U.S. Open betting: In-play tournament odds through 36 holes

Andrew Redington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The 36-hole leader of the U.S. Open said this before the tournament, which is all you need to know about betting on golf:

Collin Morikawa is fighting his swing and couldn't be more confused about his ball flight. Essentially, he's just like us. Except when you're a two-time major champion, you just roll with things and ultimately jump atop the leaderboard at The Country Club at Brookline.

According to datagolf.com, Morikawa hasn't completely adapted, as he's 33rd in strokes gained: approach this week. Instead, his putting and short game have led the way, and now he's the favorite heading into Round 3.

U.S. Open odds

PLAYER ODDS
Collin Morikawa +400
Jon Rahm +450
Rory McIlroy +450
Scottie Scheffler +700
Aaron Wise +1400
Joel Dahmen +1600
Sam Burns +2000
Matthew Fitzpatrick +2000
Xander Schauffele +2500
Brian Harman +3300
Brooks Koepka +4000
Hayden Buckley +4000
Justin Thomas +4000
Will Zalatoris +4000
Beau Hossler +4000
Matthew Nesmith +4500
Patrick Rodgers +4500
Davis Riley +5000
Keegan Bradley +5500
Hideki Matsuyama +6500
Adam Hadwin +7500
Dustin Johnson +9500
Nick Hardy +10000
Joaquin Niemann +12500
Jordan Spieth +15000
Justin Rose +15000
Callum Tarren +20000
Mackenzie Hughes +20000
MJ Daffue +20000
Max Homa +20000
Patrick Reed +20000
Seamus Power +20000
Thomas Pieters +20000
Adam Schenk +25000
Marc Leishman +25000
Patrick Cantlay +25000
Bryson DeChambeau +30000
David Lingmerth +30000

*others at 300-1 or longer not listed

If you don't believe Morikawa can sustain his scoring thanks to his putting (+1.65 SGP), then his strong score might be acting as a value enhancer for the other top golfers around him - Rahm and McIlroy. Meanwhile, co-leader Joel Dahmen doesn't have the past results of those around him, and that's reflected in long odds for his 36-hole co-lead.

Of the names you've never heard of that are peppering the leaderboard, Hayden Buckley is playing the best, with a strokes gained: tee to green of +4.36, the best of the tournament after two rounds.

Other quality ball-strikers who are lingering down the leaderboard but are capable of a big move on Saturday: Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley. Neither has gained anything off the tee, but if that part of their game gets better, there could be a trickle-down effect leading to low scores.

With a shift to cooler temperatures and a change in the wind direction from the previous two rounds, different players might have success on the weekend, particularly those who can move the ball both ways and have a great caddie. If those qualifications sound familiar, Justin Thomas, and Jim "Bones" Mackay, saw the same thing at Southern Hills for the PGA Championship.

With the cut as high as it's ever been thanks to those in the top 60, those barely playing the weekend are only eight shots back. That leaves open the possibility for someone to come from off the cutline. Patrick Cantlay (250-1) would be the biggest threat at +3.

Best bets

Scottie Scheffler (7-1)

Scheffler's price has just been halved from the 14-1 he was listed at before the tournament. What's changed in 36 holes is that he now has a head start on the other stars not named Morikawa, Rahm, and McIlroy.

The Masters champ gained six strokes on the field just on his tee-to-green play in the second round, and leads the entire field in strokes gained: approach (+3.04). He's been merely average with the putter, and surprisingly below expectation around the green. Look for that to change over the weekend.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (20-1)

Fitzpatrick is third in the tournament in strokes gained: tee to green, and he hasn't even started putting yet. He's 22nd on the Tour in strokes gained: putting, and 25th in strokes gained: approach. Yet the 2013 U.S. Amateur Champion at Brookline is -0.45 and +0.73 in those categories, respectively.

Brooks Koepka (40-1)

Koepka is one of three golfers to have gained at least a half-stroke on the field in all the strokes gained categories. Five shots back is nothing for someone who fears no one with 36 holes left to play.

These three selections all have one thing in common, they all survived the "late-early wave." Players who teed off late on Thursday and early on Friday averaged two strokes more than the other side of the field. That makes their stats that much more impressive, which bodes well for the weekend.

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

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U.S. Open betting: In-play tournament odds through 36 holes
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