The American Express 2023 Golf Preview, Odds, Betting Predictions, Picks: Tip-Top Tony

Tony FinauMore commonly known over its 63-year history as the Desert Classic, the American Express 2023 is played on three separate courses across La Quinta Country Club. It is one of the more unusual and testing tournaments in that respect and it was even more of a challenge in the days when it was played over five rounds.

It is more streamlined as a 72-hole tournament these days and its scheduling at the start of the year means that we tend to get mixed quality fields. Those scenarios can lead to some interesting odds so let us see if we can pick some winners this week with our American Express golf preview, predictions and betting picks.

Jon Rahm started the season with a win as he produced a stunning final day turnaround at the Tournament of Champions. A last round 63 snatched the trophy, but it simply extended a solid run of form from the phenomenal Spaniard. Rahm is back after resting last week and he starts as a clear favorite at best industry odds of 13/2. In his last five official starts on all Tours, Rahm has returned three wins, a tie for second and a tie for fourth. He is also a former champion of the American Express, having edged out Andrew Landry in a playoff in 2018.

Behind Jon Rahm, we have two joint second favorites with both Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler following at top prices of 11/1. Cantlay was a runner-up here to Si Woo-Kim by one shot in 2021 and he has three top 10 finishes, including a solo second, in each of his last three outings.

Scheffler finished in third place in the 2020 edition of this event and he opened the year in solid fashion with a tie for third at the Tournament of Champions.

The big hitting Tony Finau heads the rest of the field of golfers at best odds of 16/1. There is no great length to suit his power on any of the three courses, but there is more to his game these days. Finau was one of the players to tie in seventh with Scheffler at Kapalua, but his best result in six visits to the American Express was a solo fourth in 2021.

Next are Will Zalatoris, Xander Schauffele, Sungjae Im and Cameron Young who can all be found at 20/1 in places. Zalatoris is attracting some interest after a solid return from injury at the Tournament of Champions and he tied for sixth on debut here last year.

Sungjae Im has been remarkably consistent at the American Express with four finishes between tenth and twelfth place. Based on those returns, he should be a strong contender for the top 10 finish markets at the very least.

Moving through the field, Tom Kim is quoted at best odds of 25/1, followed by Sam Burns and Brian Harman at 28/1. Of those names, Harman has the strongest record in this tournament. He has recorded six top 25 finishes in seven starts and tied for third here 12 months ago.

The outside bunch starts this week with Tom Hoge and Si Woo Kim who are both on offer at 40/1. Hoge was the sole runner-up last year to defending champion Hudson Swafford. That followed his tie for sixth in 2020 and he opened 2023 with a tie for third at the Tournament of Champions.

Taylor Montgomery follows at a best of 45/1 while Andrew Putnam, Sahith Theegala, Cameron Davis and Aaron Wise can all be found at 50/1 in places. Of those names, Putnam arrives in a run of good form which includes a tie for fourth in the Sony Open on Sunday. Theegala is also attracting interest with three top six finishes already this season.

Other names to mention in this preview from the outer fringes of the outsider section include Adam Hadwin at 66/1, Jason Day at 70/1, Rickie Fowler at 80/1, Justin Rose at 90/1, Chris Kirk at 100/1 and Harris English at 125/1.

Our 2023 American Express Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict

There are three courses in play this week and players will alternate until a 54-hole cut comes into play. Each offers slightly different challenges but, in reality, all three are fairly standard par 72s. The PGA West Course, the Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at La Quinta Country Club in California are in play. The longest of these is the Nicklaus Course at 7,181 yards, so there is not too much of an advantage for the power hitters this week.

The switching can affect momentum at times, but the best players should always shoot low on each surface. Across the three courses, greens will measure around 11 on the Stimpmeter while primary rough should not extend beyond two inches.

One player who continues to impress is Tony Finau and, if the favorites have a tough four days, he can take full advantage. We always refer to his power hitting, but there is so much more to his game now. He has won three times on the PGA Tour in the last six months and, if his putter is on song, he is equipped to make it four.

Tony Finau for the win is the main betting pick, along with three other top 10 finish selections in the hope and expectation of a profitable four days. So these are the betting predictions and golf picks for this 2023 American Express preview:

  • Tony Finau to win @ biggest betting odds of +1600 (16/1) with BetOnline.
  • Top 10 Finish Betting Picks (all the odds are with BetOnline, who, of all the USA sportsbooks, are consistently longest on most golfers in these top 10 markets): Finau (+175), Sungjae Im (+240), Tom Hoge (+425) and Sahith Theegala (+475).