Home News PGA Tour odds, picks, predictions for Pinehurst – Chicago Tribune

PGA Tour odds, picks, predictions for Pinehurst – Chicago Tribune


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The U.S. Open is back at Pinehurst No. 2 this weekend, with Scottie Scheffler seeking his second major championship win in 2024.

Pinehurst will undoubtedly test every golfer’s limits, so mental toughness, short-term memory and fantastic form will be required to hold the trophy on Sunday.

Scheffler (+300, FanDuel) enters the Open as the overwhelming favorite to win. According to Action Network researcher Evan Abrams, only Tiger Woods had shorter odds for a major in the last 40 years, and Scheffler’s odds for this week’s tournament is the shortest in a major since Woods in 2009 (+180, PGA).

A par-70 for the U.S. Open, Pinehurst measures 7,540 yards, so total driving will be vital to success.

Except for Martin Kaymer’s wire-to-wire victory 11 years ago, winners at Pinehurst since it was restored in 2014 have hovered around 1-under after 72 holes, meaning scrambling and greens in regulation percentage are supremely important statistics, too.

With that said, let’s get into our best bets for the 2024 U.S. Open.

2024 U.S. Open best bets

Scottie Scheffler to win (+333, BetMGM)

Scheffler has been on a run as dominant as we have seen since Woods was in his prime.

The world’s best ball striker, who is coming off his fifth PGA Tour victory at the Memorial. That’s five victories in his last eight starts, including wins at Augusta (The Masters) and TPC Sawgrass (The Players); he even recorded two T-2s at Memorial Park (Houston Open) and Colonial Country Club (Charles Schwab Challenge).

His worst finish came at Valhalla during the PGA Championship, when he finished T-8; however, if you were anywhere with cellular service, you’d recall that Scheffler was arrested that weekend, which would throw anyone off their game.

It might be a cop-out to lean on Scheffler to win the U.S. Open, but that does not change the fact that he is not only the best golfer in the world right now but the best golfer by a sizable margin. Let’s check out some of Scheffler’s tour rankings so far to back that claim quantitatively.

Scheffler ranks first in shots gained, shots gained approach to green, shots gained tee-to-green, greens in regulations percentage (GIR%), proximity to hole, putting average, scoring average, par-4s, birdie average, approaches insides 100 yards, approaches from 100-125 yards, approaches from 150-175 yards, and bogey avoidance.

Further, he’s second in shots gained off the tee, fourth in scrambling and sixth in total driving.

His performance last weekend at Muirfield, a mind-testing course, gives us plenty of confidence in backing him heading into the U.S. Open, even if his short odds don’t give us a ton of value.

Don’t worry, we also have a longshot to balance our card …

Aaron Rai's long iron game should play well at Pinehurst.
Aaron Rai’s long iron game should play well at Pinehurst. (Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Aaron Rai to win (22-1, FanDuel) and top-10 finish (+1200, bet365)

Rai fits the bill of a player who can contend at Pinehurst No. 2.

He ranks second on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation percentage (behind Scheffler), seventh in shots gained approach to green and proximity to hole, ninth in approach from more than 200 yards, 12th in shots gained, 16th in scrambling percentage, 25th in shots gained off the tee and 56th in total driving (ninth in driving accuracy).

Rai’s putting has held him back at times this season, but if he finds himself on the green in regulation on most holes. He will gain plenty of strokes on the field since no one will go super low at Pinehurst. In fact, any finish under par could get a player a U.S. Open win this week

Pinehurst plays long, so Rai’s fantastic long iron game will greatly help him here, as will his scrambling ability and driving accuracy.

He has two top-10 finishes in his past seven starts, making his implied probability of 9.09% finishing in the range a fantastic value.

And if Rai were to get hot with the putter, he could certainly contend on Sunday with the best of the best. A top-10 finish is reasonable, as does sprinkling an outright win at 22-1.

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