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2021 PGA Tour The American Express Odds and Picks

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in Golf

Jan 18, 2021 · 6:53 AM PST

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm reacts after making his putt on the first playoff hole during the final round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at the Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. Rahm wasn't aware Dustin Johnson had forced the playoff because without a gallery there was no cheer. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • The American Express from La Quinta, California tees off Thursday, January 21st
  • 2018 champion Jon Rahm is the heavy +650 favorite over Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka
  • We’ve narrowed down the golfers with the best chance of emerging victorious and provided the best value bets below

There will be a couple of firsts for The American Express golf tournament this year due to COVID-19 safety protocols. For the first time there will not be a pro-am portion of the event, and also for the first time just two courses will be used instead of the regular three, which means the cut will now be after 36 holes as opposed to the customary 54.

The Stadium Course at PGA West and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West will be the two courses in the rotation, where defending champion Andrew Landry comes back looking to win two years in a row. He nearly sealed his first triumph here in 2018, but lost in a playoff to Jon Rahm, who is the heavy favorite to win again this week.

Five of the top-15 golfers in the world will tee it up (Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Matthew Wolff) and going low is imperative for success, with every year since 2007 seeing the winning score being at least 20-under-par at the formerly known Bob Hope Classic.

2021 The American Express Odds

Golfer Odds
Jon Rahm +650
Patrick Cantlay +1400
Brooks Koepka +1800
Patrick Reed +2000
Matthew Wolff +2000
Sungjae Im +2000
Scottie Scheffler +2000
Tony Finau +2200
Russell Henley +3100
Kevin Na +3300
Rickie Fowler +3400
Abraham Ancer +3400
Phil Mickelson +4500
Cameron Champ +4500
Sam Burns +4500
Adam Long +4500
Paul Casey +5000
Si Woo Kim +5000
Zach Johnson +5500
Adam Hadwin +5500

Odds taken January 18th from FanDuel

Jon Rahm a Tough Man to Beat

In the three years that he’s competed at this tournament, Rahm has found success in the desert. His first start in 2017 resulted in a tie for 34th, and then in 2018 he defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff for his second PGA Tour victory. In defense of his title last year the fiery Spaniard was sixth place.

In his last nine starts on tour, Rahm hasn’t had anything worse than a tie for 23rd, including six top ten’s, most notably a dramatic birdie in a playoff against Dustin Johnson to claim the BMW Championship title.

While it’s not overly profitable wagering on a golfer with such low +650 odds to win outright, bet against Rahm this week at your peril.

Last Five American Express Winners

Year Winner
2020 Andrew Landry (-26) two shot win
2019 Adam Long (-26) one shot win
2018 Jon Rahm (-22) playoff
2017 Hudson Swafford (-20) one shot win
2016 Jason Dufner (-25) playoff

The American Express Best Value Picks

  1. Adam Hadwin (+5500): The Canadian has done everything but win this event in the last four times he’s teed it up. In 2016 he was T-6th, then from 2017-19, he went 2-T3-T2, before missing last year’s event due to the birth of his child. In 2017 he shot a 59 at this tournament, and in 2019 had one hand on the trophy before Adam Long stole it from him.
  2. Brendan Steele (+8000): Just last weekend at the Sony Open, Brendan Steele held the 54-hole lead before eventually finishing in a tie for fourth. In 2015 Steele was T-2nd at this event and in 2017 was T-6th.
  3. Andrew Landry (+12000): Deep dive with huge potential upside. How many other players could not only be the defending champion at a tournament but also two years prior to that finish second in a playoff at this same tournament yet still have these long of odds? Just three starts ago was T-4th at the RSM Classic.
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