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U.S. Open Betting Preview: Odds, predictions, recommended wagers

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The 115th playing of the United States Open Championship begins Thursday at Washington's Chambers Bay golf course. The staff at theScore put on their prognosticator hats and offer up three packs of picks with an eye on favorites, longshots, and those in the middle of the pack.

Selection Bottero Bourne Sarson
Favorite Fowler Mickelson D. Johnson
M.O.P. Reed Matsuyama Stenson
Longshot Hoffman Holmes Poulter

Gino Bottero's 3 Pack

Favorite: Rickie Fowler +2000

Throw his performance at the Memorial out the window - Muirfield Village has had his number in recent years. Fowler won The Players last month, and his performances at recent major tournaments have been spot on, finishing inside the top-5 at each last season (T5, T2, T2, T3) and T12 at the Masters this year. The former Oklahoma State Sooner will be making his seventh start at the U.S. Open. Maybe he'll have luck on his side.

Middle of the pack: Patrick Reed +4000

Few players on Tour are as good around the greens as Reed, and that's going to be an important skill this weekend. Reed is one of the few players to have some familiarity with the course, carding a 68 in his U.S. Amateur stroke play round in 2010.

Longshot: Charley Hoffman +8000

Hoffman is having himself a career year. He has eight top-15 finishes this season, including a T2 in his last start. The 38-year-old went 67-68 through 36 holes at the Masters to enter the hunt, then hung around for a ninth-place tie. A strong player tee-to-green, Hoffman has the skillset to tame Chambers Bay.

Justin Bourne's 3 Pack

Favorite: Phil Mickelson +1500

Consider the things that have defined Phil Mickelson's career: creativity and risk-taking. He's finished runner-up at the U.S. Open time after time after time - six times, all told. A player doesn't get that close without being pretty damn good, and Phil is still pretty damn that. He's running out of chances, and the ever-unique Chambers Bay sets up perfectly for him to finally get over the hump. Even at 45 (today!), he's got the distance, he's got the mitts around the greens, and he's got the perfect amount of quirk to his game for a quirky course.

Middle of the pack: Hideki Matsuyama +3000

The 23-year-old Matsuyama is ninth in the FedexCup standings, and currently sits at 14th in the world, so he's not exactly a high-risk pick. He's also finished in the top 10 in half his 16 events this season, including a top-five finish last week, and sits in the top 10 in scrambling, something that's going to be particularly crucial this week - more specifically, playing from the short grass around the greens, which is basically cut to the same length as the actual green. From off the fringe this year, he's gotten up-and-down a perfect 28-of-28 times. That bodes well for his chances at Chambers.

Longshot: J.B. Holmes +8000

If you're seeing a trend in my picks, it's that I'm basically betting against putting (Holmes is ranked 154th, Matsuyama 122nd, Mickelson 47th). But fast or not, this course could play to 7,700 yards, and could be tricky around the greens. Being able to smash the ball into short-iron range could go a long way to leaving yourself some makeable birdies, something that'll be necessary given the potential for bogies at U.S. Opens. Holmes is in the top 10 in driving distance, eagles, and birdie percentage. He may make some less-than-desirable numbers, but should make enough birdies to negate them.

Adam Sarson's 3 Pack

Favorite: Dustin Johnson +1500

Coming into the season, it appeared all four major venues set up well for Johnson. And on a course most of the players are seeing for the first time competitively, rolling with the guy who hits it as far as he does, and also has an underrated short game, sounds like a wise bet.

Middle of the pack: Henrik Stenson +3000

Stenson has been unusually quiet in 2015, with only three top-10 finishes and none since being runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March. But his game is a perfect fit for Chambers, where he won't even need the driver because his 3-wood will run forever down the dry fairways. As usual, he's under the radar.

Longshot: Ian Poulter +8000

Historically, his best performances in majors have happened at the Open Championship and, by all accounts, this week is going to play more like one of those than a U.S. Open. We know he loves the stage and the moment, plus his short game is sublime. The only thing that worries me is that his patience is going to be tested on this layout where bad bounces are more likely than at most courses.

Odds for the field

Player Odds
Rory McIlroy +700
Jordan Spieth +800
Dustin Johnson +1500
Justin Rose +1500
Phil Mickelson +1500
Rickie Fowler +2000
Jason Day +2500
Jim Furyk +3000
Sergio Garcia +3000
Hideki Matsuyama +3000
Adam Scott +3000
Henrik Stenson +3000
Bubba Watson +3000
Billy Horschel +4000
Martin Kaymer +4000
Matt Kuchar  +4000
Patrick Reed +4000
Brandt Snedeker +4000
Jimmy Walker +4000
Keegan Bradley +5000
Brooks Koepka +5000
Ryan Moore +5000
Tiger Woods +5000
Paul Casey +6000
Zach Johnson +6000
Lee Westwood +6000
Jason Dufner +8000
Charley Hoffman +8000
J.B. Holmes +8000
Chris Kirk +8000
Hunter Mahan +8000
Kevin Na +8000
Louis Oosthuizen +8000
Ian Poulter +8000
Webb Simpson +8000
Luke Donald +10000
Bill Haas +10000
Marc Leishman +10000
Graeme McDowell +10000
Francesco Molinari +10000
Ryan Palmer +10000
Gary Woodland +10000
Jamie Donaldson +12500
Russell Henley +12500
Charl Schwartzel +12500
Danny Willett +12500
Victor Dubuisson +15000
Ernie Els +15000
Branden Grace +15000
Shane Lowry +15000
John Senden +15000
Brendon Todd +15000
Angel Cabrera +20000
Miguel Angel Jimenez +20000
Geoff Ogilvy +20000
Cameron Tringale +20000
Bernd Wiesberger +20000
Lucas Glover +25000
Morgan Hoffmann +25000
Thongchai Jaidee +25000
Joost Luiten +25000
Ben Martin +25000
Erik Compton +30000
Matt Every +30000
Stephen Gallacher +30000
Anirban Lahiri +50000
Darren Clarke +100000
Colin Montgomerie +100000
Ollie Schniederjans +100000
Bradley Neil +200000
Gunn Yang +200000
Field +1500

(Odds courtesy: Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

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