U.S. Open Betting Strategy: Why ‘Over’ Is The Props Play For Golf’s Toughest Test

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The 122nd U.S. Open begins this week in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The tournament features the best players in the world, on one of the best courses in the world, and is expected to be the most difficult test of golf in the world.

A stark contrast from the recent mediocrity of the LIV Golf Series in London.

The stunning architecture and pristine course conditions of The Country Club takes center stage this week. The USGA has selected 18 of the Club’s 27 holes to create a unique combination and brutal test for the world’s best. Known for its small greens, heavy rough, strong winds, and rich history, Brookline should shine this week.

And for us golf fans? We can look forward to watching the top golfers in the world struggle mightily. While the best player of the week will hoist the trophy, a number of top-ranked players will end up shooting a few rounds in the 80s like us mere mortals. Fantastic fun! Far more interesting than a typical birdie-fest you might find at a regular tour stop.

Also read: U.S. Open Betting Picks

U.S. Open Champions

Over the past few years, the U.S. Open champions have each checked similar boxes. The winner of this tournament has been a guy who bombs drives off the tee, muscles approach shots out of the thick rough, and simply overpowers the course rather than outsmarting it.

Rahm. Koepka. DeChambeau. Woodland. DJ. Big, strong players. Jocks. The best of the best.

Surprisingly, none of these guys have ever really kicked the course in its teeth en route to the championship. The path to victory at the U.S. Open is simple. Hang on for dear life and let the other 155 golfers in the field play worse.

And that’s on purpose. The USGA works hard to promote the idea the U.S. Open is the hardest test in the world of golf. The thickest rough. The narrowest fairways. The most unfair pin locations.

That’s all by design from the USGA.

Report: How sharp bettors are playing U.S. Open

U.S. Open Betting Strategy

With a course specifically engineered to play as the most difficult in the world, there is value to be had by using this knowledge to our advantage.

Here’s a U.S. Open betting strategy to consider this week for what should be a brutal test of golf.

Winning Score – Over 275

Do a quick scan over the past 20 years of U.S. Opens. There have only been a handful of players with winning scores significantly lower than 275.

  • Rory McIlroy shot 268 at Congressional in 2011. A U.S. Open record.
  • Brooks Koepka shot 272 at Erin Hills in 2017.
  • Gary Woodland shot 271 at Pebble Beach in 2019.

What did those tournaments have in common? Anyone?

Reachable Par 5s.

The U.S. Opens competed at Congressional and Pebble Beach each had three reachable Par 5s, while Erin Hills had four of ‘em. The winners torched these holes and simply tried to survive the rest of the course.

No such luck at Brookline.

The Country Club features only two par 5s, with the 14th hole stretching out over 600 yards. In what is a true three-shot Par 5, this hole will play uphill AND into the wind. Unless they hit the drive of their life, players will be forced to lay up. What’s more, some guys might be forced to lay up onto the lower-tiered fairway and face a blind, uphill approach in the 175-yard range for their third shots to a sloped green.

This might be the hardest Par 5 these players will face all year. Grab the ‘over’.

Cut Line – 145

With all the wonderful insight provided above, I have to double down and grab ‘over’ 145 on the cut line as well. Golf is hard. And the U.S. Open is meant to be the hardest of hard. The course is groomed to be difficult.

Bad enough that errant tee shots will be punished with nasty rough, a missed green might be worse. With the majority of these tiny Brookline greens sloped severely to one side or the other, players who short-side themselves with their approach might not be able to hold the greens with their thirds. It could be a maddening week for some, and impatience will not be tolerated.

This is a monster number for a cut line, but Brookline is a monster course. I have to think a +6, 146 cut line is in play this week. Plug your nose and make the wager.

Individual Round Scores

My favorite angle to play during major championship weeks is the ‘over’ on individual round scores. If you find a sportsbook that offers these bets, look for players to fade, grab their ‘overs’, and be confident you’re getting good value.

The difference between a good shot and a bad shot at Brookline will be inches. And if someone goes out and plays perfectly? They MIGHT fire under par. But that won’t be the norm. Players will struggle this week. Keep an eye open and tag me (@jimbetsports) if you find a good number!

Sports Betting Strategy

In betting the overs this week, we’ll be fading the betting public.

Since it’s a major championship, sportsbooks will be attracting a lot more action on the U.S. Open than a regular tour stop. Recreational bettors love rooting for birdies. They love rooting for low scores and record-breaking performances. Sportsbooks know this and will set these lines at least a stroke, maybe two, lower than the true odds to account for this action imbalance. That alone is enough reason to pound the ‘over’ bets this week.

A dream scenario? Finding a popular golfer near the top of the Official World Golf Rankings who is struggling. Golf is hard, and everyone has tough weeks. These guys, because of their popularity, will attract a lot of action, and the ‘over’ on their individual round scores might even have plus-money odds.

More U.S. Open betting: Additional props to consider

Final Thoughts

Just because we found a good angle doesn’t mean these are locks! Use common sense and bankroll management when placing your bets. Understanding WHY you’re placing a bet is just as important as WHAT you’re betting.

Using the info above, it’s easy to see why betting the ‘overs’ at major championships should be a profitable strategy in the long run.

Good luck out there!

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About the Author

Jim Robinson

Having spent the majority of his career as a live entertainer, Jim Robinson recently transitioned into the world of sports media as both a writer and content creator. He has more than fifteen years experience as a sports bettor, poker player, and card sharp. He is proficient in all forms of betting, in-game wagering and prognostication but his expertise is the PGA Tour and live-golf betting. He is based in Ontario, Canada.

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