Round 4 U.S. Open best bets: Our top futures wagers

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Saturday's third round at the U.S. Open saw The Country Club bite back, as now only nine players remain in red figures heading into Sunday. The field stroke average rose by over 1.5 shots from Round 2 to Round 3, and only seven of the 64 players that made the cut broke par. Two of those players, Will Zalatoris (-3/67) and Matt Fitzpatrick (-2/68), share the 54-hole lead at 4-under and will be in Sunday's final pairing at 2:45 p.m. ET. These two are not only seeking their first major championship victories but also their first recognized PGA Tour victories. Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris have the most Top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour (Fitzpatrick, 17; Zalatoris, 15) without a Tour win since the start of the 2019-20 season. 

Fitzpatrick is trying to become only the third player in history to win the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open on the same course. Jack Nicklaus won the 1961 U.S. Amateur and the 1972 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, while Juli Inkster accomplished the same feat on the women's side (1980 U.S. Women's Amateur and the 2002 U.S. Women's Open at Prairie Dunes). 

Zalatoris, priced at 33-1 to begin Round 3, teed off over two hours ahead of the final pairing and his 67 was the low round of the day. He told NBC after Saturday's round "it felt like I shot a 61."

Nevertheless, both he and Fitzpatrick are probably fortunate to have the lead, as defending 2021 U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm held a one-stroke lead heading to the final hole but closed with a double bogey to finish at 3-under and one stroke behind the leaders. Rahm will be paired with hometown favorite Keegan Bradley (2-under), who was born in nearby Vermont and is a massive fan of all Boston sports teams. 

Joining Bradley at 2-under are first-round leader Adam Hadwin and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who led by two shots at 6-under after 10 holes but went double-bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey on holes 11-14 and finished a roller-coaster round with a score of 71. 

Sam Burns and Rory McIlroy both sit at 1-under but are still within striking distance. 

Joel Dahmen (1-under) was the only survivor of Saturday's final pairing as his playing partner and fellow 36-hole co-leader Collin Morikawa shot a 77 and fell out of contention to finish 2-over and T-17th heading into the final round. 

Here is the leaderboard heading into Sunday, with odds to win courtesy of DraftKings.

T1

Will Zalatoris

-4

3/1

T1

Matt Fitzpatrick

-4

3/1

3

Jon Rahm

-3

4/1

T4

Keegan Bradley

-2

14/1

T4

Adam Hadwin

-2

22/1

T4

Scottie Scheffler

-2

6/1

T7

Sam Burns

-1

16/1

T7

Rory McIlroy

-1

10/1

T7

Joel Dahmen

-1

60/1

10

Nick Hardy

E

180/1

T11

Denny McCarthy

+ 1

300/1

T11

Gary Woodland

+ 1

150/1

T11 

Seamus Power 

+ 1

150/1

T11

Matthew NeSmith

+ 1

300/1

T11

Aaron Wise

+ 1

150/1

T11

Hayden Buckley

+ 1

400/1

U.S. Open Trends

Per Justin Ray, the last 31 U.S. Open winners were T-8 or better entering the final round. If this trend is to continue, then a player at -1 or better is winning this championship. 

The last 23 U.S. Open winners were at or within 4 shots of the lead heading into the final round, which would give PGA Tour rookie Nick Hardy a chance as well heading into Sunday. Eight of the last 11 U.S. Open winners were ranked in the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings) Top 15. The players still in contention that fall into this category include Scheffler (No. 1), Rahm (No. 2), McIlroy (No. 3), Burns (No. 9), and Zalatoris (No. 14). 

The last U.S. Open winners were ranked in the OWGR Top 30 so that would also include Fitzpatrick (No. 18). 

Futures Plays

I currently have the Top 3 players on the leaderboard that I bet prior to the U.S. Open starting on Thursday -- Rahm (15/1), Zalatoris (30/1), Fitzpatrick (34/1). You can still find my writeup this week in our Point Spread Weekly newsletter and on VSiN.com for what drew me to bet these players.

Per Data Golf (@DataGolf), these three players have a combined 63.6% chance of winning the U.S. Open (Fitzpatrick 25.2%, Zalatoris 21.6%, Rahm 16.8%). Scottie Scheffler has a 12.4% chance to win and would be the only one I would consider adding at 6/1. I combine win bets with Top 5s and Top 10s, so it is almost a certainty that I turn a profit with these three players even if they do not win, so I am not likely to add anything else, but will always look for an in-play opportunity should I need to hedge.

My gut says Jon Rahm wins this thing tomorrow and goes back-to-back at the U.S. Open. He will certainly be smarting from that double at the last; however, the often-demonstrative Rahm has matured over the last couple years and will use that as motivation instead of letting it fester. 

Matchups

Jordan Spieth -110 over Dustin Johnson

DJ gained + 3.2 strokes with the putter on Saturday (only Zalatoris putted better at + 3.23). Both players shot rounds of 71 (1-over) on Saturday, but Spieth was much better tee-to-green (+ 2.13 vs. -0.65). 

Rory McIlroy -130 over Sam Burns

Burns is a talented player that will eventually win a major (perhaps on Sunday). However, McIlroy never seems to give in on Sunday at major. Earlier this year, he shot 64 on Sunday at the Masters to finish runner-up to Scheffler despite starting the day 10 strokes back. He also shot a 68 on Sunday at the PGA Championship in very tough conditions like the ones expected tomorrow. 

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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

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