If bettors are not thrilled with the outright bets for the Open Championship, or they want to add to their slips, several sportsbooks are offering some attractive proposition bets for the major championship. Everything from what the cut will be to the winner’s nationality are available.
Dustin Johnson is the favorite to win his second major of his career, and is at 12/1 at most sportsbooks. Those are good odds, but several people believe the 33-year-old will come up short, much like he did at last month’s US Open.
A better wager regarding Johnson might be to have the best score out of a group of four players that oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and William Hill have put together. He is a +250 to better Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler.
Expect Surprises at Wide Open Event
Because the course is playing fast and firm, distance is not going to be as big a factor as it would be if the tract was wet. Long hitters are still going to have an advantage, but they are going to have to navigate their way around bunkers and creeks that might not be in play for shorter hitters.
McIlroy sees players taking more risks, but also have to be careful not to shoot themselves out of the tournament.
“You plan to play the golf course a certain way, but you see guys on Saturdays and Sundays taking way more drivers,” he said. “Way more risks just because they’ve played the course a couple more times, and they’ve weighed it up, and you know what, I think this is worth it.”
So picking players that might not normally have a chance to do well at a major, might be the smart play. One that pops out immediately is Bernhard Langer. The Champions Tour golfer has the game to compete in a major, as evidenced by his tie for 38th at the Masters. He is a 14/1 pick to finish in the top 20 at Carnoustie. Want to really take a chance? He is at 40/1 to finish in the top 10.
No Names Provide Potentially Big Paydays
While Tiger Woods has at least five separate prop bets, the odds are not a good value and should be avoided. There are some golfers that aren’t household names that gamblers might want to look at.
Brian Harman is a 3/1 pick to finish as the top left-handed golfer. Selecting him over Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson might seem foolish, but remember Mickelson missed the cut last year and Watson’s best finish since 2014 is a tied for 27th. Harman missed the cut last year, but has nine top-10 finishes this year.
The first round leader is often a golfer that fans are not that familiar with, and can provide excellent value. Francisco Molinari is one that jumps off the betting board. He is in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings, and is 33/1 to have the first-round lead.
Another, albeit more daring pick, would be Thomas Pieters at 66/1. He shot a 69 in the first round of last year’s event and a 68 in the 2016 tournament.