GamblingMay 20, 2019

Brooks Koepka opens as big favorite to win U.S. Open over Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods—before line moves

Rob Carr

After winning a fourth major in eight tries at Bethpage Black, it's no surprise that Brooks Koepka opened as the betting favorite ahead of next month's U.S. Open. How much respect he initially got from oddsmakers, though, was eye-opening. So much so that there's already been a lot of movement at one Vegas sportsbook.

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Around the time Koepka made the turn during Sunday's final round of the 2019 PGA Championship, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook's Jeff Sherman installed the new World No. 1 at 5-to-1 odds to win at Pebble Beach. To put that in perspective, Koepka entered last week as a co-favorite with Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods at 10-to-1 odds. After beating them—and everyone else—at Bethpage Black, though, Koepka opened up a nice gap on those two with Sherman listing DJ and Woods at 8/1 and 12/1, respectively. But in the 24 hours since, that gap has tightened over Johnson, much like Koepka's lead over his buddy on Sunday before holding on for a two-shot win.

By Monday morning, Sherman had downgraded Koepka to 6/1, and by Monday afternoon, Johnson had moved to 7/1. Woods, despite his historic 15-shot win at Pebble Beach in 2000 and his Masters victory in April, has moved the other way to 14/1.

Here's a more complete rundown of the latest odds from Sherman, including Phil Mickelson at 30-to-1 to finally win a first U.S. Open and complete the career Grand Slam:

With the win, Koepka also replaced Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking, but it's not crazy for gamblers to give DJ the best chance to win the year's third major. Aside from finishing runner-up at the first two, Johnson has a stellar track record at Pebble Beach with two wins and two runner-ups, plus, he was also the 54-hole leader there the last time it hosted the U.S. Open in 2010. Koepka finished T-8 at the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, his only competitive appearance at the famed course.

The 2019 U.S. Open will be held June 13-16.

PODCAST: Golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman on setting lines at major championships