The streak continues! We had our sixth consecutive week of profit to start 2024, thanks to top-20 finishes by Justin Thomas (-150) and Jordan Spieth (+105). We narrowly missed out on the sweep, as Hideki Matsuyama (+220) fell short by one thanks in part to a bogey on his penultimate hole.

This week the Tour has another Signature Event, with a field of 70 players. One unique thing to note: there will be a 36-hole cut down to the top 50 and ties and any players within 10 shots of the lead. Oh yeah, and Tiger Woods is playing.

What is needed for success this week:

  • Above average off-the-tee (distance over accuracy)
  • Above average on approach
  • Above average around the green
  • Mental acuity: Riviera is a course where you have to think your way around, position yourself with the best angle to attack, and use patience to climb up the leaderboard.

Note: this is another one of the few weeks on Tour where great putting isn’t necessary to contend, as the fast poa annua greens are difficult for all, especially in the afternoon.

So let’s take a look at three top-20 wagers:

Justin Thomas Top 20 -135

I’m going back to the well with JT after he cashed for us last week. The betting markets still haven’t fully caught up to his return to form. Last week’s 12th-place finish was his worst result in his last seven events!!! He now heads to Riviera, a course where he has finished top-20 in four of the last six years, including full-field events. Thomas’s ball-striking and around the green game have been very solid. Now, yes his putter can still go ice-cold at times, but everyone is going to be missing their fair share of putts this week. Look for JT to continue his hot play and cash a top-20 wager for us again.

Patrick Cantlay Top 20 -130

We are getting near rock-bottom pricing on Cantlay once again. He cashed for us two weeks ago (-125) at the last signature event at Pebble Beach. We have a slightly smaller field this week, and he’s coming off of an 11th-place finish at Pebble, yet the price remains basically the same. Cantlay knows the ins and outs of Riviera, dating back to his days at UCLA. So it comes as no surprise that Cantlay has finished 17th or better in five of the last six years of this event, including years with a full field. Cantlay fits the mold of what type of player succeeds at Riviera, especially his analytical, patient approach to attacking a course.

Max Homa Top 20 -120

This is a great buy-low spot for Homa after a missed cut at the WMPO and a 66th at Pebble. Homa is elite at Riviera, finishing top-ten in each of the last four seasons. Homa traditionally is a strong ball-striker who can chip the ball extremely well, especially on the kikuyu grass players will face this week. Look for a bounceback this week with Max on the front page of the leaderboard come Sunday.