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Genesis Invitational Betting Preview and Picks: Tiger is Back in a Loaded Field

The PGA Tour finishes its West Coast swing this week with a trip to Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Invitational. It marks the second elevated event in a row on the PGA’s tournament schedule.  Viewers can expect another stacked tournament field competing for the $20 million prize pool. 

The biggest news of the week? Tiger Woods is playing! *insert fireworks*

Riviera plays as a Par-71 and measures just over 7,300 yards. The course setup emphasizes both accurate and long driving this week, as several holes feature forced carries over strategically placed bunkers. If you manage to hit a good drive, you’re still left facing some of the trickiest greens on tour. Weak approach shots will be punished, and poor putting even more so. 

Let’s take a look at the latest bettings odds for the PGA’s Genesis Invitational from the top legal sportsbooks. And if you’re looking to use one of these sports betting apps for the first time, be sure to check out our exclusive promos and bonuses currently available.

The Genesis Invitational Betting Odds

The tournament this week features the toughest field of the 2023 PGA Tour season. We’ll see 23 of the world’s top 25 golfers teeing it up at Riviera. Jon Rahm sits as the betting favorite at +800. Rory McIlroy is next at +900, and new No. 1 Scottie Scheffler sits third at +1000. 

Another trio of golfers is available at shorter than +2000 odds. Each of Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, and Xander Schauffele are priced between +1500 and +1800 at most major sportsbooks. Behind them, more familiar names. Morikawa, Cantlay, Homa, Im, Hovland, Spieth… each in the 20-to-1 to 25-to-1 area. 

Like I said, this field is stacked

As for the GOAT himself? Tiger’s outright odds are currently in the triple-digits, ranging anywhere from 125-1 to 150-1 for the outright win. 

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The Genesis Invitational Betting Strategy

In my last golf preview, I outlined some brilliant insight for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That tournament field was wide open, with exactly zero of the world’s top players making the trip. Most of the big guns opted to rest ahead of the elevated Waste Management Phoenix Open. 

Well, it’s the exact opposite this week. Everyone is playing Riviera. Longshot bets and even modest value picks lose a ton of win equity when the world’s best players are teeing it up. As such, I’m keeping the card light this week. But there are three bets I will be making. 

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The Genesis Invitational: Outright Winner 

Sung-jae Im (+3000)

Sung-jae Im is enjoying a stretch of fantastic golf. With only one missed cut over his last 10 tournaments, Im has notched an impressive four top 10s in that same span. He enters the Genesis with back-to-back Top 10s at both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Im finished T-4 at Torrey Pines and T-6 last week at TPC Scottsdale amongst two of the year’s strongest fields.

Im has affectionately earned the nickname “Iron Byron” from his golfing peers. He has an uncanny ability to hit fairways and greens with astonishing consistency. “Iron Byron” is the name the PGA has given its mechanical swing machine that tests equipment specifications. 

As the story goes, heading into the 2019 President’s Cup, the winds picked up at Royal Melbourne. None of the International team ventured onto the course for a practice round — except Im. Even in gale-force winds, Im hit every fairway and green on the front nine earning him the moniker. 

While the winds aren’t projected to be too gusty at Riviera, Im’s fairways and greens style of play will serve him well here. There isn’t one strokes-gained statistic that jumps off the page, as Im ranks 35th off-the-tee, 43rd in approach, 46th in putting and 29th around the green. Put all together and Im is quietly gaining more than 1.6 strokes against the field per round. That’s good for 10th overall on the PGA Tour.

Im’s well-rounded style will give him an advantage on a tricky track like Riviera. Consistency is the key to victory here, and 30-1 outright odds feel pretty good to me. 

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The Genesis Invitational: Top 10 to Target

Adam Scott +500

Another golf betting strategy is to pick horses for courses. There’s no horse with a better record at Riviera Country Club than Adam Scott. 

Scott owns an impressive history at Riviera including two victories. The Aussie took down the 36-hole version of the event in 2005 when rains soaked the course and canceled the final two rounds. He won again in 2020 and owns seven top 10s throughout his career here. Just last year, he was in contention for much of the week only to finish T-4. 

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Like Im, Scott’s iron game has been a model of consistency throughout his career. At a course like Riviera, keeping the ball in play is paramount. Look for Scott to continue his streak of solid play in Los Angeles this week.

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The Genesis Invitational: How To Bet Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods, Round 1 Over 10.5 Pars (-110 at Bet365)

Bet365 Sportsbook offers a betting market on the Genesis Invitational I’ve never seen before. The sportsbook that is available in Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia, has made odds available on how many birdies, pars, and bogeys a player will make during the opening round. It’s a lot to sift through, but one bet caught my eye; the number of pars for Tiger Woods.

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Tiger hasn’t played a competitive round of golf since the 2022 Open Championship where he struggled in tough conditions. He was featured in The Match VII exhibition match, paired with Rory McIlroy against best buds Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. And honestly… he didn’t look great. The pair lost 3 & 2 but it was never really close.

There’s good reason to love this bet. Woods famously plays a conservative style during the opening rounds. The veteran knows golf tournaments aren’t won on Thursdays with low rounds, but they can be lost with a bad one. He opts for a less aggressive approach in Round 1 and collects a ton of pars along the way. I expect the same at Riviera, where he’ll gently ease his way back into tournament golf. 

On a course he knows well, I trust Tiger to play a round of smart golf to cash this ticket easily.

Article contributed by Jim Robinson

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