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PGA Farmers Insurance Open

John Alesia

For the first few weeks of the PGA season, the Statsational golf bets will be free for all.

The italicized below is from last week, but the information is worth reading if you missed it.

It was a great start to the golf season for us. Ben Taylor finished in the top 5, and Baddeley finished in the top 10. Interestingly, I happened to run into a former pro caddie while grabbing a bite to eat at a local club, and we ended up watching Baddeley on TV as he hit his next shot. I mentioned that I had placed a bet on him to finish in the top 10, and the caddie jokingly expressed his condolences.

For those new to betting on golf, it's important to know that when a golfer is tied for a final spot in the top 5, top 10, etc., it's considered a "dead heat." Different sportsbooks handle this differently, and they may cut the stakes or the odds.

For example, in this week's tournament, Taylor finished T4 with two other golfers, meaning six golfers finished in the top 5, with three of them occupying the final two spots. If a book cuts the odds, Taylor's odds would be reduced by 67%, making the bet +2345. If you bet $10, you would be paid $234.5 instead of $350.

In the same example, if a book cuts the stakes, they would reduce your bet to $6.70 on the winning bet, and you would lose $2.30. You would get paid $232.20 net. This difference may not be significant on longshot type bets, but if you're betting on a big favorite to finish in the top 5, like Justin Thomas at +200, it would make a bigger impact. For example, if JT finishes T3 with four others, and the book cuts odds, you would be paid 75% of the odds or +150, netting $150. If the book cuts stakes, your bet would be reduced to $75 at +200, and you would lose $25, netting $125.

Farmers Insurance Open

The Farmers Insurance Open is a challenging tournament played at the iconic Torrey Pines golf facility. The event features two courses, the South Course being the main one and hosting most of the tournament. The South Course is known for its length, measuring 7,765 yards and having a par 72. The course also features two par 5s longer than 600 yards, three par 3s over 200 yards, and seven par 4s over 450 yards, making it a true test of golf skill.

In contrast to the South Course, the North Course is shorter at 7,200 yards and is considered less challenging. However, it is still crucial for players to score well on this course, as it has been the key to winning the tournament in recent years. The average winning score for the last ten years has been 13 under par, with many winners accumulating half of that total in a single round on the North Course. When betting, paying attention to players who perform well on this course is important.

The forecast for the tournament week is dry, but California has recently experienced heavy rainfall. This has resulted in the golf courses being softer than usual, leading to longer shots. Since length is already a major factor in this tournament, paying attention to players' power game is important.

The Bets

I will place bets to win 1 unit each, as I typically do. Occasionally, I may increase the amount, but I always aim "to win" and not "risk" a certain amount. I recommend watching my video on Bankroll Management in the Sharp Academy for more information on this.

The total risk for this week's bets is .87 units. We are always trying to win multiple bets but winning one will give us a profitable week.

Jon Rahm is the big favorite this week, and he also comes out on top in my model. Despite how hot he is right now, I can not justify paying +450 for any golfer to win. The nice thing about him being priced where he is is that we can get some value on some very good golfers.

We are taking Xander Schauffele to win. He is the second choice on my model as well as the second choice in the market. The market is giving Rahm an 18.2% chance to win, while Xander has an implied probability of 8.1%. Rahm does not win this even more than 2x Schauffele if we play it 1000 times.

Similarly, we are taking Morikawa, the sith choice in the market and my 4th choice to win this event. My biggest concern is I have Colin ranked 81st in putting this week. In his last 24 rounds on POA, he has a shots gained of -.226.


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