Best three-ball bets for Thursday at the U.S. Open: Schauffele, DeChambeau to start fast

Bryson DeChambeau tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament at TPC Summerlin.
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email

Does it get any better than this time of year in sports? Playoffs are in full swing in the NBA and NHL, MLB teams are deciding if they will be contenders or pretenders, Euro 2020 has been worth the one-year wait, and major championships are taking place left and right in the golf and tennis worlds. No matter that football has not yet begun; there is more than enough to whet the appetite of fans and bettors.

For now we are focusing on one of those aforementioned golf majors. The U.S. Open begins on on Thursday at Torrey Pines, and although a championship can’t be won on the first day it most definitely can be lost. You can’t afford a big number in the opening round if you want to be hoisting the trophy three days later. Let’s take at our best three-ball bets for Thursday as we predict which golfers will get off to fast starts.

Xander Schauffele (+110) over Phil Mickelson and Max Homa

Schauffele finds himself in an intriguing threesome with Mickelson (the reigning PGA Championship winner) and Homa (who won at Riviera in February). At plus money, Schauffele’s value is extremely enticing. The world No. 6 is tied for the second overall favorite at +1500, trailing only Jon Rahm. And why not? Schauffele has placed in the Top 14 in five of his last 10 starts, including a T3 performance at the Masters. He also finished runner-up a few months ago at the Farmers Insurance Open—which is held at none other than Torrey Pines. Meanwhile, Mickelson’s only start since the stunning PGA Championship victory resulted in a missed start at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Homa has missed four of his last six cuts.

Xander Schauffele hits a tee shot at the 2020 Genesis Open.

Bryson DeChambeau (-120) over Hideki Matsuyama and Tyler Strafaci

Speaking of recent winners who haven’t been able to duplicate their success at ensuing tournaments, Matsuyama has understandably struggled since his breakthrough moment at the Masters. In three appearance since then, the 29-year-old from Japan has finished 39th, 23rd, and 62nd. This play is really Matsuyama vs. DeChambeau head-to-head, because Strafaci is a 22-year-old who won the U.S. Amateur in 2020 and recently turned pro. He isn’t quite ready for the big stage. DeChambeau won the U.S. Open last summer by six strokes, blowing away the field with his power. He should be able to leave Matsuyama and Strafaci in his dust on Thursday.

Adam Scott (+138) over Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson

Scott probably isn’t going to win the tournament, but the 40-year-old Aussie is basically a lock to play well. He has made 18 of his last 19 cuts, a stretch that includes a top-10 showing at Torrey Pines in February. Needless to say, Garcia and Watson are not locks to play well. Garcia has missed a ridiculous four of his last five cuts. Watson finished 80th at the PGA Championship and then withdrew during the second round of the Memorial earlier this month. The big-hitting lefty probably can’t keep it the fairway enough to score well at this U.S. Open. Torrey Pines rough is nasty, and Watson will probably be in it a lot.

Want more picks and predictions for the 2021 U.S. Open? Check out all our expert previews below:

Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Predictions. Our outright PGA expert picks go live every Tuesday, so be sure check out our golf picks, best bets, and analysis for the U.S. Open. We will also have our 2021 U.S. Open 3-ball picks and our best golf prop bets for each round of the 2021 U.S. Open.

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