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U.S. Open picks 2024: The reason you have to bet Brooks Koepka

June 11, 2024
PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 11: Brooks Koepka of the United States reacts on the 16th green during a practice round prior to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 11, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

The toughest test in golf is upon us, though most believe Scottie Scheffler has already passed it with flying colors. Hard to blame them given how well he's playing in 2024, and how great of a course fit Pinehurst #2 seems to be for his all-around, boring style of golf.

But here's the thing—we still have to play the tournament out, all 72 holes of it. Legitimately anything can happen, particularly at a course like this one, which looks like it will only get harder and harder by the day, literally, with some heat rolling in down south. Scheffler has certainly earned his mega favorite status, but a number of other players are entering this 2024 U.S. Open in fine form and they are here to slay the dragon.

Our betting panel is comprised of a caddie reporting anonymously from the grounds of Pinehurst #2, Pat Mayo of Underdog/Mayo Media Network, Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel, Andy Lack of, your two authors and Keith Stewart, the CEO of Read The Line. Stewart, our newest member of the panel, is our new betting content partner as well.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2024 U.S. Open

U.S. Open picks 2024: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Bryson DeChambeau (20-1, DraftKings) — Picking Bryson seems strange at first glance. But Bryson has always been great at putting from off the greens because he actually finds a formula to factor in the slope in the slowness of the fringes. He’s obviously playing at a high level with his close call at the PGA, and it’s a golf course you can really take advantage of if you have the distance advantage and apex height Bryson does into these devilish greens.

Pat Mayo, Underdog/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Brooks Koepka (22-1, DraftKings) — Although it’s an unconventional course in the rotation, any time there’s a 2 in front of Brooks’ name it must be an auto-fire at any U.S. Open or PGA Championship, even when he’s in poor form. ANDDDDD, Brooks found his game over the three rounds at LIV Houston last weekend. He capped off Sunday with the round of the day (-7) to get himself inside the top 10 for the week. Just because you didn’t know it happened, doesn’t mean it didn’t actually happen.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Collin Morikawa (14-1, FanDuel) — Morikawa is trending up in every area of his game, and his driving accuracy should pay off this week with danger looming off the fairways. Morikawa’s putter is always a discussion point, but his splits from within 15 feet are well above tour average this season. He’s finished T-4, T-5 and T-14 at the last three U.S. Opens, as well.

Keith Stewart, Read The Line: Collin Morikawa (14-1, FanDuel) — I’m going right back in. Collin Morikawa will win the U.S. Open. He just added a runner-up at the Memorial to his already stellar run of starts since the Masters. If you don’t recall, Collin finished third (Masters), ninth, 16th, fourth (PGA), fourth, and second since Augusta. Over the last five starts, he’s gaining an average of 2.5 strokes around-the-green and another 2 with the putter. He felt what it was like to challenge Scottie on Sunday and could have won. He’ll take that confidence into this week and grab major trophy No. 3.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Scottie Scheffler (+333, BetMGM) — This is as complete of an examination as we’ll see. Scottie has all the answers. He’s No. 1 in ball-striking, combining total driving and greens in regulation. He’s one of the game’s best scramblers, when players will inevitably miss the putting surfaces. And his putter is back to being elite. I realize you can get bad bounces at a U.S. Open, but he can overcome those and is worth taking at this extremely low price.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest senior writer: Bryson DeChambeau (20-1, DraftKings) — I’ve gone back and forth on a lot of guys at the top of the board, and every time I keep coming back to Bryson. I think driving distance is going to end up being far more important than people think this week. Major shoutout to Smylie Kaufman who also influenced this pick on Golf Channel Tuesday, saying that DeChambeau’s mega advantage this week will be that he’ll have much shorter clubs into these nightmare-fuel greens. Guys who play it back/more conservatively will have longer clubs with much larger dispersion patterns and thus will miss more greens where the real mental test begins at Pinehurst. As for when he does miss greens, like our caddie said, he’s an elite off-the-green putter. We could be looking at a full Kaymer situation here. Just need Scheffler to get locked up again and I love our chances.

Andy Lack, Run Pure Sports and Inside Golf podcast: Scottie Scheffler (+333, BetMGM) — What more is there to say about Scottie Scheffler that hasn’t already been said? I hate paying this type of price in the outright market, but I’m willing to make an exception for a generational player on a generational course fit. I would argue that Pinehurst accentuates Scheffler’s skill set more than any course he plays on tour this season, including Augusta. I do believe Scheffler is very beatable on certain golf courses that de-emphasize complete skill, but Pinehurst is not the spot to step in front of him. No need to overthink this one.

Past results: The boys officially bagged a major, with our anonymous caddie and Christopher Powers both correctly predicting Xander Schauffele’s PGA Championship victory at 14-1 (and, more importantly, we avoided the dreaded headline curse). That’s CP’s first hit of 2024 and our caddie’s third (!) cash of the year. He leads the way, with Pat Mayo checking in next with two wins (Jake Knapp 40-1 in Mexico; Akshay Bhatia 65-1 at Valero). Stephen Hennessey also cashed on Bhatia at Valero. Not bad, not bad.

U.S. Open picks 2024: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Sam Burns (75-1, FanDuel) — I’m going to stay with my theme of putting being extremely important. Sam combines solid putting with his distance advantage that turns 5-irons into 7- and 8-irons into these small greens.

Mayo: Hideki Matsuyama (40-1, Bet365) — Hideki had only played twice in the past two months: Masters and PGA Championship. He said he was going to play Wells Fargo but anyone who rostered him in Daily Fantasy or took him in a One and Done knows how that ended up. Hideki looked a lot closer to early-season Hideki at the Memorial, though. He got better almost every day, gaining in all four major strokes-gained categories, while gaining on fairways vs the field and only slightly losing in distance. The worry is always his health and whether he’s trying to play through a hidden injury, but the numbers suggest he’s not. If that’s to be believed, Pinehurst is perfect for the player gaining the most strokes on approach per round at U.S. Open’s over the past five years.

Gdula: Matt Fitzpatrick (50-1, FanDuel) — Fitzpatrick’s game is sound all around, and that makes him interesting in most majors. Pinehurst No. 2 will ask a lot of questions for golfers. Fitzpatrick has distance, the ability to hit fairways, and a skilled short game. A 50-1 number is nice for the 2022 US Open champ.

Stewart: Cameron Smith (50-1, DraftKings) — Walking around the course it has become obvious to me that around the green acumen will be paramount to contending. Although Scheffler is a short-game expert, Cameron Smith can convert close scoring opportunities like no other player in the world. I love his comp wins at a wild weather affected Players in 2022 and the Open Championship later that year at St. Andrews. Smith’s savvy around those historic greens caught my attention enough to take him on #2. The landscape here is literally rock hard on a Tuesday. Even the best ball-strikers will miss these greens. If that’s the case, I know Cam can contend.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Tommy Fleetwood (40-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Tommy’s creativity is built for Pinehurst. We saw it on display at the Masters this year, finishing T-3. He’s top 10 in SG/around the green this season, which will be crucial. And we know he excels at U.S. Opens, evidenced by that 63 in the final round of last year’s U.S. Open at LACC, plus the runner-up at Shinnecock, two decent comps. It'd be fitting if he followed up that 63 last year with his first victory in the states.

Powers, Golf Digest: Justin Thomas (40-1, DraftKings) — Among the X/Twitter haters, Justin Thomas is still getting lumped in with his boys on the struggle bus in Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Meanwhile, ever since his spirited charge at the Wyndham last August and subsequent Ryder Cup pick, he’s been extremely solid. Not quite peak JT, but he’s gained with his irons in 10 of his last 12 measured starts and he put on an around-the-green masterclass at Valhalla. If he could simply putt halfway decent, he’s going to start seriously contending again. Happy to try to be early on that at 40-1.

Lack: Russell Henley (90-1, FanDuel) — Russell Henley possesses a sneaky strong skill set for Pinehurst No. 2, and he has quietly finished top 20 in two of his last three U.S. Opens. While he does not possess over-imposing length, Henley consistently keeps the ball in play off the tee, is an elite iron player, with a deft touch around the greens, and is an incredible Bermuda-grass putter.

U.S. Open picks 2024: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Collin Morikawa (14-1, FanDuel) — This was a hard pick because all of the top guys are playing so well. I’m only going with Collin here because of his lack of distance. I’ve been walking this course the past few days—and people don’t realize how soft the fairways are. The fact that the fairways aren’t running yet means players will be hitting be a lot more longer irons into these greens. Collin has arguably been the best player in the world not named Scottie, but it's going to be so much harder to compete against these longer players.

Mayo: Viktor Hovland (18-1, FanDuel) — Even if the around-the-green test isn’t quite as difficult as many have suggested, Viktor is so bad from tight Bermuda lies it’s only a matter of time before he’s watching balls roll back to his feet.

Gdula: Rory McIlroy (10-1, FanDuel) — Rory’s around-the-green game might be tested too much this week for him to excel, and if I’m looking at favorites at the top of the board, I’m going Xander or Morikawa rather than Rory this week.

Stewart: Rory McIlroy (10-1, FanDuel) — If there were a Full Swing Series U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy would be the winner. Between his personal drama, tour meetings, and whatever else you wish to add, how can he play his best golf amongst these distractions? McIlroy’s last five U.S. Open starts have all been top-10 results. I should be picking him, not fading him. Yet, the saga continues and in nine starts this season against the No. 1 player in the world, he has not beaten him once.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Viktor Hovland (18-1, FanDuel) — It's too much to expect Hovland to win at these odds. He was great at Valhalla, but that was a completely different test. He’ll likely struggle on and around these greens with the continued struggles hitting off those tight lies with creativity.

Powers, Golf Digest: Rory McIlroy (10-1, FanDuel) — Crazy to fade this man when you look at his stat profile, but fading him in majors has, unfortunately, been the move for nearly a decade now.

Lack: Xander Schauffele (10-1, DraftKings) — There’s no doubt in my mind that Xander Schauffele has emerged as the strongest challenger to Scottie Scheffler in the golf world, but it’s just simply too hard to win back-to-back majors. Schauffele’s irons also looked quite off at the Memorial, and he was forced to rely significantly on his putter to keep up. If there are any chinks in the armor with Schauffele’s approach game, Pinehurst will expose them.

U.S. Open picks 2024: Matchups

Caddie: Denny McCarthy (-110) over Brian Harman (DraftKings) — This course is absolutely built for Denny to succeed. He’s been playing great golf over the past couple of months and putting inside 10 feet will be vital to success all week. The truth is, putter will be in his hands a lot, and that’s a big advantage for him.

Mayo: Collin Morikawa (+110) over Xander Schauffele (Bet365) — I played this exact head-to-head in this column last week at the Memorial so I may as well double down with my winnings. Morikawa enters with a top-five finish in both majors so far this season and in each of his past three starts. And despite Xander’s amazing current run, Kawa has bested him in four of the past six events they’ve played together. After a five-month wait, Morikawa’s irons are finally returning to form, and he’s learned how to chip and putt in that time. No player has been more accurate off the tee over the past three months, too.

Gdula: Sepp Straka (-120) over Shane Lowry (FanDuel) — Lowry’s hot iron streak is no more, and he’s now struggling to put it all together on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, Straka is firing on all cylinders and is in the middle of a great stretch of his own with his approach play. He’s also a phenomenal putter.

Stewart: Tom Kim (-125) over Jordan Spieth (Bet365) — Pinehurst No. 2 is a great fit for Tom Kim. Tied eighth at LACC a year ago and runner-up at Royal Liverpool in July, Kim can contend on a major stage where his scrambling takes center stage. Jordan Spieth seems to be scrambling for his entire career, but the difference these days comes on approach. Observing Jordan out at Muirfield Village, he is obviously searching for something. Unfortunately, Pinehurst is no place to go looking. Kim will keep that major record intact and grab us another head-to-head win.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Min Woo Lee (+100) over Sungjae Im (DraftKings) — Min Woo is a more creative player than Sungjae, who has a complete game but excels more at point-and-shoot golf. Min Woo finished in the top five at LACC last year, evidence of his complete game. Min Woo’s No. 1 in total driving, has fabulous long irons and a great short game.

Powers, Golf Digest: Bryson DeChambeau (+100) over Ludvig Aberg (DraftKings) — Easy one here since Bryson is winning this week. If you do the math that means he will beat Ludvig Aberg.

Lack: Hideki Matsuyama (-150) over Cameron Smith (DraftKings) — I know there’s been some Cameron Smith buzz this week, but I have far too many concerns about his current ball-striking to trust him in this spot. Hideki Matsuyama is a more reliable driver and approach player and has one of the more underrated short games in this field. I’ll gladly lay the juice here.

Matchup Results from the Memorial Tournament: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Morikawa (+110) over Schauffele); Powers: 1 for 1 (Burns (+100) over Fleetwood); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Conners (-130) over Clark); Stewart: 1 for 1 (Henley (-125) over Spieth); Lack: 0 for 1; Caddie: 0 for 1; Gdula: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Lack 15-7-1 (up 6.41 units); Mayo: 14-8-1 (up 5.56 units); Caddie: 14-8-0 (up 4.22 units); Powers: 11-9-2 (up 1.82 units); Gdula: 12-9-2 (up 1.44 units); Hennessey: 10-9-4 (down 0.24 units); Stewart: 10-12-1 (down 2.92 units)

U.S. Open picks 2024: Top 10s

Caddie: Denny McCarthy (+850, Bet365) — At +850, the return on your investment is too high to pass up. Again, putting will be important, and there are not many better in the world than this guy.

Mayo: Cameron Smith (+350, DraftKings) — Smith’s struggles off the tee will either be hidden with jumbo jet-sized fairways or completely bury him as he’ll be playing approaches from the wire grass instead of the short grass like most of the field. Once off the tee, Smith is still a top-five talent in the world. If he decides to bring all the wrath of his putter he can win. Since that’s unlikely, an average week with his putter should be enough for a top 10.

Gdula: Tommy Fleetwood (+300, FanDuel) — Fleetwood has played tough setups well in his career and owns three top fives at U.S. Opens, as well. Tommy’s been T-3 and T-26 at the Masters and the PGA Championship, respectively, and he has the right combo of distance, accuracy, irons, and short game to stay in the mix all weekend.

Stewart: Ludvig Aberg (+230, Bet365) — With a partially torn meniscus, Ludvig Åberg finished fifth gaining over eight strokes against the field last week. Muirfield Village is a difficult walk and he handled it all in extremely difficult conditions. I love the way Ludvig plays the game and cannot wait to see him compete in his first US Open. Many doubted him before Augusta National and was the only player to come within four strokes of Scheffler. I’m going there again on much flatter terrain for the knee and giving him 10 places.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Xander Schauffele (+110, DraftKings) — Xander is in great company alongside Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones as the only players to have finished in the top 15 in their first seven U.S. Opens. Brooks Koepka gets the credit for being greatly suited for majors, aiming at the center of greens and being super disciplined. Xander is that player. At plus-money, it’s an easy bet to make.

Powers, Golf Digest: Billy Horschel (+900, DraftKings) — Can Billy Ho putt his way to a win this week? Absolutely not, but I think he could certainly putt his way to a top 10. He’s been rolling it beautifully of late and Bermuda is the surface he’s done some of the best work on in his career. He’s also had an incredibly quiet—and quick—turnaround since he broke down in tears at the Memorial Tournament this time last year because he thought his game was so lost. Since that moment he’s made 21 PGA Tour starts and finished in the top 18 in nine of them, including his comeback Corales win in late April and his T-8 at Valhalla a few weeks back. Barring a total mental breakdown a la Chambers Bay in 2015, I think Billy Ho is one of the sneaky-best plays on the board this week.

Lack: Tommy Fleetwood (+300, FanDuel) — While I’m dubious that Tommy Fleetwood can run down a player like Scottie Scheffler and win this tournament, I do believe the Englishman possesses one of the highest likelihoods to top 10. Fleetwood has had a tremendous amount of success on firmer golf courses such as Shinnecock, Congaree, and Erin Hills, places that require players to rely on their long-iron game and chipping skill off short grass. Pinehurst should be right up Fleetwood’s alley.

Top-10 results from the Memorial Tournament: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Sepp Straka +400); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Sepp Straka +400); Caddie: 1 for 1 (Sungjae Im +360); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Hennessey: 6 for 23 (up 51.25 units); Gdula: 5 for 23 (up 1.1 units); Caddie: 5 for 22 (down 0.05 units); Mayo: 4 for 23 (down 2 units); Lack: 4 for 23 (down 8.45 units); Stewart: 4 for 23 (down 9.82 units); Powers: 3 for 23 (down 12.4 units)

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME. 

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for numberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13. 

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor for Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA TOUR. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also the head of golf content for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports