PGA best bets for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines

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The PGA Tour stops at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California, this week for the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open.

The event will tee off Wednesday to avoid conflict with the NFL conference championship games Sunday.

Patrick Reed won last year’s Farmers Insurance Open by 5 shots over five other golfers, who all tied for second.

Which players are the favorites this time around? Who offers good odds? And what props are worthwhile?

Betting analysts Chris Fallica, Anita Marks and sports betting deputy editor David Bearman offer their best bets.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.


Bets to win

Jon Rahm

Anita’s picks: To win (7-1); top-5 finish (+175)

Rahm is the king at Torrey Pines and players that have performed well here in the past — continue to do so in the future. In his last 24 rounds, Rahm has gained 3 strokes per round, which is ridiculous. If ever there was a time to go chalk … this is it.

Bearman’s picks: To win (7-1); top-10 finish (-110)

Sometimes, you just don’t overthink it. As we’ve stated in this column many times, there isn’t much value in taking the favorite in a full field event, unless someone just owns the event/course. Well, that’s exactly what we have here. Not only did Rahm make Torrey Pines his first career win back in 2017, but he also made it his first major win, last June with his triumph at the U.S. Open.

Add in a runner-up in 2020, a T-5 in 2019 and a T-7 during the tour stop here a year ago and you’ll see he’s one of the best at the Farmers Insurance. Unlike the U.S. Open setup, which uses the South Course all four days, the North Course is used during one of the first two rounds. This is no problem for Rahm as his 66.4 scoring average at the North Course is the best dating back to 1990, per the PGA Tour. The world’s top-ranked player loves playing here on a professional and personal level. He got engaged to his wife here and is a frequent visitor.

We can (and still will) spend all day looking for steals and hidden gems, but sometimes, you just roll the dice with the favorite and cash the check. It’s a strong field and big-named players such as Tiger, Phil, Day, Rahm, Rose and Reed have won here in the past, so look for Rahm to grab another and officially kick off his 2022 season.

Xander Schauffele

Bearman’s picks: To win (16-1), top-10 finish (+230)

For years everyone wanted Schauffele to play at his hometown event and for years, he failed us, with four MCs and one Top 25 in his first five tour appearances here. However, we come to find out that he was sick at most of those events (according to him) and the breakthrough occurred last year as he was runner-up to Reed’s runaway win in January and followed it up with a T-7 during the U.S. Open event at Torrey.

He has the game to win this event every time he tees it up, as the Farmers Insurance demands accurate tee shots and a good short game at the long track. He finished last season in the top 20 of shots gained total, putting, tee-to-green and approach. After being everyone’s favorite bridesmaid, Schauffele broke through with an Olympic Gold last summer and is off to a good start in 2022 with a T-12 in Maui a few weeks ago.

Sam Burns

Anita’s picks: To win (22-1); top-5 finish (+550); top-10 finish (+260)

Burns enters Farmers hot, finishing in the top 25 in his last eight tournaments. He has made the cut in all three of his last Farmers starts and has gained strokes in all four major categories his last 50 rounds. Burns is also 40th in driving distance, and 12th in putting average. The last three winners have all started on the North Course — where Burns will get his start on Wednesday. A fun trend to have on his side.

Marc Leishman

Bearman’s picks: To win (25-1), top-10 finish (+333), top-20 finish (+163)

Another good pick for this course, Leishman won here two years ago and has two runner-ups finishes among his five top-5s. His $2.7M in career earnings here are 4th all-time and two names on that list are Tiger and Phil, who have 10 combined wins here between them.

Leishman is off to a great start in 2022, with three top-10 finishes in six official events. He’s 7th in Shots Gained on the North Course and 7th on the South Course over the last 24 rounds. Bottom line, he does very well here and is worth a play to score another top-10 at +250 and even a sprinkle at 25-1 to win it.


Props

Tony Finau

Fallica’s picks: Top-10 finish (+275); top-20 finish (+138)

Finau hasn’t been out of the Top 20 in this event since 2016 and was runner-up to Reed here last year. Course record makes his a must-play for a Top 10 and 20.

Anita’s pick: Top-5 finish (6-1)

Driving distance is a huge metric this week and Finau is one of the best. He’s also great at fading the ball off the tee and this course offers plenty of opportunities to do so. Finau has a great track record at Torrey Pines, finishing in the top 25 in seven straight starts. The only concern with Finau each week is his putter, but he has putted well here before, only losing by 5 strokes last year.

Talor Gooch

Anita’s picks: Top-5 finish (9-1); Tourney matchup (-110) over Corey Conners

Gooch missed the cut last week at the American Express, but has exactly what is needed in his bag to win at Torrey Pines. He has made the cut in all four starts, and had a T-3 here in 2019. Gooch loves playing out west, is dialed in on approach shots from a distance and putts well on poa.

Jon Rahm

Fallica’s pick: Top-10 finish (-110)

Two wins on this course including his first major and three straight Top 7 finishes in this event. Seems like a good recipe for a successful weekend.

Will Zalatoris

Fallica’s pick: Top-10 finish (3-1)

Zalatoris had a memorable early season last year before his second-place finish at The Masters, but it was here at Torrey Pines with a T-7, where Zalatoris first served notice. He is coming off a T-6 last week where he fired a 61.

Anita’s pick: Tourney matchup (-130) over Patrick Reed

Zalatoris enters Farmers hot after a T-7 finish at the AmEx. Torrey Pines is set up perfectly for him as he is long off the tee and masterful with his long iron shots as well. His putter shines on poa annua and he finished T-7 here last year.

Daniel Berger

Anita’s picks: Top-10 finish (+225); top-20 finish (+120)

Berger checks many boxes this week — proximity to the hole from 175 to 200, putts well on poa annua greens, top 3 in strokes gained tee to green his last 24 rounds, and plays well on the West Coast.

Marc Leishman

Anita’s picks: Top-20 finish (+110); top Australian (+130)

Not only does Leishman play well at Torrey Pines, he excels on the South Course — which is the more difficult of the two. Leishman has a win, two runner-up finishes, and 7 top-25 finishes in 13 starts. He has called Torey Pines one of his top five courses of all time, reminding him of the ones he played growing up.

Ryan Palmer

Anita’s picks: Top-20 finish (+275); top-40 finish (-120); Tourney matchup (-120) over Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Palmer has a great track record here as well — two runner ups, and top 25s in his last 4 starts at TP. He LOVES this tournament, and is coming off a top 15 finish at the Sony a few weeks ago. Even at the age of 45, Palmer can still crush it, and ranked in the top 40 in DD last season.

Bearman’s pick: Top-20 finish (+275)

Torrey Pines is among the courses on tour where previous success really matters. You have a lot of multi-time winners here and you tend to see the same players have success year after year on the long track with California Poa Annua greens. Among those is Palmer, who tied for 2nd with Schauffele last January and has a 2nd runner-up finish in 2018 to go along with two other top-25 finishes. In fact, T-21 in 2020 was his worst finish here. He was a popular dark horse pick for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in June, but missed the Cut, which is common for Palmer’s career in majors. He scored a top-15 finish two weeks ago in Hawaii before taking last week off. During the short beginning to this season, he has ranked sixth in Shots Gained Off Tee, 10th tee-to-green and 25th overall.

Lanto Griffin

Bearman’s picks: Top-20 finish (+275); tourney matchup (-120) over Keegan Bradley

As noted earlier, this event has been won by some big, notable names since it is one of the tougher courses on tour. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been surprises over time. While looking for a longer shot that has played well here and played well recently, we come across Griffin. He may not have a win in 2022 yet but he has three top-10 finishes including a T-3 last week at PGA West. He carded a T-7 last year at Torrey Pines, a T-12 in 2018 and a respectable T-35 at the U.S. Open here last June. If you track Lanto’s career the last few seasons, you’ll see solid play in the fall and winter events before a sharp drop off over the summer. Might as well play him while you can and if you’re feeling risky, play the 80-1.

Max Homa

Fallica’s picks: Top-10 finish (+550); top-20 finish (+275)

Homa has posted Top-20 finishes each of the last two years and clearly felt at home in California during the West Coast swing with a T-14 at Pebble and a win and a T-5 at Genesis in his career.

Anita’s picks: Top-40 finish (+110); Homa (-130) tourney matchup over Billy Horschel

Homa loves playing in Cali, and is coming off a top-15 finish at the AmEx last week. He sports two top-10 finishes at the Farmers and putts extremely well on poa — by far his best surface.

Bearman’s pick: Tourney matchup (-130) over Billy Horschel

Another California guy who loves playing out West on the Poa Annua greens. He’s T-9, T-18 here the last two years after having never made the cut in his first three appearances. He started calendar 2022 with a T-15 in Maui and already has a win under his belt this season with his win at Fortinet Championship in September. Horschel has a few T-10s here but not lately as he was T-68 and MC the last two years and is more of a Florida-swing type player. Both his Hawaii results were outside the top-20. I’ll be glad to pick Billy when the tour hits Florida, but will fade him this week.

Joseph Bramlett

Anita’s pick: Top-40 finish (+220)

Bramlett ranks in the top 3 in driving distance (last 24 rounds), which is a key metric at Torrey Pines. He is off to a fantastic start to the season, finishing in the top 35 in his last 2 events — where he has gained strokes in both off the tee and in approach.

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