When betting in previous U.S. Opens, putting your money on Tiger Woods was always a safe bet. Woods won't play in the 2014 U.S. Open, however, so you might need some betting advice.
Despite Woods' absence, the field at Pinehurst is stacked. Guys like Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will look to finish highly, as usual, but others like Jimmy Walker and Justin Rose, last year's U.S. Open champ, will look to come on strong as well.
A strong field will make it difficult to pinpoint which players to put your money on. When you consider that Pinehurst is often unforgiving, any competitor could presumably step up and win the event.
Below you'll find a table of the latest odds, via Vegas Insider, along with some betting advice.
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||100/1|
Don't Bet on Justin Rose
Justin Rose may have won the event last year, but don't bet on him to win again. No man since Curtis Strange has won two straight U.S. Opens. He won the second of his two in 1989.
Strange isn't necessarily rooting against Rose, but he certainly isn't rooting for him either, via Steve DiMeglio of USA Today:
I'm not like the Miami Dolphins. I don't root against anybody every year. I don't pop champagne on Sunday night. But I think the longer it goes, the more fortunate I think I was because of those who haven't done it. But the farther it goes, you know, the more proud I get of it. I get I was very, very fortunate that I was in the right place at the right time. It's exciting. It's nice to talk about it every year.
If Tiger Woods in his prime couldn't win consecutive U.S. Opens, then I don't think Rose can either. It's not that Rose is a bad golfer—not at all, actually—but he has never been a dominant performer. By putting your money on him, that means you trust him more than you trust McIlroy and Mickelson. It probably means you even trust him more than Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez too.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with doing that.
Pick Smart Drivers Over Powerful Ones
The renovation Pinehurst underwent in 2010 completely altered the way golfers play the course. No longer can you simply go up there and mash the ball off the tee. It's all about placement.
So, what did the renovation do? Well, it created a type of illusion that leads those in the tee box to believe that there is far more space in the fairway than there really is. That means that the winner of the tournament will likely be a guy who knows how to play within himself and strike the ball accurately.
Players might opt to crush it because of long holes like No. 16, but that isn't wise:
Players who do well in driving the ball accurately are smart ones to choose. You can see the PGA Tour leaders in driving accuracy here, courtesy of PGATour.com.
Don't Be Afraid to Bet on a Long Shot
Sometimes it's a long-shot competitor who makes a surprising run at the title.
Just take a look at the 2014 Masters leaderboard. Jonas Blixt and Jimenez finished within the top five. They were both in contention for first place prior to a late surge by eventual winner Bubba Watson.
It's unwise to blindly choose a long shot. Analyze the stats. Look at the season results for the players you're thinking of trusting. Then, make an educated decision.
Players like Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell could go on surprising runs at Pinehurst, but I'd also trust Blixt and Jimenez given their recent success in majors.