The best betting props for the 2021 U.S. Open
13 years ago, Tiger Woods hobbled onto the 18th green of the 2008 U.S. Open, needing a birdie to take Rocco Mediate to a play-off. Tiger could barely stand. He was only a few months removed from arthroscopic knee surgery and was playing with a stress fracture in his left leg. A week after the tournament he’d be in surgery again to repair his ACL.
Mere mortals wouldn’t have even made it to the hole. Tiger went and birdied it. The rest is history. He birdied the 18th again in the play-off to send it to sudden death, and a par was enough to win Woods his 14th major title.
US Open week at Torrey Pines. Over Under on the number of times I watch the Tiger putt on 18 to force a playoff with Rocco in 2008 has been set at a million…— Jack Benjamin (@JackBenjaminPxP) June 14, 2021
Now the U.S. Open returns to that hollowed South Course. While we see it each year in the Farmers Insurance Open, it is likely to play harder than it does in January. The fairways will be narrower, the rough will be thicker, and the greens will be faster. is now the longest course on the PGA Tour courtesy of an extension in preparation for this event.
Being able to drive it long is going to be more important that being accurate – these fairways are tiny, and everyone is going to find the rough, so you might as well be in the rough as close to the green as possible. If you’re going to win this major, you need to find plenty of greens and be able to scramble superbly.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the four best betting props available for the 2021 U.S. Open.
U.S. Open 2021
Sun, June 20 2021, 1:30 PM
Matchbet: Will Zalatoris to beat Abraham Ancer (-110)
Zalatoris is one of golf’s most exciting young talents, and while it may be a reach to expect him to win at Torrey Pines this week, he can certainly threaten the top of the leaderboard and beat Ancer in this prop.
He ranks 25th on Tour for driving distance, and is seventh for shots gained tee to green, which sets Zalatoris up perfectly for this major. He’s third in shots gained approaching the green, and 14th for greens in regulation. Throw in the fact he is a California boy who was brought up playing on pro annua greens.
Reeled it in for eagle‼️— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 20, 2021
Will Zalatoris had the crowd going wild.pic.twitter.com/tlKlQVdJPH
Zalatoris already has top 10 finishes in the 2020 U.S. Open, 2021 Masters, and 2021 PGA Championship, and was seventh here in the Farmers Insurance Open.
Ancer is accurate off the tee but not long, ranking 155th for distance on Tour. He’s a red-hot scrambler, but not having the length gives a clear edge to Zalatoris.
Matchbet: Jason Kokrak to beat Harris English (-120)
Harris English was fourth in this event at Winged Foot last year, and followed that up with a handful of impressive performances before winning the Tournament of Champions in January. However, he hasn’t posted a top 10 finish since. He ranks 80th for driving distance and 85th for shots gained off the tee, while he’s down in 66th place for greens in regulation.
Kokrak, on the other hand, is a man in form having held off Jordan Spieth three weeks ago to win the Charles Schwab Challenge. That followed a win earlier this season in the CJ Cup as the power-hitting American really found his groove.
Arriving in style.— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) June 7, 2021
Jason Kokrak pulled up to his home club today in the 1946 Dodge Power Wagon he won at the @CSChallengeFW two weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/PDhhTu40wB
Kokrak's form in California is a huge positive, with nine top 25 finishes in his last 16 competitions in the state, and his Torrey Pines form is solid if unspectacular, with four top 30 finishes in five attempts. His major form is a small concern, but he finished in the top 20 in last year’s U.S. Open, and is set up for this event.
Kokrak ranks 22nd for driving distance on Tour and 22nd for shots gained off the tee. He’s also in the top 25 for greens in regulation, and has shown flashes of brilliance with the flat-stick.
Top former Arizona State University Player: Jon Rahm (-120)
I was keen to get Rahm into my betting plan for the tournament, and this prop looks like the best way in. Rahm was at the peak of his powers and in scintillating form as he moved six shots clear of the pack in the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. Unfortunately a failed COVID-19 test meant he had to withdraw when he looked like a certainty to win.
Now he’s back and champing at the bit to get going again.
After two negative test in a 24 hour span and being cleared by health officials, it’s time to get ready for the US Open. Vamos!! pic.twitter.com/RmB7MGl0SA— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) June 12, 2021
Before the Memorial, Rahm had posted four top 10s in six stroke play tournaments, including finishing fifth in the Masters and eighth in the PGA Championship. It’s also only been two months since the birth of his first baby, and I’m a big believer in the Diaper Dimension giving Rahm that extra incentive.
His Torrey Pines form is strong, having won the Farmers Insurance Open here in 2017, and although his U.S. Open form is mixed (23-MC-MC-3-23), this prop will only need him to beat Paul Casey, Phil Mickelson, Matt Jones and Chez Reavie, which looks easily doable.
To Miss the Cut: Cameron Smith (+200)
Aussie Cameron Smith is one of the most likeable players on Tour, but there are a lot of red flags around him this week, and I’m happy to back him to miss the cut. He ranks 99th in driving distance this season and 103rd for greens in regulation. His scrambling is good, but it’s going to have to be excellent to outweigh those negatives at Torrey Pines.
Congratulations to the latest winners on the PGA Tour Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, let's take a look at Cam's impressive swing from down the line!#cameronsmith #golfer #golf pic.twitter.com/4yGejDNA6s— Pacific Golf Academy (@pacificgolfbc) April 26, 2021
Smith finished fourth on debut in the U.S. Open, but since then has finished 59th, missed the cut, 72nd and 38th. He’s missed the cut in three of his four appearances at this course in the Farmers Insurance Open, and on this south course he’s only posted a 70 or lower in five of his 22 rounds.
Since winning the Zurich Classic with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman, Smith has finished 59th in the PGA Championship and then missed the cut in the Memorial Tournament. He’s played six rounds, and not one of them has been under par.