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The American Express Odds: Kim to Bank Win in California

Written by: Dave Tindall
Updated January 17, 2024
8 min read
  • The PGA Tour arrives on the US mainland for the first time in 2024

  • The event is a pro-am staged over three different courses

  • Scottie Scheffler is the betting favorite at +550 

The American Express Odds

Odds from BetMGM Sportsbook. Bet $5 at BetMGM and get $158 in Bonus Bets with Code WSNMGM.

Scottie Scheffler+550
Patrick Cantlay+1000
Xander Schauffele+1100
Sungjae Im+2000
Justin Thomas+2500
Tom Kim+2500
Min Woo Lee+2800
Sam Burns+2800
Eric Cole+3300
J.T. Poston+3300

The American Express Picks and Predictions

PGA Tour American Express 2024 Predictions

The American Express Intro

Scheduling has rather hurt the field quality at The American Express in recent times but not this year.

Despite plenty of big events on the horizon, three of the world’s top six and 10 of the top 25 are heading to California for the annual multi-course pro-am.

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler headlines and fronts the betting at +550 while he’s joined by two Golden State locals in Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

The two friends and Ryder Cup playing partners are currently fifth and sixth in the world rankings.  

With amateurs taking part, scoring is set to be easy and that’s shown in previous winning scores (see below).

A trio of courses are used in rotation over the first three days.

All are par 72s with modest yardage: The Pete Dye Stadium Course (7,187 yards), La Quinta Country Club (7,060 yards) and the Nicklaus Tournament Course (7,147 yards).

The Pete Dye Stadium Course stages Sunday’s closing round for the low 65 pros and ties.

Pleasant weather conditions in the California desert make for ideal scoring and it’s no surprise that 59s have been shot at this event.

David Duval memorably closed with one to win in 1999 while Adam Hadwin also hit the magic number in 2017. 

Last 5 Winners of the American Express

YearChampion, nationality and winning score
2023Jon Rahm (Spain) -27 
2022Hudson Swafford (United States) -23
2021Si-Woo Kim (South Korea) -23
2020Andrew Landry (United States) -26
2019Adam Long (United States) -26

Course Notes

  • All three courses have Bermuda greens but they’re overseeded with Poa

  • Greens are set to roll at 11-and-a-half feet on the Stimpmeter

  • Winds will be calm with temperatures in the low 70s 

  • Patrick Reed holds the 72-hole record of 260 (28-under) set in 2014  

Favorites to Win the American Express

Scottie Scheffler (+550) at BetMGM

Scheffler is making a fifth straight start here and will hope to improve upon the third place he posted on debut in 2020. He’s added 25th in 2022 and 11th last year. His long game was again off the charts at The Sentry two weeks ago (1st Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, 2nd SG: Approach) but another disappointing effort with the putter (-2.64 SGP) meant he had to settle for fifth. If he holes his share, watch out.    

Patrick Cantlay (+1000) at BetMGM

This is a home game for Cantlay and a tournament he’s keen to win. That almost happened in 2021 when an opening 62 helped him take second place while he added top 10s either side and 26th last year. Like Scheffler, he played The Sentry two weeks ago but had to settle for 12th place. A strong record in California shows nine top 15s from his last 11 starts, that sequence starting with a win at the 2020 ZOZO Championship.   

Xander Schauffele (+1100) at BetMGM

For Schauffele, read Cantlay. Like his good friend, he has a near-miss here (third 2023) after shooting a 62 (R4); like Cantlay, he had a decent tune-up at The Sentry when 10th; like Cantlay, he is an elite performer on home Californian soil (nine top 20s in his last 11 starts).  

Back Kim for the Win

The trio of Americans at the top of the betting all deserve respect, as does Justin Thomas, who ended 2023 with a trio of top fives.

But as this is JT’s tournament debut, preference is for a player at the same price with course form already baked in - Tom Kim.

The South Korean didn’t make the cut on debut in 2021 but returned last year and twirled a Friday 62 followed by two 67s to take a share of sixth.

Kim tees it up this week as a three-time PGA TOUR winner at the age of just 21.

His second and third wins came at the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas (2022 and 2023) so his ability to thrive in desert conditions bodes well given that he faces the same such test here.

Kim had a cold putter on his 2024 reappearance (tied 45th) at The Sentry but a closing 7-under 66 there suggested his best golf isn’t far away.   

Birdie fests clearly suit him having won his three events with scores of 20-under, 24-under, and 20-under so take the Korean phenom to get the win at +2500 with BetMGM

Hadwin to Sink Kirk 

For this week’s 72-hole match bet, I’ll take Adam Hadwin to get the better of Chris Kirk.

Kirk made the headlines when capturing the season-opening Sentry and he was also going nicely for three rounds at last week’s Sony Open until stalling in the final round.

That disappointing Sunday may just hint that he’s losing a little momentum after the high of his win, something that happened to him when he landed February’s Honda Classic (39-MC-52 in the three events that followed).

Kirk has been hit and miss in this event, mixing good results such as third last year and 16th in 2021 with missed cuts in 2018, 2019 and 2022.

By contrast, Hadwin is an absolute stud here. He’s a two-time runner-up and his full finishes read: 6-2-3-2-32-25-18.     

Hadwin missed the Sony cut but was 14th at The Sentry and, back at one of his favorite events, can be a winning ‘dog at +100 with DraftKings Sportsbook.

Van Rooyen to Land Top 10

Erik Van Rooyen closed with a scintillating 62 to finish sixth in this event last year so enjoys the set-up.

A winner at the World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico two months ago, he also boasts some excellent form in California including a victory in the 2021 Barracuda Championship.

After shooting some low numbers in Hawaii (22nd Sentry, 52nd Sony), he’s an enticing bet at +850 with DraftKings Sportsbook to bank a top 10.  

How to Watch The American Express

  • Tournament: The American Express

  • Location: La Quinta, CA

  • Date: Thursday, January 18 - Sunday, January 21

  • How to Watch: Thursday-Sunday 4 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). And all four days on Sky Sports.

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Dave Tindall

110 Articles

Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.

Email: [email protected]

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