US Open at Unfamiliar Los Angeles C.C. Has Bettors Struggling to Determine Favorite

Posted on: June 12, 2023, 02:59h. 

Last updated on: June 12, 2023, 03:32h.

The 123rd US Open returns to California for a 15th time this week, but the national championship is being played at Los Angeles Country Club for the first time.

US Open golf odds
Players practice at Los Angeles Country Club ahead of the 123rd US Open on Monday, June 12, 2023. Bettors are spreading out their wagers on many players as an unfamiliar course presents many unknowns for the third of four golf majors of 2023. (Image: USGA)

LACC, as the prestigious track on Wilshire Boulevard just west of Beverly Hills is known, is ultra-exclusive and has, for many decades, shunned hosting PGA Tour events and marquee tournaments such as the US Open and PGA Championship. But following a recent major renovation by architect Gil Hanse that radically overhauled the club’s North Course, LACC members finally agreed to invite the USGA in to host its national championship and show off the place.

The rather unknown track has resulted in bettors and golf analysts struggling to find a consensus favorite for this week’s championship, which tees off Thursday and which will crown a winner who is set to hoist US Open Trophy come Sunday evening on Father’s Day. A slew of players continue to jockey on the odds board for the position of favorite as bettors get their picks in ahead of the first round.

The US Open comes on the heels of the historic announcement that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf plan to merge.

Scheffler Early Favorite

As of Monday afternoon, Caesars Sportsbook had world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 Masters winner who finished runner-up in last year’s US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., with the shortest odds at +650. Jon Rahm, the second-ranked player in the world who won the US Open in 2021 and this year’s Masters, is just behind Scheffler at +800.

Rahm won his US Open title at Torrey Pines in San Diego’s La Jolla about 100 miles south of LACC. Brooks Koepka, who won the PGA Championship last month and the 2017 and 2018 US Opens, is next at +850.

BetMGM reps told that Scheffler’s line continues to shrink after he opened at 12/1. Scheffler is now at 7/1 at BetMGM. Koepka was even longer, opening at 33/1 before a rush of action also significantly shortened his line.

Oddsmakers are reporting heavy action that’s spread out amongst the top contenders. That differs from many majors that are either played annually at the same club or that are part of a familiar rotation, something that allows bettors to determine who does and doesn’t fare well at certain venues.

Los Angeles Country Club is not just a unique venue due to its location and exclusivity, it’s a singular golf course that does not even remotely resemble many US Open venues that we have seen in the past,” writes Andy Lack for Golf Monthly. “With some fairways measuring over 80 yards in width, a large barranca traversing through the property, and molar-shaped greens, Los Angeles Country feels like an Australian Sand-belt course placed in the heart of one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the country.”

BetMGM says that while Koepka is the book’s second-largest liability, Max Homa at +2800 and Viktor Hovland at +1600 are respectively its first and third-biggest obligations. Homa is responsible for almost 12% of BetMGM’s US Open handle, while Hovland has attracted nearly 7% of the money.

Attractive Long Shots

With the action widespread, bettors are seeing some attractive lines for marquee players.

2022 US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick is at 33/1, and 2020 champ Bryson DeChambeau, who finished T4 at last month’s PGA, is at 40/1. 2019 winner Gary Woodland, who won at Pebble Beach, is even longer at 100/1. A winning $10 bet on Woodland would net $1,000.

Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a major since 2014 but he did finish T7 at the PGA. A perennial betting favorite in the majors, McIlroy this week is at 12/1. Dustin Johnson, who won the 2016 US Open, is at 40/1.