Now that our outright selections have been placed, we turn to the top finishing markets for the 149th Open. It’s always important to search for value in the top finishing markets, so remember to shop around for the best lines for your 2021 Open Championship prop bets as they typically differ from sportsbook to sportsbook.
It’s been far too long, my friend, as the Open returns from a two-year hiatus. Royal St. George’s Golf Club will play host to the championship for the first time since 2011. A decade removed, there have been eight additional players to etch their names on the Claret Jug since then. The players themselves, at least when looking back at the championship, are hardly the least bit surprising.
With names such as Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the most head-scratching names are likely those who don the “veteran” moniker. Whether it was Ernie Els in 2012, Phil Mickelson the following year at Muirfield, Zach Johnson playing spoiler to Spieth’s Grand Slam aspirations in 2015, or Henrik Stenson outdueling Mickelson at Troon the next year, these are all household names that casual golf fans know and know well.
The Open Championship Prop Bets: What to Look For
That may be our angle of attack as we search for value a bit down the oddsboard for our Open Championship prop bets. While many of the world’s best occupy the top, there are numerous wily veterans with plenty of Open Championship experience that may pose a threat this week.
Considering the nature of this championship, it may be wise to target those types of players. As links golf is an acquired taste and with numerous first-timers and inexperienced players in the field, their history in this championship becomes invaluable.
However, that will only take them so far in the Open as an all-around test is awaiting in Sandwich, England. The keys to the kingdom lie in a rather simplistic approach to handicapping this week. While all facets of one’s game need to be in order, it’s ball-striking and short-game prowess that typically take over in this setting. That combined with the ability to avoid the big number lays out the loose variation of the statistical profile that we will be targeting for our Open Championship props.
At [ol-sportsbook-bp:48:Bovada:26:Bodog], tournament favorite Jon Rahm is +150 to finish inside the top five. These odds imply a 40.00 percent probability of him being able to do so. With this in mind, we will employ the same strategy of perusing a bit further down the oddsboard, as it continues to pay the bills, and hopefully should do the same for our Open Championship betting props.
The Open Championship Prop Bets & Best Bets: Our Recommendations
Daniel Berger (+800 to finish inside the top 5)
Dare I say that the world No. 16 is being disrespected in the betting markets? Coming off the best major finish of his career, a T-7 at the U.S. Open, Berger’s lack of links experience is the likely cause of this number and his odds in the outright market.
Yet when looking at previous winners, past success in recent Open Championships is not necessarily a prerequisite. While I discussed the importance of experience, we can look to Shane Lowry in 2019 to validate this sentiment. Before Royal Portrush and his victory, Lowry, who had done little to nothing in this championship, missed the cut in four consecutive Opens.
Berger arrives in similar Open Championship form, missing the weekend in two of three trips to the United Kingdom, with his best finish, a T-27, coming at Royal Birkdale in 2017. However, he is a completely different player and should be treated as such. The irons have been fantastic for the vast majority of 2021 and could prove to be a difference-maker this week.
Outside of his victory at Pebble Beach, Berger arrives with four top-10 finishes on his season and is just a strong putting week away from inching his way into the top five. With the whole bag seemingly in form, if he catches a hot putter, he’ll certainly play a factor in this championship. Because of this, Berger to finish inside the top five kicks off our Open Championship prop bets.
Jason Day (+1100 to finish inside the top 5)
The big concern for Day week in and week out is the health of his back. However, after limping to a top-10 finish at the Travelers Championship in late June, he has since backed it up with a top-15 finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic the following week.
Potentially easing back into the “fully healthy” zone, Day should make for a keen play in the finishing markets for two glaring reasons. The first is his history in this championship. From 2015 to 2018, Day finished no worse than a tie for 27th in 2017 at Royal Birkdale. This stretch of golf includes a top-five finish at St. Andrews where he fell one stroke short of the eventual playoff that featured Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman and Zach Johnson.
Clearly comfortable in the links setting, due to his reliability around the greens, the rest of his game has taken form over his last couple of starts. While the ball-striking has been showing signs of life for the past year or so, it’s been Day’s putting that has held him back.
That hasn’t been the case in his last two starts, gaining a combined +7.4 Strokes Gained: Putting. If that’s the case this week at Royal St. George’s, Day could find himself inside the top five by week’s end and thus makes the list of our Open Championship prop bets.
Robert MacIntyre (+500 to finish inside the top 10)
The young Scot comes to Royal St. George’s this week set to appear in only the second Open Championship of his career. The first one, coming in 2019 at Royal Portrush, could not have gone smoother, as he captured a tie for sixth. Now, MacIntyre arrives in a bit of form and at an attractive price to repeat his debut performance.
Making his first start since the U.S. Open last week at his home country’s open, MacIntyre’s tee-to-green game showed no signs of rust. Eventually finishing in a tie for 18th, the 24-year-old finished seventh for the week in SG: Tee-to-Green, thanks to a well-rounded effort. If not for an uncooperative putter, he could have posed more of a threat to the leaders, but alas it was not meant to be.
From a major championship perspective, it is clear MacIntyre does not fear the limelight, but rather welcomes it. A tie for 12th at the Masters has since been backed up with a T-49 at the PGA Championship and a T-35 at the U.S. Open. The Open Championship is the one he should feel the most comfortable at given his upbringing and if that’s the case at Royal St. George’s, another quality major finish could be in his future.
Henrik Stenson (+1400 to finish inside the top 20)
I talked up the potential of wily veterans playing a role in this championship and it would be hypocritical if I didn’t write up at least one of them. Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer and Stewart Cink each makes a strong case to be in this article, but I find myself drawn to Stenson for our Open Championship prop bets, despite his recent string of poor results.
Stenson’s last made cut came about a month ago in his own tournament, the Scandanavian Mixed. Since then, he’s missed the cut at the U.S. Open and last week’s Scottish Open. However, in the first two majors of the season, he didn’t play all that terribly. A top-40 finish at the Masters was followed up with a made cut at the PGA Championship where he gained +5.8 SG: Approach.
Then there was last week at the Renaissance Club where Stenson once again struck the ball well, as he has done throughout his career. That should bode well for the 2016 Champion Golfer of the Year since Royal St. George’s has had the reputation of proving difficult around the greens. If it poses a large challenge for everyone, that should only even the playing field when it comes to Stenson’s weakness, his short game.
Lastly, and we couldn’t forget to mention this, Stenson boasts one of the most impressive Open Championship resumes. Since 2008, he has made the weekend in each of his Open starts. That stretch of golf includes a T-3 at Royal Birkdale in 2008, a T-13 at Turnberry in 2009, a T-3 at St. Andrews in 2010, a runner-up finish to Phil Mickelson in 2013, his lone major victory in 2016 and a T-11 in 2017 at Royal Birkdale once again.
Yes, he’s a completely different player than he was in his prime, but to say he’s over the hill is a stretch too long. The Open Championship has an uncanny ability to bring oldtimers back to life and Stenson is the man to fill that role at Royal St. George’s.
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