There are plenty of storylines entering Thursday's 2022 U.S. Open. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas will try for a second title this season. Jon Rahm, the reigning U.S. Open champion, will be trying to go back-to-back, while red-hot Rory McIlroy wants a fifth major title after winning last week's RBC Canadian Open. Sam Burns, who has three victories this season, PGA runner-up Will Zalatoris, and Matt Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 U.S. Amateur at Brookline, are among the many 20-somethings in the 2022 U.S. Open field. LIV golfers Phil Mickelson, who has not won the U.S. Open but has been a runner-up six times, and two-time major winner Dustin Johnson also are in the 2022 U.S. Open lineup. Caesars Sportsbook lists McIlroy as the 10-1 favorite in its latest 2022 U.S. Open odds, with Thomas (11-1), Scheffler (12-1) and Rahm (14-1) all right behind.

Cameron Smith (18-1), Jordan Spieth (22-1), Fitzpatrick (22-1) and Zalatoris (25-1) also are among the many expected 2022 U.S. Open contenders. Johnson (40-1), the 2016 U.S. Open champion, and Mickelson (150-1) are long shots in the U.S. Open 2022 field. Before making any 2022 U.S. Open picks or PGA Tour predictions, you need to see what proven golf insider Sal Johnson has to say.

The esteemed golf insider has been around the game for many years and knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour. Before the PGA Championship, Johnson predicted that if Thomas made his putts he could definitely win. Thomas had his best week of the season on the greens, gaining more than 1.5 strokes putting to rank second in the field. The result? He beat Will Zalatoris in a playoff to win his second PGA Championship.    

In his previous set of predictions for SportsLine, he nailed the Masters for the third time in four years. Johnson backed Scheffler, saying he was "on a run where he has been hard to beat, and I see it rolling on at Augusta National." The 25-year-old got his fourth victory of the season.

Now Johnson, the first producer of "Inside the PGA Tour" and longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, has released his highly confident 2022 U.S. Open picks. The picks from the founder of, the world's top golf statistics database, will definitely surprise you. You can only see them at SportsLine.

Top 2022 U.S. Open expert picks

One shocking choice from Johnson: He is fading Viktor Hovland, even though the Norwegian is among the top 10 players in the world. He is priced at 22-1 at Caesars and has six worldwide wins at age 24. He has missed one cut this season and finished outside the top 50 once. But the latter came in his most recent event, the Memorial, and he hasn't finished in the top 10 since March. He also has failed to crack the top 10 in his first 10 majors. Hovland is strong off the tee, on approach and putting, but has been horrible around the green (202nd in strokes gained).  

On the other hand, the stats expert has high hopes for Scheffler if he can emerge from a down period. The 25-year-old certainly has the tools to succeed at Brookline, as he ranks second on tour in greens in regulation (71.4 percent) and 13th in strokes gained tee-to-green. Once he gets on the putting surface, he also can finish it off, averaging 1.7 putts when he's on in regulation (fifth). He has four victories this season, his most recent at the Masters, and nearly got a fifth in a playoff loss at the Charles Schwab. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship last month.

Johnson also is aware that Spieth will be hungry for his first major championship since 2017. The 28-year-old has three major titles, including the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, and has returned to form the past two seasons. Spieth went nearly four years without a victory before he won last year's Valero Texas Open and has another win and four other top-three finishes since then. His putter has been spotty (153rd in strokes gained), but he ranks seventh in scrambling. That could help him get out of any trouble at Brookline.

How to make 2022 U.S. Open golf picks

Johnson is very high on a massive long shot who comes into the U.S. Open at more than 50-1. Johnson calls this golfer "one of the most underrated players on the PGA Tour." His iron play is among the best on tour, and the expert knows if this player gets going around the greens he could pull off a stunner. You can find out who it is, and get the rest of Johnson's U.S. Open picks, at SportsLine.

Who wins the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline? Where do Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth finish? And which massive long shot is a must-back? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson's full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2022 U.S. Open, all from the insider who is tuned in to what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and find out. 

2022 U.S. Open odds, field, top contenders

Scottie Scheffler 12-1
Jon Rahm 12-1
Rory McIlroy 14-1
Justin Thomas 14-1
Collin Morikawa 16-1
Dustin Johnson 16-1 
Cameron Smith 18-1
Xander Schauffele 18-1
Brooks Koepka 18-1
Patrick Cantlay 20-1
Viktor Hovland 20-1
Jordan Spieth 22-1
Shane Lowry 25-1
Will Zalatoris 28-1
Bryson DeChambeau 28-1
Hideki Matsuyama 30-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 35-1
Daniel Berger 35-1
Tony Finau 35-1
Joaquin Niemann 40-1
Paul Casey 40-1
Louis Oosthuizen 40-1
Tyrrell Hatton 40-1
Sam Burns 40-1
Webb Simpson 40-1
Tiger Woods 50-1
Tommy Fleetwood 50-1
Corey Conners 50-1
Justin Rose 50-1
Abraham Ancer 60-1
Harris English 60-1
Gary Woodland 65-1
Matthew Wolff 65-1
Marc Leishman 65-1
Patrick Reed 65-1
Jason Kokrak 65-1
Sungjae Im 65-1
Garrick Higgo 65-1
Jason Day 70-1
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 80-1
Phil Mickelson 80-1
Billy Horschel 80-1
Adam Scott 80-1
Max Homa 80-1
Sergio Garcia 80-1
Brian Harman 100-1
Russell Henley 100-1
Charley Hoffman 100-1
Lee Westwood 100-1
Branden Grace 100-1
Guido Migliozzi 125-1
Si-Woo Kim 125-1
Francesco Molinari 125-1
Bubba Watson 125-1
Thomas Pieters 125-1
Matt Wallace 125-1
Cameron Champ 125-1
Stewart Cink 150-1
Martin Kaymer 150-1
Ryan Palmer 150-1
Robert Macintyre 150-1
Carlos Ortiz 150-1
Kevin Kisner 150-1
Ian Poulter 150-1
Matt Kuchar 150-1
Kevin Streelman 150-1
Hudson Swafford 200-1