GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the U.S. Open

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the U.S. Open based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

In true 2020 fashion, we have a U.S. Open like no other. Perennially held Father's Day weekend, this year's event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is being held this week in Mamaroneck, New York. Cooler temps make this beast even longer than expected, and more time to fine-tune the grisly rough is the last thing the USGA needed. If you polled the field the vast majority would take 72 pars this week, and when conditions are that difficult we almost always see one of the top players come away with the trophy. We'll keep that in mind as we fill out our betting card.

The field is 144 players, about 10 of which are qualifiers that stand little to no chance of competing. That means we can find value in the finishing props for top-20 and top-30 finishers in the midrange, though we'll always want to sprinkle just a bit on the outright.

For more info on Winged Foot Golf Club, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Jon Rahm (+1000) - Back in December, we previewed the season's major championships and pegged Rahm as the man to beat at Winged Foot. It's been a wild nine months since then, but the Spaniard is rightly placed at the top of the market right behind Dustin Johnson (+850). Rahm could have been had at 16/1 back then, but a few brief stints as the world No. 1 have rightly shortened him to the point that he'd have to take up most of your allotment should you choose to invest. But with wins at the Memorial and the BMW Championship -- two of the most difficult scoring environments of the season -- Rahm is worth the price this week.

Xander Schauffele (+1400) - Three top 10s in three U.S. Open appearances says it all for Schauffele. He has a few trends in his favor, as each of the past five U.S. Open winners have been American-born, and of those only Jordan Spieth (+12000) in 2015 had a victory in that season. Schauffele is the only man below 25/1 that checks both of those boxes, and he's been right on the doorstep on a few occasions. He had the best 72 hole score at the TOUR Championship but fell to Johnson thanks to the head start awarded to DJ, so Xander settled for his fifth runner up finish since last winning at Kapalua the first week of 2019. His game has no weakness, and it's only a matter of time before he's a major champion.

Value Spots

Patrick Cantlay (+2700) - Cantlay also checks the boxes above - he is American and has not won this year -- and he also fits a first-timer mini-trend among recent U.S. Open winners. For seven of the last nine golfers to win the U.S. Open, it was their first major championship (Spieth and Koepka's second win are the exceptions). Cantlay is an elite ball-striker and has really made strides with his short game. He's a great talent, but the wins are rare enough that the safer play is plus money for a Top 20 Finish (+120). He only played 12 official PGA events this past season, but he made 11 cuts and finished inside the top 20 in 7 of those.

Jason Day (+3800) - Day's combination of distance off the tee and magic around and on the greens makes him a natural fit for U.S. Open style golf. From 2011 - 2016 he posted five top 10s in six years. His game has been up and down since then, but he found something coming out of the pandemic layoff and racked up four straight top 10s this summer. Day arrives in with just enough inconsistency to be offered at a big number, and enough recent upside to warrant a long look at both his outright number and against really just one other guy for Top Australian (+150).

Long Shots

Sungjae Im (+8000) - Sungjae has more to play for than most. A major championship or Olympic medal would exempt him from military service in his home country of South Korea. He was fantastic to start the season and in the first start coming out of the break at Colonial, but he really struggled the rest of the way with a T9 at the Wyndham and no other finishes inside the top 30 except at the 30-man TOUR Championship. But Im is a grinder and showed he could handle tough conditions when winning the Honda Classic and coming 10th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Bubba Watson (+15000) - Watson certainly has the distance to manage his way around Winged Foot. He is a golfer that has always excelled at specific courses, and his wins have come at courses from which we can draw connections to Winged Foot -- TPC River Highlands is the lone regular scheduled course in the Northeast, Augusta National requires length and magic on the greens, and Riviera, Torrey Pines, and Sheshan International are long, tough courses with strong fields. Even though this will be his first crack at Winged Foot he has some upside at a course where a certain other left handed Masters winner once contended.