Happy Major week! The US Open is my favorite event of the year and we get another treat this time around, as we head to The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. As we’d expect at a Major championship, players will need to be in control of their golf ball off the tee and complement their strengths on approach with the ability to scramble out of thick rough if they plan to hang around. Below we’ll look at US Open odds and dig in deep for sleeper picks.
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The cliff notes preview to The Country Club would suggest this course emulates many of the US Open setups we’ve seen from the USGA over the last decade. Nevertheless, it relies on the quirky natural topography over sheer distance to challenge the field.
With tiny greens, thick rough, and angled fairways that will bait players into laying up for 175+ yard leaves from off the tee, golfers will need their full bag in sync to score well this week. Since distance is not a pre-requisite, it opens the door for some of the shorter, more precise players in the field more than the usual US Open may. This week, distance is a nice to have, and the ability to hit fairways, hold tight greens, and regularly scramble for pars out of thick rough will be the script to victory.
For a deeper dive into the course, read my full preview. Let’s get to our US Open picks — with a look at longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups. Click on the odds below to bet now while locating in exclusive sign-up bonuses for new users.
US OPEN ODDS: TOP 5 SLEEPER PICKS
When it comes to Majors, it’s usually wise to concentrate exposure to big names at the top of the board in lieu of the longshot bombs. Majors are designed to test a player’s all-around skillsets, expose and exaggerate any shortcomings in a given player’s games.
That has effectively narrowed down the pool of potential winners to a more concentrated list. Although The Country Club appears it will offer the same all around test, the shorter scorecard distance of just over 7,200 yards will open up that player pool of contenders just a bit more.
We can’t simply cross off the players who sacrifice distance to the field, as we normally do at Winged Foot and Torrey Pines. So even though these golfers are longshots, there’s plenty of upside to back a few players beyond triple-digit outright odds.
In regards to DFS, there isn’t much value below the $7K mark on Draft Kings. Hence, it shapes up to be slightly more of a balanced build for my lineup construction this week. Notably, the cut rules in a US Open are just the top 60 and ties, so in a full field of 156 players, you’ll get a huge leg up if you can get all six players through the cut. With plenty of viable options in the $7K range, we should have the flexibility to fit multiple viable $9K+ players in our lineups. Landing on the correct value players will be crucial once again.
Below is a look at my favorite value leverage plays and longshots for the 2022 US Open odds! Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.
Keegan Bradley ($7,500)
I’m a sucker for pain, which makes it much easier for me to stomach Keegan’s recent struggles closing out the Wells Fargo Championship and THE PLAYERS before that. But the point remains he’s gotten himself into contention regularly this season. Even though I’m delusional enough to have gone back for an outright in his chase for his second Major championship in his native New England territory, he also makes for a strong DFS and placement play.
Keegan is a quintessential ball striker and thrives on courses that reward a combination of driving distance and driving accuracy. He’s showcased that consistently over the last three months with four top-10 finishes in his last seven starts.
He joins Jon Rahm, Cameron Young, and Max Homa as the only four players in this week’s field to rank top-30 in both Driving Distance and Driving Accuracy. It’s no coincidence that group is reminiscent of the top of the leaderboard at last month’s Wells Fargo Championship on one of the top comp courses in TPC Potomac.
Keegan is my favorite US Open odds longshot and will be a staple in my DFS lineups — for better or worse.
Russell Henley ($7,300)
Similar to Bradley, I’ll plug my nose with Henley despite his recent struggles closing out the Sony Open and the Wyndham Championship. I’ve drawn the line from betting an outright on Henley in this pressure-packed atmosphere, but he is elite in the areas that matter most to find repeated success at The Country Club: fairways and greens.
Henley ranks No. 5 in the field in terms of SG: APP, complemented by a top-25 rank in Driving Accuracy. He’s TOUR average in terms of Driving Distance, which won’t kill you at The Country Club. What’s most encouraging about Henley’s prospects at a Major venue is the improvement to his short game his.
Ranking No. 12 in SG: ARG, Henley joins Xander Schauffele as the only two players in the field to rate top-25 in Driving Accuracy, SG: APP and SG: ARG.
Given the recent meltdowns we’ve seen from Henley in big moments, we wouldn’t think of him as someone who thrives in the limelight of a Major championship. However, he’s actually had a steady track record at US Opens, finishing inside the top-30 in each of his last three appearances.
That’s highlighted by a T13 at Torrey Pines last year, where in true Henley fashion, he shot himself out of contention on Sunday with a final round score of 76. That said, Henley is a must in the US Open odds market for First Rounder Leader this week, especially since the track suits his game perfectly.
Brian Harman ($7,000)
I’ve been less emotionally invested in Brian Harman, who’s found himself atop the leaderboard regularly but hasn’t inserted himself into the mix on a Sunday.
The top-3 comp courses to The Country Club over the last three months are Muirfield Village, TPC Potomac, and Innisbrook. Harman’s been at his best on those three courses this year, finishing top-20 at each (including top-10s at the Valspar and Wells Fargo Championship).
Harman’s strong performance is not limited to the regular TOUR stops either, as his US Open history stacks up as well as anyone’s in this price range. He’s finished inside the top-40 in each of his last four US Open appearances, including T2 at Erin Hills in 2017.
The US Open event history is encouraging for Harman, considering it may be a long time before he sees another 7,200-yard venue that rewards accuracy over distance — the strength of his game. I’ll be looking his way in the top-20 market this week, and think he’s a viable US Open odds longshot at his steep outright price.
Kevin Na ($7,000)
There’s a lot to like in the low-$7K range of DraftKings Sportsbook this week. Kevin Na carries the most win equity of all of them with four wins in the last four years.
He now enters the 2022 US Open with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, as he’ll set out to disprove the reputation that LIV is simply a home for players who can no longer compete on the weekly grind with the PGA TOUR’s elite.
Before his LIV debut, Na’s form was firing from fairway to green. He gained 7.8 strokes on Approach in his final PGA TOUR start at the Charles Schwab Challenge where he finished T7, which was the 10th best Approach performance of his entire career. From a short game perspective, Na has always held an elite place amongst his peers, as he ranks No. 1 in SG: ARG over the last 100 rounds.
Na’s lack of distance is the greatest concern when backing him on a USGA course setup. Still, The Country Club will mitigate that disadvantage, allowing him to lean into his strength of driving accuracy to position himself for scoring opportunities. If the weather picks up while the scoreboard becomes a scrambling contest, it has a very clear path to hang around the top-20 for his US Open odds.
Keita Nakajima ($6,000)
The top-ranked amateur in the world left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths at The Masters earlier this year, when he shot a 79 on Friday to miss the cut by two strokes and chop low-amateur honors. But he was top-20 after an even-par 72 in his first career round in a Major, which is an encouraging sign that the 21-year-old’s game can stack up with the big boys.
Augusta was not the greatest fit for Nakajima, as he sacrifices distance for precision with both his driver and irons. In a limited sample size, his bias towards shorter courses has shown through with top-40 finishes at the ZOZO Championship and Sony Open. Those were his first two career PGA TOUR starts from him.
Since we last saw Nakajima at the Masters, he’s kept busy on the Japan Tour — with finishes of T7, T32, and T11 in his next those starts. Nakajima’s ceiling may be a top-30 this week, yet he’s built up plenty of pedigree and potential to pay off the minimum price on DraftKings.
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