Sleeper Picks for The American Express in 2021 – 4 Dark Horses in the Desert

| January 18, 2021 11:51 am PDT

If you’re on the fence about backing any sleeper picks for The American Express, allow me to lend some advice.

Andrew Landry showed up to La Quinta in 2020 on the heels of five straight MCs, ranked 240th in the world. The year before, Adam Long arrived in the desert ranked 417th and had missed seven of eight cuts. Incidentally, both Landry and Long wound up shooting 26-under-par and winning the golf tournament.

The moral is you don’t need a world-renowned resume ala Jon Rahm or Brooks Koepka to play well at this event. With that in mind, here are four longshots worth consideration.

Sam Burns +6000

It’s safe to say that Sam Burns has an affinity for playing golf in a dome. 35-under-par over the last two years at this event (T18 in 2019, T6 in 2020) confirms that theory, and it’s pretty easy to see why he thrives in this environment.

Burns bombs the ball (3rd in SG: Off-the-Tee this season) and has been a very reliable putter (top-30 in SG: Putting in each of the last two seasons). Given the calm conditions, we’re used to seeing at PGA West, that’s pretty much the formula for sustained success.

One of my bold golf predictions in 2021 is that Sam qualifies for East Lake.

Talor Gooch +8000

Much like Same Burns, Talor Gooch has flourished at this event over the last two years. In fact, the 29-year-old Oklahoma State product has prospered to an even greater degree.

Talor Gooch at The American Express
Year Scores Finish
2019 67-67-66-64 (-24) 4th
2020 69-71-64-68 (-16) 17th
  • 26 birdies in 2019
  • 26 birdies and an eagle in 2020

Going off at +8000 at MyBookie, go ahead and pencil Gooch in as one of the genuine American Express sleepers. Two top-5s among his last five starts tell me he’s ready to breakthrough.

Doc Redman +9000

Having not teed it up since before Thanksgiving when he missed the cut at the RSM Classic, Doc Redman will be overlooked by most people looking for The American Express odds online. Then again, the kid strapped with a trio of top fours in his last eight starts is firmly on my radar as one of the PGA Tour’s breakout stars in 2021.

Doc is a world-class ball-striker (12th in GIR last season, 11th in SG: Approach) who is now making the rounds on recurring venues for the second time. Redman made 17/24 cuts as a rookie last season, including a T29 in his debut in La Quinta.

Brenden Steele +11000

+11000 just seems a bit too favorable to ignore for a guy who just finished T4 at the Sony Open. Steele faltered down the stretch at Waialae and is probably still stinging from defeat, but the setup this week in the desert is ideal for bouncing back. Especially when your game is in tip-top shape.

Brenden hit a whopping 60/72 greens in regulation in Hawaii and, for the most part, rolled his rock nicely. Those searching for American Express sleeper picks, you could a lot worse than throw a few bucks down on Steele.

More American Express Betting Picks

Last week’s field in Honolulu was stacked, and yet it was Kevin Na at +8000 who walked away with the trophy in hand. Throw in the obscure names who won the last two seasons in La Quinta, and the game plan this week is clear.

Take a shot on a few sleepers for The American Express. This is a golf tournament where dark horses are known to emerge.

For a closer look at past winners and an assessment of the betting sheet, check out the following preview.

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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