Genesis Open: Best bets for this week's action at Riviera

Photo of Genesis Open: Best bets for this week's action at Riviera
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The PGA Tour heads to Riviera Country Club this week for the Genesis Open in Los Angeles.

Riviera is a classic layout that tests all aspects of a player's game with its narrow fairways and hard-to-hit greens. Even though the rough isn't incredibly penal, golfers who can find fairways and control the ball into the green will have greater success. The small greens will also test a player's short game, especially on the driveable par-4 10th.

Here are the best bets for the week:

Outright winners

Justin Thomas (12-1)

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Justin Thomas is on the brink of victory. In his three events of 2019, he's gained a whopping 24.9 strokes on approach shots leading to two top-three finishes, with his putter - usually an area of strength - letting him down so far. JT should be able to build on his top-10 finish at Riviera last year and break through with a win in his fifth appearance at the Genesis Open.

Tommy Fleetwood (40-1)

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Tommy Fleetwood is an elite player in this field, but he's not being priced like one. The Englishman's game suits this course perfectly as length and accuracy off the tee will be key to hitting the small Riviera greens. Fleetwood also has the short game required to make key par saves. He putted well at Pebble Beach using a different flatstick for the first time - a trend that hopefully carries into this week.

Sergio Garcia (45-1)

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All of the talk surrounding Sergio Garcia lately is about his disqualification in Saudi Arabia after damaging multiple greens. Prior to his DQ, however, the Spaniard rattled off six straight top-10 results, including a win. Garcia, who had a disappointing 2018 season, has looked rejuvenated since the Ryder Cup. He also has a fourth-place showing at Riviera under his belt.

Keegan Bradley (90-1)

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Keegan Bradley is the long shot of the week in a tournament that typically produces elite winners. Bradley lost in a playoff at the Genesis Open in 2012 and also finished in a tie for fourth in 2015. His impressive tee-to-green game fits Riviera well, but his putter - like every week - is the biggest question mark. He defeated a strong field in the 2018 FedEx Cup playoffs and there's no reason he can't do it again.

Tournament matchups

Tommy Fleetwood (-110) over Marc Leishman

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Riviera was hit with rain on Wednesday and more showers are in the forecast for Thursday, making the course play much longer due to wet conditions. Marc Leishman is someone who excels at firm-and-fast courses where short game is important. The Australian finished fifth at Riviera in 2016 but has three missed cuts and had two results outside the top 55 in his other five appearances.

Hideki Matsuyama (-110) over Adam Scott

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Hideki Matsuyama is back to contending again after fully recovering from a wrist injury that held him back in 2018. He gained 12 strokes on approach shots in his last two tournaments combined and would've had a third career win in Phoenix if not for a wonky putter. Adam Scott, on the other hand, has become one of the most inconsistent players on Tour. He relies too heavily on irons that don't show up as much as they used to.

First-round leaders

Charley Hoffman (80-1)

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Riviera often draws comparisons to Augusta National and few have played as consistently as Charley Hoffman at both courses. Only he and Paul Casey have made eight combined cuts at both events since 2015. Hoffman, who finished fourth at the 2017 Genesis Open, is in the first group out on Thursday.

Harold Varner III (100-1)

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Harold Varner III showed his first-round prowess at the Phoenix Open, grabbing the 18-hole lead with Thomas and Rickie Fowler. He can make birdies in bunches and his early Thursday tee time should help him putt on the tricky poa annua greens that get bumpier as the day goes on.

Keith Mitchell (150-1)

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Keith Mitchell's length gives him the chance at multiple eagles in a single round, which goes a long way in hitting a first-round leader bet. Few long shots can get as locked in with their irons as Mitchell, who likely won't win over a four-day stretch but can get hot for one round.

Odds courtesy: bet365

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