The Open Championship 2019 Golf Betting Picks
We’re just a few days away from The Open Championship 2019, as the fourth and final major returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in 58 years.
Rory McIlroy (+800) jumped Brooks Koepka (+1000) as the betting favorite to win the Claret Jug at most online sports betting sites. While this week’s venue has held only one professional tournament since 1951, McIlroy has his fair share of history at The Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush:
At the age of 16, two years before turning pro, McIlroy set the Royal Portrush course record with an 11-under 61 at the North of Ireland Championship. The record stands 14 years later, and it may never be broken.The Open Championship 2019 — Betting Preview
For a course preview of Royal Portrush and a more extensive look at McIlroy, be sure to check out The Open Championship 2019 — Betting Preview.
In this article, we’ll touch on more golf betting picks strategy for The Open Championship 2019 as we breakdown the favorites, mid-tier odds, and longshot bets to win the 148th Open Championship. But before we get to that, let’s discuss the weather.
Wind and rain are notorious for impacting Open Championship outcomes, more so than most tournaments.
Predictably, rain showers are expected throughout the week at Royal Portrush. Less predictable, is what wave of golfers — AM or PM — will stand to benefit from the weather draw. As CBS Sports’ Kyler Porter points out, Tiger Woods shot an 81 for the first time as a pro after a bad tee-time draw in the 2002 Open.
For now, the weather forecast shows a chilly start Thursday morning with scattered showers in the afternoon. There’s a 60 percent chance of rain throughout Friday. But that can change quickly, as The Open has taught us before. Because of the likelihood that some golfers end up with a noticeable advantage (who? we don’t know yet), many bettors prefer to wait until closer to the tournament’s start time, so they have a better idea of how the weather will play out.
Whatever you do, pay close attention to the weather forecast leading up to the 1:00 am ET start and you might find an edge in certain tournament matchups and outright odds.
The Open Championship 2019 Betting Picks
Favorites at The Open 2019
While fickle weather forecasts might suggest opportunity in betting longshots at The Open, it’s been favorites drinking out of the Claret Jug recently. Out of the last six Open Champions, five have been between +1200 and +2500, according to SportsOddsHistory.com.
Home-course hype will certainly make McIlroy a popular betting pick to win outright and in matchup bets. If you want to back the Irishman, the best place to do so is at DraftKings Sportsbook, where you find McIlroy +950. Might the emphasis on McIlroy’s love affair with Royal Portrush create value on other favorites in this range?
At BetStars, Brooks Koepka is +1100, which is a good price relative to the PGA Championship and U.S. Open. Koepka started his career on the European Challenge Tour, eventually earning his card for the European Tour where he won the Turkish Airlines Open. Koepka spent most of 2014 in Europe and was named the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year. Point being: Koepka is no stranger to links golf or sporadic weather. In fact, Koepka said, with confidence, he’d win the Claret Jug sooner or later, but it sounds like he’s more confident in winning at St. Andrews than any other Open venue. Hint: put the 150th Open Championship (2021) on your calendar.
Other top favorites include Jon Rahm +1600 (use FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to get these odds) and Tiger Woods +2000 (DraftKings).
Rahm’s odds have fallen drastically over the last few weeks thanks to a runner-up finish at the Andalucia Masters and a win at the Irish Open. Not to mention a T3 finish at the U.S. Open a month ago. While I would have liked to grab Rahm when he was +2500, the ship has sailed on this one, at least for me.
I like any course that potentially takes the driver out of Tiger’s hands, but my biggest hesitation this week are concerns regarding the weather and Tiger’s back. Woods is still one of the best ball strikers on tour. He has the imagination and touch to win on a links course. But how many surgeries has he had? Golfers aren’t exactly loose playing in chilly, early morning weather. I think last year was his best shot to win his fourth Claret Jug. Instead, I’m looking to fade Woods in matchup bets.
My two favorite plays in this range aren’t quite as far up the betting board as the golfers mentioned above. You can find value on both Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas.
Cantlay is +1700 at William Hill, but conversely, +3500 at BetStars. That’s quite a difference. Additionally, Cantlay has proven to be a big-time player, and arguably a top-five talent in the world. Cantlay is known to struggle from the sand, but Royal Portrush has the least amount of bunkers than any course in Open Championship history. Last year, he finished T12 at Carnoustie.
Justin Thomas missed two of five cuts since returning from the wrist injury that kept him from the PGA Championship, but his game appeared to be rounding into form at last week’s Scottish Open (T9). Recently, he’s lost most of his strokes on the green, which is another reason for optimism. At the Travelers’ Championship (T36), Thomas gained over 11 strokes tee-to-green but lost nearly eight with his short stick. After the Top-10 finish in Scotland, Thomas told reporters that he felt great and loves links golf.
Like Rahm, Thomas’ odds have fallen quickly. He was +4000 a few weeks ago, but has fallen to as low as +2500. You can still back him at +3000 at William Hill.
The 0pen 2019 Mid-Tier Odds
Unfortunately, golfers like Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar have fallen from +4000 into the +2500-3000 range after solid performances in July. Both golfers have excelled at links courses before. Stenson won his first and only major at 145th Open Championship 2016. Kuchar enters the week with back-to-back Top-10s in Open Championships, including a runner-up behind Jordan Spieth in 2017.
Stenson’s 3-wood will be an advantage if the wind picks up. I don’t mind backing Stenson if you find him closer to +3500. As for Kuchar, +4800 at DraftKings is a great value. He’s +3000 at William Hill and FanDuel.
Two other golfers I’m interested in are Hideki Matsuyama +4500 (BetStars) and Louis Oosthuizen +5500 (DraftKings). Matsuyama’s putter is always his biggest handicap, but he’s consistently one of the best golfers tee-to-green (No. 2 in the field over the last 50 rounds). Oosthuizen won the 2010 Open Championship and was runner-up in 2015. He finished T7 at the U.S. Open and will be comfortable at Royal Portrush. Oosthuzien is as low as +3000 at William Hill as well. I like the highlighted prices on both golfers, but don’t jump the gun yet. I’d wait to find out more about the weather before commit.
Longshots at The Open 2019
Before favorites dominated 2013-18, longshots hit three years in a row between 2009-2011. Stewart Cink won at +12500 (125-1), followed by Oosthuizen +20000 (200-1) and Darren Clarke +15000 (150-1). And don’t forget about Todd Hamilton’s improbable +50000 (500-1) win over Ernie Els at Royal Troon in 2004. Or the year before, when rookie Ben Curtis, ranked No. 396th in the world at the time, entered the field through an obscure expedition category that longer exists. Not even listed on most betting boards (you’d have to bet on ‘The Field’ instead), Curtis was “about as likely to win the British Open as Prince Charles,” wrote ESPN’s Bob Harig in 2011.
Are you interested in longshots to win The Open 2019 yet? I figured so.
Hopefully Friday’s The Open Championship 2019 — Betting Preview helped you grab some longshots in the field at the Scottish Open before oddsmakers adjusted their prices. We mentioned Bernd Wiesberger +15000 to win The Open 2019 before he closed the deal in Scotland. Weiserberger’s odds to win The Open 2019 plummeted to +7500 Sunday morning after one bettor wagered $400 to win $60K Saturday afternoon at William Hill.
William Hill also took a $400 bet to win $60K on Andy Sullivan (200-1). Previously, his odds were 300-1 to win The Open 2019. They briefly fell to +10000 but bounced back and remain steady at +20000.
Other large wagers at William Hill include $200 to win $20K on Rafa Cabrera-Bello (100-1) and $200 to win 50K on Erik Van Rooyen (250-1). Cabrera-Bello is down to +6000 and Van Rooyen +15000 at the William Hill.
Cabrera-Bello is my favorite remaining play out of the longshots already mentioned. The Spaniard was one of three runners-up when Royal Portrush played host to the 2012 Irish Open and he finished T4 at the 2017 Open Championship. He only has one other Top-25 in Open Championships, but he’s made the cut in five of six tries. Additionally, he returns to Royal Portrush after a T3 at the BMW International Open, a T4 at the Irish Open, and a T9 at the Scottish Open in his last three tournaments. Don’t bite at the +6000 price tag, though. Instead, visit PointsBet where the Cabrera-Bello is +8000 to win the 2019 Open Championship. Andy Sullivan +2000 at William Hill is still tempting, but it looks like we missed our chance on the others.
Finally, the final three longshots I’m seriously considering are Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia, both +8000 at BetStars and Byeong Hun An +25000 at William Hill.
Leishman and Garcia have plenty of experience and are superb wind players, two traits that have historically paid dividends in Open Championships. Leishman has a T6, T5 and a runner-up in three of his past five Open Championship appearances. Garcia has played poorly in 2019, a season that includes four missed cuts in his last six tournaments. On the bright side, he gained five strokes tee-to-green at the U.S. Open and placed seventh two weeks ago at the Andalucia Masters. Garcia has never held up the Claret Jug, but has Top-10s in over half of his attempts. +8000 is great value considering each golfer can be found as low as +5000 at other sportsbooks.
And once again, if you’re looking for general golf betting tips, please refer to our PGA golf betting guide.
(Top Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports)