2021 U.S. Open Betting Picks, Odds, Preview: These 3 Frontrunners Are Worth Backing at Torrey Pines

2021 U.S. Open Betting Picks, Odds, Preview: These 3 Frontrunners Are Worth Backing at Torrey Pines article feature image
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Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM. Pictured: Brooks Koepka.

When placing bets for the U.S. Open this week, it is important to note the type of player or skill set that has triumphed at the past U.S. Opens.

There are a few outliers, but it is almost always top-20 players in the world and/or a golfer who hits the ball long and straight. The combination of an elite player who is excellent off of the tee is an absolute requirement for my betting card this week.

Past champion winning prices are as follows:

YEAR U.S. Open Champion ODDS
2020 Bryson DeChambeau 25-1
2019 Gary Woodland 80-1
2018 Brooks Koepka 25-1
2017 Brooks Koepka 45-1
2016 Dustin Johnson 16-1
2015 Jordan Spieth 9-1
2014 Martin Kaymer 40-1
2013 Justin Rose 28-1
2012 Webb Simpson 80-1
2011 Rory McIlroy 22-1
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When evaluating the betting board this week, I looked for golfers with elite skill sets but odds may have slipped down the board a bit too far. While Jon Rahm is a worthy favorite, steering clear of him enables me to fit three of the top-15 players in the world on my betting card.

Brooks Koepka +1900 ( DraftKings)

This one is pretty simple: Bet Brooks Koepka at major championships.

Yes, he missed the cut last week at Congaree, but missed cuts haven’t meant much in terms of predicting success for Koepka in the past. His second-place finish at last month’s PGA Championship followed two consecutive missed cuts. His win at TPC Scottsdale in February was more of the same.

Throw the stats out the window. Koepka knows the recipe to winning U.S. Opens: He will keep the ball in the fairway, hit greens in regulation and there is a strong chance he will be in the mix one way or another on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy +2100 (DraftKings)

This number on Rory McIlroy approaches “auto bet” territory for me. There is a lot of attention on Rahm this week, and deservedly so, but betting Rory at double the price is a no brainer.

McIlroy comes to Torrey Pines a bit under the radar, which is a rarity for him at a major championship. In three trips to Torrey Pines, Rory has finishes of fifth, third and 16th. Additionally, he has always played well on west coast Poa greens.

A big concern for the four-time major champion over the past year or so has been his less-than-stellar iron play. Rory has been working hard to fix those swing issues and seems to have had a major breakthrough. In his last three starts, McIlroy has been dialed in with his approach game, gaining more than four strokes on the field in each of them.

Surprisingly, he has been slightly above field-average in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, which is usually the strength of his game.

If McIlroy can regain his driving prowess and match it with stellar approach play, watch out.

[Bet Rory McIlroy at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

Viktor Hovland +2800 (PointsBet)

Viktor Hovland has all of the physical tools to be part of golf’s class of “super elites.” While it’s still extremely early in his career, he hasn’t quite had his breakthrough big win on TOUR … yet.

The U.S. Open at Torrey Pines feels like a perfect place for that to change.

In his most recent start at Torrey Pines, Hovland finished tied for second place, although he was well behind the winner, Patrick Reed.

The Norwegian has the ideal skillset to contend at the course: Hitting it long and straight off of the tee. His penchant to post big numbers certainly worries me but if he can limit the damage and avoid huge mistakes, I think he can win his first major championship this week.

[Bet Viktor Hovland at PointsBet.]

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