2011 British Open Odds: Predictions for Betting Props
by Trevor Whenham - 7/13/2011
Call it the British Open. Call it the Open Championship. Whatever you want to call it, it’s one of the four majors in golf, and it’s a great betting opportunity. The unique style of play, the often extreme weather, and the intense pressure make this a particularly tough tournament to win. That means that there are often very juicy prices to be had. That will particularly be the case this year with Tiger Woods still licking his wound back in his ridiculously large mansion. I’m generally more drawn to playing the props in the majors than I am to picking the winner because of the difficulty of the latter. Here’s a look at some of the more impressive props that are available and we will offer some betting predictions (all British Open odds are from Bodog):
Will Phil Mickelson make the cut? — This one is pretty straightforward. Since 2000 Mickelson has played in 45 majors. He has made the cut 43 times. The two missed cuts came in consecutive tournaments in 2007 when he was dealing with an injured wrist and a change in swing coaches. In other words, Mickelson is the model of consistency and reliability. Now, he isn’t as sharp now as he has been in the past, but he still has a win this year and he rises to the challenge of the big tournaments. The ‘yes’ is at -300 here, but that’s still the way to go.
Will there be a playoff? — In the last 13 editions of the British Open there have been six playoffs. That means that a fair price to bet the ‘yes’ would be just a little better than even money. The ‘yes’ pays +250. That sounds like good value to me.
Which amateur will finish best? — This one is a no-brainer. There are five amateurs listed. One, Tom Lewis, is ridiculously good. The Brit has already made the playoff in a pro tournament, and he is just waiting for the Walker Cup in September until he turns pro. This will be a very closely watched pro move as well — agents have been fighting hard for his signature. He is by far the class of this group of amateurs, and he easily justifies the -188 price on him. You might balk at that price, but you just can’t justify taking any of the other four.
Which senior player will finish best? — Tom Lehman is the solid favorite here at +140, but I’m not convinced. He won this tournament in 1996, but the last 10 times he has played this tournament he has missed the cut four times and has only finished better than 23rd once. He has won three times this year, but I don’t trust him enough to justify this comparatively low price. So, who do I like instead? At +350 I like Bernhard Langer. He is playing this tournament for the first time in five years, so he will be hungry and ready to go. He has won this year and is generally playing with confidence. I feel he solidly justifies the price.
Where will the winner come from? — Europe is favored here at -162. I don’t have a hard time justifying that price. The Top 4-ranked golfers in the world are European. The course is more familiar to European players, and favors more of them than it does Americans. There are obviously some very good American players, but no truly dominant ones. Europe is the way to go.
Big 6 vs. The Field — This is a very interesting one. Bodog has defined the Big 6 here as Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Nick Watney, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. They are six of the Top 10-ranked players in the world, It’s not hard to believe that one of those six will win. The problem is, though, that the price here — +175 — just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Three of those six are at 33/1 or higher, so you are accepting a much lower price on them than you should. It just doesn’t justify the risk. If you want to bet these golfers you could do better by looking for ways to bet them individually. This is one of those props set to draw non-thinking money.
Will Rory McIlroy finish in the Top 10? — I was incredibly impressed by McIlroy at the U.S. Open. Obviously. I’m willing to bet against him — happily — here, though. The ‘no’ is at +110 and I like it. He has been living in a whirlwind since his win, and that has obviously affected both his playing and practice time. It’s hard to believe he will be as ready as he ideally would, and he’ll face a massive amount of pressure in this one. He has never won two tournaments in one year, so he doesn’t yet have the experience to deal with a situation like this. I’m happily pessimistic here.
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