Golf predictions – U.S. Open odds and best bets

Rory Mcilroy at a Charles Schwab Challenge practice round
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Ricky Dimon

Golf· 1 year ago

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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.

The 2020 PGA Tour season is technically over, as the FedEx Cup concluded earlier this month in Atlanta, Ga. Hypothetically, of course, the season is still alive and well. After all, this is no normal year on the PGA Tour—or in any other sport. The coronavirus pandemic postponed two of the four majors, so both the U.S. Open and the Masters are still on the 2020 calendar. The U.S. Open begins on Thursday at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, while the Masters is set for November.

Dustin Johnson heads into the season’s second major as an obvious favorite, having won the Tour Champion in addition to another FedEx Cup Playoffs event (The Northern Trust). He placed second at the BMW Championship as well as the PGA Championship. Yes, his last four results are second, first, second, and first. However, Johnson should get plenty of competition from the likes of Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Rory McIlroy.

Let’s take a look at the best pre-tournament bets heading into Thursday’s opening round, and be sure to check out our golf expert picks page for outright and daily picks.

Schauffele to finish in the top 10 (+175)

Schauffele is one our outright picks to win at +1500 along with PGA Championship winner Morikawa (+1700). Of course, picking Schauffele to finish in the top 10 is a much safer play Yes, that also mean it is less lucrative; but +175 still represents outstanding value on this particular bet. The 26-year-old American was runner-up at the Tour Championship two weeks ago and actually beat everyone else in the field by at least three shots (he only lost because Johnson had a head start at 10-under par as the leader of the FedEx Cup standings). As for Schauffele’s exploits at major championships, he boasts six top-10 performances—all in the past four seasons—plus two other top-20 showings.

Simpson to beat McIlroy (+100)

McIlroy has been in solid but unspectacular form since golf restarted in June. He has not missed a cut, but his finishes are 32nd, 41st, 11th, 32nd, 47th, 33rd, 65th, 12th, and eighth. The Northern Irishman’s wife gave birth to their first child one day after the BMW Championship—good timing since he did not have to withdraw from either that event or the Tour Championship. Needless to say, though, golf has not been his priority of late. As for Webb Simpson, his last three results are third (Wyndham Championship), sixth (The Northern Trust), and 12th (Tour Championship). The sixth-ranked American won the U.S. Open in 2012 and has placed 10th and 16th the past two years.

Hughes to make the cut (-150)

Mackenzie Hughes making the cut appears to be free money. The 29-year-old Canadian hasn’t missed one since the Charles Schwab Challenge, which was the first tournament of the restart back in early June. That is a stretch of nine consecutive cuts made, and he has pretty much been getting better and better with each one. The world No. 58 has finished in the top 14 of all three playoff tournaments—The Northern Trust, the BMW, and the Tour Championship.

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