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2021 U.S. Open Odds: Torrey Pines Picks and Predictions

Deep down in your stomach, everyone knows that the U.S. Open is not only special, but different. It has a beautiful ability to identify the best golfers in the world. While there are many U.S. Open trends that can lead us to the eventual winner, I tend to not hold much stock in them. I will use them as a part of my decision-making process, but just know they are not the be-all and end-all. Let me outline a few of them for you below.

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The first trend that sticks out is that a first-time major winner has lifted the U.S. Open trophy in nine of the past 12 years. The three players who hold the honor of disrupting this trend are Martin Kaymer in 2014, Jordan Spieth in 2015 and Brooks Koepka in 2018.

In addition to said statistic, another one that I find a bit surprising is that an American has held on to the national crown in six straight championships. Kaymer in 2014 was the last non-American to take home the title as he capped off a strong run of European champions.

Once you get past the trends and into the winner’s statistics, some material evidence arises. Driving distance will surely be a hot topic this week, as some will say only bombers will be able to contend. I don’t necessarily agree with this sentiment, but the numbers back them up as the last five U.S. Open champions averaged north of 310 yards off the tee for the week. I will get into other key statistics and more when outlining my best bets for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines below.

There is one name that rises above the rest this year and that is Jon Rahm. Due to current form and his affinity for Torrey Pines, the world No. 3 is the clear-cut betting favorite to win the U.S. Open. At Bovada, he is listed at +1000, with an implied probability to win of 9.09 percent. If successful, a $100 bet on Rahm would net you $1,000 profit at this online golf betting site.

2021 U.S. Open Odds

Odds to Win the U.S. Open
Jon Rahm+1000
Brooks Koepka+1600
Bryson DeChambeau+1600
Dustin Johnson+1600
Jordan Spieth+1600
Rory McIlroy+1800
Xander Schauffele+1800
Collin Morikawa+2200
Justin Thomas+2200
Patrick Cantlay+2500
Viktor Hovland+2500
Patrick Reed+2800
Tony Finau+2800
Hideki Matsuyama+3300
Scottie Scheffler+4000
Tyrrell Hatton+4000
Will Zalatoris+4000
Daniel Berger+5000
Justin Rose+5000
Louis Oosthuizen+5000
Matthew Fitzpatrick+5000
Shane Lowry+5000
Webb Simpson+5000

U.S. Open Betting Odds as of June 14 at Bovada

U.S. Open Picks: How Will Torrey Pines Golf Course Play?

Torrey Pines South in La Jolla, California, holds the honor of playing host to the 121st U.S. Open. Annually the venue for the Farmers Insurance Open, players have plenty of rounds under their belts on this San Diego beauty. Patrick Reed is your defending Farmers champion, having won by five strokes back in January, but a big question coming into this week is just how similar will Torrey play now in June compared to January?

First off, the layout isn’t exactly the same. The par-5 sixth hole will now play as a par 4, stretching out north of 500 yards. This isn’t a surprise as the USGA did the same in the 2008 championship. There will also be an additional tee box that may be utilized on the difficult par-4 15th, pushing the hole out to 513 yards. In total, Torrey Pines South will play as a par 71 and to nearly 7,700 yards, although tee boxes and yardages will vary day by day.

Dumbed down, you can expect your typical U.S. Open setup – tight fairways, long, graduated rough lining said fairways, penalizing rough around the greens, firm and fast (and most likely bumpy) poa annua greens. Unlike last year at Winged Foot, where we saw a historic low in the number of fairways hit, I believe players will be able to keep it in the short grass from off the tee. I will most certainly look into that rare combination of power and accuracy as this week, it holds even more weight. 

U.S. Open Predictions: Will DeChambeau Defend His Title?

That brings us to the defending champion, Bryson DeChambeau. He broke everyone’s mind last year at Winged Foot where he took the bomb and gouge methodology and implemented it perfectly, winning by six strokes over Matthew Wolff.

What is lost on many people is that DeChambeau was actually T-26 in driving accuracy for the week, despite hitting only 23 fairways, a record low for a U.S. Open champion. That statistic goes to show just how difficult hitting fairways was for the entirety of the field and I’m not completely sold that that will be the case at Torrey Pines South.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that DeChambeau just overpowered Winged Foot, because that simply is not true. The defending champion ranked inside the top five in both greens in regulation and scrambling over the four days, a difficult combination for anyone to beat. He will try to do the same at Torrey Pines as he attempts to be the first successful defender since his best friend, Brooks Koepka, did so in 2018.

He arrives to Southern California in solid form, coming off a top-20 finish at the Memorial Tournament. It’ll be interesting to watch just how DeChambeau attempts to attack Torrey Pines South. In all likelihood, he’ll go about things the same way as last year, but surely he must be concerned about his chipping and putting as they appear just a touch off over the last month.

South Course Analysis

As previously mentioned, we have seen our fair share of Torrey Pines South over the years. While it may play differently this week, a bit more difficult than usual, the bones are the same. It’s the same course, relatively the same layout, but now the USGA has their hands all over it.

When looking back to 2008, when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate went into a playoff, the duo finished the 72-hole tournament at 1 under. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar number, potentially a bit lower, since players as a whole have gotten better over the past decade.

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With all of this said, it is a U.S. Open and the same type of player tends to rise to the occasion. Looking at past champions such as Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, it’s hard not to look past their statistical profile. All are bombers, all are solid iron players and all have the potential to have a great week on and around the greens.

That’s really what it’s all about this week. You can deep dive into statistics all you want, but I believe the answer is right in front of us. Based on this and the latest U.S. Open golf odds, these are my U.S. Open Championship best bets.

U.S. Open Expert Picks

Jordan Spieth (+1600 To Win)

All signs point to Jordan Spieth for me this week. I truly believe that the spring resurgence will be capped off with fireworks this week at Torrey Pines. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a flaw in the 2015 U.S. Open champion’s game and despite the lack of strong history at Torrey Pines, he should like his chances coming into this week.

He’s coming off a disappointing runner-up finish to Jason Kokrak at the Charles Schwab and a rather mediocre top-20 at the Memorial Tournament. While the tee-to-green numbers look strong, it’s the way his putter has bounced back over the last couple of weeks that has me excited.

Remember, if not for a poor putting performance at Augusta, he would likely be your Masters champion. The faulty putter followed him to Kiawah Island for the PGA Championship, but I won’t hold it against him as windy conditions and unfamiliar surfaces were difficult to deal with.

He figured out the Ocean Course greens over the weekend and has now gained strokes with the putter in seven of his last 10 rounds. Even though he played poorly in this year’s Farmers, Spieth was still able to get things going in California with a third-place finish at Pebble Beach and a 15th-place finish at Riviera. If he keeps it on the face of the planet from off the tee, which he has been doing, Spieth has a great chance to capture his second U.S. Open title and fourth major championship.

Patrick Cantlay (+2500 To Win)

Truth be told, this selection was the most difficult one to make. In this range, with the likes of Patrick Reed and Tony Finau, who both have phenomenal course history, Cantlay felt almost like the forgotten man. However, the California native has been superb of late and had a real chance to post a number for the leaders to look at a few weeks ago at Kiawah Island.

He’s since won the Memorial Tournament, which may have an asterisk next to it, but the way I look at it, a win is a win as he still had to battle Collin Morikawa tooth and nail to the very end. Like Spieth, he doesn’t hold a great track record at Torrey Pines South, but had strong showings in the state of California this season. Weirdly enough, he and Spieth finished in the same position in back-to-back weeks, with Cantlay also finishing third at Pebble Beach and 15th at Riviera

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In total, this reminds me a lot of 2019 when Cantlay contended at the PGA Championship and won at Muirfield Village leading up to the U.S. Open in California. It’s actually uncanny the similarities two years apart, but I think this year will be different as he finished in a tie for 21st at Pebble Beach that year. He would fit the recent U.S. Open trend of an American first-time major winner and that combined with his recent tee-to-green numbers are enough to put me over the edge.

Daniel Berger (+5000 To Win)

From one American looking for his first major championship to another. Remember how I said I won’t be putting much stock into these trends? Well, trust me, I didn’t plan to, this is just how things shake out sometimes. I always have a difficult time selecting Berger, for some unknown reason.

Maybe because of his unorthodox swing or long putting routine, but I happily will at +5000. It wasn’t all that long ago that Berger was in the final group of the U.S. Open and hopefully he can do some of the same this week at Torrey Pines.

It was a weird Saturday at Shinnecock Hills in the summer of 2018 as Berger teed off his third round well before the leaders. After posting a 4-under 66, he found himself in Sunday’s final pairing. I can’t imagine a wave disparity like that this week. I am sure the USGA won’t lose the course, as Zach Johnson would say. But it’s nice that Berger has that experience under his belt as he eventually finished in a tie for sixth.

Outside of the PGA Championship, the form has been very strong for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion. Since his victory in February, Berger has top-15 finishes at the Players Championship, the RBC Heritage and the AT&T Byron Nelson. He has struggled thus far at the year’s first two majors, but I like him more in a U.S. Open setting, especially given the way he is currently striking his irons.

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