2023 U.S. Open Odds & Picks: Bet Sahith Theegala, Cameron Smith & Scottie Scheffler
Via Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images. Pictured: Sahith Theegala of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during the first round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 18, 2023 in Rochester, New York.
- Los Angeles Country Club hosts the 2023 U.S. Open for the first time this weekend.
- Our expert breaks down his betting card for the U.S. Open, including outright picks and a top-10 finish bet.
- Find his predictions and analysis below.
The year's third major is already upon us as Los Angeles Country Club hosts the 2023 U.S. Open this weekend. While we often speak and write in hyperbole when talking about professional golf, I can't remember ever being this excited to see a golf course in action. LACC looks spectacular, and based on everything we've heard from the players and from everyone on site, this course is going to live up to the hype.
LACC was originally designed by George C. Thomas and fairly recently went through a restoration led by Gil Hanse and Geoff Shackelford in 2010. The course is a par-70 that measures over 7,400 yards on the scorecard, but the large teeing areas give the USGA the ability to play around with the yardage from day to day.
There are five par-3s on the course, and they could range anywhere from 80 to 290 yards. There are also three par-5s and a drivable par-4 that golfers should take advantage of.
In my opinion, this is the most unique U.S. Open venue that we've seen since Chambers Bay in 2015. While that course didn't receive rave reviews from the players, this one certainly will.
The fairways are wide and feature extreme slopes. Given the firm and fast conditions expected, there will be plenty of rollout on tee shots. Rather than a typical bomb-and-gauge setup, this course requires golfers to think their way around it and shape their shots in order to use the slopes and hills to their advantage.
Distance is going to be an advantage at every course, but it's expected to be negated a bit at LACC. This brings more potential winners into play and makes the event more of a true all-around test of golf.
The greens here come in all shapes and sizes, and many feature steep run-off areas that will repel errant approach shots. Rather than having everyone hack it out of thick rough by the green, golfers can get creative with their short game given the tight lies and undulations on the green.
While we don't have any course history to work with, the 2013 PAC-12 Championship was held here, as was the 2017 Walker Cup. Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa have all played here in competition. We've also heard some locals like Patrick Rodgers and Justin Suh tend to play here often. This might not end up being a factor, but knowing the course should certainly have its benefits this week.
Now, let's get into my favorite bets of the week for the 123rd U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.
2023 U.S. Open Picks
Scottie Scheffler +700 (FanDuel)
I usually like to build an outright card that features five or six golfers, but I don't have that luxury this week since I am starting with Scottie Scheffler. The plan is to use three of my five outright units on Scheffler at +700.
This may sound like an exaggeration, but I assure you that it's not — Scheffler is striking the ball as well as anyone since Tiger Woods in 2006. He has gained 2.78 strokes from tee to green per round this season and has gained an absurd 51 strokes tee to green in his last three events.
He has finished T12 or better in 15 straight events and could easily have five or more wins if his putter would cooperate a little. While that's still a concern, I will take my chances with the best golfer on the planet right now.
Cameron Smith +3000 (FanDuel)
LACC is a magical place, and it wouldn't surprise me if it took a little magic on and around the greens to end up winning this week. Two names came to mind in this regard — Cameron Smith and Jordan Spieth. I bet the former because I like his form better (five straight top-10 finishes), and I like some of his quotes from early in the week.
Smith discussed his past struggles at the U.S. Open and said that LACC sets up much better for him off the tee. He also said that he feels very confident with the driver, which hasn't been the case in a long time.
He's elite on approach, he's rounding into form, and he knows how to close the door when he's in contention. Don't forget, he won THE PLAYERS and The Open Championship last year.
Sahith Theegala Top 10 +800 (FanDuel)
Theegala isn't a player I bet often because he relies so much on his short game. It feels like regression is coming, yet somehow he continues to gain a ton of strokes on and around the green every single week.
His lack of accuracy off the tee shouldn't be as penal at LACC, and he has quietly rattled off top-10 finishes in five of his last 11 starts on the PGA Tour. He's also made the cut in 94% of his starts over the last 14 months, so he has a high floor and should at least give himself an opportunity on the weekend.
Theegala was born in California and went to college at Pepperdine, so he should feel right at home in Los Angeles. I think we are getting a great number on his top 10 at +800.
Enjoy the week and best of luck!
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