By: Field Level Media
PGA Tour Odds: Safeway Open Betting Preview and 2020-2021 Tee Off
The PGA Tour will end its three-day “offseason” with the Safeway Open marking the official start of the 50-event 2020-21 season.
Held at the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, Calif., the Safeway Open finds itself in a unique situation this year. The sport’s major tournament schedule was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Typically chock full of Korn Ferry Tour graduates and veterans attempting to secure early-season FedEx Cup points, the field this week includes several first-timers looking to fine-tune their games ahead of next week’s U.S. Open.
Among them is reigning Open champion Shane Lowry and former Masters champion Sergio Garcia. Lowry failed to reach last week’s Tour Championship while Garcia missed out on the playoffs entirely.
With several weeks off before the second major of the year, their both teeing it up in Napa this week for the first time. At No. 28, Lowry is the top-ranked player in the field.
Neither has played a competitive round at Silverado, but they’re among the pre-tournament favorites with Lowry +2500 and Garcia offered at +2800 at PointsBet. BetMGM is offering longer odds on both – Garcia at +3000 and Lowry at +3300.
Lowry said he wasn’t “overly pleased” with how he played last season. He’s making a switch in clubs and said he entered the Safeway Open because he didn’t want to take three weeks off before a major and “there was no point” in going back to Ireland between events due to quarantine restrictions.
“This is a PGA Tour event, this is a big event in its own right,” Lowry said. “So I want to come here and play well.
“Obviously, I’m thinking about trying to get a bit of form going into Winged Foot next week, but at the end of the day I’m a proud golfer and I want to play well this week.”
Safeway Open Betting Preview: Any Former No. 1s Worth Putting a Penny On?
Also in the field is former No. 1 and three-time major champion Jordan Spieth. Without a victory since The Open in 2017, Spieth has tumbled to No. 67 in the world after missing out on the Tour Championship for the second consecutive season.
Spieth has a missed cut, a T72 and a T71 in his past three starts. He’s still among the pre-tournament favorites this week at +2800 by PointsBet and +3300 by BetMGM.
Spieth also remains a popular choice among bettors as he has been responsible for seven percent of the handle and six percent of the outright winner bets at DraftKings.
That put him atop both lists along with Harold Varner, who is +2500 at BetMGM and +2500 at PointsBet. He narrowly missed out on the second leg of the playoffs by missing the cut at The Northern Trust, but did finish T7 the previous week and finished T29 at the PGA Championship.
South Korea’s Si Woo Kim is the +1800 favorite at PointsBet as he arrived in Napa with a T3 at the Wyndham Championship sandwiched by a T13 at the PGA Championship and a T39 at The Northern Trust.
Kim is +2200 at BetMGM along with Phil Mickelson and Brendan Steele while also garnering seven percent of the handle and four percent of the total bets at DraftKings.
Mickelson (+2000 by PointsBet) is coming off a victory in his Champions tour debut last week. Mickelson missed the cut at the Safeway Open last year and at his most recent PGA Tour start at The Northern Trust.
It’s difficult to gauge the true state of his game coming off a win on the senior circuit. He acknowledged his length off the tee was a significant advantage along with less daunting pin positions.
Bettors clearly feel the same as Mickelson was responsible for six percent of the total bets but only four percent of the handle at DraftKings as of Wednesday afternoon.
Are Past Winners Worth Betting on with the PGA Odds?
Steele (+2200 by PointsBet) is the only two-time winner of the event. Silverado clearly suits his game, although he finished 60th in last year’s Safeway Open. Steele made it to the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and has been playing solidly of late with a T33, T44 and T22 in three big events in his past three starts.
The “fall swing” typically produces a handful of first-time winners, making the events prime for wagers on up-and-coming players.
Last fall saw first-time Tour winners including Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz, Lanto Griffin and Tyler Duncan, while Brendon Todd announced his resurgence with back-to-back victories.
Harry Higgs may be one to watch this year. After four consecutive missed cuts, Higgs reached the BMW Championship after posting a T11 in the first leg of the playoffs. He finished T23 at last year’s Safeway Open among seven top-25 as a Tour rookie and offers long odds at +8000 at both books.
Bettors have placed four percent of the total bets at DraftKings on Cameron Smith. The Australian closed with three consecutive 65s to finish T15 at the Wyndham Championship. He followed that with a 64 and 65 to open The Northern Trust before ultimately finishing T29.
Brandt Snedeker didn’t make it past The Northern Trust. He does count the Safeway Open among his nine career Tour victories and is being offered at +4000 by PointsBet.
Other multiple-time winners on Tour seeking to reclaim their form include Keegan Bradley (+5000), Lucas Glover (+6000), Charlie Hoffman (+6600), Jim Furyk (+6600), J.B. Holmes (+900) and Jason Dufner (+12500)
–Field Level Media