Sobel, Sleeze, and Davy: Our Favorite U.S. Open Matchup Props

Sobel, Sleeze, and Davy: Our Favorite U.S. Open Matchup Props article feature image

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood

If you’ve heard the The Action Network Golf Podcast, you know that the man (Sleeze) and the machine (Davy) battle it out with their golf takes. Colin Davy builds a model every week to analyze the best matchup props, whereas Drew Stoltz (aka Sleeze), a former golf pro, relies on his inside-the-ropes knowledge. Often they disagree, but sometimes they don’t. And those times are when you’ll want to pay attention.

This piece will detail Sleeze’s picks and Colin’s data on those. Of course, we had to add our golf expert, Jason Sobel, into the mix as well. Since the start of this article, when Sleeze and Sobel have agreed, they’ve gone 2-1. When Sobel and Colin’s model have agreed, they’ve gone an impressive 11-1. How do their picks align with Davy’s model this week? Check it out …


Sleeze’s Picks

Chesson Hadley (-120) over Daniel Berger

Hadley continues to be a cash cow for me, as he has racked up 11 top-10 finishes in 20 events thus far this season. On a course where ball-striking will be more important than anything else, Hadley ranks sixth in Greens in Regulation (GIR) on tour versus 64th for Berger. On top of that, Berger hasn’t had a top-20 finish since Houston and is coming off a MC in Memphis where he is a two-time champion. His form suggests he is not ready to tackle a course like Shinnecock, while Hadley has quietly put together one of the more consistent seasons of anyone. Hadley has far less uncertainty and makes him the play here. If your book offers the -1.5 stroke line for Hadley, it takes him from -120 to +120, which is a fantastic play.

Davy’s Model: Chesson Hadley (-102) over Daniel Berger

The Verdict: Non-juiced line agrees

Charles Howell III (-140) over Kevin Chappell

The U.S. Open is a place where Kevin Chappell has thrived in previous years due to his driving and iron play. But the Chappell we’ve seen of late does not look like that same player. He has missed five of his past six cuts and has broken 70 only once in the last 14 rounds. He enters this year’s Open coming off three missed cuts in a row, and Shinnecock can challenge players even in great form. Howell, meanwhile, continues to be the same guy he seems to be every season, which is a money-making machine. He has made 18-of-20 cuts this season with four top-10s. His mediocre putter will be muted this week; even great putters have a hard time holing putts at Shinnecock. His ball-striking will give him the advantage he has every week, and it will be exaggerated this week. The consistency of Howell III makes this the pick here.

Davy’s Model: Charles Howell (-142) over Kevin Chappell

The Verdict: Agree


Peter Uihlein (-130) over Jason Dufner

The biggest discrepancy in this matchup is potentially the most important stat going into Shinnecock: hitting greens. Uihlein currently ranks 26th on tour in GIR, whereas Dufner ranks 123rd. Dufner is also coming off back-to-back missed cuts, while Uihlein has looked very sharp of late, finishing in the top 21 in three of his past four starts. Uihlein’s length advantage will also play a big factor this week, assuming he can keep it in the fairway. Current form is a big consideration for me this week, as Shinnecock is a golf course that exposes any weaknesses very quickly. Uihlein has the major advantage here and makes him my pick in this head-to-head.

Davy’s Model: Peter Uihlein (-164) over Jason Dufner

The Verdict: Agree

Tommy Fleetwood (-110) over Patrick Reed

It is clear now that I am Fleetwood’s biggest fanboy, and I think he has the perfect game for a U.S. Open. The best total driver of the ball on the planet according to the stats (he ranks first in total driving), Fleetwood’s ability to hit it both long and straight will make this course much more manageable than it will be for most other players. He ranks a respectable 78th in GIR as well. If you compare those stats with Reed’s, they are not even close: Reed ranks 158th in total driving and 111th in GIR. Reed’s hot putter and the wide fairways explain his success at Augusta, but he should have a much tougher time with a U.S. Open setup, whereas Fleetwood’s game sets up perfectly for a USGA setup. Fleetwood is the play for me once again.

Davy’s Model: Tommy Fleetwood (-133) over Patrick Reed

The Verdict: Agree

Sobel’s Picks

Chun An Yu (-150) over Timothy Wiseman

There’s some great value wayyyy down the board this week, and I’m going to highlight a bunch of it here, starting with the world’s 33rd-ranked amateur against the 1,472nd-ranked amateur. Doesn’t take much more than a quick Google search to understand this one’s a mismatch.

Davy’s Model: No line

The Verdict: N/A


Eric Axley (-160) over Garrett Rank

One of them is a professional golfer; the other is a hockey referee. Don’t get me wrong: I love the story of Rank qualifying for this event. But this is a tough matchup, as Axley has actually found some rejuvenation this year.

Davy’s Model: No line

The Verdict: N/A

Shintaro Ban (+135) over Noah Goodwin

Wait, so you’re saying I can take the first-team All-America selection over the 17-year-old kid — and I’m getting better than even money? Yes, please. Ban will be on the PGA Tour before Goodwin graduates college.

Davy’s Model: No line

The Verdict: N/A

Will Zalatoris (-130) over Tyler Strafaci

Strafaci is a rising junior at Georgia Tech, while Zalatoris was a decorated amateur who’s now a pro and just competed against the world’s best at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. Gimme the experience all week.

Davy’s Model: No line

The Verdict: N/A

Justin Thomas (+110) over Justin Rose

Hey, I couldn’t make every pick from the bottom of the board. JT is getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment here; quite frankly, he shouldn’t be a dog against anyone except (maybe) Dustin Johnson. I’ve got Thomas to win this week, so I guess that means he’ll beat Rose, too.

Davy’s Model: Justin Rose (-114) over Justin Thomas (+114)

The Verdict: Model is about in line with the prop

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