Weekly PGA Tour Betting Preview – The 2018 U.S. Open
Published on June 12, 2018
It’s finally here – the week we have all been waiting for!
The United States Open is upon us, and the players have been getting a look at Shinnecock Hills. While the competitors have been busy scouting the course and preparing for Thursday morning, I have been busy scouring the betting sheets.
All I can say is that I am oozing with anticipation and excitement, because there’s a lot on the table.
The floodgates have been opened, folks. The betting window is ajar. The online sportsbooks aren’t messing around this week, and they aren’t taking things lightly, especially Bovada.lv.
Those of you who like options and enjoy lots of props and matchups are going to love what Bovada is offering for the 2018 U.S. Open.
There is so much to get to that I do not want to spend too much time previewing the tournament or talking about the host venue. If you need to get your feet wet for what’s at stake and want an in-depth guide to Shinnecock Hills, don’t worry.
The 2018 U.S. Open preview I prepared last week sets the stage for what’s in store at the private oasis in Southampton. There are plenty of storylines and lots of big names who seem to be ready to contend.
But the point of this blog is to simply point out the value that is staring us in the face.
I’m not trying to be flashy, and I’m not trying to be abnormally bold. I’m just trying to make the weekend even more exciting than it promises to be by padding my wallet in the process.
Thanks to this being the year’s second major championship, it’s not just a couple props and a few matchups that we have to choose from. Sifting through the plethora of wagering options at Bovada takes some energy, but I found it well worth my time.
Without any further ado, here are the bets that are appealing to me. More than piquing my interest, I am locked and loaded. I’m ready to make some money.
In my eyes, this bet does more than provide value. This is an “all systems go” type of wager, so go ahead and let loose and bet confidently. When I initially saw this price, it seemed a bit off.
Once I checked some of the other top betting sites and saw Casey listed at +140 to finish in the top 20, I knew this +185 number was something I had to take advantage of.
I mean, I guess Bovada is letting recency bias get in the way here. Apparently because Paul hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event over the past month, they are just assuming the casual bettor won’t be pressing too hard on the 40-year-old Englishman.
But beg my pardon and allow me to intervene and bring you up to speed on what Mr. Casey has been up to. He has made 11 starts on the PGA Tour this season and has finished in the top 19 a remarkable 9 times.
How’s that for value on a top-20 bet? This includes a win at the Valspar Championship in March and a 5th-place finish in his most recent start at the Quail Hollow Club just 4 weeks ago.
It’s not like Paul has just been sitting on his sofa at his Scottsdale residence just sipping wine and watching Netflix over the past month.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure the former ASU Sun Devil and his lovely wife Pollyanna have cracked open a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and enjoyed Paul’s time away from the links, but it hasn’t been all fun and games.
In fact, Casey recently competed in the European Tour’s BMW Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in England. He quietly shot four rounds of par or better and finished at seven under, in a tie for 20th.
This was a home game for Paul, as his other dwelling is in Weybridge, just a 10- or 15-minute drive from Wentworth.
One thing I know for sure is that Shinnecock Hills demands consistent ball striking. Another thing I know is that Paul Casey is in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in both strokes gained off-the-tee and strokes gained on approaches-to-the-green.
Go ahead and place this wager, because at +185, this is about as valuable as a prop bet can get.
Someone is going to have to explain to me why Webb Simpson is +250 to crack the top 20 this week. I would have assumed he was around +170 or +180, so when I see +250, I am licking my chops.
In 15 starts this year, Webb already has logged 8 top 20s. The model of consistency has been playing extremely steady all year long, and I don’t expect it to let up as the summer heats up.
We all remember watching Simpson dominate THE PLAYERS Championship last month, winning at TPC Sawgrass in incredibly impressive fashion. But it’s not like Webby wasn’t already playing stellar golf this season aside from that. For crying out loud, the dude made $3.43 million before we even turned the calendar to June!
One thing that is for certain at U.S. Opens is that players are bound to miss greens and will need to get the ball up and down to save pars. In that case, I love this bet even more because the 2012 U.S. Open champ leads the PGA Tour in scrambling this season, thanks to an ultra-consistent flat stick.
Here is a guy that less than a month ago defeated the toughest field in professional golf going away, not to mention that he is a past U.S. Open champion. Bovada apparently has 26 names that they believe have a higher chance to finish inside the top 20 than Webb does, but I’m not buying it.
Sergio Garcia was one of the few men in the field that played in the 2004 U.S. Open, the last time it was held at Shinnecock Hills. That week, the Spaniard finished in a tie for 20th.
If he can do that again, we can double our money thanks to Bovada listing him at +200 to finish inside the top 20 this week.
I mean, I get it. Sergio has looked lackluster to say the least ever since his debacle on the 15th hole on Thursday at Augusta, but come on, give the guy a break.
He and his wife just had their first child in mid-March, and you’ll have to excuse the guy if he has new priorities. After all, considering he has raked in over 79 million bucks combined on the PGA and European Tours during his career, he has earned the time away to do whatever he so pleases.
People are going to have their own opinions about the outspoken golfer, but I am not going to ignore the facts.
Sergio has the perfect blend of distance and accuracy off the tee to be able to thrive at the setup this week, and more than that, he’ll have the motivation.
Now with a Green Jacket hanging up in his closet and a wife and baby in the picture, Sergio is clearly going to prioritize his schedule around preparing for the major championships.
I’m a lot less concerned with his play over the past 2 months than the oddsmakers are, so I have no problem firing away at Sergio to finish in the top 20 at this price.
In fact, I think we are getting quite the bargain.
When looking at the odds to finish in the top 20 this week, I noticed that Hideki Matsuyama is +120 and Henrik Stenson is +135. So when I saw that the two players were each -115 against one another in their matchup, I knew I would immediately be getting value with Hideki here.
I think both players’ odds to finish in the top 20 are favorable for golfers of this caliber, but I have a hard time ignoring raw value when the online books make it this obvious.
Believe it or not, as rock-solid as Stenson has been over the past few years, the United States Open hasn’t been a place where he has found tons of success. He finished 27th in 2015 at Chambers Bay and missed the cut last year at Erin Hills.
Officially, Henrik received a “WD” in 2016 at Oakmont, but the truth is, he was +9 with two holes to play in his second round and decided to withdraw. Rather than come back on Saturday morning and play two “meaningless holes” when he wouldn’t be making the cut anyway, Henrik opted to walk away.
Meanwhile, Hideki was the runner-up to Brooks Koepka at this tournament 12 months ago and has been scratching at the door of winning a major championship for quite some time now.
I know Matsuyama has been relatively quiet this year compared to other big names, but that’s okay by me when you take everything into context. Hideki hurt his wrist in Phoenix back in February and took some time to get back to his normal self.
If you have been concerned about his play, take comfort in knowing that he hasn’t shot above 72 in his last 8 rounds on tour. He finished 16th at the AT&T Byron Nelson, and then took a week off.
He then finished 13th at the Memorial and took another week off. Now he has arrived in Long Island, and if I am sensing any sort of pattern here, I think a top 10 is a realistic likelihood for Matsuyama. Which is why…
I just couldn’t help myself, ladies and gentlemen. Plus, Hideki is -130 to finish in the top 20 on Sportsbook.ag. That a huge discrepancy and one that a smart sports bettor doesn’t turn a blind eye to.
When I think of Hideki’s skill set, I know he has the type of game that excels on really tough golf courses where “par” is at a premium. I’d be shocked to see the scores be that low this week and expect pars to move players up the leaderboard as the week progresses.
Given the fact that Matsuyama hasn’t really been in contention to win a golf tournament in quite some time, he hasn’t been in the conversation and won’t be in the forefront of most people’s minds as they make their bets. Personally, I think Hideki is in the perfect spot for us to take advantage of as bettors.
It’s clear that Matsuyama has yet to put it all together, and I understand if you are skeptical about having faith in someone who hasn’t been on his “A-game” thus far this year.
But golf is a funny game, and things can change quickly. His back-to-back top-16 finishes lead me to believe that the 26-year-old is primed to have a solid week in New York.
If you watched the Memorial Tournament at Jack’s Place just a couple weeks ago, you saw these two young guns battling it out down the stretch on Sunday.
Bryson was able to get the better of Patrick that week, and the rest of the field for that matter, as the 24-year-old former SMU Mustang won the tournament in a three-way playoff.
One shot out of that playoff was Patrick Cantlay, who without a doubt let one slip away after shooting 3-over-par on his incoming nine on Sunday. If you know anything about Cantlay and the hardships he has had to overcome, a poor nine holes of golf is the least of my concerns.
When sizing Cantlay up against DeChambeau this week, I understand why the sportsbooks have made Bryson the heavy favorite in this matchup. DeChambeau’s win was on national television and is fresh in the minds of the betting public.
Both of these guys can bomb it, and they both can stripe their irons. The biggest difference I notice when comparing these two individuals is in their demeanor and the way they carry themselves on the course.
Bryson wears his emotions on his sleeve, and he isn’t afraid to let it show. That’s okay sometimes, but over the course of 72 holes at the U.S. Open, I sense some of that wasted energy coming back to bite him.
On the flip side, Cantlay, the former Haskins Award Winner (the honor given to the top college player in the country), is as stoic and indifferent on the golf course as anyone on tour.
You can’t tell if Patrick is five over or five under, and that’s a great attribute to have. His uncanny ability to remain even-keeled even when things aren’t going his way is going to help him persevere through the daunting challenge that is a U.S. Open.
I see DeChambeau as a sort of “hit or miss” type of player, and his finishes indicate that. Add all this up, and it’s enough to make me lean towards Cantlay over DeChambeau in a matchup bet this week. Getting +110 on the wager is just the cherry on top.
Remember, everyone, these lines will be fluctuating at the online sportsbooks quite frequently. From now until that first ball is in the air at 6:45 am local time on Thursday morning, a lot can change, including the prices.
When you spot value and know it’s there, don’t wait around and look for someone to tell you it’s okay.
After shopping lines and doing my homework, I feel confident that these wagers can put us in the winner’s circle of the betting arena come Sunday evening. As for who will conquer Shinnecock Hills and be in the actual winner’s circle this week?
Which man do I think will be the last man standing and will hoist the trophy? That’s the focus of my next blog, as I’ll be posting my pick to win the U.S. Open on my Twitter shortly. I’ll tell you who I predict will win and why, and I won’t even charge you a penny!
Until then, good luck, and enjoy the U.S. Open!