The 146th Open Championship Odds Preview

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Being the favorite is a millstone more often than not at the British Open, which should give one pause when looking at Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth at the top of the futures board for the third major tournament of the season.

Johnson and Spieth are 1A and 1B to win the year’s third major at Royal Birkdale this weekend, with each listed at +1400 on the odds to win the British Open at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

However, no pre-tournament favorite has won the British Open – or the Open championship as Britons call it – since 2001. With its tight fairways, Birkdale puts a premium on driving accuracy more than distance and also rewards good putting.

The latter has been Johnson’s bugaboo this season, plus he hasn’t finished higher than ninth at the British Open since 2011. Spieth has struggled with accuracy off the tee – where he’s ranked 121st on the PGA Tour – and that bodes poorly for winning at Birkdale.

Rickie Fowler (+1600), with six career top-fives in majors, seems ready for a breakthrough and, of course, is very straight off the tee. Fowler is probably the best player to never win a major now that Sergio Garcia (+1800), who has traditionally played well at this event, has a green jacket from the Masters. As always, what will make or break Garcia is his putting.

Usual suspects such as Jon Rahm (+1600), Rory McIlroy (+2000), Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Rose (+2000) are also high up on the board at online betting sites.

It might be a little much to expect the 22-year-old Rahm to stay even-keel across four rounds on a very challenging course. Within that price range, Matsuyama might be the best play – the consensus is that winning a major is just a matter of when for the Japanese star, and Birkdale could be bountiful for a player in the top 10 of the PGA in greens in regulation, holes per eagle and birdies average.

Tommy Fleetwood (+2200), who grew up two miles from Birkdale, has had a meteoric rise to 14th in the world rankings, but being the hometown rooting interest often means a more intense spotlight that can unravel a golfer mentally.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson (+2500) is being offered at an enticing price because he’s missed the cuts in four of his last five PGA events. However, Stenson’s Swedish countryman, Alexander Noren (+4000), is a bona fide darkhorse who has six wins on the European Tour over the last two years. Noren is the better play of the two Swedes.

Brooks Koepka (+3300) will be playing his first tournament since winning the U.S. Open a month ago, so it’s hard to know how sharp he’ll be technically. Observers across the pond see similarities in game between Koepka and Peter Uihlein (+12500), who’s among the darkhouses.

One small trend of note is that the last three players to win the British Open at Birkdale finished seventh or higher in the Masters that year and made the cut at the U.S. Open. Garcia, Paul Casey (+3300), Matt Kuchar (+5000) and Kevin Chappell (+15000) are the only ones teeing it up this week who meet that criteria. With his four top-12 finishes since March and some sharp work with the irons all season, Casey could surprise.

Tiger Woods behind favorites for 2018 U.S. Open

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Tiger Woods is a step back of the betting favorites for the 2018 U.S. Open at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. as the world’s top golfers get set to compete in the second major of the season this week at Shinnecock Hills.

Woods sits at +1600 on the odds to win the US Open this week, tied with Jason Day, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler on the board and behind the top four betting favorites on the list. The 42-year-old, however, only has two Top-10 results in his nine PGA Tour events so far on the season.

And those two finishes came back in March, at the Valspar Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Since then Woods has finished 32nd at the Masters, 55th at the Wells Fargo Championship, 11th at THE PLAYERS Championship, and 23rd at the Memorial Tournament.

Woods is a three-time US Open winner, taking the tournament in each of 2000, 2002, and 2008. Since 2008 he’s only played in the event five times, finishing sixth in 2009 and fourth in 2010, but 21st in 2012 and 32nd in 2013, and missing the cut in 2015. And since the end of the 2015 season Woods has only played in one major tournament, this year’s Masters.

Still, Woods only trails those four favorites on the golf betting lines at the sportsbooks, with Dustin Johnson the tournament chalk at +900, Rory McIlroy second on the board at +1100, and Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth rounding out the quartet at odds of +1400.

Johnson, Spieth, and McIlroy are all former US Open champions, with McIlroy winning in 2011 at Congressional, Spieth winning in 2015 at Chambers Bay, and Johnson winning in 2016 at Oakmont. For betting favorite Johnson that was his first and so far only major tournament win on the PGA Tour, but he’s coming off a victory in the FedEx St. Jude Classic over the weekend.

And Johnson is also atop the updated World Golf Ranking, having jumped over Thomas for the lead on that list with his win over the weekend. Rose sits third in the current rankings, with Spieth fourth, Jon Rahm fifth, and McIlroy sixth.

Rahm is set at +2000 on the odds to win the 2018 US Open for this week, behind defending tournament champion Brooks Koepka (+1800) and ahead of Phil Mickelson and Hideki Matsuyama – who are both pegged at +2800 odds. Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, and Sergio Garcia hold down betting lines of +3300 for this week.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Four golfers headline 2018 THE PLAYERS odds

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THE PLAYERS Championship features one of the top fields of the year on the PGA Tour, and sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com have a logjam at the top of the board for the event which gets underway on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth are pegged as +1400 co-favorites on the odds to win THE PLAYERS Championship at the sportsbooks, with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler just a step back of that quartet at +1800 odds.

Of those golfers, both Day and Fowler are past champions at the event, with Day taking the tournament by four strokes in 2016 and Fowler picking up a victory in a playoff against Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner at the event in 2015.

Last year’s winner at THE PLAYERS, meanwhile, is pegged as a longshot to claim the tournament title once again this weekend. South Korea’s Si Woo Kim topped Louis Oosthuizen and Ian Poulter by three strokes at the event last year, becoming the youngest ever winner of the tournament. The 22-year-old is back with the longer shots at +7500 odds for this week.

Oosthuizen is also down the golf odds list at +7500 for this year’s edition of THE PLAYERS, with Poulter set at +6600. Rafa Cabrera Bello and Kyle Stanley tied for fourth place the tournament last year, finishing four strokes back of the leader; they’re both longshots at +10000 odds this week.

Martin Kaymer, the 2014 champion, is at +20000 odds this week, with Tiger Woods, who won this tournament for the second time in 2013, sitting in the second tier of contenders on the odds at +3300. Woods also won this event back in 2001, and hasn’t played in this tournament the past two years.

Joining Woods at +3300 on THE PLAYERS Championship odds is Phil Mickelson, who won this event in 2007. Mickelson finished well back in the pack in a tie for 41st place at this tournament last year, 13 strokes behind the leader, but is a strong third in the FedExCup standings so far on the season.

Matt Kuchar, the 2012 champion, sits at +6600 odds for this week, while 2009 winner Henrik Stenson, riding a strong three-tournament run, is listed at +2800. Jon Rahm (+2200), Justin Rose (+3000), and Paul Casey (+3300) round out the top of THE PLAYERS betting lines.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.