FOX sports betting analyst
The first thing that strikes you when you look at this year’s betting exchange US Open is the love for Scottie Scheffler.
Scheffler has just +600 to win his second major championship – an insanely low odds in modern golf betting – but his recent dominance is unmissable.
He has finished 12th or better in 16 consecutive PGA events, with two wins and 13 top 10 finishes during that span.
And this is without his putter is on fire.
[RELATED: Chris “The Bear” Fallica’s U.S. Open best bets]
“He finished a shot with no lead at Memorial a few weeks ago and lost about eight and a half shots on the green over the course of four days,” said the assistant sportsbook manager at Circa Sports Jeff Davis said FOX Sports.
“He hits the ball a lot better than anyone else,” Davis explained. “If the guy breaks even, he’s going to be very hard to beat.”
Davis shares Scheffler (+615) almost five dollars less than Jon Rahm (+1095), and if you double Scheffler’s odds, he’s still smaller than Brooks Koepka (+1295) and Rory McIlroy (+1595).
Maybe a little Scheffler insurance isn’t a bad idea.
US OPENING ODDS AT CIRCA SPORTS
Scottie Scheffler +615 (bet $10 and win $71.50 total)
Jon Rahm +1095 (bet $10 and win $119.50 total)
Brooks Koepka +1295 ($10 stake to win $139.50 total)
Rory McIlroy +1595 (bet $10 and win $169.50 total)
Patrick Cantlay +1650 (bet $10 to win $175 total)
Xander Schauffele +1775 ($10 wager to win $187.50 total)
Viktor Hovland +1825 ($10 wager to win $192.50 total)
Jordan Spieth +2750 ($10 wager to win $285 total)
Cam Smith +3100 ($10 wager to win $320 total)
Max Homa +3300 ($10 wager to win $340 total)
Collin Morikawa +3600 ($10 wager to win $370 total)
Tyrrell Hatton +3650 ($10 wager to win $375 total)
Tony Finau +3800 (bet $10 and win $390 total)
Rahm regularly hovers at the top of the list and his recent Augusta National win two months ago is still fresh in the minds of American bettors.
Then there’s Koepka, or “The Switch,” as Davis joked.
“Koepka was very popular at the window,” he reported. “We reached a value of +1295 on Tuesday evening. Basically, let’s not get to 13. There is always interest in Koepka, and he shows up in most majors. I don’t know anyone else who can flip the switch every now and then, just like this guy.
“I would be surprised if he didn’t play well.”
Meanwhile, McIlroy remains a very polarizing figure. I know some people who can’t stop betting Rory while others just can’t stand him. Either way, he’s good for action and yes, the bookies are aware of the narrative.
All this animosity towards LIV doesn’t affect McIlroy’s chances.
“We know all about Rory [emotions]” Davis said.
“What we don’t know is if golfers get another bottle of wine and suddenly it’s after midnight. We’ve all experienced that.
“We have no idea what’s going on in these people’s lives off the golf course. You can’t build any of that into the number. You book it as if it were the same and if something comes out, you adjust.”
“From a narrative point of view, nothing goes into the number.”
As for trending golfers at higher prices, Davis was quick to mention two golfers in Los Angeles Country Club’s 156-player field.
“We’re 75-1 on Si Woo Kim winning this weekend,” Davis said. “The guy has done incredibly well in the last few events. The price will probably be a bit on the low side, but our bettors really support Si Woo.”
“Cam Smith is another guy who’s really popular. He’s another guy who gets popped whenever the number is 33-1 or higher. The mathematicians will tell you his number should be 60- or 70-1, which isn’t necessarily the case.” Even though he’s number 30, he feels short given his current form.”
One market I like to watch in big tournaments is the cut market. Will a golfer make or miss the cut at a given event? You will be richly rewarded if you can circle the right man to face plants on Thursday and Friday.
Heck, Scheffler has +700 or more to miss the cut.
The market for players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is fascinating. Woods is not active this weekend, but Mickelson is. And Circa Lefty deals a total of +20,000 ($10 win $2,000) but he has +145 (bet $10 to win $24.50) to make the weekend.
“Golf is weird,” Davis said. “A player’s position in the standings doesn’t necessarily depend on what their prize might be in matchups or cut props. The best example is a guy like Charles Howell III. He’s been on the tour for over 20 years and won two or three times, but he was a cutting machine.
“Some guys are good enough to break through and be there over the weekend and others are boom or bust. We saw Good Phil and Bad Phil. The difference in what you get from Phil Mickelson is huge.”
“Would you be surprised if he shot 66 or 80 on Thursday?”
Last but not least, everyone loves the total shot.
These are players that you hand out $10 or $20 in the hopes they’ll beat expectations so you’re in a solid position going into Sunday. When you’re not feeling the real markets, you can keep an eye on exotic opportunities.
“The guy that seems to have been forgotten is Mito Pereira,” Davis assessed. “Personally, I’m betting about 175:1 earlier this week. He seems to be showing himself in these tournaments and staying the course. He hasn’t really done anything that might make it seem like he can’t play big on this stage and his price tag just isn’t worthy of how good he can be.
“Will he win? Probably not. But the low to mid 3 digit numbers are wrong. He’s better than a lot of people priced 75 to 100:1.”
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He will probably compete against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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