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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Riley Hamel

2023 Genesis Invitational odds, course history, best bets and picks to win

Welcome to one of the best weeks of the year. Riviera Country Club is as good as it gets — arguably a top-three golf course we see annually on the PGA Tour — and the field is absolutely loaded.

The second full-field designated event of the season doesn’t only boast 23 of the world’s top 25 players, but Tiger Woods is set to make his return on Thursday.

Ever heard of him?

The 15-time major champion has never won at Riviera and, understandably, is a longshot to do so this week at 150/1.

Newly-crowned world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler has bettered his finish at this event three appearances in a row, capped off with a T-7 in 2022.

Golf course

Riviera Country Club | Par 71 | 7,322 yards

Course comparisons (according to Data Golf): 1. Ridgewood Country Club, 2. Nine Bridges, 3. PGA National

Jon Rahm plays his shot on the ninth fairway during the second round of the 2022 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Course history

Betting preview

Last week (WM Phoenix Open)

I’m down horrendous. Didn’t hit a bet in the desert. Tough, tough week.

Justin Thomas had a solid event finishing solo fourth. Viktor Hovland finished outside the top 40 while Collin Morikawa missed the cut.

Guess that means it’s bounce-back time.

If you’re interested in my plays and other coverage throughout the week, follow my Twitter here: @rileyhamel_


Player Odds Player Odds
Jon Rahm (+800) Viktor Hovland (+3000)
Rory McIlroy (+900) Sam Burns (+3000)
Scottie Scheffler (+1000) Will Zalatoris (+3500)
Xander Schauffele (+1600) Jordan Spieth (+3500)
Tony Finau (+1600) Cameron Young (+3500)
Justin Thomas (+1600) Tom Kim (+4000)
Patrick Cantlay (+2200) Matt Fitzpatrick (+4000)
Max Homa (+2200) Jason Day (+4000)
Collin Morikawa (+2200) Hideki Matsuyama (+4500)
Sungjae Im (+2800) Tyrrell Hatton (+5000)

Justin Thomas (16/1)

Justin Thomas watches his second shot on the second hole during the first round of the WM Phoenix Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

I was all over Justin Thomas last week at TPC Scottsdale. He had a great week (solo fourth), but his slow start (71 in round one) was too much to overcome.

Thomas’ results at Riviera have been a mixed bag over the last five years. He missed the cut in 2021 and 2020, however, he finished inside the top 10 in the other three appearances, including sixth last year (best finish: second in 2019).

Riv is a shot-makers golf course where ball striking is top priority. Thomas was second last week in SG: Tee to Green.

If he can heat up the flat stick (-0.124, 41st in SG: Putting in Scottsdale), watch out for the 2022 PGA champion.

Jason Day (40/1)

Jason Day plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during round two at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Day has been a constant topic of conversation in my betting pieces and podcast, and this is the week he makes the move to my main preview.

The Aussie finished solo fifth at the WM Phoenix Open and overall has finished inside the top 20 in three straight starts.

At Riv, a golf course that demands ball striking and accuracy, Day ranks 23rd in FIR and 22nd in GIR on Tour this season. At TPC Scottsdale last week, Day was 13th in SG: T2G.

Will Zalatoris (35/1)

Will Zalatoris hits out of the rough on the 17th hole during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course – South Course. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Zalatoris at 35/1? Yes, please.

The Wake Forest product hasn’t played his best golf so far this season, with his best finish coming at the Sentry Tournament of Champions (T-11). Zalatoris missed the cut in his last appearance (Farmers).

He’s played the Genesis the last two seasons, finishing 15th in ’21 and 26th in ’22.

At a golf course that demands ball striking, might as well back one of the best in the world.

Rory McIlroy (9/1)

Rory McIlroy plays his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the 2023 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. (Photo: Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports)

Rory McIlroy’s first PGA Tour start of 2023 went less than ideal. He finished tied for 32nd and lost the world No. 1 ranking.

I honestly believe McIlroy isn’t a big fan of the WM Phoenix Open. He was transparent about the golf course not fitting his eye, and when you’re not playing a track you’re comfortable with, it’s tough to perform well.

Riviera is a whole different story for the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy’s last five starts at the Genesis: 10th (’22), Cut (’21), 5th (’20), 4th (’19) and 20th (’18).

Last week, McIlroy was 16th in SG: T2G but was let down by his putter (-3.169, 56th in SG: Putting). At a track he knows better, his flat stick should heat up.

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