2019 U.S. Open: The betting markets are giving us a surprising clue about who *won’t* win the U.S. Open

June 10, 2019

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Brooks Koepka has displayed an uncanny knack for playing well in the most high-pressure situations, on the toughest tests in golf. He’s won two different majors back-t0-back since since 2017 and claimed another two top 10s in majors along the way. It’s a level of performance we haven’t seen in majors since Tiger’s prime.

But according to the bettors, his time may be running out.

Betfair’s betting exchange works a little like the stock market for sports. Bettors can both make bets and offer people bets, similarly to how people can both buy stocks and sell stocks. That means golf fans get a level of transparency into the betting markets that they don’t usually get to see, because you can see whom golf fans are betting on (players the public expects to contend) and whom they’re offering bets for (players the public doesn’t expect to contend).

What is that betting public is telling us ahead of the 2019 U.S. Open? That people were not comfortable with Koepka being the overwhelming favorite. Here’s his chart since the start of the season. As you can see, ever since the Masters and continuing after his PGA Championship win, less people have been betting on Brooks Koepka to win.

It’s still high, of course, but it’s been trending down, likely due to a market correction for Koepka’s odds shooting up after his PGA Championship win and bettors being less-willing to bet for a lesser gain on the back end.

Interestingly, even Koepka’s perceived chance of finishing in the top 10 are trending slowly downward. Buyers and sellers seemingly aren’t convinced he will keep playing this well in majors.

This is all backed-up by the general betting market, where Koepka has fallen from the outright favorite to behind Dustin Johnson in the odds available to bettors.