Genesis Invitational betting guide: 5 picks our expert loves this week

Collin Morikawa of the United States plays a shot during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 01, 2024 in Pebble Beach, California. (

Our expert likes Collin Morikawa's chances this week.

Getty Images

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Genesis Invitational, which gets underway Thursday in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

It’s the last leg and arguably the crown jewel of the West Coast Swing: Historic Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. is the venue for this week’s Genesis Invitational. Tiger Woods is your tournament host, and yes, he is one of the 70 players in the field for this Signature Event.

“Riv” is a special golf course and a very challenging one. Of all the courses on the Tour schedule, it is always a favorite amongst the players. This will be the best field we have seen yet this season. There will be a 36-hole cut on Friday for the top 50 players and ties, as well as anyone within 10 shots of the lead.

The golf course stretches to over 7,300 yards and plays to a par 71. It features narrow fairways that dogleg in either direction and Poa Annua grass greens — some of the hardest to hit in regulation on Tour. In past editions, it has been very rare that the cutline lands under par.

With that, I have looked at Strokes Gained: Approach this week, along with Good Drives Gained, Greens in Regulation Gained, Scrambling, Bogey Avoidance, Strokes Gained: Par 4s 450-500 yards, Hole Proximity from 150-175 yards, Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa Annua), and finally, putting from inside of 10 feet – as these have traditionally been some of the most difficult greens to hole putts of that length.

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The comp courses I used this week are interesting. There has always been an incredible connection between Riviera and Augusta National. The list of Masters winners who have also won here is extensive: Adam Scott, Fred Couples, Nick Faldo, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Craig Stadler, Mike Weir, Tom Watson, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Doug Ford, Billy Casper, Arnold Palmer, and 2023 Masters winner and Genesis Invitational defending champion, Jon Rahm, who has since departed for LIV.

I also found similarities in layout as well as crossover success with the Plantation Course at Kapalua, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Silverado Country Club in Napa, PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl., and The Renaissance Club, home to the Scottish Open since 2019.

We have been on quite a run of near-misses this season in this column: Nicolai Hojgaard at the Farmers Insurance Open, Sam Burns at Pebble Beach, and last week with Scottie Scheffler in Phoenix. Let’s see if we can find that elusive winner this week in LA.

Collin Morikawa (20-1)

When I crunched the stats this week, Morikawa is near the top across the board. He hits greens in regulation, he avoids bogeys, he drives it well, and he’s one of the best iron players in the game. He’s finished fifth and 10th at the Masters, he’s been runner-up at Kapalua, to go along with four additional top-10 finishes, and he’s taken 10th in Napa. Here at Riviera, he’s finished runner-up and sixth. It is hard to find a more worthy candidate to have success here again this week.

Sam Burns (25-1)

As noted, we were on Burns a few weeks ago at Pebble Beach where he landed 10th after just 54-holes. Prior to this, Burns was leading the American Express with just two holes left to play on Sunday. Last week, he took third at the WM Phoenix Open, closing with a 64 on Sunday. Obviously, the current form is there. Over the last 24 rounds, Burns ranks 12th in this field for SG: Putting (Poa Annua), first in Bogey Avoidance, and eighth in Scrambling. He finished third here in LA in 2021.

Adam Scott plays shot at 2023 Wyndham Championship
Adam Scott at the 2023 Wyndham Championship. Getty Images

Adam Scott (33-1)

A two-time Genesis winner, Scott always has to be looked at here to possibly make it a hat trick. He comes off of a 20th place finish at Pebble and was eighth last week in Phoenix. He is eighth in this field for Greens in Regulation Gained over the last 24 rounds, 15th for Good Drives Gained, and sixth in SG: Putting (Poa Annua). He’s a Masters winner, a winner at PGA National (Honda Classic), has six top-10 finishes here including the two victories, and he was 15th at the Old Course in the 2022 British Open.

Sahith Theegala (38-1)

Like Burns, Theegala is another player who is in excellent current form. He won the Fortinet Championship at Silverado back in September and then kicked off 2024 with a runner-up finish at Kapalua. He threatened for a long time last week in Phoenix before settling for fifth place. A graduate of nearby Pepperdine University, Theegala is very familiar with Riviera and took sixth last year. It was also in 2023 that Theegala finished ninth in his first-ever Masters.

Chris Kirk (115-1)

Depending on exactly where you shop, for many it has been six straight winners on the PGA Tour in 2024 that have had triple-digit odds to win the event, pre-tournament. Nick Taylor was yet another last week in the neighborhood of 100-1. So why not Chris Kirk, who got the triple-digit trend started back in January at Kapalua? Checking another correlated-course box, Kirk also won last season at the Honda Classic. He hasn’t had that many trips around Riviera but I really like were his game is right now and a triple-digit price feels like a good buy. He’s really solid in the numbers across the board, including ninth for SG: Approach and 13th in Hole Proximity from 150-175 yards, over the last 24 rounds. 

Who Chirp users like this week

Chirp graphic Genesis Invitational
Chirp users’ faves at the Genesis Invitational. Chirp

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