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    Best bets for the U.S. Open ⛳

    Best bets for the U.S. Open


    The event was previously scheduled for June 18, but we'll witness a U.S. Open in September, as players prepare to tee off at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York. Can Dustin Johnson keep up his hot streak? Is it Phil Mickelson's chance at redemption at age 50? What can we expect from Tiger?

    As Chris "The Bear" Fallica points out, 13 of the past 18 major winners were first-time major winners, and 28 of the past 30 major winners were ranked in the top 30. These are the players from the top 20 who fit the criteria (world rank in parentheses): Jon Rahm (second), Xander Schauffele (seventh), Bryson DeChambeau (ninth), Patrick Cantlay (11th), Daniel Berger (13th), Tyrrell Hatton (14th), Tommy Fleetwood (15th), Tony Finau (16th), Matthew Fitzpatrick (17th), Hideki Matsuyama (18th) and Paul Casey (19th).

    Where does the smart money lie? What bets and props are worth a look?

    Betting experts Doug Kezirian and Fallica, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and fantasy analyst Anita Marks offer their best bets for the tournament.

    Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill unless otherwise noted.

    Bets to win

    Dustin Johnson +850

    Bearman: Let's not try to reinvent the wheel here. Johnson is playing better than anyone else on tour, with two wins and two runners-up in his past four events. Is there value in taking the favorite? That depends. Do you want someone who you know is going to be a factor, regardless of the price? You could wait and see if he is a few shots off after the first round and get a longer price. The knock on DJ has always been "can he finish in a big moment?" given that he has "only" one major win, with 17 top-10s, including five runner-up finishes. To me, he has put that to rest. He just walked to golf's biggest payday and didn't win the PGA Championship last month only because of some great shot-making out of Collin Morikawa. We all know DJ is a tee shot, grounded wedge and bad three-putt away from having four majors, and that is what has caused the doubt, but I expect him to walk away with his second U.S. Open win this weekend.

    Marks: No golfer has been hotter than DJ the past few weeks. He has two wins in his past four tournaments, three wins in his past 10 and two second-place finishes in that span as well.

    Winged Foot is going to be tough, with its tight fairways, ridiculous rough and fast greens. Only the best of the best will be in contention come Sunday, and DJ is the best right now. Length and accuracy off the tee, hitting greens in regulation, mental strength and solid putting will all be needed to win, and Johnson's entire game comes in on-point. I'm going chalk.

    Jon Rahm 10-1

    Kezirian: It's tough to claim value while betting a guy at 10-1, but this particular course is going to play really tough. A score over par could easily win the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. I feel comfortable backing a guy who has been tested this season, winning on two courses that were considered incredibly difficult in the Memorial and the BMW Championship. Plus, with the length more than 7,500 yards, drivers will play a significant role. Rahm ranks fourth this season in shots gained off the tee and third in shots gained tee to green. That accuracy will prove critical to his avoiding the signature rough.

    Rahm 10-1; +100 Top 10

    Fallica: Rahm has won on two of the four toughest tracks in 2020 -- Olympia Fields and Muirfield -- and both victories have come in his past six starts. When the U.S. Open was last played at Winged Foot, it rated as the hardest course that year, at nearly 5-over par. Rahm is one of the few players who can stare down DJ right now, and his weekend scores the past four weeks are 68-66-67-65-66-64-66. A matured Rahm is playing terrific golf and is on the verge of capturing his first major win.

    Xander Schauffele 16-1 to win; +165 Top 10, -150 Top 20

    Bearman The time has come for Schauffele. Believe it or not, this is only Schauffele's 13th major. Of the previous 12, the 26-year-old has six top-10s, of which five are top-5s and two are runners-up. He has won a Tour Championship and a WGC event in his career. The next evolution of his game comes at Winged Foot, with 16-1 odds to bring home the title. Why will he get it done now? Winged Food is one of the hardest courses out there; it was ranked fourth-hardest in terms of fairway hits in 2006 and among the hardest with greens in regulation percentage. Ball-striking -- specifically off the tee and to the green -- will make or break this event. Schauffele is eighth in the important strokes gained off the tee metric, third in strokes gained overall, seventh in tee to green and fifth on tour in scoring average. His recent form is great: top 25 in each of his past eight events and in nine of 10 since the break, runner-up two weeks ago at Tour Championship and a T-10 at last month's PGA Championship, with all four rounds at par or better. All that bodes well for grabbing Xander at 16-1.

    Rory McIlroy 16-1; +175 Top 10

    Fallica: I'm going out on a limb and saying that Rory is in a great spot mentally this week. His personal life is good, he hasn't had this little pressure in a tournament in a while -- he's the sixth choice -- and he enters off his best two events in a long time.

    Tony Finau 30-1; +275 Top 10, +138 Top 20

    Fallica: Rahm might have won at Muirfield and Olympia Fields, but you know who finished fifth and eighth in those two events -- and finished third at the PGA? Finau. He's another guy who is comfortable grinding out pars, and that type of attitude will serve him well this weekend. Since the start of 2018, Finau has six top-10s in majors. The list of players with more is ... well, it's just him and Brooks Koepka, who also has six. Expect Finau to again be in contention Sunday.

    Jason Day 35-1; +150 Top 20

    Fallica: I like Day's high-ball flight this week into what should be very firm, fast greens. Day hasn't played well the past couple of times out, but he finished fourth at both Memorial and the PGA. Plus, his track record at the U.S. Open on these types of courses is pretty good, with five top-10s from 2011 to '16. He has also won and played well on classic Northeast courses, so that's another positive.

    Paul Casey 55-1; +500 Top 10

    Bearman: If not for Morikawa's shot of the year, we might be talking here about Paul Casey as a major champion. Instead, Casey sits with 10 top-10s in 64 career majors. Is it his time? He has had success at Winged Foot before, finishing 15th with a strong Sunday in the 2006 U.S. Open. He's also 15th in strokes gained off the tee and 14th on tour in greens in regulation.

    Prop bets

    Rahm to finish top-5 (+225); Johnson-Rahm to finish 1-2 (85-1 at DraftKings)

    Marks: If Rahm can keep his emotions in check, we're in the money. Rahm has had an amazing season, winning at two of the most difficult venues on tour in the Memorial and the BMW Championship. Rahm has been in the shadow of DJ, but he has top-15 finishes in five of his past six majors. Rahm grinds on the big stage, and this is the big stage.

    Schauffele top-10 (+163)

    Marks: Schauffele is one of the most consistent players on tour and delivers seemingly each week. He heads into Thursday with six top-10s in his 12 career major starts. He always shines at the U.S. Open, no matter how difficult the track, posting three straight top-6 finishes. I'm banking on his being more accurate off the tee -- and he just might finish in the top five.

    Matthew Fitzpatrick top-20 (+200); Fitzpatrick (-125) over Hovland (+100)

    Marks: The U.S .Open is right up Fitzpatrick's alley; he loves tournaments in which the winner is battling to reach par for the course. The more grueling the course, the better Fitzpatrick plays. He has found success at three of the most difficult course on tour in Olympia Fields, Bay Hill and Muirfield Village. He is a magician with his short game, and his putter has been great, helping him produce three top-6 finishes in his past five tournaments.

    Sebastian Munoz top-20 (+650)

    Fallica: Munoz enters off consecutive top-10s, and despite never making a cut in his three career majors, he rebounded nicely in his first U.S. Open two years ago, shooting 71 in the second round after firing an 80 in the first round.

    Will Zalatoris top-40 (+163 at DK)

    Marks: He is the top player on the Korn Ferry Tour at the moment, with 17 straight top-35s. He did not receive his tour card this season because of delays from the pandemic, but you can guarantee that if he had, his name would sound a lot more familiar to you. He is crushing it off the tee this season and is one of the best ball-strikers on his tour. Zalatoris could be a worth a long shot to finish even better than top-40 this week.

    Tiger Woods to miss cut +150

    Fallica: There's nothing about Woods' game since the restart to suggest that he can contend here. He has negative strokes gained off the tee and negative strokes gained putting and would rank in the 140s in terms of driving accuracy (57.2%) if he had enough qualified rounds.

    Patrick Cantlay to miss cut +250

    Fallica: I'm normally very high on Cantlay, but it has been a disappointing year based on what was expected. He is 114th in driving accuracy and has one top-10 since Kapalua. His four opening rounds at the U.S. Open have seen him shoot 73-75-76-75. If he does that Thursday, he likely will have to go really low Friday to hang around. He has never posted a top-20 at the U.S. Open, so this probably isn't the week to expect a breakthrough.

    Patrick Reed (-118) over Patrick Cantlay (-106 at DK)

    Fallica: Reed's short game should keep him around for the weekend, and I'm not sure I can say the same about Cantlay. In Reed's six U.S. Opens, he has missed just one cut and typically posted top-30 finishes.

    Finau (-134) over Rickie Fowler (+105 at DK)

    Fallica: Fowler had one of his least successful seasons on tour this year, missing the cut at the PGA, Honda and Memorial (the Honda and Memorial played as two of the toughest four events this season). He has really struggled with his second shot -- he's 112th in greens in regulation -- and these greens won't be forgiving this week.

    Fitzpatrick (-106) over Justin Rose (-118 at DK)

    Fallica: I'm putting a lot of stock this week into players who played well at the Memorial and BMW. Fitzpatrick did just that, finishing third and sixth in those two events. He seems to love the grind of making pars. Rose has been a great U.S. Open player, but he has been tinkering with his game and equipment this year -- and has missed the cut four of the past six weeks.

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    jjgold's Avatar File Clerk
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    Tough tourney

    Course so hard anything can happen

  3. #3
    navyblue81's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I have a feeling the winner is not one of the faves. Playing long shots and may play a fave over the weekend if they’re up there.

    My plays ($10 on each)
    Schauffele 18-1
    Berger 28-1
    Fleetwood 33-1
    Reed 33-1
    Reavie 150-1

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    lakerboy's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Everyone is on reed.