With his best asset perhaps rendered irrelevant, Dustin Johnson seems like a vulnerable betting favorite for the British Open.
Johnson is the +1200 favorite on the British Open betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with the golf season’s third major due to begin at the 6,941-yard, par-71 Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland on Thursday.
A warm summer in the United Kingdom has created some firm fairways at the famously wind-whipped course. That could keep many players’ drivers in their bag, which would negate the edge that big hitters such as Johnson get from strokes gained off the tee. Johnson also has just three top-10 finishes in nine starts at the British Open.
Rickie Fowler (+1600), Justin Rose (+1600) and Rory McIlroy (+1600) are also high up on the board. There is a case for backing Fowler until he sheds the stigma of “best player not to have won a major,” as he has three top-five results in his last five majors. Rose has only placed in the top 10 twice in 16 starts at the British Open, so it might be wise to look past him for value.
McIlroy is a past winner but season-long putting problems might make it hard to trust him.
Getting into the longer odds to win the 2018 British Open, reigning two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka (+2200) has cracked the top 10 in his last two starts in the British Open. Only Tiger Woods (2000) and Tom Watson (1982) have won both the U.S. and British titles in the same year in the last 45 years. That doesn’t automatically rule out that it could happen.
With that said, Tommy Fleetwood (+2200) holds the course record at Carnoustie and also has recent momentum, what with being a U.S. Open runner-up. Tiger Woods (+2200) has the same price and could benefit from not needing to use his driver frequently this week.
The tournament comes at a bad time for defending champion Jordan Spieth (+2200), who has missed the cut in three of his last seven starts.
The case for, or against, Francesco Molinari (+3300) comes down to whether bettors give more weight to recent results or his track record in the event. Molinari has two wins, a second-place finish and a tie for second within his last five tournaments and his proficiency at hitting fairways could serve him well. He’s finished outside of the top 30 in the last three British Opens, but all of those were at other courses.
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.