Breaking down our PGA Tour expert picks and best bets for The American Express as we head to Palm Springs, California for a wild three-course tournament.
We’re heading to Palm Springs and La Quinta, California this week for The American Express, one of the more unique tournaments on the PGA Tour. We’ll have the tournament played across three courses (PGA West Stadium Course, La Quinta Country Club, PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course) with a 54-hole cut.
Before we get into breaking this tournament, which is headlined with Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, Matthew Wolff, Tony Finau and Rickie Fowler in the field, let’s look back at the Sony Open last week.
We weren’t on Hideki Matsuyama, unfortunately, as he picked up the win and our Top 10 pick of Webb Simpson missed. With that said, Corey Conners as the One and Done netted $189,375, which is solid return. We also cashed our two straight bets with Conners over Talor Gooch (-120) and Russell Henley for a Top 20 (+150), the latter of which cashed with ease as he was in the playoff with Matsuyama.
Not bad, but we’re looking to get better moving forward. So with that, let’s dive into The American Express and our PGA Tour expert picks.
PGA Tour expert picks for The American Express: Winner, Top 10, One and Done
One and Done pick for The American Express: Matthew Wolff
To me, this is a great week to really take a gamble in any One and Done league, which is why I’m going with Wolff. You don’t want to burn top guys like Rahm, Cantlay or Scheffler here because, well, you want them in the queue for bigger events where they could contend.
Wolff’s erratic play makes it more difficult to find a place where he’d be ideal but his volatility also means huge upside, especially if he continues the upward trajectory of tightening his game that we’ve seen. Plus, with a cut after 54 holes instead of 36, that’s a great look for Wolff to potentially overcome any substandard rounds and still make the cut and finish strong.
Top 10 pick for The American Express: Corey Conners (+275)
I was all over Conners last week and, while he didn’t win, he did have three elite rounds and a less than stellar Saturday that resulted in an 11th-place finish. He’s absolutely flushing the ball (as per usual) and that’s the type of game that travels absolutely anywhere. Let’s hope the putter cooperates, which is always the question for the Canadian, but I’m willing to hitch my wagon to him a lot in 2022.
Pick to Win at The American Express: Jon Rahm (+600)
If Jon Rahm is in the field, it’s going to be hard not to pick him to win. That was the case for me at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and it took a record-breaking performance from Cameron Smith to top Rahm’s own record-breaking performance. Throw in the fact that he’s won at this event before and that he likes playing this tournament, the value isn’t great, but the fact of the matter is that you could have a good look at it cashing.
PGA Tour best bets for The American Express
Note: These bets were placed before matchups were available. We’ll have a separate piece for matchup bets.
Patrick Cantlay to Finish Top 5 (+225)
Top 5 bets can be a bit scary because so much can go wrong to catch a bad beat on Sunday. With someone like Cantlay, though, I’m less worried about that and to get this type of plus value seems quite enticing. He set the 18-hole scoring record at the PGA West Stadium Course on Sunday last year, so we know he’s going to finish strong. This bet just has a ton of value for one of the best in the world and, certainly, in the field for this event.
Adam Long to Finish Top 20 (+475)
This might seem somewhat out of left field but I love the value with Long here. He won this event when it was the Desert Classic in his debut back in 2019 but his last two times were a missed cut and 69th-place finish. However, with him gaining strokes tee-to-green in his last few tournaments overall and his ability to putt the lights out, I love for him to get some good feels again and earn a top 20 finish.
Longshot Outright Winner Pick: Adam Svensson (+10000)
This might be an extreme longshot but I’m willing to ride with Svensson being a breakout candidate in 2022 (so maybe sprinkle him in a top 20 bets as well). Regardless, this is a guy that won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, has the respected Tim Tucker on the bag (which should speak to the way he’s perceived around the game), and is coming off of a T7 at the Sony Open. At +10000, that’s definitely worth a 0.10 unit sprinkle.