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2022 British Open Best Bets: Outright Winner, Top 10, Top 20

<p>AP Photos</p>

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The Open Championship Picks, Predictions & Best Bets

Xander Schauffele comes in as the hottest player on the planet after winning back-to-back tournaments — but it will be a tremendous task for him to three-peat and join Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Matt Fitzpatrick as the year’s fourth major champion in a field loaded with the world’s elite.

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We were forced to take a leave of absence last week due to a bout with COVID-19 — but we are back this week refreshed and excited to give our analysis on the year’s final major at The Open Championship. Let’s get into it.

PGA Year-To-Date Record: +71.87 units, 35.62% ROI

Course Overview

This week’s track needs no introduction — the historic Old Course at St. Andrews.

The world’s oldest course was established in 1552 and is a par-72 that measures in at 7,313 yards.

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It features wide-open fairways that will be running firm this week, so distance rather than accuracy will be more beneficial this week.  

The rough can be treacherous and the greens are loaded with frontside bunkers, 112 in total.  

The greens are massive and feature plenty of undulation, so getting the ball to stay on the putting surface will be a challenge for the players this week.

As we saw last week at the Scottish Open, the weather played a big factor as the wind was calm in the opening round and the leader after Round 1 was -9, then the wind picked up over the weekend and -7 was ultimately enough to win the tournament.

Click here to read OddsJam’s complete course and tournament preview for The Open!

As is the case with links courses, Mother Nature is going to play a big role in the playability of the course again this week.

It is expected to be breezy but not blustery and the only chance of rain is supposed to be on Friday morning, so we are expecting another birdie fest this week. The winning score is likely going to have to be around -20, so we will be putting an emphasis on those players who can rack up birdies in bunches.

Statistics to Look At

It is going to take a combination of long driving, accurate approach shots, scoring birdies or better, efficient par-4 play, strong around-the-green play, and avoiding mistakes with the putter. 

For those reasons, the key metrics that our model is using to compile our portfolio this week are: driving distance, SG: Approach, birdie or better percentage, SG: Par 4s and three-putt avoidance,. 


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The Open Championship Outright Winner Picks, Odds

Rory McIlroy | +1000 at FanDuel

Sometimes the storyline seems so obvious that it’s too obvious, but that may just be the case this week with Rory McIlroy. 

McIlroy is on an eight-year major drought — his last major victory came all of the way back in 2014 at The Open Championship. He was set to defend his title in 2015 right here at St. Andrews, but he injured his foot the week prior playing soccer and was forced to withdraw.

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He wasn’t taking any chances this year — McIlroy skipped last week’s event at the Scottish Open to prepare for this week in what he hopes to be a career-defining moment where he ends that aforementioned dry spell.

McIlroy is tops in all of the key metrics we are looking at this week and is No. 1 in the world in scoring average on the season. As long as he can avoid that one blow-up hole that has been his Achilles heel in recent majors, there is an excellent chance he will be holding the Claret Jug for the third time in his career come Sunday afternoon.

Justin Thomas | +2500 at BetMGM

Justin Thomas has been a staple on these pages all season long, and now after a WD and a missed cut in his two most recent starts — we are getting the former No. 1 at a bargain price.

Granted, this is a little bit of a risky play given that he did have a back injury prior to the Travelers Championship and he certainly didn’t look his usual self last week in his +10 missed cut at the Scottish Open, but getting JT at anything above 20-1 is “must play” territory.

Thomas rates out at No. 2 in our model’s rankings, leading the field in birdies or better gained and in par-4 efficiency. Thomas has been the epitome of consistency, already one major under his belt this year and nine other top-10 finishes.

He may not be coming in with great form or have a great track history at links courses — but don’t be shocked in the least if he snags two majors in one year.

2022 British Open Derivative Picks

The Open Top 10 Picks

Jordan Spieth | +180 at DraftKings

Augusta National is the closest course comparison on Tour to St. Andrews, so it’s hard not to like Jordan Spieth this week. He has had great success in his career at Augusta.

He is coming in with some good form coming off a T-6 last week at the Scottish Open and he has great course history at the Old Course. He finished in a tie for fourth when The Open Championship was last played here in 2015 — one shot outside of the playoff.

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Xander Schauffele | +150 at DraftKings

We backed Xander Schauffele to win at the Travelers Championship and he rewarded us with the outright win and we liked him last week as well. He is the model’s No. 1 rated player this week — ranking in the top 10 across six of the seven key metrics.

Schauffele is peaking at the perfect time, and though it is very difficult to win three tournaments in a row, he certainly has the course fit and current form to contend once again.

He already has five top-10 finishes this season, don’t be surprised if he is in one of the final pairings contending for his first major title this weekend.


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The Open Top 20 Picks

Seamus Power | +275 at Unibet

Seamus Power has been an under-the-radar powerhouse in the majors this season, finishing T27 at the Masters, T9 at the PGA Championship and T12 at the U.S. Open.

He is No. 2 in the field in strokes gained on par-4s and he ranks 10th in scoring average — he makes a lot of birdies and eagles — something you will need to contend in the inevitable birdie fest this week.

Also being from Ireland, he is very accustomed to links-style golf and we look for him to notch the third top-20 finish of his career in majors this weekend.

Sam Burns | +220 at FanDuel

Sam Burns has been another staple on these pages throughout the season, and even though he hasn’t had much success in majors yet in his career, it is only a matter of time for a player as talented as Burns to break through.

He already has three wins on the season and has been in the top 10 in nine other events. At over 2-1 to just finish in the top 20, we see a ton of value.


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Other 2022 British Open Picks

Rory McIlroy Outright Winner | +900 at Caesars

There is a reason he is the odds-on favorite to win this week. McIlroy has been playing as well as anyone on Tour and has the experience to back it up.

If the putter can get hot, McIlroy has a great chance to hoist the claret jug come Sunday.

Will Zalatoris Top 10 Finish | +275 at Caesars

Will Zalatoris may have never won on the PGA Tour, but he knows how to play in majors.

Excluding his first major appearance at the 2018 U.S. Open (he was cut) and the 2021 Open Championship (he withdrew due to injury), Zalatoris has played in five majors. He has finished in the top eight of all of them.

Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris All Make Cut | +130 at Caesars

This isn’t going to be the best value pick but should be an absolute lock. All four golfers are among the top-nine betting favorites to win the tournament: Rory McIlroy (+900), Jon Rahm (+1600), Scottie Scheffler (+1600) and Will Zalatoris (+2500).

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