Last Updated May 17, 2022, 8:12 AM

US Open Betting Preview

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Welcome to US Open week…or better known as the week that USGA takes a historic golf course and finds new and different ways to ruin it.  The only good news this week is that Mike Davis has relinquished his annual butchering of the golf course and turned it over to John Bodenhamer who has run USGA amateur events since 2011. I have to believe John can’t possibly screw up the course set-up anywhere close to what Mike Davis has done the past few years.  Then again, the bar isn’t set very high unfortunately. 

The best news of the week though is that we return to the West Coast meaning we get primetime golf.  I can’t begin to tell you how much this excites me.  Sunday breakfast at the Masters and Saturday night US Open golf at Pebble Beach two months apart is about as good as it gets in my opinion. 

So let’s just assume John is not a complete idiot like Mike Davis and he leaves well enough alone this week.  We get a US Open, as intended, on a historic course with tight fairways, long rough and not a clown’s mouth in site.  Going off that assumption I think this week we are left with one of the strongest leaderboards of the year.  In other words, I think the cream rises to the top this week.  So with no real major surprises how will the best in the world shake out this week?  We break down the top contenders in the field for the 2019 US Open. 

(As always, odds are at the time this was written and will probably change throughout the week)  

Let’s start with who you’re not going to see in "Primetime" this weekend:

Bubba Watson (66/1) – That might as well be 666/1 for a multitude of reasons.  It’s a US Open and Bubba Watson + US Open = you and your money parting ways on Friday afternoon.  Fade Bubba and fade Bubba hard. 

Justin Thomas (20/1) – Rule 1, I don’t bet on injured players.  There is no way he is completely back from his wrist injury.  Dude fired a back-nine 44 on Friday at the Memorial. He certainly has the talent to win this week and I certainly wouldn’t fade him for that reason but the wrist injury and the Memorial performance is too much for me to give him any chance this week. 

Rory McIlroy (12/1) – The runaway victory at the RBC Canadian Open probably should matter, but it doesn’t.  The Canadian Open and the US Open are about as similar as Hamilton, ON and Carmel, CA themselves.  Let’s just forget the fact that he hasn’t won a major in almost five years.  His record at US Opens that weren’t set up like the John Deere Classic is bad, worse, horrible and embarrassing in that recent order.  Coming off the route Rory will still have good odds against some of the top tier players, fade him where there is value. 

Jon Rahm (25/1) – Thick rough, tight fairways and long rounds will require massive patience this week.  A virtue Mr. Rahm simply does not possess.  He has gone MC Hammer in both his US Open starts as a professional.  I don’t know if he will go three for three this week but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he did.  Best case he makes the cut and is never heard from.  
Guys that end up on the fringe:

Justin Rose (16/1) – The two things that have led to Rose’s recent “struggles” are his driver and short game. Yeah, both of those are pretty crucial this week. Throw in an MC at the Masters and a forgettable T-29 at the PGA and I think Rose is lucky to crack the top-20 this week.    

Francesco Molinari (25/1) – After going win-T6-T5 in three straight majors Francesco returned back to earth with a T-48 at the PGA.  A PGA that was basically played as a US Open no less. Throw in a less than impressive record at the US Open, including an MC at the 2010 US Open at Pebble, and I think Francesco is talented enough to play well this week but has too many factors working against him to contend. 

Rickie Fowler (25/1) – Rickie posted a very smooth Sunday 77 at the PGA Championship that dropped him to T-36.  He also posted a Saturday 84 at last year’s US Open.  What does one have to do with the other…as talented as he is, Rickie has always been prone to the big number and the big round.  Neither of those bode well at a true US Open set-up. I think Rickie posts two decent rounds, one really low round and one take you out of contention round.  It all adds up to roughly a top-15 type finish come Sunday.  

Phil Mickelson (27/1) – What a story this would make, Phil FINALLY wins his US Open at historic Pebble Beach, a course he loves and has had great success on, winning five times (including earlier this year). Here’s the problem, this ain’t Hollywood folks. Here in the real world Phil Mickelson doesn’t win US Opens…on any course. In two tries at Pebble Beach as a professional Phil has respectable T-16 and T-4 finishes.  But let’s just pretend we didn’t know Phil was cursed at US Opens and has no chance before it even starts. The reality is, since his win at Pebble Beach back in February he has exactly one top-35 finish in nine starts.  I’m pretty confident he will finish in the top-35 this week, probably even in the top-20, but I certainly don’t expect a top-10 from a guy that last did that at a US Open in 2013. 

Top 10:

Adam Scott (30/1) – Scott has missed the last two US Open cuts, he can’t putt and he hasn’t won on Tour in over three years.  With that said the guy has been playing lights out this year and on a course that is going to put a premium on hitting it straight. I like Adam Scott to at least hang around for a while. I’m afraid he fades a little on the weekend with the putter as he did in the first two majors of the year but still finishes just inside the Top-10. 

Jason Day (25/1) – Jason Day self-diagnosed himself with a “man cold” at last year’s US Open. I don’t even know what that is or why you would ever tell anyone that in the first place. As of now I haven’t seen any news about him coming down with the sniffles or pulling his back trying to kiss his kids so I’m going to (very nervously) assume that Day is an actual grown man this week. Day was on fire early this year before cooling off quite a bit as of late.  However he is returning to a course that he has six top-six finishes in 10 starts. Thrown in five top-10 finishes in eight US Open starts and I think Day sneaks out a top-10 this week. 

Tommy Fleetwood (27/1) – I’m going to continue to ride Fleetwood top-10’s on golf courses that emphasize and reward world class ball-striking. The guy has back to back top-5 finishes in the last two US Opens for a reason.  I don’t know if he cracks the top-5 again this year but he definitely cracks the top-10 for the third straight year. 

Xander Schauffele (28/1) – Just like Fleetwood, you ride her ‘til she bucks you or don’t ride her at all.  We have cashed Xander top-10’s in three of the last five Majors and if not for an out-of-nowhere final round 76 at the PGA last month Xander would have four top-10 in his last five Major starts. He has back-to-back top six finishes in his last two US Open starts as well. Those trends continue this week at Pebble Beach on a course that is tailor-made for this game. I think Xander is a lock for a top-10 with a realistic shot at another top-5 as well. 

Patrick Cantlay (20/1) – For weeks Cantlay was my dark horse to win this week until he went and won the Memorial and slashed his odds in half. Other than Brooks and DJ, Cantlay is the only player to finish in the top 10 in the first two majors of 2019. I think he makes it three for three in 2019 this week at Pebble.  He is playing too good not to contend and winning this week wouldn’t shock me. There is a difference between closing out at Jack’s place and Pebble Beach for a US Open. Cantlay wins a major sooner than later, I just think for this week it’s later. 

Top 5:

Brandt Snedeker (100/1) – My dark horse. If you are looking for the longshot this week look no further than Sneds. He has three top-10’s in his last five US Opens, loves Pebble Beach and has steadily improved each week since his MC hammer at the Masters. It might be a lot to ask of him to get this first Major win this week but I certainly think he will be there come Sunday afternoon. If he ultimately comes up short I don’t think it will be by much.   

Brooks Koepka (6/1) – The guy has teed off in eight Majors in his career and won four of them. That’s just stupid. Brooks winning this week would surprise absolutely no one, myself included. I just absolutely refuse to believe a guy can win back-to-back-to-back US Opens. I mean no way, right?  When we called Brook’s first Major win here at the 2017 US Open he was 40/1 and barely on anyone’s radar (humble brag). A mere 48 months later he is the favorite to win at 6/1 odds. That’s unheard of!  He is a lock for a top-10, a virtual lock for a top-5 and I’m simply not picking him because the thought of him winning three straight US Opens is just something I am unable to comprehend. 

Tiger Woods (10/1) – As long as they play a US Open at Pebble Beach Tiger’s total world domination from 2000 will always be brought up, and for good reason.  What he did there will never be repeated…ever…anywhere.  While the 2019 version of Tiger is a far cry from the 2000 version, Tiger also had a T-4 in the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach and that was fresh off his wife taking a 9-iron to him. Point being, the guy plays well at US Opens held at Pebble Beach and I don’t see this year being any different. The only thing that I could see slowing down Tiger a little this week is the putter and while it might not be much it will be the thin line that separates a top-5 from his 16th Major.     

Jordan Spieth (16/1) – Wait, what?  Yes, I’m drinking the Jordan kool-aid again. Jordan goes as Jordan’s putter goes and lately it’s been on fire again. Spieth is back up to third on tour in strokes gained putting…and the other two guys aren’t going to win this week. Throw in the fact that he has a win at Pebble (2017) and three straight top-10’s, including a T-3 at the PGA, and a confident Spieth is the only one I will bet on. The one thing that will keep him from winning this week is the fact that he hasn’t seriously contended for a major in a while (the PGA wasn’t exactly nerve racking for the B flight) and I think he has to get a fresh one under his belt before he wins again. I think Jordan plays very well this week and seals back-back- back Major top-5’s but comes up just short. 


Dustin Johnson (7/1) – How ironic is it that of the “bash brothers” DJ is the one playing second fiddle these days to Brooks. No one likes being shown up by their “little brother” and I have to believe that DJ has a little extra motivation this week.  On top of which they are playing a course that DJ absolutely loves with two wins and two runner-ups along with the 54-hole lead at the 2010 US Open. Look, no one is more shocked than me that a guy as talented as DJ still only has one Major, but to that point, the guy is simply too talented to not win again, so why not this week, on a course he loves and a Major he absolutely has dominated as of late.  If you consider the 2017 edition closer to the Bob Hope than a US Open then DJ hasn’t finished worse than 4th at a true US Open since 2014.  That trend continues this week as DJ is a lock for another top-5 and I think when the dust settles Sunday afternoon DJ makes up for the 2010 meltdown by winning his second US Open. I hate betting guys that are single digit odds to win because I don’t think that is anywhere close to the true value of winning a PGA Tour event (let alone a Major) but sometimes you have to swallow the odds and just take the best option on the board.  This week all signs point to DJ no matter what the limited return is.  A win is a win and I’ll back DJ every way possible this week.  

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