PINEHURST, N.C. — Do you believe Scottie Scheffler can win the 124th United States Open?

I remember the 2008 Masters. Tiger Woods entered the week winning eight of his past 10 starts. Maybe you should read that again. He was +180 to win the tournament against an elite field. He already owned four green jackets, what was one more? How could you avoid betting him on the ONE course he absolutely dominated more than another golfer during that time? Sound somewhat familiar? Entering Pinehurst, you MUST make a really difficult decision, are you betting Scottie Scheffler?

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Most golf bettors don’t remember the days of Tiger’s dominance on the outright odds board. Not because of age, although that does play a role, but more for legal reasons. Since sports betting became legal outside of Vegas in 2018, we haven’t experienced dominance by one player like we are currently seeing with Scheffler. Building an outright betting card is easy when you can avoid the chalk and afford to predict a couple of possible winners. That’s not the case if you choose the World No. 1 this week.

I will not take Scottie Scheffler (+300) to win the U.S. Open. I’m not just trying to play a contrarian role, and mind you this is not a discussion of “does he deserve these odds?” This also isn’t a Tiger comparison. I missed my Memorial opportunity and will just have to wait. The U.S. Open is the one tournament where luck plays a significant role, much like the weather in an Open Championship. The course is already baked out. A couple bad bounces, and Scheffler’s short odds go out the window. Did you see what happened to Nelly Korda at the U.S. Women’s Open? That moment is a microcosm for what can happen.

Since the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, 15 of the past 19 U.S. Open champions were first-time major winners! That’s far more than any other major championship in that stretch of time. When it comes to betting, luck (good or bad) is not a strokes gained category we can measure. I’m avoiding the best player in the world because even he couldn’t control his luck on or OFF the course at Valhalla.

Instead, I see an incredible opportunity down the betting board for a player who has proven he can manage bad bounces and come out on top. Cam Smith (+4500) won the most incredible Players Championships of all time in 2022. Smith showed patience while the field was tested through waves of ridiculous weather. By using his world-class scoring from short range, he was able to take home the trophy. He faced a similar situation in the Open Championship at St. Andrews and did it again that summer.

Both courses are great comp courses for Pinehurst #2. Once bettors begin to see the crispy course conditions and realize a short game is the only route to scoring, Cam’s odds will drop. I’m taking Smith early in the week because I believe when it comes to making your own luck you better be world-class with a wedge in hand.

Discover the rest of our favorite values on the U.S. Open betting board, as well as our least favorite prices, in the video below:

The odds aren’t the only valuable information that dropped on Monday. Golf Digest’s U.S. Open power rankings were also published. Supplied by Read The Line, they are the most comprehensive rankings available online for the 124th U.S. Open.

Looking for insider golf betting knowledge? Subscribe to Read The Line for Stewart’s weekly picks.

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Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor and content partner with 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 SportsGrid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

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