Best Matchups Bets for the 2021 Genesis Invitational

| February 17, 2021 11:24 am PDT

I’m typically numb to any matchup bets that require me to lay any juice. However, this week is different.

This week there’s a hot golfer riding loads of momentum sitting at -105 against a player who’s on the opposite end of the spectrum. More on this matchup in a moment.

I also spotted a couple of intriguing Genesis Invitational head-to-head picks lurking at even money.

Go 2-1 in these bets, and you’re off to the races.

Bubba Watson vs. Joaquin Niemann

Bubba Watson-120
Joaquin Niemann+100

Bubba Watson has won this event three times. Joaquin Niemann has only played in it twice, tying for 44th in 2019 and missing the cut in 2020. And yet, I can’t wait to get money down on the kid they call “Joaco.”

Niemann is rested since back-to-back 2nd-place finishes in Hawaii. The 22-year-old Chilean has connected on 10 straight cuts and has catapulted into the top-30 in the OWGR. The short version is this kid is turning into a world-beater, and he’s surpassed Bubba in terms of reliability.

Before you assume that Watson is invincible at Riviera, know that the three-time champ missed the cut here in 2020. Bubba’s got full control of his tee-to-green game at the moment, but a balky flat-stick (208th in SG: Putting) makes me a bit wary.

Specifically in a H2H versus a dude who’s playing lights-out.

  • Joaquin Niemann

Will Zalatoris vs. Max Homa

Will Zalatoris-120
Max Homa+100

This is one of the Genesis Invitational matchups where I think the best golf sportsbooks favored the wrong guy. Homa, a Los Angeles native, is in the midst of playing some superb golf. 5-5 since Mayakoba with four top-25s, Max had it all working last week at Pebble Beach en route to a T7.

More good vibes come Max’s way this week, thanks to a T5 at Riv in 2020. Quite frankly, I just don’t see many versions of Homa not performing favorably.

Unbeknownst to some, Will Zalatoris is in a different boat.

The Wake Forest product finally showed a chink in his armor this past weekend, losing strokes to the field off the tee on Saturday and Sunday. In no way, shape, or form, am I jumping off the Zalatoris bandwagon – I still believe he’s in for a mighty fruitful year. With that being said, I have no qualms about saying Homa is the more dependable option this week.

Latching on at even money is just the cherry on top.

  • Max Homa

Rickie Fowler vs. Maverick McNealy

Rickie Fowler-115
Maverick McNealy-105

I teased in the introduction about one of my top Genesis Invitational matchup bets involving me laying a smidge of juice. This is it.

Before I even get into Rickie’s current slump, let’s address his aversion to Riviera Country Club. Despite growing up about 95 miles southeast of the Pacific Palisades, Fowler hasn’t been back to the LA Open since missing the cut in 2014. Since turning professional in 2009, Rickie has played in this tournament just four times.

  • 2010 – MC
  • 2011 – 35th
  • 2012 – 62nd
  • 2014 – MC

Now let’s shine a light on Fowler’s 10 starts in the 2020/21 campaign.

Rickie Fowler’s Finishes This Season
Date Tournament Result
9/20/20 US Open T49
10/11/20 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open MC
10/18/20 The CJ Cup T28
10/25/20 Zozo Championship T57
11/15/20 Masters T29
12/6/20 Mayakoba Golf Classic MC
1/24/21 The American Express T21
1/31/21 Farmers Insurance Open T53
2/7/21 Waste Management Phoenix Open MC
2/14/21 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am MC

Don’t look now, but Fowler is in danger of missing the Masters.

His opponent in this matchup, Maverick McNealy, has racked up five top-21s in his last nine appearances. McNealy’s coming off a solo-2nd last week at Pebble and has as much confidence in his game as he’s ever had.

So yeah, I have no problem laying -105 in this spot.

  • Maverick McNealy

More Genesis Invitational Picks

I wasted no time locking in these head-to-head picks for the Genesis Invitational. This isn’t the first time I’m investing stock in Joaquin Niemann, and I can assure you one thing. It won’t be the last.

I’m keen on taking advantage of Max Homa’s hot stretch, and seeing Rickie Fowler favored against Maverick McNealy is what I call a “green-light special.”

To get more money down on the action in LA, peruse the following posts.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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