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The best prop bets for the 2022 Genesis Invitational

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

February 15th, 2022

The Genesis Invitational never fails to attract a star-studded lineup to the Riviera Country Club, which is no surprise when you’re only a stone’s throw away from Hollywood. This year is no different, and fans will get to enjoy a field that includes the top 11 players in the world rankings.

Riviera is the perfect place to see what the best in the world can do. The course is covered in Kikuyu grass, and for those of us not experts in horticulture, this poses a problem if you’re accuracy is not dialed in. While fine on the fairways, the rough can bury the ball and mean a shot out of the thick stuff can often be uncontrollable. The greens are small and just as hard to find as the fairways, with strokes gained tee to green and greens in regulation the two key performance indicators historically at this event.

The scoring average here has been over par in the last 12 years straight, so don’t expect anyone to shoot the lights out. This is an old school, difficult test, and exactly what the pros need. While I dread to think about how many times I’d need to reach for the calculator to tot up my scores around this course, the pros will be well accustomed to its various challenges, and it’s a fantastic way to get your eye in with the Players Championship and Masters on the horizon.

Genesis Invitational 2022

Mon, February 21 2022, 12:00 AM

Rahm, Jon

+850

Cantlay, Patrick

+900

Thomas, Justin

+1400

Johnson, Dustin

+1600

McIlroy, Rory

+1600

Morikawa, Collin

+1800

Schauffele, Xander

+1800

Smith, Cameron

+2000

Hovland, Viktor

+2200

Matsuyama, Hideki

+2200

Top 10 Finish: Dustin Johnson (+175)

Is there a player better suited to the challenges the Riviera Country Club throws up than DJ? He’s played here in 14 events and finished in the top 10 an incredible 71% of the time. His last eight appearances in this tournament have yielded seven top 10 finishes, including a dominant win in 2017 where he won by five strokes – the biggest margin of victory here in more than 30 years. The outlier in that run was in 2018, but even then, his "worst" finish in recent times was 16th.

This course is right up Johnson's alley, so it's great value to get +175 on him to finish in the top 10 this week. The sportsbooks clearly believe DJ is out of form, given we’ve only seen him three times since the start of October.

Johnson made his season reappearance this year in the Farmers Insurance Open at the end of January and struck the ball well to finish 25th, before making the trip to Saudi Arabia to defend his Saudi International crown. DJ finished eighth despite a poor putting performance, and he can improve again back at Riviera.

Top Asian Player: Hideki Matsuyama (+175)

The last six winners of the Genesis Invitational have all previously had a top five here and that bodes well for Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama. In an event when the cream tends to rise to the top, it would be remiss to ignore the current holder of the green jacket.

Matsuyama finished fifth in this event in 2020, and overall has four finishes of 11th or better in the last six years.

The course clearly suits him, and Matsuyama is in unstoppable form as we move towards the defense of his crown at Augusta. He won the Zozo Championship on home soil in October and then in January shot 63-63 in the final two rounds to win the Sony Open. He has finished inside the top 13 on four of his last five starts, and ranks 11th on Tour for shots gained approaching the green this season.

Matsuyama could well be in the mix at the top of the leaderboard, and is a solid play to be the top Asian player of the week.

Top Australian Player: Marc Leishman (+350)

There have been four Australian winners of this event in the last 20 years so they clearly like it here, possibly because Kikuyu grass is so common in the Land Down Under. This is a tricky market to play in given Cameron Smith has two top six finishes around here and is a worthy favorite, but there is value in Leishman.

The 38-year-old has found some really consistent form and is playing some of his best golf, with five top 20 finishes in his seven PGA Tour events this year. He has been outside the top 30 in his last two appearances at Riviera, but does have two finishes inside the top five here since 2016.

That nugget and his recent efforts here make him a golfer I want to keep on side, and at +350 he is a value play in what could be a red-hot betting heat between the Aussies.

Top 30 Finish: Thomas Pieters (+125)

Thomas Pieters is another man with all important course form, having finished second here on his debut in 2017. It’s been four years since the Belgian played this course, but he could not arrive in much better form, having won the Portugal Masters towards the end of 2021, and then beating an all-star cast in the Abu Dhabi Championship last month.

Last time out Pieters was 24th in the Saudi International, where he ranked first for greens in regulation, and that bodes well here. He was also ranked second in two of his last three starts for strokes gained off the tee – another key performance indicator here – and proof that his ball striking is right up there with the best.

Pieters has finished in the top 30 in nine of his last 11 starts, and to get +125 on a player in such good form to sit inside the top 30 looks like an absolute steal.

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