US Open Odds 2013: Expert Outlook for Tiger Woods and More

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2013

Jun 11, 2013; Ardmore, PA, USA; Tiger Woods walks after teeing off on the 2nd tee during the practice round of the 113th U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The 2013 U.S. Open is set to tee off in just two days, and Tiger Woods will enter the tournament as the prohibitive favorite to walk away the winner at Merion Golf Club. 

His favored status among oddsmakers should be no surprise. He is ranked as the No. 1 player in the world and has four wins in eight events played on the season after all. 

However, he won't win without a challenge. There are plenty of contenders that will push Woods for the title. Fans and experts alike have their opinions on who has the edge going into the Open.

Here's a look at the odds for each of the tournament's biggest contenders and what the experts are saying about their chances in Pennsylvania.  

Note all odds via Bovada as of June 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET. 


Tiger Woods

Odds: 9/2

What the Experts are Saying's Joe Passov sees Tiger Woods coming through as the favorite to win thanks to a relatively short course at Merion. Citing his ability to play "small ball" as the reason that he holds the edge:

His Memorial hiccup notwithstanding, I'm going with Tiger Woods. Merion winners have been masters of precision, either that week or in general and these days, when Tiger gets to play "small ball," there's nobody better at managing and executing. 

Kyle Porter of CBS Sports ranks Tiger as his most likely contender to win at Merion but also points out the lack of winning that Woods has been doing at majors lately:

It always feels like the majors are Tiger Woods' to lose, which he's been doing a lot of lately. Eight top-sixes at majors since his win in 2008, but no wins. 


My Take

Both Passov and Porter bring up great points. Passov is correct in saying that Woods has great precision. He usually gets in trouble when forced to hit his driver, but that may not be an issue here as he should be able to go with his woods off the tee in most cases. 

However, Porter is also right. Woods has been the favorite before and came up short. He's in a great position to win, but that's no guarantee. There's a good chance he's in it down the stretch, but it's not a foregone conclusion he wins.


Rory McIlroy

Odds: 9/1

What the Experts are Saying

Alex Myers of isn't picking McIlroy to win, but he isn't putting it past him. He points out that how McIlroy fares with the putter will determine his fate this weekend:

Rory McIlroy hasn't had the year neither he nor Nike expected, but it hasn't been as bad as you might think. It hasn't been the new clubs holding him back (He ranks fifth in GIR and third in all-around ranking), but rather one club—the putter. One good week could change all of that for a player talented enough to win two majors by a combined 16 shots in the past two years.

Porter of CBS Sports won't be surprised if McIlroy ends up winning the whole thing or collapses and misses the cut. His inconsistency has been the story of his season, ranking him eighth on his list of contenders. 

I don't really know what to do with Rory McIlroy. Would I be surprised if he won this thing by five strokes? Maybe a little, but not really. Would I be surprised if he missed the cut? No. He's Baby Phil at this point.


My Take

I tend to agree with Porter. McIlroy has been completely erratic this year and has yet to win a single event in 2013. There's a small chance he comes out on fire with the putter and gets things back on track, but he's being overvalued at 9/1. 


Phil Mickelson

Odds: 33/1

What the Experts are Saying

Mickelson comes into the tournament as a pretty big long shot according to Vegas, but CNN's Shane O'Donoghue is picking Lefty to win the whole thing, citing his experiences near the top of the leaderboard. 

It's Tiger's to lose, but I'm going for Mickelson, who, after five runner-up spots, knows better than anyone the agony of defeat. A Father's Day victory would be the perfect birthday present for "Philly" Mick.

Porter of CBS ranked Mickelson as the second-most likely to win the tournament. It appears everyone loves the fact that he's finished as a runner-up numerous times

My Take

It feels like Mickelson has the best value of the whole field. He has a track record of being a contender at the U.S. Open and, according to ESPN Stats & Info, he's coming off one of the better performances he's ever had at the tournament before a major. 

With long shots as good as Mickelson, it really feels like we're in for a great tournament. It will be interesting to see who defies expectations at Merion.