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Open Championship betting: Top golfers to back at Royal St George’s

Open Championship betting: Top golfers to back at Royal St George's
Jun 20, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Jon Rahm reacts to his birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking for a comprehensive Open Championship betting preview, you’ve come to the right place.

Before the action tees off at Royal St George’s on Thursday, check out some of the best market value bets from DraftKings in the chase for major glory, including head-to-head tournament matchups, finishing position props and the top golfers who should be in contention to lift the Claret Jug.

Open Championship betting: Value plays for finishing position props

Matthew Fitzpatrick to finish top 10 (+400)

Maybe his odds are so long because sportsbooks don’t believe Matthew Fitzpatrick can get off the mat from losing a Scottish Open playoff fast enough to contend in a major. Whatever the case, the world’s 20th-ranked golfer has all the tools to contend at Royal St George’s.

With a phenomenal short game, ample links golf experience and the dry conditions lending to a lot of roll, Fitzpatrick’s lack of elite power off the tee isn’t going to hurt him as much here as it would at other tracks.

Fitzpatrick is still trying to figure out how to get his game right for majors. This might be the week where everything clicks.

Louis Oosthuizen to finish top 20 (-110)

Open Championship betting: Value plays for finishing position props
Jun 20, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Louis Oosthuizen lines up a putt on the 13th green during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Putting has often been Louis Oosthuizen’s Achilles heel throughout his career, but that facet of his game is better than ever, and with one of the sweetest swings in golf, it’s hard to count him out.

It’s a somewhat dubious distinction to be a career Grand Slam runner-up finisher, but it also means Oosthuizen is just about ready to back up his Open Championship triumph at St. Andrews from 2010.

Oosthuizen has finished second in the past two majors, so what’s to stop him from climbing inside the top 20 here? He was the defending champion when The Open was last at Royal St George’s, and you can comfortably wager he’ll do better than tied for 54th this time around.

Tyrrell Hatton to finish top 30 (-105)

Always fun to watch because of his animated on-course demeanor, Tyrrell Hatton has made 13 of his past 15 cuts and is learning how to better control his temper and harness it for improved consistency.

It seems crazy to suggest a player ranked in the top 10 in the world is barely above even odds to finish in the top 30 at The Open Championship. Such is the case with Hatton, though. As long as he makes it to the weekend, he has a great chance of finishing 30th or better.

An improving game from tee to green means Hatton just needs his usually stellar short game to come through. At The Open in 2019, Hatton finished tied for sixth, and was in the top five in 2016. That’s some good experience to draw on.

Open Championship betting: Head-to-head matchups to wager on

Ian Poulter (+105) vs. Shane Lowry

A sensational final-round 63 at the Scottish Open put Ian Poulter just one stroke out of a playoff. However, playing so well in that event gives the Englishman some momentum heading into Open Championship week. He’s also No. 2 in one-putt percentage on the PGA Tour this season, and third in overall putting average.

Poulter is one of the grittiest pros in golf, and he’s well-suited for the links-style venue. The tougher scoring conditions are, the better Poulter seems to play.

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner highlighted how the forecast in Sandwich, Kent, England plays into Poulter’s favor:

In his runner-up finish at The Open in 2008, Poulter sank a clutch par putt on the 72nd hole to finish at seven over par overall. Padraig Harrington came up huge down the stretch, yet that effort, combined with a legendary Ryder Cup resume, is proof that Poulter has what it takes to get it done in a major.

As for Shane Lowry, well, he was the last Champion Golfer of the Year in 2019. His ball-striking just isn’t good enough to outweigh his ranking of 153rd on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting this season.

Paul Casey (+115) vs. Dustin Johnson

Open Championship betting: Head-to-head matchups to wager on
Jun 20, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Paul Casey follows his shot from the second tee during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

With only one top-10 finish in his past 10 starts, Dustin Johnson briefly lost his No. 1 world ranking to U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm. DJ has battled demons with the putter, and isn’t quite firing on all cylinders of late.

The Open Championship hasn’t been kind to Paul Casey of late. Nevertheless, he has three top-10 finishes in his past five major starts, and is second on tour in strokes gained: approach to the green.

Iron play is going to be critical around Royal St George’s. Casey is absolutely world-class in that area of his game. All he needs is a hot week with the putter, and he’ll be right in the thick of contention. He’s one of the better players not to have won a major, and nearing age 44, he’s long overdue.

Patrick Cantlay (-110) vs. Bryson DeChambeau

In addition to having a new caddie, Bryson DeChambeau’s game hasn’t translated very well to The Open in his brief history with golf’s oldest championship. He’s missed the cut twice and tied for 51st in 2018.

DeChambeau loves to grip and rip the ball off the tee. The extremes to which he takes those tactics lead to a lot of wild shots and inconsistency. In the blustery conditions of Royal St George’s, and on the terrain that lends itself to some of the craziest bounces in golf, DeChambeau is bound to struggle.

Meanwhile, Patrick Cantlay is one of the steadiest players on the planet. He’s extremely consistent, ranks fourth in strokes gained: tee to green, is the FedEx Cup points leader, and is second in scrambling. That’s a tough combination to beat, and Cantlay really should get a little more play as a potential first-time major champion.

Open Championship betting: Who to ride as outright winners

Open Championship betting: Who to ride as outright winners
Jun 20, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Jon Rahm celebrates with the trophy after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Jon Rahm (+700)
  • Brooks Koepka (+1600)
  • Xander Schauffele (+1800)
  • Lee Westwood (+4500)

We haven’t had a back-to-back major champion since Rory McIlroy won The Open and PGA Championship in 2014. Jon Rahm seems as suited as anyone to do it, and there’s a reason he’s such a heavy favorite.

Rahm doesn’t really have any holes in his game, and to back up his U.S. Open breakthrough, he finished just two shots out of a playoff at the Scottish Open, with putting being his only shortcoming. As long as the flatstick cooperates, Rahm should be a factor come Sunday.

Brooks Koepka is always near the top of the leaderboard at major championships. Criticize him all you want for his nonchalance and seeming indifference toward the game of golf and at regular PGA Tour events, but Koepka knows what it takes to prepare himself for a major.

With nine top-10 finishes in majors since 2017, Xander Schauffele has been knocking on the door for a while now. He tied for second at the 2018 Open Championship, so betting on Schauffele isn’t a bad way to go at all.

Finally, we need a long shot, and Lee Westwood is having a late-career resurgence for the ages that’s going largely underappreciated. Westwood fell apart at the Scottish Open after leading during the third round. That flash of form suggests maybe the 48-year-old and 12-time top-five major finisher might have something special in reserve for The Open Championship.