2022 U.S. Open Betting Picks

During the 2022 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week using odds as of Tuesday morning. Here are his thoughts on this week’s U.S. Open.

Note: Nate will tweet out his official bets when they are placed before the event. He also discusses his bets in all sports on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.

About the tournament

The sport of golf has created a lot of headlines over the last few weeks. Most of the news is related to LIV Golf, which is a new golf tour funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. A number of PGA TOUR players have joined the controversial golf league and their first event was played this past weekend in England. The PGA TOUR announced they have suspended players who took part in the first LIV Golf event.

All the twists and turns in this story make this week very interesting for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The four majors are organized by four different governing bodies, so the players suspended by the PGA TOUR are able to play in the U.S. Open. The USGA confirmed their decision last week.

The third major of the year will be played at a par 70 course that plays 7,264 yards and last hosted the U.S. Open in 1988. The USGA is known for setting up their golf course to challenge players throughout the week, so expect a low-scoring event at The Country Club. For research this week, I will look at past U.S. Open results to help guide me even though this event is played at a rotation of courses.

Top of the board

Fresh off his win at the RBC Canadian Open, Rory McIlroy (11/1) tops the oddsboard for the U.S. Open. It was fitting that McIlroy won this past week because of how he has voiced his support of the PGA TOUR through the years, even taking a shot at LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman just moments after shooting a final-round 62. McIlroy would’ve been in play for me this week if he didn’t win the Canadian Open. Now I’m going to pass on him at this number — it’s also hard to win in back-to-back weeks.

Justin Thomas (12/1), Jon Rahm (14/1) and Scottie Scheffler (14/1) tail McIlroy on the oddsboard and create a clear top four in the odds heading into this event. Thomas won the last major at the PGA Championship, Rahm is the defending U.S. Open champion and Scheffler has four wins this year, including the Masters.

The players in this range that interest me the most for outright betting are Will Zalatoris (25/1) and Collin Morikawa (28/1). Zalatoris was a player I bet on at the PGA Championship despite not having a PGA TOUR win to his name. The main reason I bet on Zalatoris was his resume in major championships featured four top-eight finishes in seven appearances going into that PGA Championship. He added another top finish by losing to Thomas in a playoff, allowing me to turn a profit for the weekend. Zalatoris has proven he can play hard courses, as he finished tied for fifth in his last start at the Memorial, which is played at another tough track.

Morikawa is a player I wasn’t thinking of betting on when I started my research for this event, but he has my attention at this number. The drift in Morikawa’s odds are caused by his recent struggles, especially with his putter. That aspect of Morikawa’s game has always been his weakness and there are random weeks where he can find his putting stroke to contend. The 25-year-old has already won two majors in his young career and has two additional top-five finishes, including a tied-for-fourth finish at last year’s U.S. Open. My plan for Morikawa is to wait until Wednesday and hope to get an even better number on him.

Mid-range targets

The headline name in this range is Dustin Johnson, who was the top player to leave the PGA TOUR for LIV Golf. I’m not going to bet Johnson at 40/1, but I’m intrigued to see if his number goes up because people don’t want to bet on a player who left the PGA TOUR for a huge paycheck.

Sungjae Im (40/1) is a standout player in this range, and he has been bet down after being priced at 66/1 a few days ago. While I do regret not getting Im at the better number, I still think you could make a case for betting him at 40/1. He finished tied for eighth in his lone major appearance this year at the Masters. Then he was off the radar when he missed the PGA Championship due to a COVID travel issue in South Korea. He returned to the United States a week later and finished tied for 15th at the Charles Schwab Challenge and then tied for 10th at the Memorial, while having strong strokes gained off the tee and approach numbers.

Tommy Fleetwood (50/1) is a player I haven’t bet recently, but he always catches my eye at the U.S. Open. Fleetwood finished fourth and second in the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens, and quietly finished tied for fifth in this year’s PGA Championship. Fleetwood has consistently gained strokes on approach in 2022 and I’m hoping he can find his past U.S. Open form.

The trio of Cameron Young (50/1), Mito Pereira (66/1) and Davis Riley (66/1) are players I have wrote about this season. Young just fell short of getting into the playoff at the PGA Championship when I backed him at 80/1 last month. Pereira burst onto the scene at the PGA Championship before losing the tournament in heart-breaking fashion on the 72nd hole. Riley is in strong form, and he’s the player I’m most likely to bet on at the U.S. Open out of this bunch.

Longshots

If things in the golf world were normal, I would make a case for recent PGA TOUR defects Bryson DeChambeau (80/1) and Patrick Reed (80/1). Both announced last week they will join LIV Golf for the next event in Portland, Oregon. DeChambeau won the U.S. Open two years ago, but he enters this tournament in terrible form off an injury. Reed won the Masters four years ago and plays his best at tough golf courses. But with possible distractions all week — plus the crowd possibly turning on these players — I will stay away even if the price is appealing.

During the PGA Championship, I regretted not taking a closer look at Pereira at 200/1 pre-tournament odds because he was a player I bet numerous times in 2022, including the week prior at the Bryon Nelson. Instead of betting Pereira at a much shorter number this week, I’m going to instead try to find the next player that could have a breakout like Pereira.

The two players I landed on are Adam Schenk (400/1) and Kurt Kitayama (500/1). I was going to bet on Schenk at last week’s Canadian Open, but he withdrew on Monday night after qualifying for this week’s tournament. Kitayama is a player I have bet a few times this year, and he has two top-three finishes at the Honda Classic and Mexico Open. I don’t expect either player to win, but I don’t want to feel regret if they’re in contention for the weekend.