2021 British Open: Complete Betting Guide
Welcome to the SAO British Open sports betting preview. At the bottom of the page you will find a free pick, provided by one of our top SAO handicappers. Sure, you could technically scroll down right now to find it, but you really should read the entire page because it has some exciting information and advice on how to maximize your British Open bets.
British Open = Open Championship
First, let’s get something out of the way. Yes, we know the official name of the British Open is the Open Championship. On this page, we will refer to the tournament as the British Open because that is what Scott Van Pelt calls it and we trust him implicitly.
When Is The British Open?
The 2021 British Open will take place from July 15 through the 18th at Royal St. George’s (more on the venue later). If you’re planning to follow along from the U.S., NBC will have the broadcasting rights.
British Open Observations
Here are some questions that often come to mind when watching television coverage of the British Open:
- Where are the trees?
- Why is it so cold there in July?
- Why is the golf course so flat and why is the green part of the fairway and/or the fairway part of the green?
- Why is it on TV so godforsaken early? (6:00 a.m. on the west coast!)
- How big are those grandstands? They look like half of London can fit in them.
- Why are the diabolically designed bunkers bigger than a semi trailer and seemingly impossible to hack out of? Also, the bunkercam is really cool. Who came up with that idea?
- Is it just me, or do all the drives look like they bounce down the brown, rock-hard fairways almost as far as they fly in the air?
To answer a few, the British Open is held in Britain. The time zone is different, the climate is different, and the course is different (look up links golf!). The British Open has been an annual tradition since 1860, and the British supporters love their golf.
British Open 2021 – Royal St. George
The 149th British Open is being played at Royal St. George’s, a glorious links course in southwest England, nestled in the small town of Sandwich, fast by the North Sea and a two hour train ride from London. Royal St. George’s is one of the most famous courses in the UK and has hosted several British Opens, most recently in 2011. Tens of thousands of golf fans and 156 players will descend on Sandwich, a town of only 5,000. This tournament will likely have the largest crowds of any event in the UK since before COVID restrictions were enacted last year. This year, 32,000 fans will be allowed on the grounds each day.
Of those 156 players, many are from Europe, but dozens of Americans will also be there due to their position on the official golf world rankings. Similar to the US Open, players from all over the world are able to qualify for the British Open, including a few amateurs. Unlike the US Open, Europeans are more likely to compete in and win this major, with European players having won the British Open an impressive 55% of the time.
British Open Betting Favorites
If the British Open slightly favors European players, does that mean Europeans or non-American players are favored to win? Not necessarily. Nearly all the same players that have been betting favorites in every 2021 Major are featured at the top of the DraftKings British Open futures betting board. Of course, these players are also at the top of the world golf rankings and are among the best players in the world, so it is not surprising that they are also favorites to win the Open.
That said, the betting board does have an international flavor, with three Europeans and one South African appearing on the list, alongside six Americans. Odds updated 7/13
- Jon Rahm (Spain) +700
- Brooks Koepka (USA) +1400
- Jordan Spieth (USA) +1800
- Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) +1800
- Dustin Johnson (USA) +1800
- Xander Schauffele (USA) +1800
- Justin Thomas (USA) +2000
- Collin Morikawa (USA) +2500
- Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) +2500
- Viktor Hovland (Norway) +3000
A closer look at the list reveals three past British Open champions (Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthuizen), three recent Major champions (Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson), and the other four having had tremendous success over the last few months on the PGA and European Tours.
Betting on Golf
The thing about betting on golf is to not expect a win every week. It’s just too hard to pick a winner. Most bettors who focus on golf, including the SAO handicapping team, use statistics and analysis to determine which players have a good chance, and place relatively small amounts on them to win. A $100 bet on Justin Thomas would yield $2000 if he wins. That’s a wise investment if your betting system determines he has a statistically better than a 20/1 (5%) chance to win the tournament.
The key is to find value. If you pick Justin Thomas based on educated handicapping and he doesn’t end up winning, that doesn’t mean it was a poor bet to make. It’s different than picking one team over another. If you hit one outright winner every 2 months in golf, you’re doing very well and probably making money.
That may be the case for picking outright winners, but if you want to increase your winning probability while decreasing your potential payout, there are many prop betting strategies to employ. These bets include picking whether a player will make the cut, finish in the top-5, top-10, or even top-40, and finding some valuable matchup bets among the dozens of pairings during Thursday and Friday’s rounds.
Intriguing British Open Picks
Englishmen excited to play in front of their home country supporters
- Tyrell Hatton +3500
- Paul Casey +3500
- Tommy Fleetwood +4000
- Lee Westwood +4500
- Justin Rose +6000
Players that have won on the PGA tour and/or Major championships during the 2020-2021 season
- Bryson DeChambeau +3500
- Patrick Cantlay +3300
- Daniel Berger +4500
- Cameron Smith +6000
Other interesting players with long odds that you may not want to take outright but Phil Mickelson did just win the 2021 PGA Championship at +25000 so why not
- Shane Lowry +4000 (2019 British Open Champion)
- Tony Finau +4500
- Sergio Garcia +7000
- Will Zalatoris +7000
SAO Premium picks
The experts at SAO, and all the premium subscribers who have used their picks as part of their handicapping strategy, have had a terrific 2021. Our golf betting experts are up nearly 200 units so far this year, having correctly picked five outright winners on the PGA Tour.
Derek ‘Notorious’ Farnsworth got the ball rolling by picking Si Woo Kim to win The American Express at 70-to-1 (+7000). He also picked Justin Thomas to win THE PLAYERS Championship.
TJ ‘tjl5124’ Laessig correctly hit the winners of the Farmers Insurance Open (Patrick Reed) and The Honda Classic (Matt Jones). The team also hit big on Brooks Kopeka winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
As promised, here is your free SAO Premium pick, direct from Justin ‘StlCardinals84’ Van Zuiden, who is up an impressive 100 Units in PGA this year:
Justin Thomas to Win the Open Championship (+2000)
Risking 1u to win 20u
“While I like Jon Rahm as much as the next person, his odds are far too short to back in a loaded field. Rahm’s short odds also give us a bit of a bargain on other top golfers. Enter Justin Thomas as my preferred option to bet. It has been a while since we have seen Thomas put all the elements of his game together in one week. He had several events where he struggled with the putter. His irons haven’t been quite as sharp. Then, the driver left him for a bit. Well, Thomas was absolutely striping it off the tee last week at the Scottish Open, and he ended up finishing in 8th place. He shook off a poor start at the last major to finish 19th at the U.S. Open. The DFS price tags aren’t quite as exorbitant as usual for him, either, so we’re getting a bit of a discount here. He still ranks 7th in strokes gained from tee to green over the last 50 measured rounds, so give me Thomas here at 20 to 1 odds.”
When it comes to golf, SAO’s experts are landing on winners at greater than 70%. Get involved by signing up for SAO Premium today!