2021 Genesis Invitational picks, predictions, odds: Four best bets to make at Riviera Country Club

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This week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club is a facsimile of a major championship. With most of the top 25 players in the world, possibly the best golf course the PGA Tour goes to every year and a massive amount of storylines, it is certainly the headliner of what has been an incredibly entertaining West Coast swing.

And with a more compelling event comes more big names in contention. Dustin Johnson comes in as the +550 favorite to win this golf tournament, but there are ton of other plays to look at as well. Here are four I love going into the last tournament before the Florida swing with odds coming via William Hill Sportsbook.

1. Viktor Hovland (+110) over Tony Finau: We’ve been underrating what Hovland has done of late. Not only does he have four top 10s in his last five starts, but he’s also No. 4 in this field (behind Dustin Johnson, Joaquin Niemann and Rory McIlroy) in strokes gained from tee to green over the last three months. That’s a big deal and foreshadows what I think is going to be a monster week at Riviera. 

2. Jon Rahm (+120) over Dustin Johnson: It’s painful to bet against D.J. at Riviera, but you’re also getting a good number with the No. 2 player in the world who has finished worse than T7 just one time in his last five events. Rahm is gaining 2.34 strokes per round over the last three months, which is great, until you remember D.J. is at nearly 3.4. In two head-to-head matchups here, they tied once and Johnson got him another time. Again, you’re getting plus money with a generationally-great player.

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3. Adam Scott (+100) over Hideki Matsuyama: The three horses for courses this week are pretty clearly Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson. Scott has been hitting the ball fairly well, and Matsuyama’s putting has been so bad — even for him (-1.0 strokes per round for three months) — that this was maybe my easiest choice. Scott is third in the last decade in strokes gained at Riviera, behind only Rory McIlroy and D.J.

4. Xander Schauffele top 20 (-162): You’re not getting great odds, but Schauffele has been in the top 20 in 13 of his last 15 events and in the top 25 in all 15 of them. This seems as automatic as anybody in the field, and there are four players with shorter odds than him to finish inside the top 20.

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