Rating 70+ U.S. Open Golf Matchup Props: The Case for Jason Day over Rickie Fowler
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jason Day
The Action Network golf guru Colin Davy built a U.S. Open-specific model that takes into account all the relevant metrics for a player: Overall strokes per round, adjusted for playing conditions and strength of field, plus player history and weather conditions. That model powers our U.S. Open Mega Guide, which you should definitely check out. And it’s also able to predict what an accurate matchup prop line should be.
Thankfully a ton of sites around the industry have provided us with loads of U.S. Open props to bet. In this piece, I’m looking at more than 70 matchup props. Lines are current as of Tuesday evening.
I’m posting a table at the bottom of the piece with each listed prop, Colin’s predicted line, and the difference between the two. But before that, let me go deeper on eight that really stand out per our data.
Real line: Jason Day (+100) vs. Rickie Fowler (-130)
Model line: Jason Day (-264) vs. Rickie Fowler (+264)
Model pick: Jason Day +100
Former World No. 1 Day has flown a bit under the radar this season despite ridiculously good results. He hasn’t missed a cut in nearly a year, and in 2018 he’s finished in the top 25 in six of his seven events and top five four times. Add that to his elite history at the U.S. Open — he’s finished in the top 10 in four of his past five events — and it’s honestly astounding he’s an underdog to Fowler in this matchup. Colin’s model has him as a huge favorite, and thus this is easily the highest value prop of the week.
Real line: Jordan Spieth (-140) vs. Tiger Woods (+110)
Model line: Jordan Spieth (+174) vs. Tiger Woods (-174)
Model pick: Tiger Woods +110
Spieth is a former U.S. Open winner like Tiger, but he’s just not in good form coming into Shinnecock this week. He missed the cut at his last event (the Memorial) and hasn’t finished inside the top 20 since the Masters. There’s the argument that Spieth cares only about majors at this point, which is probably fair, but this course might be the hardest on tour. His iron play and putting have been suspect, and betting on that to turn around at this track isn’t wise, according to Colin’s model.
Real line: Justin Thomas (-110) vs. Rory McIlroy (-120)
Model line: Justin Thomas (-179) vs. Rory McIlroy (+179)
Model pick: Justin Thomas -110
Justin Thomas hasn’t missed a cut since last July. I mean, the dude hasn’t even been outside of the top 25 since the BMW Championship last September, which includes 13 events. Rory, meanwhile, has been very boom-or-bust over the past year. He certainly has the upside to win this thing, but there’s just no data point that suggests he should be a favorite over JT at this point.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tony Finau
Real line: Tony Finau (-110) vs. Adam Scott (-120)
Model line: Tony Finau (-163) vs. Adam Scott (+163)
Model pick: Tony Finau -110
Scott has the majors pedigree, but Finau has the superior Long-Term Adjusted Round Score. Outside of a tough missed cut last week at the St. Jude Classic, he’s been excellent this season, particularly with his irons. He’s always had the distance — his 310.5-yard Long-Term Driving Distance is one of the strongest marks in the field — and now boasts the all-around game as well. According to Colin’s model, Finau should be a strong favorite in this matchup, and in general his model thinks Finau is very underrated by the betting market.
Real line: Jhonattan Vegas (-110) vs. Jim Furyk (-120)
Model line: Jhonattan Vegas (-159) vs. Jim Furyk (+159)
Model pick: Jhonattan Vegas -110
Furyk is the household name in this matchup, which is probably why he’s a -120 favorite. Vegas, meanwhile, has a superior Long-Term Adjusted Round Score and Recent Adjusted Round Score. In addition, Furyk’s distance off the tee — he’s averaged just 271.1 yards per drive over the past 75 weeks — just won’t cut it at Shinnecock. Vegas is nearly 30 yards longer on average, which gives him a huge advantage and will allow him to play smaller clubs into the greens. Vegas should be a sizable favorite here, so take the value at -110.
Real line: Jason Dufner (-110) vs. Peter Uihlein (-120)
Model line: Jason Dufner (+164) vs. Peter Uihlein (-164)
Model pick: Peter Uihlein -120
Uihlein isn’t a household name and plays a bunch overseas, but he’s the former No. 1 ranked amateur in the world; he’s got the pedigree. He’s in good form right now, having placed in the top five in two of his past four events. Dufner can’t claim the same. He had a nice fifth-place finish at the Players, but he’s missed the cut in five of his other seven events since mid-March. Uihlein is a bit longer off the tee and is hitting his irons better now, too. He’s the bet this week.
Credit: USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bubba Watson
Real line: Bubba Watson (+110) vs. Matt Kuchar (-140)
Model line: Bubba Watson (-129) vs. Matt Kuchar (+129)
Model pick: Bubba Watson +110
This one comes down to course fit at Shinnecock. It’s long at nearly 7,500 yards, and Bubba hits it about 20 yards longer than Kuchar on average. That’s a huge deal. And because of how the greens are set up and the wind that could be a factor, being able to shape a ball in a variety of ways is going to be important this week. Bubba is one of the best on tour in that regard. Kuch is always a safe bet to make a cut, but Colin’s model this week thinks the value is on the plus-money golfer.
Real line: Ian Poulter (-110) vs. Luke List (-120)
Model line: Ian Poulter (+158) vs. Luke List (-158)
Model pick: Luke List -120
List is having a breakout 2018 campaign and has shown high-end upside. He’s always had the distance off the tee — his 311.9-yard Long-Term Driving Distance is one of the best marks in the field — and he’s added better all-around ball-striking this year. He’s hit 69.5% of greens in regulation over his past four events, which means he’s right around Poulter’s level in that regard. Take equal iron play and factor in List’s superior driving, and it’s clear there’s some value in this prop.
There are a ton more exploitable props in the table below, so hop on that. Good luck!