Sportsbooks roll out the props in a big way for one of golf’s four major championships just like they would for, say, an NFL playoff game. The 147th British Open is this week at one of the most challenging courses in the world, Carnoustie on Scotland’s East Coast. The Open Championship, as it’s referred to across the pond, is usually the most unpredictable major championship because the weather/course is such a major wild card.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The weather in Scotland can change in an instant, going from a nice day with little wind and a tame course to windy, rain-filled conditions that turn the competition into a survival of the fittest. Just like bettors should always consult the weather before betting on an NFL game, so should they for the British Open more than any other golf tournament.
We can’t tell you who is going to win the Claret Jug this year, but it might be wise to bet on a playoff as the winning margin at +300. Carnoustie has hosted the Open Championship seven times and the past three all went to a playoff, which in the British Open is four-hole aggregate and then sudden death if still tied. In 1975, Tom Watson beat Jack Newton in a playoff; in 1999 it was Paul Lawrie beating Jean van de Velde and Justin Leonard – that only went to a playoff because van de Velde choked on the 72nd hole with a triple bogey; and in 2007, Padraig Harrington beat Sergio Garcia in extra golf.
There are a handful of options for group betting in the Open Championship. The marquee one likely is world No. 1 and tournament favorite Dustin Johnson (+275 for best finish in group), England’s Justin Rose (+350), Rickie Fowler (+350), Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (+375) and rising young Spaniard Jon Rahm (+400). Only McIlroy has won the British Open among that group, doing so in 2014 at Royal Liverpool.
Rose is the +700 favorite to be the top European finisher, just ahead of McIlroy (+800) and Rahm (+900). No Englishman has won his country’s Open since Nick Faldo in 1992. Johnson is the +650 leader as top American over Brooks Koepka (+900), winner of the past two U.S. Opens, Jordan Spieth (+900), winner of last year’s British Open, and Fowler (+900).
Tiger Woods is playing the British Open for the first time in three years as he looks to win it a fourth time. He’s +1100 to finish as top American and -110 head-to-head against Koepka (-120). You can also bet a prop on Woods, Koepka and Justin Thomas (+700) against the rest of the field (-1400) to win. Those are always a good way to hedge a golf win bet. Woods is +275 to miss the cut as he did in 2015.
There are 16 former winners of the tournament in the 2018 field with McIlroy the +260 favorite to be the top finisher among them. Tiger is +450. There were to be 17, but John Daly withdrew.