1
Harold Varner III 80/1
Daniel Berger 80/1
Adam Hadwin 80/1
Kevin Tway 80/1
Brendan Steele 80/1
Harris English 80/1
Bronson Burgoon 80/1
Jim Furyk 100/1
C.T. Pan 100/1
Si Woo Kim 100/1
Charley Hoffman 100/1
Kyle Stanley 100/1
Nate Lashley 100/1
Lanto Griffin 100/1
Carlos Ortiz 100/1
Troy Merritt 100/1
Vaughn Taylor 100/1
Martin Laird 100/1
Kevin Chappell 125/1
Austin Cook 125/1
Jhonattan Vegas 125/1
Joel Dahmen 125/1
Sung Kang 125/1
Dominic Bozzelli 125/1
Danny Lee 125/1
Nick Watney 125/1
Robby Shelton 125/1
Wyndham Clark 125/1
Cameron Tringale 125/1
Adam Schenk 125/1
Cameron Champ 125/1
Sam Ryder 125/1
Doc Redman 150/1
Patrick Rodgers 150/1
Sepp Straka 150/1
Beau Hossler 150/1
Jason Dufner 150/1
Adam Long 150/1
Patton Kizzire 150/1
Chesson Hadley 150/1
Pat Perez 150/1
Talor Gooch 150/1
J.J. Spaun 150/1
Nick Taylor 150/1
Robert Streb 150/1
Luke List 150/1
Cameron Percy 150/1
Grayson Murray 150/1
Andrew Landry 150/1
Matt Jones 150/1
Tom Hoge 150/1
Fabian Gomez 150/1
Max Homa 200/1
Brice Garnett 200/1
David Hearn 200/1
Peter Malnati 200/1
Roger Sloan 200/1
Brian Stuard 200/1
George McNeill 200/1
Mackenzie Hughes 200/1
Michael Thompson 200/1
Harry Higgs 200/1
Scott Brown 200/1
Zac Blair 250/1
Brandon Hagy 250/1
Kristoffer Ventura 250/1
Aaron Baddeley 250/1
Mark Hubbard 250/1
Anirban Lahiri 250/1
Hank Lebioda 250/1
Chase Seiffert 300/1
Rob Oppenheim 300/1
Chris Stroud 300/1
Tyler McCumber 300/1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 300/1
Scott Harrington 300/1
Sangmoon Bae 300/1
Brian Gay 300/1
Ryan Brehm 300/1
Xinjun Zhang 300/1
Brendon Todd 300/1
Matthew Nesmith 300/1
Jamie Lovemark 300/1
Tyler Duncan 300/1
Morgan Hoffmann 300/1
Ben Martin 300/1
Maverick McNealy 300/1
Matt Every 300/1
John Huh 300/1
Henrik Norlander 300/1
Bo Hoag 300/1
John Oda 300/1
Andres Gonzales 300/1
Henry Chung 500/1
Byron Meth 500/1
Akshay Bhatia 500/1
Isaiah Salinda 500/1
Bo Van Pelt 500/1
Rhein Gibson 500/1
Ricky Barnes 500/1
Colt Knost 500/1
Kevin Stadler 500/1
Vincent Whaley 500/1
Michael Gellerman 500/1
Sebastian Cappelen 500/1
Rafael Campos 500/1
Chris Baker 500/1
Satoshi Kodaira 500/1
Mark Anderson 500/1
Michael Kim 500/1
Fred Couples 500/1
Martin Trainer 1000/1
Nelson Ledesma 1000/1
Vince Covello 1000/1
Michael Gligic 1000/1
Ben Taylor 1000/1
Stuart L. Smith 2000/1
John Daly 2000/1
Tony Romo 10000/1

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