2021 U.S. Open Sleeper Picks: The Best Longshot Bets at Torrey Pines
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Chan Kim
The 2021 U.S. Open will get underway on Thursday, June 17 at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Calif.
Jon Rahm is the betting favorite at +1050 to win the tournament, but the top of the board is a real murderers’ row as Bryson DeChambeau (+1500), Dustin Johnson (+1500), Xander Schauffele (+1500), Brooks Koepka (+1900), Jordan Spieth (+1900), Rory McIlroy (+2100), Patrick Cantlay (+2200), Tony Finau (+2200) and Justin Thomas (+2250) are all sitting under +2500.
While the top of the oddsboard is always loaded for majors, that also means you can get some great prices on some terrific players.
Here are our favorite longshot bets and sleeper picks for the 2021 U.S. Open:
Jason Kokrak (+7000)
We can debate whether 70/1 is worthy of “sleeper” categorization, but however you view it, I wanted to list Kokrak here, because I think he’s hugely underpriced.
When he won his long-awaited first career title at Shadow Creek last year, it was a nice story, if not one which was overdue. When he won again last month at Colonial to become just the third player with multiple victories this season, he earned some much deserved attention, but perhaps not enough.
Kokrak is still undervalued in the marketplace, being priced as a player who’s surprisingly won a few titles, rather than one who’s becoming more consistent – and a closer – before our very eyes. Results of T-37 (2016) and T-53 (2017) before two years of failing to make the field, then a T-17 last year not only parallel his development, but mirror how this event has started suiting him better.
Jump on this value while you still can, because it won’t be around much longer.
Chan Kim (+75000)
The one sleeper I’ll be watching this week is Chan Kim, who can be found as high as 750/1 on FanDuel. He’s not going to win but is worth a look in the place bet markets as a top-20 or top-40 play or as a first-round leader if he gets a good tee draw.
Kim is usually one of the longest hitters, if not the longest, in Japan and just blew away his U.S. Open qualifying field in California to get into this event. He was also 23rd in the PGA Championship, where he gained almost six strokes ball striking. He’s got five wins in Japan, including two majors in the Far East, on courses that aren’t really set to cater to the bombers.
The Arizona State alum played a lot of amateur golf on the West Coast, as well. While he’s still unknown over here, he’s the type of player who could pop up and have a good week.
Max Homa (+10000)
While Max Homa has arguably become more well known for his social media presence than his golf at this stage, he has also shown to be quite the player as well. Earlier this year he went through the West Coast Swing with a number of impressive finishes including nabbing his second career TOUR win at the Genesis Invitational.
The field at the Genesis was one of the best non-major fields of the year, showing that he can compete and even win against the best players in the world. He now comes in to the U.S. Open off of a sixth-place finish at the Memorial, and back out to a preferred West Coast course.
Homa showed that when he plays well, he can really run hot, and he may be warming up heading into this week. I expect to see a quality performance from Max and he is simply mispriced as his peak game is class above the other players in this range.
Adam Scott (+9500)
Adam Scott hasn’t been playing his best golf of late, but this number is simply too enticing to resist. Torrey Pines will certainly play a lot different this week for the U.S. Open, but Scott did finish 10th at the Farmers Insurance Open this year and has excellent course history including a second-place finish here in 2019.
At this stage of his career, the Aussie probably isn’t winning any birdie-fests but he can still grind as well as anyone when he is on his game. Scott also putts much better on POA greens and the putter has been a bright spot lately; gaining strokes on the field in six of his past seven events.
If he can get his historically excellent tee to green game going, he has a real chance to contend at Torrey Pines.
Webb Simpson (+5500)
The disrespect for Simspon has gotten out of control. I get that he hasn’t played Torrey much in his career as he usually skips the Farmers every year, however, we’re still talking about the No. 12 player on the planet and former U.S Open winner at 55/1 odds. It’s also not if he’s in bad form, as he’s posted three top-12 finishes in his last four starts.
He ranks 15th in this field in total strokes gained over his past 24 rounds, including 13th in SG: Around-the-Green and 15th in putting. He putts well overall on poa and we know his short game is a major strength. He seems to get penalized by the public for not being the longest off the tee at long courses like Torrey Pines, however, he’s one of the best long iron players on TOUR and knows how to keep the ball in the fairway. I’ll gladly take my chances at this price.
Corey Conners (+7500)
It’s been a frustrating year for Conners bettors. There have been multiple times where I thought my commitment to the cause was finally going to pay off, but the Canadian just couldn’t keep it together on Sunday.
We’ve seen plenty of flashes of the tremendous talent that Conners possesses, none more recent than the PGA Championship where he led the tournament by two strokes after the first round. We all know the deal with him though, he is a ball-striking machine who struggles on and around the greens.
Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 11th in this field in Strokes Gained: Approach and is 13th on TOUR in total driving, which will be a huge asset on a course that demands both length and accuracy off the tee.
From a stats perspective, it all lines up for Conners. However, the same question remains; will he be able to make enough putts to win the tournament? Given how well he has been striking the ball, I’m willing to take one more gamble on the putter at this number.