Predicting what will happen at the British Open this week may be a fool’s errand. Things change quickly at every major championship, this one in particular: the whims of Mother Nature can dictate play and scoring conditions can change in the blink of an eye. It’s important to begin this way as a reminder that if every single one of the below picks should go awry, I absolve myself of all responsibility (if they pan out, on the other hand…).
Enough caveats. It’s Wednesday! Every golf bet feels like a winner on Wednesday. In GOLF.com’s staff picks I declared my Leishman allegiance; let’s get to the weirder plays here. From the shop that brought you profitable punting from Tony Romo’s PGA Tour debut and the Masters, here’s the drill: $1000 internet dollars to spread across the picks below (courtesy of Oddschecker). Happy hunting!
Top left-handed player
Brian Harman (+300)
Love this price and love Harman this week. Can he beat Phil (+125) Bubba (+175) and Lin Yuxin (+2000)? Of course he can.
The bet: $50 to win $150
Rafa Cabrera-Bello (+450)
Sure, Sergio and Rahm have earned the Spanish shine. But Cabrera-Bello, despite some poor recent form, remains good value here (and cashed this very bet at the U.S. Open).
The bet: $50 to win $225
Top South American
Emiliano Grillo (-125)
Grillo should be able to fend off Fabrizio Zanotti and Jhonny Vegas.
The bet: $75 to win $60
Paul Casey (+800)
Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood are favored for best Brit, but top-10 stalwart Paul Casey is no slouch and feels like a bargain at this price.
The bet: $50 to win $400
To miss the cut
This isn’t a particularly sporting play to make, but you’ll remember the top-flight carnage when several of the world’s best missed the cut at Shinnecock; who’s to say Carnoustie won’t similarly eliminate top players? I’ve chosen a few of the game’s more mercurial stars below.
Jon Rahm (+350)
Jordan Spieth (+350)
Sergio Garcia (+300)
Patrick Reed (+250)
The bet: $25 each to win $87.50, $87.50, $75, and $62.50, respectively.
To make the cut
Kelly Kraft (+125) (T2 just two weeks ago!)
Abraham Ancer (+125) (T4 in the same event!)
Adam Hadwin (+105) (Made 21 of his last 22 cuts!)
Bernhard Langer (11/8) (Length won’t be an issue, and he’s got no lack of cleverness…)
The bets: $25 to win $31.25, $25 to win $31.25, $50 to win $52.50, $50 to win $68.75
The last three Carnoustie Opens have featured playoffs, which are more common now than ever in the bunched fields on Tour. Let’s do it again!
The bet: $50 to win $150
Sam Locke (+600)
A barista from nearby Stonehaven? Only three other ams in the field? This bloke’s worth a flyer; hopefully Locke will cash in on some local knowledge.
The bet: $25 to win $150
144 (+2) or lower (11/8)
I think we’re going to see low scores. The ball is going a long way, the rough isn’t devastating and the greens are receptive, at least for players with iron in hand. If the wind kicks up unexpectedly, this could look very dumb.
The bet: $100 to win $137.50
Number of players under par
37 or more. (+190)
See above. There were only 19 players under par in 2007, but I think we’re going to see plenty of fun low scores. Though from an entertainment standpoint, I wouldn’t mind being wrong…
The bet: $100 to win $190
To finish Top 20
Abraham Ancer 14-1
Kelly Kraft 16-1
Bernhard Langer 14-1
Austin Cook 10-1
Julian Suri 8-1
Peter Uihlein 6-1
Let’s take some flyers! Awesome payout on any of these
The bet: $20 on each except Cook; $50 there. Overall $150 to win $1660.
Tiger Woods +300
Brooks Koepka +250
The first is calculating, the second is relentless; both styles of play should translate into success this week.
The bet: $50 to win $150 and $48 to win $120.
Exact 1-2 finish
Dustin Johnson wins AND Rickie Fowler gets second (350-1)
With a convenient $2 remaining, it’s time to take a serious flyer and, uh, sorry, Rick. Golf’s No. 1 player and its most famous major championship runner-up would make for a heck of a tournament, though.
The bet: $2 to win $700.