The American Express Golf Odds: Favorite Jon Rahm Withdraws As PGA Tour Starts California Swing

Posted By FairwayJay on January 19, 2021 - Last Updated on January 21, 2021

PGA West in La Quinta, California will again be the site for The American Express, where 12 golfers ranked in the top 50 in the world will compete. The tournament will be the first of back-to-back PGA events in The Golden State, with the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego being set to start on Jan. 28.

Two-time American Express winner Phil Mickelson, age 50, is the tournament host and will play again in the multi-course Pro-Am event.

The American Express golf odds 2021

Jon Rahm opened as the favorite to win the event at FanDuel Sportsbook with +650 odds before he withdrew from the event on Monday. Patrick Cantlay (+1300), Patrick Reed (+1500),  Tony Finau (+1700), Scottie Scheffler (+1700) and Brooks Koepka (+1800) had the lowest odds when the books adjusted for Rahm’s WD.

Outright winner

Game
01/21/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Patrick Cantlay
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+1300
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+1400
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+1200
Patrick Reed
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+1500
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+1700
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+1400
Tony Finau
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+1700
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+2100
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+1800
Scottie Scheffler
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+1700
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+1900
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+1600
Brooks Koepka
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+2100
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+1700
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+1800
Sungjae Im
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+2100
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+2000
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+2000
Matthew Wolff
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+2300
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+1900
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+2500
Abraham Ancer
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+3000
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+3300
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+2800
Russell Henley
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+3500
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+2500
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+3000
Charles Howell III
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+3500
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+8000
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+5000
Kevin Na
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+3500
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+3400
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+2800
Cameron Champ
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+4000
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+4600
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+4000
Paul Casey
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+4600
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+7000
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+5000
Rickie Fowler
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+4600
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+3700
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+4000
Lanto Griffin
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+5500
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+7000
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+5000
Brian Harman
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+5500
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+7500
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+5000
Zach Johnson
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+5500
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+7000
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+6600
Emiliano Grillo
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+6000
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+7000
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+5000
Charley Hoffman
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+6600
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+9000
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+8000
Phil Mickelson
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+6600
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+4500
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+6600
Sam Burns
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+7000
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+4900
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+5000
Adam Hadwin
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+7000
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+6500
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+6600
John Huh
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+7000
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+15000
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+8000
Chris Kirk
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+7000
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+8000
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+6600
Patton Kizzire
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+7000
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+7500
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+5000

View American Express odds for all golfers at DraftKings SportsbookFanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM.

Notable players in the field

A number of top players from the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) return to action on the mainland this week. Rahm won this event in 2018 and finished T7 in his 2021 debut at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, but backed out of this event without giving a specific reason.

Other top 10 players include Patrick Cantlay (No. 9), who is also the top player (No. 5) in The American Express field from the current 2021 FedExCup Standings.

Patrick Reed, ranked No. 11, is ready to tee it up after finishing T21 in his 2021 debut at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Reed set the tournament scoring record (-28) while winning The American Express in 2014.

Brooks Koepka (No. 12) also makes his 2021 debut.

Other top players in the field include:

  • Matthew Wolff (15 OWGR)
  • Sungjae Im (18)
  • Tony Finau (20)
  • Abraham Ancer (24)
  • Paul Casey (26)
  • Scottie Scheffler (32)
  • Kevin Na (38)
  • Gary Woodland (39)
  • Brendon Todd (46)

Top finishers from this past weekend’s Sony Open playing again this week at PGA West include Brendan Steele, Kevin Na, Russell Henley and Peter Malnati.

Rickie Fowler returns, and he was the betting favorite at last year’s event but has fallen down to No. 59 in the OWGR. Recent event champions Adam Long (2019) and Hudson Swafford (2017) are back, along with defending champ Andrew Landry – who won at odds of 200/1 or greater. Long won at even greater odds in 2019. Scottie Scheffler played in the final group Sunday last year and finished third on his way to 2019-2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors.

Amateur standout and 2020 SEC Player of the Year John Augenstein, the runner-up in the 2019 US Amateur, will be making his professional debut.

Recent American Express winners and runner-ups

  • 2020- Andrew Landry (-26), Abraham Ancer
  • 2019 – Adam Long (-26), Hadwin, Phil Mickelson
  • 2018 – Jon Rahm (-22), Andrew Landry
  • 2017 – Hudson Swafford (-20), Adam Hadwin

Golfers to watch

While the golfers at the top of the odds board and power rankings take most bets to win The American Express, there are plenty of other mid-range players and longshots that can outperform their odds and contend for a Top 10 or 20 finish, or win. Russell Henley (+3500) was one of those players we targeted at a Golfer to Watch for the Sony Open, and he had a chance to win T4 and 3-shots off the lead into Sunday. Henley finished T11, cashing +165 as Top 20 and just missing +400 for Top 10. Market.

Six of the last 10 winners of this event, now The American Express, have won at odds of +8000 or greater including the last two at +20000 and +50000 like Adam Long. Dig deeper into your bag when betting and shoot for a longshot.

Here are some other golfers at longer odds to consider in your ‘Fairway Foursome’ for outright win bets and/or top finishing position.

Russell Henley (+3500 DraftKings): Consider Henley again with continued strong current form, which is a better indicator of success more than course form. Using Fantasy National data, Henley tops this field in Strokes Gained: Total over his last 36 rounds and ranks No. 1 in SG: Tee-to-Green, Ball Striking and Approach. He’s the best iron player in this field over the past year, and only his past putting has held him back. But add in Henley’s premier driving accuracy combined with his ability to hit greens and score, along with his proven performances on Pete Dye courses on Tour, and he seems like a strong candidate for another top finish.

Brian Harman (+5500 FanDuel/DraftKings): Heading into The American Express last year, Harman had among the field’s best strokes gained-model for the event. He fell down the leaderboard on the weekend last year shooting 69, 70 on the Stadium Course to finish T21. He’s also finished third here in 2017 and has another Top 20 finish since. Harmon’s strength is on and around the greens where he ranks Top 10 in the field over his last 36 rounds and No. 15 in SG: Total.

Zach Johnson (+8000 FanDuel): Johnson got the rust off last week in his 2021 return at the Sony Open (T62). But he’ll head to California as one to watch where his Accuracy, Short Game and Approach play can excel. Johnson has shot well on the Stadium Course in recent years, and he has a number of top 5 finishes on other Pete Dye designs on Tour where his style of game excels. Over his last 36 rounds, Johnson also ranks No. 7 in SG: Total with top 10 rankings in Approach, Shorts Game and Putting. Consider Johnson is +5500 at DraftKings and you can see why he’s a target at FanDuel this week.

Patton Kizzire (+7500 FanDuel): Another short game specialist is Kizzire, who ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: Putting on bermuda greens over his last 36 rounds and No. 1 in Short Game. His form is solid with an average finish over his last five events of 16th. That includes four top 25’s in his last eight events with a pair of top 10’s including last week at the Sony Open. That despite below average Ball Striking, Approach play and Tee to Green game. Current form is a stronger indicator of success more than course form, and Kizzire is improving and becoming more consistent.

Harry Hall (+30000 FD/DK): Looking for a flyer and a Big Bertha longshot? Scroll down to the bottom of the odds board and you’ll see Harry Hall. The Englishman played college golf at UNLV is one to watch moving forward. A former Walker Cup player, Hall made his pro debut on the European Tour in 2019 and finished 15th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Hall shot 65 on Sunday playing alongside Rory McIlroy. Accuracy is not Hall’s strength, but Scoring is thanks to his strong Approach play, Putting, Around the Green including from the Sand. Hall finished Top 10 in his two Korn Ferry events to close 2020. Let’s see how he does on debut on a Pete Dye course, but +6600 Top 5, +2200 Top 10, +800 Top 20 and +450 Top 30 are what you get for a top talent that will be making his mark on Tour in the years ahead.

Course and tournament information

  • Course: PGA West (Stadium)
  • Location: La Quinta, CA
  • Date: Jan. 21-24
  • Par: 72 / Yardage 7,113
  • Purse: $1.6 Million / Winner $1.2 M
  • Fairways/Rough: Tifgreen 328 bermudagrass
  • Greens: : Tifdwarf bermudagrass
  • TV: Golf Channel (Thurs-Sun) and App
  • Twitter & Hashtag: @theamexgolf
  • Defending Champion: Andrew Landry

Originally known as the Bob Hope Classic, American Express became the title sponsor starting with last year’s event. The 2021 event will mark the first time the tournament will be played with fewer than three courses. Golfers will now rotate between the Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament Course (7,159/Par 72) for the first two days of the event. Following a 36-hole cut, the pros will play the final two rounds on the Stadium Course.

The La Quinta CC has been removed from the rotation, and it was the easiest scoring course, so keep that in mind for winning score betting.

This is the sixth year PGA West has been the host course. The 1986 design is a Pete Dye product. The legendary ‘Picasso’ of golf course designers passed away at age 94 a year ago this month.

The average score over the last two years at PGA West Stadium Course has been near 70.1.

The greens are smaller at PGA West, as the Stadium Course has average size greens of approx. 5,000 – 5,500 square feet. There are more than 90 bunkers and water comes into play on 7-8 holes.

Thirteen different Pete Dye-designed courses have hosted PGA Tour events. Some to consider when comparing players, performance, stats and results include:

  • TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course (Florida), THE PLAYERS Championship
  • Harbour Town (South Carolina), RBC Heritage
  • TPC River Highlands (Connecticut). Travelers Championship
  • TPC Louisiana (Louisiana), Zurich Classic of New Orleans)
  • TPC San Antonio (Texas, AT&T, Canyons), Valero Texas Open

Key stats

The format with multiple courses and pro-am setup requires patience. Using Strokes Gained: Approach will be a key stat at nearly every event. SG: Total Driving, noting accuracy over power, is in play at PGA West. Strokes Gained stats are only in play and used from the Stadium course at PGA WEST.

You can add Birdie or Better Conversion %, and Greens in Regulation % to the course considerations. There is not great deal of reward for hitting the ball a long way in this event.

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FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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