The American Express Predictions, Betting Odds & Top Picks

  • The PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing begins in Palm Springs
  • Strong field assembled headed by Patrick Cantlay
  • Brooks Koepka makes his first start in 2021

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The American Express Odds

Player Odds
Patrick Cantlay +1200
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Patrick Reed +1400
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Scottie Scheffler +1600
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Brooks Koepka +1800
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Tony Finau +1800
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Sungjae Im +2000
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Matthew Wolff +2500
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Abraham Ancer +2800
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Kevin Na +3000
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Russell Henley +3000
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The American Express Picks and Predictions

Si-Woo Kim’s fondness for Pete Dye tracks makes him the outright pick at +5500 with bet365

Akshay Bhatia can land a top 30 at +500 with DraftKings Sportsbook

Back Russell Henley to defeat Kevin Na in their BetMGM matchbet at -118

Picks:

Si-Woo Kim each way in the outright +5500 at bet365

Akshay Bhatia to make the top 30 +500 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Russell Henley to beat Kevin Na at -1181 with BetMGM

How to Watch The American Express

The American Express Information
What The American Express
Where PGA West Stadium Course & Nicklaus Tournament Course, Palm Springs, California
When Thursday, January 21 – Sunday, January 24
How to watch Thursday, Friday & Saturday 3pm & 10.30pm ET (Golf Channel), Sunday 3pm & 8pm ET (Golf Channel). All four days on Sky Sports.

The American Express Profile

Some things change and others stay the same. This week the PGA Tour starts its traditional West Coast Swing as it normally does, with a week at Palm Springs in the Californian desert among the many resort courses the district boasts.

But whereas in the past as many as four – and usually three – courses have hosted this event in the pro-am format, this week COVID-19 restrictions have forced a cancellation of the amateur element and limited the players to just two courses, with Pete Dye’s Stadium Course hosting one pre-cut round and both the weekend laps.

It’s a tournament that has something of a varied past with regards to champions – maybe the forced change will impact on that?

Arnold Palmer was a five-time winner, Johnny Miller and Phil Mickelson have both claimed the title on two occasions, whilst the names of Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, and Jon Rahm are also on the honors board. So legends can win here, but it’s also true that three of the last four winners have been Hudson Swafford, Adam Long, and Andrew Landry.

All three were huge outsiders with the latter two in downright terrible form ahead of their triumphs.

Will we get a repeat this week?

Perhaps or perhaps not, but there is a stronger field than normal which is led by +1200 favorite Patrick Cantlay, with Patrick Reed the +1400 second favorite.

Dye the Key for Kim

The fact that the Stadium Course is used for three rounds rather than just the two provides a potential angle for punters – and leads to the selection of our first pick in the outright market.

Korea’s Si Woo Kim has a fine record at Dye’s most-famous design TPC Sawgrass having made the weekend every time he has played there which is no mean feat on a track that causes many high-quality players to have patchy records around it.

Moreover, in 2017, Kim not only found himself playing the weekend, he actually won the event.

It’s also worth noting that the scene of his other PGA Tour win – Sedgefield Country Club for the Wyndham Championship – requires players to go especially low and that’s something it shares with this venue and tournament.

Furthermore, back on his event debut in 2016, Kim grabbed a top ten finish so he knows all about the location and its requirements. He’s made 15 cuts in his last 17 starts which shows consistency, but in playing last week in Hawaii he hinted that a really good result is in his crosshairs. He opened with a lap of 64 and added a 65 on Saturday, ranked top ten for Greens in Regulation and 12th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green.

It’s a good week to look beyond the favorites and Kim’s price offers value at +5500 each-way with bet365.

Laird a Lively Outsider

Slowly but surely 18-year-old phenom Akshay Bhatia looks to be getting to grips with the PGA Tour.

Admittedly the returns have so far been limited, but that only heightens the opportunity to get on-board and cash in before the secret is fully out. Having turned pro for the 2019-20 season he missed seven straight cuts, but has since made three weekends in four appearances. Moreover, he’s been top 30 after 18 holes in each of his last six starts – and top ten in three of those.

With the exception of a Latinoamerica Tour event and the Safeway Open he has failed to push on for a top 20, but that latter effort, when tied ninth, might be instructive. On the one hand, it took place in California, like this week. That might be a mere coincidence, but it was also the first time he played a tournament for the second time and he improved massively on his debut (a missed cut).

This week he gets a second opportunity to reacquaint himself with a venue – can he repeat and follow a missed cut with a high finish?

DraftKings Sportsbook offers +500 that he makes the top 30 which gives plenty of leaderboard leeway for a player we may hear a lot about in the next ten years.

Take on Last Week’s Winner

Kevin Na was sensational last weekend in the Sony Open, carding rounds of 61-65 to burst from the pack and claim his fifth PGA Tour title. Despite that, there are good reasons to take him on this week with the currently ultra-consistent Russell Henley.

In the last 12 months, Henley leads Na when they have gone head-to-head by the healthy margin of 7-3. As mentioned, Henley is well-set in a solid run of form, logging no less than nine top 30 finishes in his last ten starts and five were top 15.

In contrast, Na has managed four top 30s in his last 12 starts and just the two were top 15 efforts.

Take BetMGM’s -118 that Henley returns to a state of dominance this week.

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Matt Cooper

Expert on Golf

Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]