Welcome to a new weekly column where I, Degenerate Dan, take a look at my favorite gambling plays for the week.
The higher-ups here at Golfweek have been kind enough to grant me 1,000 “units” to start the season, which are totally unrelated to real dollars and will be spread out at my discretion from week to week.
We’ll be tracking my progress each week as the units will surely pile up thanks to the overall savviness and wisdom displayed within.
I sat in on a roundtable with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan earlier this month at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he outlined the Tour’s current relationship with gambling and all the potential for growth on broadcasts and elsewhere throughout the coming years.
In the meantime, we might as well get our feet wet with a few props and matchup bets each week based on current odds from the Westgate Super Book in Las Vegas.
Without further ado, here are my gambling picks for the 2019 Desert Classic in La Quinta, Calif.
Patrick Cantlay (+125) over Justin Rose
Risking 100 to win 125 here and like the value on Cantlay. He’s a little too on-the-radar to bet something like top 10 finish, where he’s listed at +150. But betting on this matchup means he just needs to finish the week higher than Rose. Both players had great fall seasons, with Rose riding a streak of five consecutive top-5 finishes on Tour. He’s also starting 2019 with new clubs in the bag in an event he hasn’t played in nearly a decade. Cantlay had a great fall, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him win the whole thing this week.
Adam Hadwin (-105) over Andrew Putnam
Risking 105 to win 100 on Hadwin. Putnam has the stronger resume of late, with a solo second at the Sony Open and T-4 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in late October. But those near-misses can be draining (see TOC runner-up Gary Woodland’s MDF at the Sony) and Hadwin’s record in this event is too strong to ignore – T-3, solo second and T-6 over the last three years. Yes, please.
Scott Piercy to finish top 10 (+400)
With our two favorite matchups out of the way, let’s look at some big picture plays. Piercy has three top-10 finishes in his last six starts and finished T-6 here last year. Also like him at +115 as an underdog in his matchup with Luke List.
Players to win
10 units each
Lucas Glover (+4000)
As someone who recently traveled from Hawaii, I can confirm the lengthy flight and time changes take a toll. Unlike a lot of guys in the field, Glover didn’t make the trip for the Sony Open and was T-17 or better in each of his four fall starts. Worth a shot.
Si Woo Kim (+6600)
Playing here for the first time since 2016, when he finished T-9. Also looks like the putter has been warming up lately and he makes a ton of birdies, which is what it takes to win this event.
Jason Dufner (+10000)
Not playing great at the moment, hence the long odds for a defending champion. Wondering if he can build on an opening-round 66 at the Sony before an MDF and think it’s worth taking a long shot on the 2016 winner.
So we’ve got 255 units spread around, and that’ll do it for this week. Come back next week as we count our Desert Classic winnings and find more plays for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.