U.S. Open odds, predictions: Four strong derivative plays


Having shared our key betting stats and statistical modeling strategy, we can now begin sharing some bets for the 2022 U.S. Open.

We’ll begin as always with our favorite derivative selections for the week’s event at The Country Club. Although past weeks have seen a diversification in terms of the derivative markets, this week I’m choosing to focus on one entire market — the top-20 selections.

The reasoning — my modeling output saw a fair amount of value on mid-tier futures options that, in my opinion, are good derivative plays.

With that in mind, here are my four best derivative bets for the U.S. Open. All odds are reflective at time of writing and are subject to movement.

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Best Bet #1 – Shane Lowry Top-20 Finish (+120)

Odds via BetMGM

Save for two top-10 finishes at the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Opens, recent results have not been kind to Lowry at this particular major.

In his last five appearances at the U.S. Open, he’s posted finishes of 46-MC-28-43-65. However, the key finish amongst that bunch is the T28 in 2019 at Pebble Beach, a course with comparable greens to The Country Club.

According to my statistical model, Lowry’s game should fit this track quite well. He’s second overall in my 24-round model and third overall over his last eight qualifying rounds. Across all round projections, Lowry ranks out no worse than 10th in the field.

Shane Lowry of Ireland reacts after making par on the 14th green during the second round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia.
Shane Lowry of Ireland
Getty Images

Just in terms of his best output (the 24-round model), Lowry rates out very highly in all key metrics. He’s ninth in fairways gained, first in good drives gained, third in GIRs gained, seventh in SG: Par 4’s and first in bogey avoidance. Further, he’s a respectable 25th in SG: approach and ranks out 15th in the field in opportunities gained.

Lastly, Lowry has produced strong performances at both majors this year. He was T23 at the PGA Championship and tied for third at the Masters. In fact, Lowry has finished 25th or better in five of his last six major appearances, with last year’s U.S. Open the lone exception.

For all those reasons, take Lowry at +100 or better for a top-20 finish.

Best Bet #2 – Tony Finau Top-20 Finish (+140)

Odds via Fanduel Sportsbook

Finau is coming off a superb week in the great white north and should continue that success this week in Brookline.

Last week, the two-time PGA Tour winner gained 18.1 strokes total on the field, the second-best output of his entire career. That came at a course that required precision drives to narrow fairways and strong approach play, elements that will once again be required at The Country Club.

In terms of the model, there’s less wiggle-room with Finau, but there are still positive signs. He’s 15th in the field across his last eight qualifying rounds and ranks 16th in SG: approach across those eight outings. Plus, he’s 16th in the field in SG: Par 4’s, sixth in opportunities gained and 19th in bogey avoidance.

Tony Finau of the United States plays his shot from the eighth tee during the third day of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 25, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Tony Finau
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The one concern is his ability to find fairways — 87th in fairways gained, 50th in good drives gained — but I’m not overly panicked about that. Over his last 24 rounds on courses with “difficult” fairways to hit, Finau is 14th in strokes-gained: ball striking and 28th in SG: off the tee. Just over his last eight rounds, he’s 16th and 40th, respectively, in those categories.

Plus, Finau has now recorded a top-20 finish in two straight U.S. Opens. Most importantly, Finau was tied for eighth at Winged Foot, the course with the strongest correlation to The Country Club, per datagolf.com.

As a result, I’m willing to back Finau at +120 or better for this market.

Best Bet #3 – Hideki Matsuyama Top-20 Finish (+145)

Odds via Fanduel Sportsbook

The 2021 Masters champion didn’t have a particularly strong showing at the PGA Championship, but now finds himself at a major that’s been kind historically.

Hideki Matsuyama swings during a practice round for the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Hideki Matsuyama swings during a practice round for the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club.

Over his last five starts at the U.S. Open, Matsuyama has posted finishes of 26-17-21-16-2. He’s also gained at least 5.9 strokes on approach and at least five strokes tee-to-green in three straight U.S. Opens.

Matsuyama is also a player that models out well in a number of key metrics. Over his last 12 qualifying rounds (eighth overall in the field), he ranks 30th or better in all but three of 11 individual measures. Most impressively, he’s 10th in the field in SG: Par 4’s, 16th in SG: approach and 21st in GIRs gained.

Further, he’s strong off the tee (27th in good drives gained, 34th in fairways gained), ranks 26th in opportunities gained and 30th in bogey avoidance.

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Lastly, it’s worth noting Matsuyama has taken an extensive break since the PGA Championship that should find him refreshed this week. Before this year’s Masters, Matsuyama took over a month off before finishing T14 in defense of his title.

For all those reasons, back the major winner at +125 or better for this market.

Best Bet #4 – Daniel Berger Top-20 Finish (+160)

Odds via BetMGM

Berger is someone I had pegged a while back in lookahead markets and recent performances have me encouraged.

The four-time PGA Tour winner tied for fifth at the Memorial after tying for 23rd at the Charles Schwab. He’s also rediscovered strong approach form — the former Ryder Cup representative has gained in two straight and three of his last four events.

Daniel Berger hits from a bunker on the fourth hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament.
Daniel Berger hits from a bunker on the fourth hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament.

Plus, much like Matusyama, the U.S. Open has been kind to Berger. In seven career appearances, he’s only missed the cut once and has improved his finishing position in three consecutive appearances. Although his two best finishes — T-7th last year, T-6th in 2018 — came at non-correlative courses, a T-34 at Winged Foot isn’t the worst result.

Not to mention the fact my model rates Berger very well this week. He’s 6th in the field over his last 100 qualifying rounds and only drops to 10th and 12th over his last 24 and 12 rounds, respectively.

In terms of the 24-round projection, Berger does a lot right. He’s 25th or better in the field in all but four measures and a top-16 player in four of those seven. Most notably, Berger is 10th in SG: Par 4’s, 13th in SG: approach, 16th in bogey avoidance and 22nd in fairways gained.

He’s also proven a reliable putter from short distances as Berger ranks 10th in the field between five and 10 feet. As a result, I’m willing to back the American at +145 or better.

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