GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the American Express

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the American Express based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

This event gets a new look this year, with no Pro-Am and the course rotation down to two courses instead of three. While this has been one of the most highly variant tournaments over the past few years, with one of the longest winners in recent memory in Adam Long two years ago going off in some places longer than 500/1, and another triple-digit odds winner in last year's champion, Andrew Landry.

The change in format will decrease the variables and likely make this a more straightforward event, especially as it features a stronger field than in years past even after the withdrawal of world No. 2 Jon Rahm. We'll spread our card pretty evenly, but our defining characteristic this week is talent off the tee. While driving distance isn't typically a priority at this event, we'll plant our flag that an extra round at the Stadium Course gives the best drivers an advantage this week. Even if they have to club down they will still be out in front against the field and will see a tick up in their accuracy as well.

For more info on the PGA West Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Matthew Wolff (+1900) - Wolff came into the professional ranks as the ultimate winner among a crew of college standouts. He wasted no time picking up his first Tour win in just his third start as a pro, but we are now 18 months on from there without that second victory. Three runner-up finishes in 2020 left Wolff just shy. One way to look at those close calls is that two were by three and six strokes, and the third was in a playoff where he was the best player by a significant margin and couldn't seal the deal. On the other hand, he beat all but one man at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the U.S. Open (Bryson DeChambeau, in both cases) and was two shots clear of the next finisher. And the playoff loss can be easily explained as he's 21-freaking-years-old. The wins will come for Wolff, and after a stumble to close 2020, he should be refreshed and ready to get back into the winner's circle.

Scottie Scheffler (+1900) - Scheffler is best suited for the birdie fests he dominated on the Korn Ferry Tour before earning his PGA Tour card to start last year, and even without La Quinta Country Club on the slate this week, we can expect plenty of scoring at the American Express. The long layoff wrapping around the New Year didn't affect him last year when he finished third at this event. He got a few rounds under his belt at the Tournament of Champions and finished T13 despite not having his best stuff, and we can expect the ballstriking to come back strong this week.

Value Spots

Cameron Champ (+4200) - Champ was 21st here last year in his debut, and a Sunday 67 at the Stadium Course is our key indicator here. He gained both off the tee and on the greens in both Stadium rounds last year. We can rely on Champ to gain with his driver week in and week out, and when he putts well, he almost always finds his way into contention. He won in each of his first two seasons on Tour and has that one elite skill -- his biggest weakness is around the greens, which is one of the stats we are freely and fully ignoring this week.

Sam Burns (+5000) - With finishes of T6 and T18 the last two years and a sterling record on bermuda greens, Burns fits the course well and slides nicely into our trend this week. Burns ranked 16th in strokes gained: off the tee last season and is third so far for 2020-21, boasting two top-10 finishes in the swing season. He's gained off the tee in all but one event since last year's American Express, and just four missed cuts give us some security in the prop market. Depending on your appetite for risk, he looks like a solid bet for a Top 40 Finish (-105), Top 30 Finish (+150), or Top 20 Finish (+240).

Long Shots

Doc Redman (+8500) - Redman might not be the longest hitter but he's definitely a gainer off the tee. He ranks 19th so far this season, which doesn't even factor in one of his best finishes at the Bermuda Championship, where he finished fourth but where strokes gained data is not measured. Like Champ, Redman's weakness comes in chipping and scrambling, neither of which look to factor in much this week.

Joel Dahmen (+10000) - Always a threat when the field strength takes a dip, Dahmen catches the eye at triple-digits this week. Still looking for his first PGA Tour win, Dahmen has made strides in his game over the past few years and had more top-10s (four) than missed cuts (three) in 2020. He's played well in California over the past year, with a T8 at the displaced ZOZO Championship, T10 at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, T5 at the Genesis Invitational, and T14 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.