U.S. Open sleepers, value bets, long shots and prop picks for 2024 golf major championship at Pinehurst | Sporting News (2024)

One of the most wonderful times of the year for golf enthusiasts and links bettors alike has arrived: the 124th edition of the U.S. Open tees off Thursday at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Greater Fayetteville, North Carolina. And while Scottie Scheffler outright bets have been hotter than the Pinehurst climate, the Sporting News has sleeper, value, long shot, and player prop bets that trump Scheffler's +330 odds to win.

That's not to say that the world's top-ranked golfer isn't the best bet — nobody in their right mind would completely overlook a player of Scheffler's caliber during such a torrid streak. You'll find a Scheffler bet a little further down below that yields tremendous value. It's just not worth betting a favorite a +330 to win a major championship over 155 other golfers.

Who will win? | PGA Pro's picks |Scheffler vs. the field

Pinehurst No. 2 also ranks as one of the more difficult courses on this year's PGA TOUR, and Scheffler has never played it once in his life. And given all the variables that could come into play for him — blistering heat, one-month-old baby at home, recent arrest, Memorial Tournament championship hangover — this seems like a great opportunity for the sleepers and value plays to come up big.

Let's get right to the Sporting News' sleepers, value bets, and top props for the 124th U.S. Open.

U.S. Open 2024: Sleepers to win

Tony Finau (+5000 on BetMGM)

Finau seems to fly under the radar a bit, as he never seems to get TV time even when he creeps into the top 10 late in tournaments. That was the case last week when he finished T8 at the Memorial Tournament at Jack Nicklaus's complex Muirfield course.

That strong finish marked Finau's third consecutive final placement of T18 or better, and he has eight top-20 finishes on the season. He also finished T2 at the Texas Children's Houston Open and T6 at the Farmer's Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Born in Utah and currently residing in Arizona, Finau handles heat well.

He also handles challenging course conditions and major championship pressure well. He's fourth on the TOUR in Shots Gained: Approach (APP), 16th in proximity to the hole and 21st in greens-in-regulation rate (68.5%). He also drives the ball with power and maintains one of the best birdie rates in the world. Finau's the top sleeper in this field.

MORE: Tee times/pairings/featured groups | Ranking top 30 in the field

Shane Lowry (+8000 on BetMGM)

Lowry enters this weekend with similar outright odds to Wyndham Clark ahead of his2023 U.S. Open championship. He has also enjoyed a handful of strong starts this season, including a win at the Zurich Classic, a solo third at the Arnold Palmer, and a T6 at the PGA Championship.

The difficult course conditions at Pinehurst #2 also work in Lowry's favor. He ranks 11th on TOUR in both approach and par-4 scoring, and he's a strong and accurate driver when he's on. He can also scramble as well as anyone under pressure, and he has experience and familiarity with hot, humid conditions like the field will likely endure in North Carolina all weekend.

Lowry already has a major to his name, having won the 2019 Open Championship. He has never won the U.S. national championship, but his T2 at Oakhurst in the 2016 U.S. Open affirms that the big moments don't rattle him during majors. He seems like a strong outright sleeper and a very solid top-10 pick at (+500).

Other BetMGM sleepers worth modest-bet consideration: Wyndham Clark (+6600), Sepp Straka (+8000), Keegan Bradley (+8000)

U.S. Open 2024: Best value bets

Collin Morikawa (+1200 without Scottie Scheffler on BetMGM)

It may read like a cop-out, but the only way to bet Morikawa to win this weekend is without Scheffler. The 27-year-old nearly overtook the world No. 1 on the final hole of the Memorial Tournament last weekend, but Scheffler ultimately prevailed by one measly stroke.

Morikawa has been doing just about everything right, as evidenced by his streak of three consecutive finishes of T4 or better. He's the most accurate driver on TOUR, he's an elite putter, and he scrambles and racks up birdies as well as anyone not named Scottie. Considering we're able to remove Scheffler from the equation for just -200 (+1200 as opposed to +1400), it's hard to pass up on the Morikawa value here.

U.S. Open 2024: Highest-value long shot

Mackenzie Hughes (+20000 on BetMGM)

Hughes has three finishes of T7 or better since March: the Valspar, the Wells Fargo, and the Canadian Open. He ranks among the top 13 on TOUR in Shots Gained: Around-the-Green (SG:ARG), putts per round, and scrambling.

That's a trio of skill sets that fare well when Pinehurst is running fast and eating up drives. Don't put the house on a long shot (ever), but consider a lotto-ticket outright bet on Hughes — or even a +160 wager on him finishing among the top 40.

HOW TO WATCH: Full U.S. Open golf schedule and TV broadcasting times

U.S. Open 2024: Top prop bets

Scottie Scheffler to be in the final group of Round 4 (+225 on DraftKings)

It's difficult to put into words how great Scottie Scheffler has been over the past three-plus months. In fact, the Sporting News' betting team published an article specifically highlighting Scheffler vs. this weekend's field and pinpointing his best U.S. Open props. Upon further inspection, this one belongs on the short list. Just look at his finishing positions since the Arnold Palmer on March 10:

  • Arnold Palmer Invitational: First
  • THE PLAYERS Championship: First
  • Texas Children's Houston Open: T2
  • The Master's Tournament: First
  • RBC Heritage: First
  • PGA Championship: T8 (arrested before Round 2)
  • Charles Schwab Challenge: T2
  • The Memorial Tournament: First

Good golly. We're talking Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson territory here at this point. And while Scheffler's +330 odds to win still seem a bit too short to be considered a slam-dunk value, betting him +225 to make the final group of the U.S. Open at least seems like a layup.

Tommy Fleetwood to finish top 20 (+138 on BetMGM)

Fleetwood has quietly enjoyed a strong season, with seven top-26 finishes including a dazzling T3 at the Masters. He has finished T21 or better in five of his past seven tournaments, and his aggregate score across those seven starts is -4.3 under par. Arguably his three best performances during that span came in warm climates:

  • -4 for T3 at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia
  • -8 for T7 at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, Texas
  • -9 for T26 at the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky

From the looks of it, Fleetwood is fine with a little heat. He also finished T5 at last year's U.S. Open at the Los Angeles Country Club, and he won this year's Dubai Invitational. That's a pretty good sample size of warm-weather performances!

Fleetwood is also a hell of a scrambler, a maestro of bogey avoidance, and a par-4 scoring savant (he ranks among the top 10 on TOUR in all three categories). With seven top-five finishes in major championships — including three different U.S. Opens — Fleetwood always seems to take people by surprise on the biggest stages. Stop sleeping on this man!

BUY NOW: Tickets to the U.S. Open | Tickets to the British Open

ChristiaanBezuidenhout to finish as the top African (+175 on DraftKings)

Bezuidenhout's name never gets easier to type, but his game seems to keep getting better and better. The 30-year-old South African has finished T28 or better in seven of his past eight PGA tournaments, and he has four top-10 finishes worldwide this year. His most recent performance was his best, a solo fourth in last weekend's Memorial Tournament.

Bezuidenhout has all the qualities bettors should be targeting at Pinehurst, including long-iron accuracy, strong short game, bogey avoidance, and par-4 scoring. It's tempting to bet him +300 to finish top 20, but it feels like more of a sure thing to go the conservative route and back him to card the lowest score out of all the African natives in the field.

U.S. Open sleepers, value bets, long shots and prop picks for 2024 golf major championship at Pinehurst | Sporting News (2024)
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