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Sleeper Johnson suddenly formidable

Early last week, Dustin Johnson was a popular sleeper pick to win the U.S. Open. He will wake up today as the clear favorite.

Johnson, posted at 30-1 odds before the tournament, is the 10-11 favorite on the adjusted odds at the Las Vegas Hilton sports book. Johnson finished Saturday’s third round at 6 under par, three strokes ahead of Graeme McDowell and five ahead of Tiger Woods.

“We did get some bets on him at 30-1,” Hilton golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said of Johnson, who has two of his three career PGA Tour wins at Pebble Beach.

It’s too late to bet Johnson at a good price, but there still is time to place wagers before the final round. Sherman said the Hilton will accept bets on odds to win and player matchups until at least noon today.

Sherman posted 10 matchups Saturday night. Johnson is a minus-120 favorite over McDowell in the final round, and Woods and Phil Mickelson are each minus-110 in a head-to-head matchup.

Woods, at 7-1 odds before the Open and 20-1 after the second round, made a strong charge in the third round. After firing a 5-under 66 Saturday, his adjusted odds are 3-1.

“I was incredibly impressed with Tiger,” Sherman said. “We didn’t get too many people who took him at 20-1.”

Johnson is paired with McDowell (9-2) again today. McDowell was posted at 80-1 at the Hilton going into the tournament.

“He’s won on the European Tour, so it’s not like McDowell is someone out of nowhere,” Sherman said. “He was in a range that was considered like a live long shot.”

Woods is paired with Gregory Havret, who is listed at 40-1 despite being at par and one shot behind Woods. Ernie Els (12-1) is at par, and Mickelson (12-1) are tied at 1 over.

Tim Clark sits at 3 over and 80-1 odds. All other players are field bets at 25-1.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0353.

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