Top Betting Picks for the 2021 Open Championship
Despite a series of withdrawals, a world-class field is convening at Royal St George’s for the final major of the year. Jon Rahm heads the betting sheet by a significant margin as all signs point to the reigning US Open champ firing on all cylinders in South East England.
However, there’s a case to look beyond Rahm and the other top dogs when locking in your top Open Championship picks. In the last two instances, this Championship was held at the rugged links course in Sandwich, Kent (2003, 2011); a pair of unheralded names walked away with the Claret Jug.
I’ll begin my series of British Open predictions with two more under-the-radar names to keep an eye on this week.
Open Championship Sleepers in 2021
You can’t find an excessive upside in the outright market unless you’re willing to look past the heavy hitters.
Webb Simpson (+8000)
Ranked 15th in the world, I have a hard time calling Webb Simpson one of the sleeper picks for The Open Championship. Webby has connected on five straight cuts at The Open and has amassed nine top-20s at the majors since 2018 alone.
As many bunkers as there are scattered throughout this layout, bettors can find solace knowing that Simpson leads the PGA Tour in sand save %.
On the other hand, Webb’s missed two straight cuts and arrives 54th in the FedEx Cup standings. He’s sitting at +6600 at a bunch of the best sites to bet on the British Open, although you can capture Simpson at +8000 by heading to BetOnline. I think it’s worth a stab.
Sam Burns (+15000)
Ignore the notion that an extreme dark horse can’t win at this golf course. Ben Curtis entered the week with +30000 Open Championship odds in 2003; Darren Clarke was +15000 long shot in 2011. Both emerged with the coveted piece of hardware. Could Sam Burns do the same?
Burns finished 13th at the Travelers Championship before heading to North Berwick to get his feet wet with links golf. After a slow start (72), Sam progressed each day at last week’s Scottish Open (68-67-66). Worth noting, he made just two bogies across the final 54 holes en route to a T18 finish.
Armed with a win, a second, a third, and a fourth, among his ten top-25s this season, Burns has the firepower necessary to handle the fierce conditions that a British Open presents.
Top-20 Finish – Matthew Fitzpatrick (+150)
Inserted into the 8th slot in my Open Championship power rankings for 2021, it’s safe to say I’m high on Matthew Fitzpatrick this week. With one eye on the action in the Euro Cup trying to figure out how he’d get to Wembley Stadium for the finale, the 26-year-old Englishman managed to play superb golf at The Renaissance Club and darn near won the tournament.
After hitting 14 greens in regulation each round and finishing at 18-under-par, Fitzpatrick’s modified carefree approach should serve him well moving forward. Heading into the final round on Sunday, Matthew noted how his light-hearted attitude helped bring out his best stuff.
He hits it straight and putts it great, not to mention he’s landed inside the top-20 in 9 of his last 14 starts worldwide. Playing on his home soil, there’s no way I’m passing on +150 odds that Fitzpatrick makes it 10 out of 15.
Matchup Bet – Will Zalatoris (+115) Over Harris English
It’s crucial to shop your lines when you’re committing to Open Championship predictions. Here’s a perfect example.
Those iffy on backing Zalatoris against English coughing up -110; it should be a no-brainer grabbing hold at +115. Recency bias (3rd at the US Open, winner of the Travelers Championship) makes English a sexy pick for the general public, but let’s put Harris’ career results at the Open Championship under a microscope.
|Harris English – Career Results in the Open Championship|
Just one top-40 in five tries and zero appearances since 2016.
Meanwhile, Will Zalatoris spent last week getting his “links numbers” dialed in at the Scottish Open. He’s finished inside the top 10 in two of the three majors this season and strolls into England with his driver on a string.
The Open Championship Pick to Win in 2021
Certain things have changed since I assessed the British Open odds last December. What remains constant is Xander Schauffele’s +1800 price tag to be the last man standing. I liked the value then; I’m absolutely loving it now.
Expectations for chilly temperatures and heavy wind are to be expected. Rain could play a factor. Throw in the humps and bumps that make this particular layout so undulating and demanding.
Perseverance will be a major key to determining success.
As big of juggernauts as Koepka and Rahm are, neither is more even-tempered than Schauffele.
After ripping off five top-14s in his last six starts in the states – including a T3 at Augusta and a T7 at Torrey Pines, Xander established himself in the UK with a T10 at the Scottish Open. I’ll take a full plate of Schauffele at +1800, with a side of Viktor Hovland at +3300.
For additional British Open picks, check out our golf blog.