Bet PGA Tour Golf! Mike Kern has the odds and picks the Genesis Invitational, where he likes a few long shots

The Genesis Invitational runs from February 18-21 and can be watched on the GOLF channel and CBS
Marc Leishman, one of Mike Kern's picks for the Genesis Invitational, in action
Marc Leishman, one of Mike Kern's picks for the Genesis Invitational, in action@marcleish on Twitter

It’s time for the Genesis Invitational, at Riviera in Los Angeles. Last week a couple of the guys we gave out — namely Jason Day and Kevin Streelman — played very well. They just didn’t play quite well enough. Which of course is all that really matters. So we’ll try to do better.

This might be the strongest field yet in the new year. Dustin Johnson is the fave, at 5-1. As he should be. He’s been the best player in the last six months, and he’s coming off a win in Dubai two weeks ago. He won this thing in 2017. Jon Rahm is 11-1, followed by Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas at 12-1. Patrick Cantlay, who was the fave last week and was in contention most of the way, is 15-1. So is Xander Schauffele, who has finished second in his last two starts but hasn’t won in a while. Bryson DeChambeau, he of the long long ball, is 16-1. He has a top five here two years ago.

Tony Finau, who is usually there but never wins, is 20-1. Brooks Koepka, who’s playing better, is 22-1. Colin Morikawa is 30-1, followed by Viktor Hovland at 33-1. He’s never played here but does have four top sixes in his last five starts. Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth are 35-1. Scott is the defending champ. Spieth has played really well the last two weeks. Hideki Matsuyama is 40-1 and he is my pick in my yearlong pool, which sometimes isn’t a good sign. Just saying. And he hasn’t won in too long.

Joaquin Niemann is 45-1. He’s played well here. Scottie Scheffler and Bubba Watson are also 45-1. Bubba won here in 2014, 16 and 18. That’s something, right? Max Homa, Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer are 66-1. Homa has four top 25s in his last five starts. Leishman has played some of his best golf in California, and he’s had two top fives here.

That’s as far as I’ll go, but there are some other interesting names out there at even higher odds. Maybe one of them can even pay off for you.

You know me, I tend to shy away from the chalk. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’m not likely to change at this point. If I was going to give out one of the top five or six guys I’d probably go with Xander Schauffele, since he’s been right there and is a pretty decent value at 15-1. He’s also 3-1 for a top five.

As for longer odds, there are several names that intrigue me. So, I’ll throw them out, and you can do with them what you want. Maybe even play at little on a few of them. I don’t know if Jordan Spieth can keep this up, or if he’s really ready to actually win yet, but he is 35-1. And plus $750 for a top five. The way he’s been playing it’s hard to overlook.

Bubba I’m not sure about, but anyone who’s won someplace three times in the last seven tries and is 45-1 (and 9-1 for a top five, half that for a top 10) should be worth at least a minor investment. Just in case, you know. He might surprise us.

I would also think hard about Marc Leishman at 66-1 (and 11/6 for a top 5/10). He might have a legit shot. And those numbers means you don’t have to play too much to get something good back.

The other name in that middle tier that might be a decent play is Joaquin Niemann, at 45-1 (and 9/5). But keep in mind that there are some really good players in this field, so chances are one of them will likely come out on top. The trick is to either pick the right one, or look for a live upset possibility. Whichever way you proceed, by all means good luck.

Tee times and leaderboard can be found here.

See you next week, as we start to get closer to the Players Championship. Never a bad thing.

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