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PGA Tour Expert Picks: Genesis Open

Hideki Matsuyama reads his putt on the 13th hole green during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Torrey Pines South on January 27, 2019 in San Diego, California.

Look, predicting a pre-tournament winner in golf isn’t easy. While it’s true sports bettors can find fantastic value, it’s incredibly frustrating when one of your picks doesn’t even make the cut. That’s why I’m here to help.

Every week I’ll highlight three golfers who have a good chance to win the hardware for the upcoming weekend. This week it’s the Genesis Open.

For a full breakdown of the tournament, check out my betting preview.

Odds courtesy of Bovada

My favorite pick: Rory McIlroy +1400

I’ll admit it: I’m a huge Rory fan. While I would ideally like the Northern Irishman to be near the top of the leaderboard in every tournament he enters, I only bet him when I think it’s the appropriate spot. That’s why he’s my top pick to win the Genesis.

With The Players Championship, World Golf Championships and the Masters coming in the next few months, the cream of the crop on the PGA Tour will start to dominate, and McIlroy figures to be in the mix more often than not going forward. McIlroy already has a T-4 at Kapalua and a T-5 at Torrey Pines and is making his third appearance at the Genesis, where he’s finished T-20 on two occasions (2016, 2018).

My second favorite pick: Hideki Matsuyama +2800

Matsuyama is as streaky a golfer as there is on the tour right now, and he tends to heat up this time of the year. The native of Japan went T-23, T-4 and T-11 in his first three tries at the Genesis, proving that the track is a great fit for his solid tee-to-green game.

Matsuyama arrives fresh off a T-3 at Torrey Pines and a T-15 at TPC Scottsdale, so keep riding the wave while you can.

My third favorite pick: Cameron Smith +3500

Smith is far from a household name on the PGA Tour, but he’s on the path to being a perennial contender. At 25, his game is rounding into form and he’s found success both in North America and his native Australia.

Smith is making his fourth visit to Riviera where he’s gone 3-for-3 on cuts made along with a T-6 showing here a year ago. He’s in excellent form right now, entering this week with top-25s in five of his six starts this season. In my opinion, Smith is an excellent value pick at +3500.