The American Express 2023 Betting Preview

Media by Associated Press: Hudson Swafford lift the winner's trophy at the end of the American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in La Quinta, Calif.

The TOUR goes from Hawaii, where Jon Rahm won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and Si Woo Kim claimed the Sony Open, to the early season California leg of play.

 

We are in La Quinta this week for the American Express at a rotating course between the La Quinta Country Club, Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Pete Dye Stadium Course, effectively known as PGA West. 

 

The American Express is a Pro-Am tournament, meaning game play is set up to appease amateurs and prevent exceptionally long rounds. Golfers are going to have to get to at least -20 to have a chance this weekend (barring extreme weather), as nobody has won with less than that since Charley Hoffman in 2007.

 

About the American Express Tournament 

 

The name “American Express” might not be on the top of mind for the casual golf fan, but more are familiar with the former moniker of the Desert Classic or the more recognizable Bob Hope Classic. 

 

The Pebble Beach Pro-Am has been the bigger celebrity draw in recent years, but the American Express still has an amateur-centric format. When you combine the Pro-Am status with the fact that this desert course still has water hazards – but not much in terms of rough – it’s easy to see how the winning scores have been so low recently. 

 

There isn’t a ton of shot data to make plays on this weekend since foursomes play three different courses before the 54-hole cut. Sunday’s finale returns to the Pete Dye Stadium Course for the second time of the weekend, but this event largely resembles pool play. If a guy does great on Saturday, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll thrive on Sunday – even though the courses are very similar. 

 

With the rotating courses, one would think the best all-around golfers would thrive at this tournament. In actuality, though, the opposite has been true – the easy course means anybody can win this event.

 

American Express Odds and Favorites

 

Jon Rahm’s win in 2018 at +1000 was basically a once-off in terms of favorites winning this tournament. Hudson Swafford – who will not defend his title after moving to the LIV – is the defending champion claiming a victory at +20000 last season. 

 

Andrew Landry (+20000) has won this event as a huge underdog in 2020, as has Adam Long in 2019 at +60000. Swafford won in 2017 at +6600, and other +6000 or better champions recently have been Si Woo Kim at +6600 in 2021, Patrick Reed in 2014 at +13500, and Brian Gay at +8000 in 2013. 

 

Rahm comes to La Quinta as the +650 favorite, while other top 20 golfers in the field include #2 Scottie Scheffler (+1000), #5 Patrick Cantlay (+1000), #6 Xander Schauffele (+2000), #7 Will Zalatoris (+1800), #12 Tony Finau (+1400), #13 Sam Burns (+3300), #14 Tom Kim (+2200), #17 Cameron Young (+1800), and #19 Sungjae Im (+2200). 

 

Some bigger underdog favorites for this event include last year’s runner-up Tom Hoge at +3300 and Joel Dahmen at +8000, who ended the 2022 calendar year with three straight top 10 finishes.

 

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