Preview and picks for the 151st Open Championship
The final major of 2023 is the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in the village town of Hoylake, England. The oldest golf championship draws major betting action at the leading online sportsbooks. That includes BetOnline, who has a free British Open predictor contest. I've chipped in Open Championship coverage and picks for a number of media outlets and sportsbook affiliates, including Forbes.
I'll also be updating some betting data from top online sportsbooks with the leading golfers taking most of the outright win betting action.
But as noted in last year's 2022 Open Championship coverage here at Off Shore Gaming Association, we found the sweet spot with not only the outright winner on Cameron Smith, but 4-0 on tournament match-ups posted at OSGA. Let's take a swing again and see if we can cut through the wind and rain and make some more birdies British Open style.
Open Championship Stats and Notes
Nine of the last 11 Open Championship winners had at least one top-10 finish in the British Open before winning. But last year's winner Cameron Smith did not with a best T20 in four previous British Open's until hoisting the Claret Jug. And Collin Morikawa won on debut in 2021. Also last year, Cameron Young finished 2nd in his Open Championship debut ahead of Rory McIlroy (3rd), Tommy Fleetwood (T4), Viktor Hovland (T4), Dustin Johnson (T6), Jordan Spieth (T8), Patrick Cantlay (T8) and Tyrrell Hatton (T11).
In addition, when managing your game and shooting for birdies while avoiding the hazards and rough, you should have some longshots in your bag. They can often be quite juicy on capable players. Note that since 2018, there have been no less than 10 players who finished top-6 in The Open whose odds were greater than 100/1 to win. So top 10 or 20 finishing position bets can clearly payoff as well. A top-10 finish for most of the leading contenders not named McIlroy or Scheffler will return +200 to +400 (2/1 to 4/1).
Still, past decade Open champions Phil Mickelson (2013), Jordan Spieth (2017) and Collin Morikawa (2021) were all inside the top five of the world rankings the week leading up to their British Open triumphs. Cam Smith (2022) and Rory McIlroy (2014) were highly ranked, while Shane Lowry (2019) was No. 33.
Since 2013, champions averaged +1.98 strokes gained per round the three months prior to winning The Open. That eliminates notable golfers like Matt Fitzpatrick, Tony Finau, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Justin Rose.
But the golfers who have averaged at least 2.0 strokes gained Total over their last 36 rounds: Scheffler, Rahm, Fowler, McIlroy, Clark, Schauffele, Hatton, Fleetwood, Cantlay. And, the golfers who meet a strokes gained Off-the-Tee criteria coming into the event include Scheffler, Cantlay, McIlroy, Hatton and Fleetwood, along with Hovland, Woodland, Conners, Niemann, Young, Scott, Im and Si Woo Kim.
If you're looking to bet on a leading favorite, then Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are the top fits for stats, form, rankings and trends profiles of an Open Champion over the last 10 years.
At leading online sportsbook BetMGM, the most bet golfers and most money bet to win are on McIlroy, Scheffler, Fowler, Hovland, Smith, Fleetwood, Koepka (as of Wed. early afternoon).
Open Championship Picks 2023
I've added many big longshots to my bag and betting portfolio including finishing position. But here are Fairway's favorites to win The Open.
- Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland
Check out the dozens of head-to-head tournament match-ups offered at BetOnline and BookMaker, which also offer match-up odds laying -1.5 strokes and live betting options. Last year's Open picks went 4-0 including 3-0 laying -1.5 strokes.
- Rory McIlroy (-105) over Scottie Scheffler (-115)
- Justin Rose (+120) over Matt Fitzpatrick (-144)
- Matt Wallace (+108) over Yannik Paul (-129)
Picking and betting outright winners is tough. And while some exposure in the outrights is fine, you're far better off betting props, top finishing position and the more desired tournament match-ups, which were very good to us in last year's Open Championship.
You can bet on it.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper including in golf. FairwayJay chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at osga and on Twitter: @FairwayJay for more betting insights.