For the second event in three weeks, my wagers have turned a profit. Not too shabby for a sport that famously features more long odds and infrequent hits than other pieces of action at the sportsbook. Kudos to Taylor Montgomery, who rolled his putts wonderfully and finished in solo fifth. He cashed at +700 for the top-5 finish and +330 for the top-10. The 1.8-unit profit brings us just into the black on the season at +0.1 units.
Torrey Pines is a treasure along the San Diego coastline. The Farmers Insurance Open offers some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, served with a side of top-tier golf. Many of the best in the world are here to take on the illustrious South Course three times, with one weekday jaunt around the easier North Course squeezed in. A unique twist is the traditional Wednesday start, as to not compete with the NFL’s Championship slate on Sunday.
The Farmers is much more of a measuring stick of recent form with the entire golf bag than last week’s AMEX. Torrey Pines, especially the South Course, is simply the first real test on the Tour schedule. Its par-72 layout stretches to a daunting 7,800 yards from the tips laid along the cliffs of the vast Pacific Ocean. The North Course offers more ocean views but is a much more manageable 7,200 yards and will serve the players 18 holes of scoring relief.
Bettors with access to advanced data metrics tend to get sharper as the season progresses. I am amping up the aggression a tad, putting 9.0 units on the card. There is much more certainty around the Farmers than in previous weeks, along with some really interesting lines. Here is what I’ll be leaning into this week.
- 2023 Farmers Insurance Open: Best Longshot Picks & Predictions
- 2023 Farmers Insurance Open Preview, Predictions & Best Bet
- 2023 Farmers Insurance Open Odds, Picks & Predictions
(Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
2023 Farmers Insurance Open Best Bets
Tony Finau (+1100 Outright [1u])
Everyone is justifiably talking about Jon Rahm. The outstanding Spaniard just keeps winning, and his +450 odds reflect that a bit too heavily for my liking. Tony Finau is sporting similar success in the important metrics coming into this week. He edges out Rahm in total strokes gained, mostly due to his prowess on approach. Is Rahm three times more likely to win this event than Finau? I say no while betting the field in defiance.
Collin Morikawa (+1800 Outright [1u])
It takes a lot of convoluted maneuvering to find better golfers from tee to green than Collin Morikawa. The last time we saw the former Cal Bear standout, he was dissolving under the pressure of a seven-stroke lead over Rahm at Kapalua. According to my weighted statistical model, Morikawa is my top pick to win this tournament. He might have let us down a couple of weeks ago, but his game ensures us he will be back at the table to eat again.
Max Homa (+2200 Outright [1u])
Social media darling Max Homa is also one hell of a golfer. Despite joking about his “retirement” on Twitter, Homa continues to excel at the events he does attend. A poor second round doomed him to miss the cut last season at Torrey Pines, but he has plenty of success here on his resumé. He finished 18th in 2021 and tied for ninth in 2020. His recent form is also stellar. He finished third at the Sentry TOC and is fourth in this field in total strokes gained per round. Getting such a well-rounded player at 22-to-1 odds is too sweet to pass up.
Kurt Kitayama (+9000 Outright [0.5u])
I can’t help but show my pride for the golfer from my home area code. It doesn’t hurt when he pops up in the top 10 of my model, no matter how I jimmy it. Torrey Pines demands golfers to be rock solid from tee to green (and around it), which bodes well for Kurt Kitayama. He is sixth in approach proximity in this field (second-best from the fairway) and especially lethal on longer approaches. The South Course will force the golfers to pull long irons quite often, playing into Kitayama’s strength. His ability around the green is also strong, ranking 16th in the field. Not bad for a 90-to-1 pick.
Aaron Rai (+20000 Outright [0.25u])
I don’t often go this deep for outright winners, but I reserve the dart throws at events like the Farmers Insurance Open for golfers who have demonstrated success here in the past. Englishman Aaron Rai could have taken this tournament last season if not for a final-round 72 that knocked him down to a tie for sixth place. Three rounds in the 60s (two on the South Course) is no small feat. Something about this place fits his eye. That is a detail I certainly gravitate to this week.
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