Betting Preview for the 2021 Saudi International With Odds, Predictions, and Best Bets

| February 1, 2021 5:42 pm PDT

The third edition of the Saudi International comes to life this week from Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. The gorgeous setting along the coast of the Red Sea is one reason so many world-class players have made the trip to King Abdullah Economic City. The other is the enormous appearance fees being thrown at the big names – just ask Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

Along with the two most recent major championship winners, both of last week’s victors (Patrick Reed and Paul Casey) are here, as are a number of other American stars and International world-beaters.

Let’s look at the odds and get to some Saudi International predictions

2021 Saudi International Odds

DJ is the overwhelming favorite no matter which of the top golf betting sites you shop your lines at. Arriving with nine straight finishes of 12th or better, Dustin won the inaugural Saudi International in 2019 and finished solo-2nd in 2020.

As pristine as Dustin’s resume is, I still can’t bring myself to pull the trigger at +550. Not in a 138-man field that’s loaded with superstars at every turn. I’d rather latch onto some value a bit further down the betting sheet.

Previous Winners of the Saudi International

The European Tour launched this event in 2019, and for the third time, it’ll take place the same weekend as the Super Bowl. 2021 marks the second straight year Phil Mickelson – a fan favorite in Scottsdale – has opted to skip the Phoenix Open in lieu of traveling to Saudi Arabia.

“Lefty” tied for 3rd last year.

Past Results at the Saudi International
Year Winner Total Score Margin of Victory
2020 Graeme McDowell 268 (-12) 2
2019 Dustin Johnson 261 (-19) 2

McDowell’s triumph in 2020 was his first victory on the European Tour since the 2014 Open de France. That’s the good news. The bad news is he hasn’t cracked the top-20 anywhere around the globe in 22 starts since. Graeme has missed the cut in 14 of those instances.

As you can imagine, McDowell won’t be featured as one of my Saudi International picks.

Saudi International Pick to Win in 2021

After spotting Viktor Hovland’s odds for the Saudi International at MyBookie (+1800), I was happy to lock him in. The Norwegian sensation is sitting at +1500 and +1600 at other reputable sites, and forget about having to wonder about his current form.

Hovland wound up tying for second in at Torrey Pines – the 20th straight time he’s cashed a check in a professional golf tournament. He’s now the 12th-ranked golfer in the world.

Sauntering into Saudi Arabia beaming with confidence, Viktor was quick to shrug off his disappointing finish on Sunday.

“An annoying end to the tournament of course, but I feel like I’m playing well so I’m just gonna keep going. It’s cool to see how close I can be in this kind of field without having a top, top week. It tells me that my game is very stable, which is a nice feeling.”

Trying to fade Viktor this week seems like a risky idea – I’ll be taking a stab.

  • Viktor Hovland

Best Bets for the 2021 Saudi International

Royal Greens Golf and Country Club plays as a shortish par-70 track and shares some similar characteristics of the latest venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Namely, large sandy waste areas and picturesque views.

For this reason, guys who have fared well during the last two weeks should feel comfortable on this layout. Then again, not all predictions for the Saudi International are predicated on recent play.

Thomas Pieters to Finish Top 10

No top-10s since the Celtic Classic in August, Thomas Pieters seems due to get into contention on the European Tour. 27th last week in Dubai was a step in the right direction (41st in Abu Dhabi), and he’s got solid course history at Royal Greens.

22nd in the 2019 Saudi International and T3 here in 2020.

Sergio Garcia to Finish Top 20

Sergio Garcia’s disqualification at the 2019 Saudi International was a long time ago. Garcia closed with 66 at the 2020 Saudi International to wind up T6 – the same slot he landed on last week’s leaderboard at Emirate Golf Club.

Garcia’s golf swing isn’t firing on all cylinders at the moment, but boy, it looks pretty darn close. He’s a hot putter away from running away with a golf tournament.

Additional golf betting picks for this week can be found below.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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