The Betfair Sportsbook lets punters choose the number of places they want on US Open bets - go for eight and enjoy bigger prices, or widen your chances of a payout by taking 10 or even 12 places.
Main Bet: Tony Finau each-way @ 31.030/1 - 10 places
In recent editions of the US Open it seems the best way to pick the winner was to hone in on physique and see who might flourish in a PGA Tour arm-wrestling contest.
Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm have won the last six and all were power players.
The theory: everyone finds thick rough when driving to extra-narrow fairways; those best-equipped to chop it out will also be doing so from nearer the green having launched longer tee shots. It's a distinct and double advantage.
That's a starting point but, equally, one-trick ponies don't win a US Open. All those players had other excellent attributes and DeChambeau, for example, finished 3rd for Strokes Gained: Around The Green when winning in 2020.
That latter stat is an important one. The excellent datagolf website shows that SG: Around The Green in a US Open is far more important than at a regular Tour event.
SG stats were only available for the last three but the gap between US Open figures and the usual baseline was significant at Torrey Pines (2021), Winged Foot (2020) and Pebble Beach (2019).
At Brookline Country Club - this year's venue - that should be the case again.
Visually, the 7,264-yard par 70 looks rustic, rough and rugged compared to the standard manicured layouts we see most weeks. That's thanks to the original 1936 Perry Maxwell design undergoing a Gil Hanse revamp.
The course was played by the 'No Laying Up' podcast crew on US Open media day in May and they revealed it had an old-school vibe to it. There was mention of it feeling like playing in Scotland and Ireland and that you had to play over the landscape (big rocks, blind shots) rather than through it.
Indeed, Hanse told No Laying Up: "It's not linksy by definition but it's got some of those characteristics; your ball's going to get some weird bounces."
Other conclusions? This is no bombers' paradise and hitting from fairways rather than rough to the small, firm, fast and undulating Bentgrass greens was important. It would be hard to hold them unless coming in from the short grass.
There was creativity involved too, with slopes on the greens that could be used as backstops. It was firm and fast in May so with a dry spring and early summer in Boston, this mid-June test could be a punishing one.
Steve Rawlings has a great stat in his in-depth preview that only four winners in the last 18 US Opens have ranked higher for accuracy off the tee than they have for length.
However, don't write off accuracy too easily. In my 10-year trends preview, I've noted that eight of the last 10 US Open winners also ranked in the top 32 for Driving Accuracy in the week of their win.
In other words, hitting it long and straight is the ideal, a stat measured by Total Driving.
On some courses, you'd want Driving Distance to be the dominant element (it's computed simply by adding DD ranking to Driving Accuracy ranking). But I'd be happy at this particular course to see more balance and someone reach a total of, say, 104 by being ranked 52-52 in both rather than 4th in DD but only 100th in DA.
So, I'm not asking for much really. An excellent driver of the ball with a magic short game who hits plenty of greens and is a decent putter!
There are a few more nuances but let's get on with it and name the first pick.
And that man is Tony Finau, who gets headline pick status for the second week running.
He gave us a great run at 25s in the Canadian Open last week where he confirmed his return to form by finishing runner-up after shooting 62-64 on the weekend. Not surprisingly no-one went lower over the final 36 holes.
A chirpy Finau said later: "I felt like I was in good form coming in. Played really nicely all week.
"This is big. I'm looking forward to next week. Never seen Brookline. But any time you're coming off a good solid performance it always gives you confidence. My game is sharp and I'm looking forward to seeing the golf course next week and getting after it."
Because of his poor start to the season, some of Finau's stats don't leap off the page but we need to be judging him on his recent play which shows two seconds and a fourth in his last five starts.
Take Total Driving for example. He's okay on the season-long charts at 96 but Finau's TD rank in his last four events is 22nd (Canada), 27th (Charles Schwab), 15th (US PGA) and 3rd (Wells Fargo).
Elsewhere, it's good to see him ranked 24th for Bogey Avoidance going into a US Open and his mid/long irons are a strength too.
And then, of course, is his excellent record in the majors. Finau has 10 top 10s from 24 starts and that includes a fifth (Shinnecock 2018) and a tied eighth (Winged Foot 2020) in two of the last four US Opens.
Finau, who ranked 4th for SG: Around The Green and 5th for SG: Putting in Canada last week, looks just the type of player - big, strong hitter with a deft touch and cool temperament - who can flourish in a US Open.
The best way to play Big Tone's bid for a first major is the 30/1 with 10 each-way places.
Next Best: Shane Lowry each-way @ 23.022/1 - 12 places
There were numerous contenders for this second slot in the staking plan.
I looked at Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele at all around the 20/1 mark but, in the end, the one with the best blend of skills and form looks to be Shane Lowry.
On the form front, he's simply outplaying those other three rivals. Lowry hasn't finished worse than tied 32nd in a strokeplay event this season and that 12-tournament run includes second at the Honda Classic, third at both Augusta National and the RBC Heritage and 10th in Canada last week.
Going through the bag, let's start with his driving and he's hitting it great from the tee.
The Irishman was 7th for Total Driving at the US Masters, 5th at the US PGA and 11th for TD in Canada (33rd DD, 5th DA). He's 22nd for Total Driving on the season-long stats.
Lowry was 10th for SG: Approach and 7th Around The Greens in Canada and he's 18th this season in Scrambling from the Rough. That's important as The Country Club's greens are surrounded by it, a contrast to what we saw in the US PGA at Southern Hills.
On that note, Hovland's chances jump a bit. While he's dead last in SG: Around The Greens, the Norwegian is 10th for Scrambling from the Rough. He made that point to reporters when interviewed at the US PGA.
Lowry could have putted better in Canada but he was 4th for SG: Putting at Augusta and 24th at the US PGA so he's rolled it better on the very biggest stages.
I also like the fact that he's 3rd in Bogey Avoidance. Limiting mistakes is such a big factor in a US Open.
Lowry's best US Open also came in the north-east of the United States. That was at Oakmont when he actually held a four-shot lead going into the final round after completing his third round on the Sunday due to weather delays.
He had to settle for tied second there but he's won a major since (2019 Open) and would surely deal with it better in similar circumstances.
Lowry has done everything but win this season but after throwing around the bullseye in numerous events maybe this is the time he hits it.
He's 22/1 for 12 places or 25/1 for eight. We may as well take the 12.
Final Bet: Seamus Power each-way @ 101.0100/1 - 12 places
Firstly, let's jump back to the top of the betting and it wouldn't surprise me on iota to see Rory McIlroy win this.
The LIV stuff has clearly motivated him beyond belief and, with Rory, the X factor is often such a powerful element given how much he engages with the old grey matter.
That can be a negative when he overthinks (see US Masters) but when acting as a motivator, he can do great things.
The last time he won the week before a major, he went on to win the major itself, the 2014 US PGA, so his victory in Canada on Sunday could have extra significance.
Maybe someone should tell him that a fifth win would give him more majors than Greg Norman and Dustin Johnson put together. In fact, maybe he already has that quote lined up should he win a second US Open next Sunday.
Both Rory and Justin Thomas - 11s and 14s respectively in the eight-place market - deserve full respect.
But with 12 places available, I want to have an outsider on the team.
Mito Pereira has continued to play well since his final hole US PGA agony which shows a good temperament and he's worth a look at 60/1 (10 places). Lots of his relevant stats are strong.
Justin Rose closed with a brilliant 60 in Canada and the 60/1 for eight places could prove profitable.
But at three-figure odds, I'm going to have a go on Seamus Power at 100/1 (12 places).
The Irishman didn't qualify for the 2021 US Open having been 327th in the world when teeing it up at the previous week's Palmetto Championship. Now he's 41st in the OWGR.
Not so long ago the concern would be that he had no pedigree at this level. But in the last few months he's finished tied 27th in the US Masters and tied ninth in the PGA Championship.
They're the first two majors he's ever appeared in so maybe Power is one of those players who just take to golf's biggest events straight away.
Looking at some of his relevant numbers, the man from Waterford is 35th for Total Driving, 4th for Bogey Avoidance and 43rd for Scrambling from the Rough.
Adding in some more, Power is 9th for Greens In Regulation and 32nd for SG: Putting.
No wonder he's the surprise name in the top 10 of the PGA Tour's All-Around ranking.
Throw in plenty of Irish support from the Boston crowds - good for Lowry as well - plus the idea that the lie of the land could remind him of home and he's capable of posting the required top-12 finish.