2022 Genesis Invitational Betting Preview: McIlroy's Power Game Could be the Difference Maker


Feb 16, 2022

After a one-week getaway to the Arizona desert, the PGA TOUR returns for the last event of the California swing for the 2022 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.

Tourney / Course Overview

This 7,322-yard Par 71 designed George Thomas and William Bell course plays host to this Tiger Woods sponsored event each season and has additionally been dubbed as the home of the 2028 Olympic Golf competition for both the men’s and women’s event.

Last year’s tournament was won in dramatic fashion by Max Homa in a thrilling playoff against Tony Finau. The finish saw the LA native get up and down from the root of a tree stump on the first extra hole to take home Tiger’s tournament. My personal favorite course in the USA that consistently plays as one of the most challenging on TOUR. Driving (both distance and accuracy), will be my key stat to consider when filling out my betting card.

The Picks

A betting favorite from a week ago that disappointed his backers with a T-33 finish, I will buy low on Russell Henley (+6000). He is 8-for-8 in cuts made this season, with a second-place finish at the Sony Open, where he is probably still kicking himself for not winning with a straightforward birdie putt on the 72nd hole. It has been quite a long time since Henley has taken down a PGA TOUR tournament, but with his elite iron play and accurate driving, it is only a matter of time until his draught ends. Back him here on a Top 10 prop at +550 in addition to the outright play.

While Patrick Cantlay is getting all the buzz as the player in the best current form, I’ll take Viktor Hovland at double the price to win this week. Hovland has been on an absolute tear of late, winning in the Bahamas in December, then going over to Europe for a fourth-place finish in Abu Dhabi followed by a comeback win at the Dubai Desert Classic. The only thing missing from Hovland’s young resume is a premier win on US soil, and there is no reason to suspect his skill with the driver and improved short game will translate to success at Riviera. After initially considering his Top 5 prop (+370), his payout to finish as Top European (+600) provides more value, in my opinion. I will play that along with the outright number (+2400) that offered even better value just 24 hours before this writing.

Consider me a sucker each time Rory McIlroy’s outright odds balloon north of 20/1, and I will be heading back to the well on him this week to finish my card. The aforementioned comeback win of Hovland’s in Dubai came at the expense of Rory. McIlroy put his second shot on the 72nd hole into the water to lose his one-shot lead and ultimately miss the playoff. With two weeks to clear his head and rest up, he travels here with the second-best strokes gained off the tee (Rahm is first) in recent rounds. The driver has always been McIlroy’s best strength, and we hope he can get his putter to behave to lead him to victory this week.

All PGA odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook.

My Card 

Russell Henley Top 10 (+550)

Russell Henley Outright (+6000)

Viktor Hovland Outright (+2400)

Viktor Hovland Top European (+600)

Rory McIlroy Outright (+2000)

All PGA predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.
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Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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