Professional golf's third major of the season gets underway early this Thursday with first-round action in this year's Open Championship, also known as the British Open, on the Old Course at fabled St. Andrews in Scotland. The biggest storyline this week will be 21-year old Jordan Spieth's bid to win his third straight major after already capturing the title in this year's Masters and US Open.
BetOnline has sports bettors covered with a number of futures and prop bets odds in conjunction with this week's tournament, and I am looking for the best value on the board in the betting odds for a Top-5 finish.
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Jordan Spieth +125
Spieth comes into the Open Championship as a +500 favorite to continue his quest for golf's Grand Slam with a win this week. The simple fact that his odds to finish in the Top 5 are higher than even money automatically puts him on my list. With defending champion Rory McIlroy out of the picture due to an ankle injury, the stage is set for Spieth to shine at the birthplace of the game of golf.
Along with the fact that he has already won the first two majors, he comes into St. Andrews fresh off an impressive victory in last week's John Deere Classic. Spieth has now finished third or better in four of his last five tournaments.
Justin Rose +350
It would be hard to leave this name off my list considering his past success on the European Tour. His best finish in 13 previous Open Championships was fourth all the way back in 1998 as a 17-year old amateur, which drains a bit of value in these odds. However, after finally breaking through with a victory in the 2013 US Open, he is always a threat in any major he plays.
Despite a very pedestrian showing in last week's Scottish Open, overall form still adds some value to Rose's odds with a victory in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in late April and a near miss in this year's Memorial after losing in a playoff to finish second.
Rickie Fowler +350
I went with Fowler at +400 betting odds as one of my Top 5 plays in last month's US Open, and he proceeded to miss the cut. I was going to sit him for this major, but last week's thrilling victory in the Scottish Open convinced me to add him to the list. He played four steady rounds and sweated out a one-stroke victory with a final round 68.
Fowler is an all-or-nothing type player with three missed cuts in his last five PGA events, but he also won this year's Players Championship during that stretch, which is considered by many to be golf's fifth major.
Paul Casey +650
Casey made a serious run at an Open Championship title the last time it was held at St. Andrews in 2010. He ended up tied for third, which was his best finish in 12 career appearances in this event.
He just missed out on a Top-5 finish in this year's Masters by tying for sixth, but he could only manage a 39th-place finish in the US Open. Casey's best finish this season was second in the Travelers Championship in late June after losing to Bubba Watson in a playoff. He has a total of four Top-5 finishes this year.
Luke Donald +1400
I am looking to stretch the value in the odds with this pick on a pure hunch. Donald's name used to appear much higher on a futures odds list for a major a few years back, but he could never fully live up to those lofty expectations. The main reason he caught my eye for this event was his solid performance in last week's Scottish Open in which he finished in a tie for seventh place.
Donald needed a seventh-place finish in last month's Travelers Championship just to qualify for this year's Open Championship, but I am banking that he can return to the form that led to a pair of Top-5 finishes in this tournament in 2009 and 2012.
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