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American Express Odds, Picks, and DFS – Where Is the Betting Value This Week?
After a couple of weeks in the Aloha State, the PGA Tour moves to La Quinta, California, for the American Express. Players will happily wave goodbye to the steady 20 mph Hawaiian breezes and say hello to “playing golf in a dome.” With warm weather and benign conditions expected, get ready to see a birdie-fest break out at PGA West.
Phil Mickelson makes his 2020 debut as the host of the event, while other stars like Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau headline the tournament’s field. However, not every top American golfer chose to stay stateside. With some of the country’s brightest stars on the other side of the globe, be sure to check out my Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship tips.
This blog is going to focus squarely on the PGA Tour event taking place in the Coachella Valley, and it’ll highlight the following betting markets.
- Winner Prediction
- Matchup Picks
- DFS/Lineup Advice for DraftKings
Chances are you’ll encounter at least a few wagers that pique your interest. So let’s get into this American Express betting preview.
2020 American Express Odds
While the best golf betting sites online have fairly similar pricing for this week’s PGA Tour event, there are few differences that make shopping your lines worthwhile. For example, Phil Mickelson is sitting at +4000 to win at BetOnline (odds displayed below), which is a lot more appetizing than his +3300 price tag at MyBookie.
Who Offers Value at the American Express?
Last week, I pegged Cameron Smith at +5000 as my “value play” for the Sony Open, so I hope you were able to get on board and reel in a chunky profit. This week, I’m targeting another individual at +5000 who I wouldn’t be surprised to see win.
What if I told you that a dude who has already logged four top-6 finishes this season on tour was looming at +5000 to emerge? And this same individual has two PGA Tour victories, not to mention that he finished 11th the last time he was in La Quinta (2018).
I’m talking about Harris English, and I recommend putting him on your radar.
A Sleeper to Consider
He might not be a household name, but don’t be confused into thinking Denny McCarthy couldn’t be a genuine threat to win the 2020 American Express. For crying out loud, Adam Long had missed three consecutive cuts and was ranked 417th in the world when he hoisted the trophy last year at this event.
McCarthy ranks 8th on the PGA Tour in birdie average and 2nd in strokes gained: putting, meaning I love his chances in a golf tournament that’s going to require 20-something under to win.
Also boding well, Denny didn’t have to deal with the wind in Honolulu and is well rested after a marvelous fall. McCarthy has connected on 7-7 cuts in the 2019/2020 season, which includes a trio of top-10s, plus he’s hanging out at +7000 at MyBookie to win.
Frankly, Denny has “American Express sleeper” written all over him.
My Pick to Win the 2020 American Express Is…
The fact that Abraham Ancer finished a pedestrian-like 38th at the Sony Open in Hawaii could steer people away from investing in him at the American Express.
I have a feeling that could end up being a costly mistake.
All three of the courses in this week’s rotation will be set up “easy” given the Pro-Am nature of this event, so players will be hitting lots of short irons and wedges into the greens. Know that Abraham sits 8th on the PGA Tour in proximity from 125-150 yards.
Ancer closed with 66 in La Quinta last January on his way to tying for 18th, and we all saw him putt the lights out at the Presidents Cup. It’s only a matter of time until this kid notches his maiden victory on the big stage, so why not this week?
American Express Matchup Picks to Target
After nailing 2/3 “plus-money” matchups during each of the last two weeks, I’m right back at it targeting the underdogs. Let’s see where the betting value lies.
Byeong Hun An vs. Charles Howell III
Byeong Hun An is a solid player with a good amount of upside, but the Presidents Cup is the only time we’ve seen him under the gun in more than two months. I may as well throw in the fact that he’s making his debut at the American Express.
On the flip side, Charles Howell III has been cashing checks in La Quinta ever since Byeong-Hun was a baby-faced adolescent. After ranking 5th in GIR and 10th in scrambling at the Sony Open in Hawaii, there are few scenarios of CHIII not performing well in the desert. The fact that we can latch onto “Chucky Three Sticks” in this spot without laying any juice feels like a major discount.
Charles Howell III+100
Brenden Todd vs. J.T. Poston
I’ve successfully backed J.T. Poston in matchups before, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to fire away at -140 versus Brenden Todd. I’m aware that Poston placed in the top 10 at last year’s American Express, but I also know he missed the cut last week in Honolulu.
Brenden Todd might not be red-hot like he was in November, but he still shot four rounds of par or better in tough conditions a week ago. I may have passed on this bet had the matchup been installed evenly, but grabbing hold of the guy sitting 2nd in the FedEx Cup Points standings at +120 is screaming out value.
Sebastian Munoz vs. Chez Reavie
Chez Reavie struggled during his two-week trip in Hawaii, so it’s not a shocker that he’s an underdog to Sebastian Munoz in this American Express head-to-head matchup. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued to invest in Reavie now that he’s returning to a place he is familiar with and won’t have to worry about extreme wind conditions.
Since 2016, the former stud as Arizona State has gone 28th-36th-12th-17th at this event. Chez is a rock-solid ball-striker who loves the west coast vibe, while Munoz has missed the cut in two previous appearances at PGA West.
The plus-money attached to Reavie’s name is too appealing to ignore.
American Express DFS Advice for DraftKings
I’m a bit jealous of those of you who live in a state that allows you to participate on DraftKings. I play fantasy golf, but it’s not nearly as captivating as playing DFS golf on DK. This week’s PGA Tour $325K Drive the Green GPP is paying out $100,000 to the winner, and the entry fee only sets you back by a measly $5.
Although I can’t submit any lineups myself, I may as well help out my readers who can!
- Top-Tier = Players priced at $9k and up
- Mid-Tier = Players priced from $7,500 to $8,900
- Low-Tier = Players priced from $6,000 to $7,400
I’ll unveil a handful of golfers who are primed to perform well, beginning in the top tier where 13 golfers are priced above $9,000.
Charles Howell III – $10,100
All veterans of DFS golf know the formula. When the West Coast Swing arrives, just go ahead and blindly plug in Charles Howell III. Coming off a T-12 at the Sony Open, La Quinta is another place the 40-year-old walking ATM thrives at. Charles is a combined 59-under-par over his last 16 rounds at this tournament.
Kevin Kisner – $9,900
The format of this event, along with the setup of the golf courses, aren’t factors that necessarily favor a guy like Kevin Kisner. However, Kisner played great golf last week in Honolulu and should be able to carry over his positive momentum. Known as a fabulous putter, Kevin actually led the field last week in strokes gained: tee-to-green.
Matthew Wolff – $9,000
It would take something drastic for me not to love Matthew Wolff at a golf tournament that allows players to “tee it high and let it fly.” It didn’t take the 2019 Haskins Award winner long to claim his first win on the PGA Tour, and I don’t think it’ll take very long for him to knock the door down for victory #2.
Abraham Ancer – $8,900
Aside from not contending at the Sony Open in Hawaii, there isn’t a single negative thing I can say about Abraham Ancer. He proved he loves to compete on the big stage with his brilliant performances in Melbourne, and he demonstrated he can go low on these tracks by shooting three rounds of -5 or better in 2019.
Harris English – $7,700
Harris English could end up being a popular play at $7,700, but he can pay off value if he can deliver his fifth top-10 of the season. With essentially a quarter of the season in the rear-view mirror, English ranks 7th in strokes gained: off-the-tee and 5th in par-4 scoring average. Once you add everything up, you realize he’s quite the bargain on DraftKings.
Denny McCarthy – $7,600
I like a bet on Denny McCarthy to win the American Express, but I like backing him even more on DK thanks to their generous scoring system. DraftKings rewards players who can rack up a lot of birdies, so it’s worth noting that Scottie Scheffler is the only man in the field who averages more “tweeters” per round than Denny does.
Nate Lashley – $7,200
After opening with an even-par round at the 2019 American Express (formerly known as the Desert Classic), Nate Lashley turned on the jets and shot 17-under par over the next three days. Rather than need any time to ease his way into the competition, Lashley played each of the last two weeks in Hawaii and should be eager to get into contention.
Henrik Norlander – $7,100
It’s almost impossible to find a golfer in the cheapest price point who is coming off of back-to-back top-10 finishes. Unless, of course, you have a golf geek like me scouring the numbers for you. When you are searching for someone “on form” who will help fill out the bottom of your fantasy golf roster, look no further than Henrik Norlander.
Bo Hoag – $6,800
So maybe Bo Hoag can’t boast consecutive top-10 finishes, but he has placed inside the top 20 in three of his last four starts. This includes a productive showing at the Sony Open where Hoag finished in a tie for 9th. At just $6,800 on DraftKings, that sounds pretty alluring to me.
My Lineup in GPPs for the 2020 American Express
- Charles Howell III – $10,100
- Matthew Wolff – $9,000
- Abraham Ancer – $8,900
- Denny McCarthy – $7,600
- Nate Lashley – $7,200
- Henrik Norlander – $7,100
A Quick Rundown
If you like seeing birdies and eagles in bunches, you’re going to want to tune into the PGA Tour action this weekend. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time a score higher than 20-under-par was good enough to win the American Express.
I offered a value play and a sleeper, as well as revealed my ultimate prediction. Between the three matchup picks to take advantage of and the advice for setting a lineup on DraftKings, the foundation has been set.
Surely you’re ready to make some money by betting golf online.