Betting Preview for The American Express (2021) With Odds, Predictions, and Best Bets

| January 18, 2021 10:59 am PDT

It’ll be a different look this week in La Quinta compared to past editions in the desert. Most notably, the pro-am is gone, and just two courses will be utilized instead of three (no La Quinta CC in 2021). Despite the changes to this storied event, it’ll be business as usual for the 156-man field.

Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler make their much-anticipated 2021 debuts, and it’ll be the first time we’ve seen Phil Mickelson in action since the Masters in mid-November.

With the stage set for a shootout to take place, it’s time for some predictions for The American Express.

2021 American Express Odds

Jon Rahm arrives as the overwhelming favorite at all of the safest betting sites. “Rambo” is fresh off his 7th-place finish in Maui – his third straight top-7 showing and the ninth consecutive tournament he’s landed inside the top 25.

Remember, Rahm won here in 2018 and finished solo-6th in 2019 (didn’t play in 2020), so perhaps this +650 price tag isn’t as egregious as it seemed at first glance. In fact, Jon was installed with +600 odds to win The American Express at the first few sportsbooks I checked.

Speaking of hoisting the trophy here in 2018, let’s take a quick glance at a list of some past winners.

A Quick Glance at Past Results at The American Express

Before you lock in any American Express picks, have a peek at the table below. Since this event was reduced from 90 to 72 holes in 2012, it’s taken at least 20-under-par to win every year.

The American Express – Winners in the 72-hole Format
Year Winner Final Score Winning Margin
2020 Andrew Landry 262 (-26) 2
2019 Adam Long 262 (-26) 1
2018 Jon Rahm 266 (-22) Playoff
2017 Hudson Swafford 268 (-20) 1
2016 Jason Dufner 263 (-25) Playoff
2015 Bill Haas 266 (-22) 1
2014 Patrick Reed 260 (-28) 2
2013 Brian Gay 263 (-25) Playoff
2012 Mark Wilson 264 (-24) 2

The common denominator among the recent winners at PGA West is really low scores.

Worth noting – the last time somebody won The American Express by more than two shots was in 2009 when Pat Perez shot -33 to outlast John Merrick by three.

2021 American Express Pick to Win

Russell Henley appears to be on the verge of breaking the seal. The 3x PGA Tour winner hasn’t visited winner’s circle since the spring of 2017 but has been trending in the direction of picking up W #4.

The 31-year-old Georgia product has connected on 11 of his last 12 cuts, four of which are top-10s and two of which are top-4s. Henley placed 11th last week at Waialae, making just two bogeys over his final 54 holes.

Russell was especially sharp from tee to green in Honolulu, in large part thanks to his new Titleist TS4 driver. Looking to carry the positive vibes into a place he hasn’t performed well at in the past, I think the change of scenery bodes well for his chances.

Henley’s fast-paced nature leads me to believe that 5.5-hour rounds with amateur partners aren’t exactly his cup of tea. On the other hand, benign conditions on relatively easy tracks – that should be right in Russell’s wheelhouse.

  • Russell Henley

Best Bets for the American Express

I’ll endorse two more American Express predictions that you can take straight to the bookies.

Patrick Cantlay to Finish Top 10

The last time this California native played in his home state, he was busy fending off Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm to win the Zozo Championship @ Sherwood. Since winning in Thousand Oaks, Cantlay placed 17th at Augusta and 13th in Maui.

Patrick Cantlay’s last appearance in the Desert: T9 in 2019

Scottie Scheffler to Finish Top 20

The cat is fully out of the bag with Scottie Scheffler – the kid is really, really good. Perhaps he’s cooled down since a trio of top-4s in a four-week span to close out the summer, but the 2020 PGA Tour ROY is rounding right back into peak form.

Scheffler’s last two starts: 13th at the Sentry TOC and 19th at the Masters.

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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