Tides’ Takes – PGA Tournament Matchup Picks, Props & Outrights: The Open Championship
ScoresAndOdds analyst Timothy Buell gives free expert advice and betting picks for the 2022 British Open!
Welcome to my new weekly PGA column! I will be focusing primarily on tournament (or H2H) matchups, but if I think the odds are right, I will throw in an occasional outright wager.
Make sure to use our tools at ScoresAndOdds to find the best lines at your favorite legal sportsbook.
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2022 Open Championship
We have arrived for the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews! Whether you are a golf purist, or just a casual fan, this is as good it gets.
If you live in the United States like me, you will need to have the coffee pot ready. Coverage will start on Thursday morning around 1:30 AM ET, so make sure to have your bets in by Wednesday night! Be sure to circle back to my early preview article, which highlights more about the course and my initial plays!
St Andrew’s is THE most traditional links course. There is a reason it is called The Old Course. Early reports are that officials want this course to play firm and fast. This prevents the course from getting overpowered by the modern day golfer.
The greens are huge and there are a few that are double greens. Wind plays a massive factor on links courses. Forecasts appear – as of now – that there is no wave advantage. With this course right on the coast, the wind can adjust quickly, so always make sure to do your own research right up to the start of the event if you are concerned.
In addition to the three outright plays that I previously made, I will add two more outrights, plus a couple of head-to-head matchups. Good luck everyone, and lets enjoy the fourth and final major of the season!
2022 British Open Betting Picks
- Current Odds: 18-1 on BetMGM
There is an element of creativity that is needed to win any links-style course and that is exactly the type of player that Spieth is.
We saw him very much in contention all the way up to the back nine of last week’s Scottish Open. He unfortunately lost his way and got on the bogey train coming in and couldn’t chase down Xander.
Spieth’s world-class wedge game and around-the-green game should mitigate what he lacks with the putter. Spieth is a former Champion Golfer of the Year, having won this event in 2017 at Birkdale.
Last year, he finished runner-up to Collin Morikawa at Royal St. Georges. He also has a fourth-place finish in 2015, the last time The Open was held at The Old Course.
A couple of noteworthy results from this season include a runner-up at Pebble Beach and a victory at Hilton Head. Both of those courses are coastline courses, where you have to trust your game and battle the wind throughout the course.
- Current Odds: 50-1 on DraftKings
If the wind plays a big factor this week, you will want someone who is accurate off the tee with a low-ball flight.That is exactly what you get with Niemann. He has excelled at coastal courses this season and finished second to Spieth at Hilton Head, while recording a second-place finish at Mayakoba.
Niemann also scored his second-career PGA victory at Riviera in the Genesis Invitational, so I feel confident he can win a field full of tough competition.
He has not had good finishes at his two prior Open appearances, but I am willing to throw those out, since those weren’t played here at St. Andrew’s. He ranks 16th off the tee and 27th around the green. Those are my most important stats of the week and his metrics give me value on this line.
Head to Head Tournament Matchups
Christiaan Bezuidenhout vs. Keith Mitchell
- Pick: Keith Mitchell +100 on DraftKings
Since I am emphasizing driving metrics more than anything else this week, this is a matchup I want to exploit. Mitchell ranks 9th in strokes gained off the tee while Bezuidenhout ranks just outside the top 50. Mitchell’s superior driving skills should set him up nicely for this course. He does not have the best approach game, but he should be able to get by due to the large size of the greens at The Old Course.
Mitchell also ranks 9th in strokes-gained putting, so even if Bez gets hot with the putter, which he can do at times, Mitchell should be able to counter. Mitchell rates out strongly this week. I am a little concerned about his ceiling for an outright bet but I did bet a top-20 for Mitchell at +250.
Tommy Fleetwood vs. Tony Finau
- Pick Tommy Fleetwood -120 on DraftKings
Admittedly, I am throwing the numbers on this bet and just going on feel. Finau is an excellent driver of the golf ball, but I think he will struggle this week on a links-style course due to his around-the-green being below average.
Fleetwood’s best results come on links golf courses and I think he will be the superior player, especially if wind becomes a factor. Creativity will be a big component to this golf course and that is a tough metric to quantify. European golfers will have the advantage if The Old Course finds ways to protect itself from the bombers and the R&A will try everything it can to make this not be a birdie fest.