The Open Championship 2021 Predictions: PGA Major Betting Picks + Prop Bets

After the hiatus last year during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, the golfing world is poised to make a return to the traditions and pageantry that is The Open Championship. The Open Championship 2021 will take place at Royal St. George’s Golf Club and will begin July 15. As you will find in most of the courses across the pond, Royal St. George’s has a rich history and was founded in 1887 — it has hosted 14 Open Championships.

The Open Championship 2021: Favorites’ Odds To Win 

  • Jon Rahm (+750)
  • Brooks Koepka (+1400)
  • Jordan Spieth (+1800)
  • Justin Thomas (+1800)
  • Xander Schauffele (+1800)
  • Rory McIlroy (+1800)
  • Dustin Johnson (+2000)
  • Louis Oosthuizen (+2800)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (+3000)
  • Viktor Hovland (+3000)

The favorite and most logical bet to win The Open Championship 2021 is Jon Rahm, who’s getting (+750) odds at BetMGM.

Player Prop

+750

Jon Rahm To Win The Open Championship 2021

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Bet $20, Payout $170

The Open Championship 2021 odds are provided by our friends at BetMGM, who offer a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600 for new players.

The Open Championship 2021

The 2021 Open Championship field will consist of 156 players, and the cut line come Friday evening will only include the low 70 scorers. We could see as many as 17 former Open champions among the 2021 Open Championship contenders.

It’s already challenging to win one major, it’s almost impossible to win back-to-back majors at the same tournament. Since 1950, only 7 players have successfully defended their title from the previous year. 

Being a seasoned veteran is more important at The Open than any of the other majors in golf. In the last decade, the average age of the winner at The Open is the highest in any major championship. And in this same timeframe, there’s only been 5 major winners over the age of 40 years old — 4 of them have come at The Open. 

As is in every major, the field will be loaded with talent and the betting favorites are all at the top of the official world rankings. With that being said, The Open is notorious for longshots, so please be mindful of that as you look to handicap this tournament.

The favorite heading into The Open has only won the event once since 2007. The previous two times Royal St. George’s hosted The Open, “125-1 to win” Darren Clarke won in 2011 and “300-1 to win” Ben Curtis won in 2003.

The Open Championship 2021: Course Analysis

Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England:

  • Par 70 — 7,189 yards
  • Front nine: Par 35 (6 Par 4’s, 2 Par 3’s, 1 Par 5) — 3,620 yards
  • Back nine: Par 35 (6 Par 4’s, 2 Par 3’s, 1 Par 5) — 3,569 yards

Royal St. George’s has surprisingly decided to shorten the length of the course since the last time The Open was held at the club in 2011. Tournament officials will be taking off a total 22 yards, not a large amount, but it is a big indicator that they want to further de-emphasize length off the tee.

In links-style golf, balls are going to roll far in the fairways and slow on the greens in comparison to other major championships.

Additionally, how the course plays at The Open 2021 is always predicated on the weather. Is it wet? Is it windy? Is it both? Players that are successful and precise when flighting the ball low will be the ones with a big advantage. A lot of luck is involved when it comes to weather — the unpredictability of Mother Nature makes predicting players’ success extremely difficult.

Patrick Cantlay hits a shot during the 2021 U.S. Open PGA major

Patrick Cantlay’s favorable odds and advanced data strength make him one of the strongest bets for The Open Championship 2021. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


The Open Championship 2021: Best Golfers For Royal St. George’s

Although we’re in the era of the long ball, driving distance will not be the emphasis this week. The important metrics will be scrambling, 3-putt avoidance, bogey avoidance, and greens in regulation.

Scrambling 

There will be a lot of bump-and-run shots, chip shots, putts from off the green, so it will be imperative for players to scramble and not drop any shots.

  • Per PGA’s stats, Webb Simpsonranks first (across 57 rounds) in scrambling rating.
  • 2nd: Patrick Cantlay (67 rounds)
  • 3rd: Hank Lebioda (64)
  • 4th: Seamus Power (42)

3-Putt Avoidance

The greens will be big, slow, and tough to read. The best lag putters in the world that give themselves easy tap-ins will be successful here.

  • 1st: Alex Noren (1.43%)
  • 2nd: Peter Uihlein (1.63%)
  • 3rd: Mackenzie Hughes (1.73%)
  • T-4th: Tyrrell Hatton (1.74%)
  • T-4th: Brian Harman (1.74%)

Bogey Avoidance

Darren Clarke won in 2011 shooting 5-under par. I fully expect this year’s winner to be just around the same score. A round of par is a great score here so look for the following players who are the best at preventing a dropped shot.

  • 1st: Webb Simpson (12.86%)
  • 2nd: Patrick Cantlay (13.06%)
  • 3rd: Chris Kirk (13.25%)
  • 4th: Hank Lebioda (13.35%)

Greens in Regulation (GIR)

Opportunities for birdies will be far and few in between, but when given them, players need to take advantage and hit the green on their approach shots. If not, they’ll rely on getting fortunate lies and breaks around the green.

  • 1st: Collin Morikawa (71.85%)
  • 2nd: Emiliano Grillo (71,69%)
  • 3rd: Matthew NeSmith (71.51%)
  • 4th: Jon Rahm (71.04%)

The Open Championship 2021: Players To Target For Bets

Non-American players tend to do really well at The Open, winning 9 of the last 13. I will stick with this trend of international guys and only feature a couple of Americans.

Jon Rahm: Rahm is currently the best player in the world. I don’t usually like to back big favorites, but he’s in peak form and still holds a lot of value. His ball flight can handle any type of weather condition, and it doesn’t matter where in the world he’s playing.

Jon Rahm: Top-5 Finish (+175)

Player Prop

+175

Jon Rahm: Top-5 Finish In The Open Championship 2021

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Patrick Cantlay: Cantlay is the No. 7 golfer in the world and is coming off a victory at the Memorial Tournament. He’s playing great golf and is ranked fourth on the tour in strokes gained tee to green, second in scrambling percentage, and second in 3-putt avoidance.

Patrick Cantlay: Top-10 Finish (+275)

Player Prop

+275

Patrick Cantlay: Top-10 Finish In The Open Championship 2021

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Bet $20, Payout $75

Tyrrell Hatton: Hatton has not been playing great as of late, but his game is steady. He’s still top-10 in the official golf rankings and is one of the best iron players on tour. He sits just outside the top 10 when it comes to strokes gained on his approach shots to the green.

Tyrrell Hatton: Top-10 Finish (+333)

Player Prop

+333

Tyrrell Hatton: Top-10 Finish In The Open Championship 2021

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Matt Fitzpatrick: Growing up just a few hours away from Royal St. George’s, Fitzpatrick is used to the conditions and the course setup. He hasn’t missed a cut in any of the majors this year and is one of the better putters in the game.

Tommy Fleetwood: Fleetwood has had a disappointing season, with his best result coming at the Dell Match Play event in Austin, Texas. With that being said, his short game is still great, is familiar with the area, and is currently ranked 5th in the world in strokes gained around-the-green. He generally plays much better in Europe than stateside.

Sergio Garcia: Garcia has three Top-10 finishes this season, including winning the Sanderson Farms Championship. He’s still a great ball striker and ranks inside the top 25 on tour in GIR percentage.

Adam Scott: Scott has not had a good year, only finishing in the Top 10 once on the PGA Tour. But these are the times when someone who plays regularly in Europe, someone who has won in Europe, and someone who’s still one of the best putters can make some noise.

The Open Championship Betting Picks 

  • Jon Rahm: Top-5 Finish (+170)
  • Patrick Cantlay: Top-10 Finish (+290)
  • Tyrrell Hatton: Top-10 Finish (+290)
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: Top-20 Finish (+150)
  • Tommy Fleetwood: Top-20 Finish (+190)
  • Sergio Garcia: Top-40 Finish (+115) (can’t find make cut odds)
  • Adam Scott: Top-40 Finish (+115) (can’t find make cut odds)
  • 2021 The Open Championship Matchup: Dustin Johnson defeats Bryson DeChambeau
  • 2021 The Open Championship Matchup: Marc Leishman defeats Rickie Fowler

The Open Championship Schedule 2021

  • Thursday, July 15: 4 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
  • Friday, July 16 (Cut Line): 4 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
  • Saturday, July 17: 5 a.m.-7 a.m. ET  (Golf Channel) + 7 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Sunday, July 18: 4 a.m.-7 a.m. ET (Golf Channel) + 7 a.m.-2 p.m. ET (NBC)

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