Open Championship betting preview: Spieth destined for 4th major title

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The final major championship of the season is here.

The 149th Open Championship from Royal St. George's Golf Club will cap off the six-major super season that started way back with the 2020 U.S. Open. And what a major season it's been.

From Dustin Johnson's dominant victory at the Masters to Phil Mickelson's unbelievable triumph at the PGA Championship, marquee players have competed and taken down the year's biggest tournaments.

This week's Open shouldn't be any different.

The Course

  • Royal St. George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England
  • 7,204 yards, par 70
  • Hosted Open in 2003 (Ben Curtis) and 2011 (Darren Clarke)
  • A traditional links course with wind as its primary defense
  • Undulating fairways and slopes around the green will turn average shots into poor ones
  • Thick fescue throughout will force players to hit the fairways
  • Severe pot bunkers line the fairways and guard greens

Past champions

2019 - Shane Lowry (-15)
2018 - Francesco Molinari (-8)
2017 - Jordan Spieth (-12)
2016 - Henrik Stenson (-20)
2015 - Zach Johnson (-15)
2014 - Rory McIlroy (-17)
2013 - Phil Mickelson (-3)
2012 - Ernie Els (-7)
2011 - Darren Clarke (-5)
2010 - Louis Oosthuizen (-16)

The favorites

Player Odds
Jon Rahm +800
Brooks Koepka +1300
Xander Schauffele +1800
Rory McIlroy +1900
Dustin Johnson +2000
Jordan Spieth +2000
Justin Thomas +2000

Jon Rahm is the heavy favorite following his U.S. Open victory and a very strong showing at last week's Scottish Open. Can he win a second major this week? Absolutely. But he should be faded with odds of +800.

Brooks Koepka is always worth a look when a major is on deck. He gave himself a chance at The Open in 2019 and placed inside the top 10 in two of his previous three starts at the event prior to that finish at Royal Portrush. It would be a little sweeter if his odds were closer to +1800, but no one would fault you for backing a consistent contender at +1300 and likely getting to sweat through Sunday.

Pass on Xander Schauffele at +1800 simply because his career resume doesn't align with the rest of the players in that range.

A case can also be made for Rory McIlroy. He placed inside the top five during his three starts at The Open prior to missing the cut while competing in his homeland at Royal Portrush.

However, Jordan Spieth at +2000 stands out among the favorites. He possesses all the qualities you look for in an Open champion, and Spieth is playing some of his best career golf.

The next tier

Player Odds
Viktor Hovland +2200
Louis Oosthuizen +2400
Bryson DeChambeau +2500
Patrick Reed +2500
Collin Morikawa +2700
Tyrrell Hatton +2700
Patrick Cantlay +3000
Matthew Fitzpatrick +4000
Paul Casey +4000
Shane Lowry +4000
Tommy Fleetwood +4000
Branden Grace +4500
Lee Westwood +4600
Scottie Scheffler +4800

What to do with Bryson DeChambeau is the biggest decision here. With +2500 odds, there's clearly some value available on the 2020 U.S. Open champ. But he hasn't been playing well recently, with zero top-15 finishes over his last six starts. He's also missed two cuts and finished tied for 51st over his three Open Championship starts. There's a brand new caddie on his bag, too.

Louis Oosthuizen (+2400) finished as a runner-up during the last two majors, and he should contend this week while playing in a tournament the veteran won in 2010. But we're trying to pick winners here, and the South African hasn't been able to close the door on Sunday throughout his career.

Patrick Cantlay is worth considering at +3000. He's playing great with four straight top-25 finishes - including a win at the Memorial - and Cantlay does everything well. He's also made both cuts over two Open Championship appearances.

Long shots

Ben Curtis and Darren Clarke came out of nowhere to win the most recent Open Championships held at Royal St. George's.

While this group of long shots isn't that far off the radar, the door for a potential +10000 or greater winner is wide open.

  • Adam Scott (+7500): The Aussie has notched five career top-10 results at the Open Championship, including one when he blew a four-shot lead with four holes left in 2012. He's been putting beautifully over his last four starts, and Scott is always dangerous with his iron play.
  • Alex Noren (+9500): He's found some form on the PGA TOUR and tied for fourth two starts ago. The Swede also loves playing The Open, with no finish worse than tying for 17th over his last three appearances.
  • Francesco Molinari (+15000): The 2018 Open champ placed inside the top 15 at the U.S. Open only two starts ago, and his track record is great when the Claret Jug is on the line.
  • Henrik Stenson (+30000): Say what you will about Stenson's recent performances, but he ranks second in the field in strokes gained: total at the Open Championship over the last five years.

Picks

Jordan Spieth (+2000)

David Davies - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

It's Spieth's time.

The three-time major champion looks primed to claim a fourth while playing a layout that fits his game perfectly. Spieth is hitting the ball beautifully and gaining an average of 6.11 strokes tee to green over his past 11 recorded events, which doesn't include the Masters when he finished tied for third.

His creativity on and around the greens also gives him a great chance to win any Open Championship. Spieth leads the field in strokes gained: total during the past five Opens, and he'll feel more than comfortable on the tough links layout at Royal St. George's.

Tommy Fleetwood (+4000)

Oisin Keniry / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tommy Fleetwood enters The Open after back-to-back solid showings at the Irish Open and Scottish Open, and he was a runner-up to Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush. He's also improved on his Open result in each of his past three attempts.

Few players in the world are more comfortable on a links course than Fleetwood. He's a two-time runner-up at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - which is spread out over three links venues in Scotland - and Fleetwood was the runner-up at the Scottish Open in 2020.

It would be nice if Fleetwood had registered a couple of wins on the PGA TOUR already, but it would also be fitting if his first came in his homeland of England after several close calls during majors.

Cameron Smith (+7000)

Oisin Keniry / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Cameron Smith's game resembles how Spieth plays, and if we like the American at +2000, then we certainly need to back the Aussie at +7000.

No, Smith isn't as talented or as consistent as Spieth, but he possesses all the tools to contend at Royal St. George's. His short game and putting are world-class, and he hits the ball plenty far enough to take advantage of the scorable holes. If his iron play is solid, he'll earn a really good chance to win.

Plus, he's not afraid of the major championship stage. Smith has placed inside the top 10 at Augusta National three times (another venue that requires an elite short game), and he tied for fourth during his major debut at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, a tournament Spieth won.

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Open Championship betting preview: Spieth destined for 4th major title
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