9 picks our expert loves
By: Brady Kannon February 1, 2023
Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling tips column, featuring picks from expert GOLF.com tipster Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor, Kannon is an on-air host for VSiN, the Vegas Stats & Information Network, and host and creator of Long Shots, the network’s golf betting show. You can follow Kannon on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read below to see his 9 favorite plays for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which kicks off Thursday in Monterey. Keep scrolling through Kannon’s picks, and you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free mobile platform – and a subsidiary of GOLF.com – that offers a range of games with great prizes, offering fans all kinds of ways to get in on the action without risking money. To learn more about Kannon, you can also listen to his Long Shots podcast.
The West Coast Swing continues this week, moving from the California desert to the Monterey Peninsula.
For the fourth time in five weeks, players find themselves playing coastal golf, this time along the shores of Carmel Bay. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am also marks the third week in a row that we will see a multi-course event. Between Thursday and Saturday, every player will try their luck at the host course, Pebble Beach Golf Links, as well as Spyglass Hill and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
When play concludes on Saturday, a 54-hole cup will be on the course for Sunday’s final round at Pebble, featuring the top 60 players and ties.
Playing the toughest of the three courses, Spyglass Hill is heavily tree-lined, especially after an opening 6-hole stretch carved through the dunes. Pebble Beach is the most open of the three courses, with the greatest exposure to the coast, while the Monterey Peninsula is a bit of both and plays the easiest of the three.
This long shot could turn a $10 bet into $800 this week: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2023 odds By: Kevin Cunningham
Every golf course has Poa Annua greens, the same grass we saw last week at Torrey Pines. The fairways are wide, the courses are shorter than the Tour average, and the greens are smaller, with Pebble Beach having some of the smallest putting surfaces we’ve seen all season.
For players who make the cut, half of their rounds will be played at Pebble, which is the only course of the three that provides us handicappers with Shot-Link data. Note that this is a Pro-Am attended by many celebrities, so green speeds will be kept on the slower side and the rough at a less penalizing length.
Jordan Spieth, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland find themselves at the top of this week’s odds table, all in the 10-1 quarter. After that, the field becomes remarkably thin, and the next tier of competitors are at absolute prices close to double what’s on offer on Spieth, Fitzpatrick, and Hovland. Unfortunately, one of the most iconic venues in the world hosts by far the weakest field we’ve seen so far this year.
That doesn’t mean we can’t bet on it, but what we’ve seen in recent iterations of this event is a wide gap between favorites and long shots coming out victorious. Look at the prizes on the last 13 winners. They’re pretty much favorites or much deeper long shots with little choice in between.
Tom Hoge (66-1)
Daniel Berger (18-1)
Nick Taylor (160-1)
Phil Mickelson (25-1)
Ted Potter Jr. (500-1)
Jordan Spieth (9-1)
Vaughn Taylor (300-1)
Brandt Snedeker (25-1)
Jimmy Walker (28-1)
Brandt Snedeker (14-1)
Phil Mickelson (25-1)
AD points (80-1)
Dustin Johnson (22-1)
Given that history, I’ve spread my card this week, playing a few shorter shots, a few longer shots, and a few long bombs as well.
My main areas of interest this week were Par 4 scoring – looking at Par 4 holes measuring between 350 and 450 yards, Scrambling and Strokes Gained: Around the Green. With smaller putting surfaces, getting up and down the putting surface has always been key in this tournament.
I also looked into Greens In Regulation and SG: Approach. Considering how difficult Poa Annua often poses, I also considered putting inside 10ft.
On the other hand, I did not attach much importance to the performance on the tee. With shorter courses and wide fairways, neither driving distance nor driving precision should be too important. Also note that this golf course will likely be relatively soft after all the heavy rains in Northern California this winter. This will keep lots of balls in the fairway. Conditions won’t allow for much deployment.
As for the correlated courses, I considered shorter coastal venues: the RSM Classic (Sea Island), the Bermuda Championship (Port Royal) and Mayakoba (El Camaleon). I also watched how these players fared at TPC Craig Ranch, where the Byron Nelson has been held for the past two years. The course set up there requires a similar skill set to Pebble Beach.
7 Picks I Like to Win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Seamus Power (23-1)
Power does all the right things on this type of golf course. He won last year at Bermuda, was 3rd at Mayakoba and had two top-5 finishes at Sea Island. He also has a Top 10 here at Pebble and another at TPC Craig Ranch. He hits a ton of greens in regulation and is an excellent scrambler and putter. Corner play is also excellent, ranking 8th in that area over the last 24 rounds near the 75-100 hole. Power is currently 68th on the homer for putting inside 10 feet.
Matt Kuchar (35-1)
I missed the best price on this one because I saw up to 48-1. I don’t like him at 35 but 45-1 or better is fine in my opinion. Kuchar is apparently an older version of Power – great short game, corner game, strong on Par 4s, thrives on shorter coastal runs. He finished as high as 6th here at Pebble Beach, and he won and finished third at Mayakoba. He has four Top 25 and one Top 10 finishes at Sea Island. Kuchar currently ranks 13th on the circuit for putting inside 10 feet. We also saw veteran players win at Pebble Beach: Mark O’Meara, Johnny Miller, Peter Jacobsen, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson. Maybe it’s Kuchar’s turn.
Matt Kuchar has a great track record on courses similar to Pebble. Getty Images
Alex Smalley (50-1)
Smalley ranks high in my areas of interest this week. He is 36th on the Tour in Greens In Regulation, 65th in SG Approach, 61st in SG Putting and 33rd in this area over the last 24 rounds on the shorter Par 4s. He finished 11th and 12th in two tries at the Bermuda Championship and finished 5th in November at the RSM Classic. Over the past 8 tournaments, Smalley ranks 7th in this area for Strokes Gained: Total.
Scott Stallings (68-1)
A Poa Annua specialist? Stallings looks around the room. He had great success at Torrey Pines and here at Pebble Beach, where he finished 3rd, 7th and 14th in his career. He also finished 5th at Bermuda, 9th at Sea Island and 3rd at TPC Craig Ranch. He finished last season 43rd on the Tour in Scrambling, 44th in SG Putting and 61st in SG Approach. In the last 24 laps, he is 7th in this area for SG Approach and 8th on the longest Par 4.
Danny Willett (135-1)
We are now entering triple-digit territory, where, as I noted, many Pebble winners have come from in recent years. Willett’s strengths are the short game and approach. He is 3rd in this batch over the last 24 rounds for the Greens In Won Regulation. It ranks 1st for SG Around The Green and 3rd on shorter Par 4s. He pulled out of back-to-back events in November with an apparent shoulder injury, then returned to action three weeks ago at the American Express where he missed the cut. I bet he’s now had time to recover and is back to the form that saw him take 2nd place in Napa, California at Fortinet in September, a course that has a putting surface similar to the one we have this week.
Chesson Hadley (225-1)
Hadley consistently ranks in or around the Top 50 in this area over the past 24 rounds for the stats I looked at this week. He finished last season ranked 13th on the circuit for SG Putting and currently ranks 3rd for 10-foot inside putting. His record at Pebble is very good with two 10th places and an 18th. He also has two Top 20s in Bermuda and a Top 25 in Sea Island. I believe he has a good chance of finishing in the Top 20 this week and at 225-1, that’s worth a little play on an outright win.
Chesson Hadley at Sea Island. Getty Images
James Hahn (250-1)
James Hahn lives in the Bay Area, about 90 minutes from Pebble Beach, and he went to college at UC Berkeley, so he knows this golf course and the Poa Annua greens well. He finished as high as 3rd at Pebble. He also has a Top 10 at TPC Craig Ranch, two Top 30s at Mayakoba and a Top 20 at RSM Classic. His corner game and putting can be a problem, but he ranks surprisingly high in other areas against this area given his current odds. Over the last eight tournaments, Hahn is 11th in the field for SG Approach, 10th for SG Around the Green and 5th for SG Tee To Green.
Tournament Full Head-to-Head Matches
Scott Stallings (-150) vs. Ryan Palmer
Seamus Power (-110) over Tom Hoge
Who Chirp users like to win
Matthew Fitzpatrick — 16.48%
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