PGA Betting Guide to Specials and Props: The Open Championship
Picking winners for a golf tournament is incredibly difficult and requires -- we hate to say it -- tons of luck to get it right.
One wayward drive, one plugged bunker shot, or one shanked approach is all it takes to turn your magical big money payout into a stone-cold zero. Fortunately, we can play the prop market on FanDuel Sportsbook for The Open Championship and find a few other ways to wager on this week's tournament without that all-or-nothing downside.
Whereas outright bets only pay out if the golfer wins the event, specials and props can keep bettors interested all the way through the end of the tournament. So let's focus on some of those opportunities: finishing position, matchup betting, and geography propositions. Aussie Aussie Aussie!
Cameron Smith (+1300 for a Top 5 Finish) - Smith is the best value in this category, going off at longer odds than countrymen Adam Scott and Jason Day -- both +1100 in this market despite being longer than Smith in the outright odds. There isn't a ton of Open form to rely on, but he won in the wind in Hawaii at the start of the year and has top-fives in both The Masters (twice) and the U.S. Open to his name.
Tommy Fleetwood (+490 for a Top 10 Finish) - Fleetwood was runner-up in 2019, and with two other top-fives at the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2017, Fleetwood had earned a reputation for bringing his best when on the biggest stages. Always a candidate to post the low round of the day but not yet proven to be able to slam the door on an elite field, we'll back Tommy for another high finish this week.
Garrick Higgo (+900 for a Top 10 Finish) - Higgo introduced himself to the American audience with his win at the Palmetto Championship, but he has been a machine on the European, Challenge, and Sunshine Tours the past three years, racking up 15 top-10 finishes in the 47 events prior to his late charge at Congaree. That's a 32% strike rate, and while this field is a different beast, he is absolutely brimming with confidence and eager to prove his place among the world's best. At 9/1, we like our chances for a big splash in his Open debut.
Daniel Berger (+270 for a Top 20 Finish) - Berger has been one of the most consistent golfers on the planet for the past 18 months, and while the 2020 form was even better, he was robbed of showing it off at The Open due to the cancellation. His game should suit links-style golf, with his lack of super elite distance mitigated by the conditions, and his strengths lying in iron play and putting. His number is a tad higher than several others probably because he stuck around the states for an extra week to play the John Deere Classic, but Berger is too long in the top-20 market for us not to bite.
Min Woo Lee (+600 for a Top 20 Finish) - Your Scottish Open champion arrives at Sandwich for the biggest event of his life, and we have no concern about nerves after watching him drain that birdie putt to win a playoff last week. He was also 17th the week prior at the Irish Open, and a third straight finish in the top 20 pays out at a tasty 6/1.
Tournament Match Betting
Jordan Spieth (-112 over Xander Schauffele) - There's no denying Schauffele's immense talent and terrific form. In fact, according to datagolf's True Strokes Gained Tool, Xander is second only to Jon Rahm in true form over the past year. But if we pivot to just the last six months, we see Spieth leapfrog him. Xander's Open form is solid with finishes of 41st, 2nd, and 20th, but Spieth's is elite with a win in 2017 being the highlight, along with 4th- and 9th-place finishes in 2015 and 2018, respectively.
Lee Westwood (+180 over Scottie Scheffler) - Westwood goes off as a huge dog to Scheffler this week in a line that more closely reflects the opening odds than the current, where Westwood (+4000) is shorter than Scheffler (+4500). Grab this one while it's available.
Marc Leishman (-120 over Rickie Fowler) - Leishman gets the nod in this matchup in odds that should be far steeper, as Fowler has been a shell of himself for the better part of the last three years. He putted his way to a top-10 at the PGA Championship, his first such finish since early January 2020. Leishman has five top-fives in that span, plus the win at the team event earlier this season. Rickie's odds are similar thanks to a decent record at The Open, but Leishman's is still superior with three top-10s to Fowler's two.
Higgo (Top South African Player +600) - We made the case above for a top-10, a finish that should be enough to cash this ticket, as well. It's always possible Louis Oosthuizen (+200 in this market) sneaks into the finishing places once again, but at three times the odds, we'll take our chances with Higgo. We also hedge our bets and cover our bet if he falls out of the top 10 but can still take down this market.
Adam Scott (Top Rest of World Player +1400) - Scott gets the nod here in a market that includes everyone except Americans and Europeans. It's a steep field for sure, and we'll be very lucky to thread the needle with Scott winning this market, with Smith in the top 5 and Higgo in the top 10, but we are at least live and have coverage across the board if any of them show out. Scott is long overdue for a contending week, and his record at The Open is impressive with four top-10s and three more top-25s in the past 10 years, including a T25 finish here at Royal St. George.