Sobel: My 10 Favorite U.S. Open Matchup Bets
Adam Scott could end up as the top point scorer on Team International. Credit: John David Mercer, USA Today Sports.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — When examining matchup bets, I typically like to dig beneath the top layer.
Sure, you might be able to choose between Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, or Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Cantlay, but these players are among the favorites because they each have a chance of playing superior golf.
I prefer to delve a little bit below the upper surface for some value-driven head-to-heads.
Let’s get to my 10 favorites for this week’s U.S. Open.
Ian Poulter (-110) over Bubba Watson
The truth is, I like everybody over Bubba this week. (Check out our Best Bets piece for more on this and others).
Shane Lowry (+120) over Paul Casey
Fresh off a runner-up finish last week, Lowry is one of those guys I’ve been liking more and more as the week has progressed.
I don’t know why Casey doesn’t play better on U.S. Open setups, but there’s more than enough evidence to call it a pattern.
Matt Wallace (+130) over Patrick Reed
Following last month’s T-3 at the PGA Championship, Wallace should carry some momentum into this one against Reed, who hasn’t finished inside the top-20 at any tournament since February.
Tyrrell Hatton (-110) over Jimmy Walker
Another smash spot for a European player, as Hatton could win this wager by Friday afternoon. He’s getting very comfortable at majors, while Walker hasn’t been in form for quite some time.
Sam Horsfield (+110) over Shugo Imahira
What the heck, let’s make it five European players to start this list.
Horsfield is a 22-year-old Englishman via the University of Florida who’s ripe with talent. Imahira is a stud in his native Japan, but consistently flames out in bigger events.
Marc Leishman (-110) over Gary Woodland
A short, firm course with some wind is a perfect starting point for a solid Leishman week. Woodland will likely have to dial down from smashing driver all over the place, which negates his biggest advantage.
Rob Oppenheim (-125) over Billy Hurley III
Oppenheim owns a long history at Pebble Beach, which he calls his favorite course in the world.
Meanwhile, Hurley should be commended for consistently qualifying for this event, but he’s MC’d in his last two U.S. Open starts, not to mention his last four starts overall.
Scott Scheffler (-115) over Matt Jones
Remember the name: Scheffler is a stud in the making, a Web.com Tour star who’s already got his PGA Tour card locked up for next year.
This isn’t really a Jones fade, as he’s played well this year, but I think Scheffler can finish in the top-20 this week.
Adam Scott (-115) over Jon Rahm
This one is easy: One of these golfers is in tremendous form and the other one isn’t. Scott finished runner-up in his most recent start, while Rahm has missed two consecutive cuts.
Jordan Spieth (+185) over Rory McIlroy
OK, so I broke my rule with these last two matchups, picking a couple of big boys, but only because I love the value.
I’ve got Spieth at No. 1 on my ranking this week, while something about USGA setups clearly doesn’t agree with McIlroy, who’s curiously MC’d in the last three of ‘em.