The 117th United States Open, the second major championship of the year, tees off Thursday morning at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. It’s the first time that course has hosted a PGA Tour event. Let’s break down some prop options.
Not that it’s ever easy to handicap golf – I never recommend betting solely on a guy to win in a 156-player field but usually go with Top 10 props – but the 117th U.S. Open will be even tougher because no one is sure what to expect at Erin Hills in Wisconsin when the tournament begins Thursday morning. It’s the first time this course, which was essentially built to host a U.S. Open, has hosted a PGA Tour event. It’s also a links-style course with barely any trees and no water. The fairways are massive.
The main defenses at Erin Hills will be the fescue rough, the greens and potentially the wind. If it’s not windy, guys could shoot double digits under par. The U.S. Open winner has finished at least 10-under-par only a couple times in history. It last happened in 2011 when Rory McIlroy was 16-under at Congressional.
If you are looking for an advantage to handicap this week’s event, I would go back and look how guys fared at Chambers Bay in 2015, another links-style course that hosted an event for the first time. It was also the only U.S. Open course longer than the 7,693-yard Erin Hills. Jordan Spieth won that year, although Dustin Johnson should have. He blew it on the 72nd hole. DJ of course bounced back to win last year at Oakmont, which couldn’t be more different than Erin Hills.
Brady Kannon provided an overall preview of the U.S. Open here at SBR. I’ll focus on some interesting props at various of SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
The ‘over/under’ for the winning score is 279.5 on this par 72, the first par 72 at this tournament since 1992 at Pebble Beach. To stay ‘under’ the 279.5 number, the winner would have to finish 9-under or worse. Normally, that’s a lock. The U.S. Open champion has been worse than 9-under all but three times this century. I’d go ‘under’ there are -130 as wind is in the forecast for the greater Milwaukee area.
That the winner comes from the USA is a +110 favorite, with a European at +185 and rest of the world at +250. I do recommend an American there because you get Johnson, Spieth, Rickie Fowler (I really like him this week), Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson, to name a few. I can see any of them winning. I might like Europe more if McIlroy wasn’t coming off an injured rib. He is likely to be rusty as he hasn’t played since the Players Championship. The only “rest of the world” guys I like are Jason Day, Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama.
Will there be a playoff? No is -450 and yes +325. The U.S. Open is the only event in golf with an 18-hole Monday playoff. Rather remarkably, it hasn’t happened since Tiger Woods won his last major in 2008 by beating Rocco Mediate in 19 holes at Torrey Pines. Still, +325 seems like great value.
How about a wire-to-wire winner? No is -2000 with yes at +1000. I can’t recommend that with it having happened just seven times, last by German Martin Kaymer – who is grouped with Johnson and Spieth the first two rounds – in 2014.Talk US Open Golf In Our Betting Forum