Best prop bets for the 2021 British Open: Spieth solid, Thomas near the top

Jordan Spieth lines up a putt at Pebble Beach.
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Ricky Dimon

Golf

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

It’s the best time of year on the links, with four majors all in the span of four months. The Masters took center stage in April, the PGA Championship has assumed its relatively new May spot on the calendar, the U.S. Open took the penultimate spot in June, and now the British Open wraps up the proceedings in July. Who will join Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson, and Jon Rahm as a major champion in 2021? What else could be in store for the fourth major of the season?

With the British Open beginning on Thursday, it’s time to take a look at some of the best prop bets for this year’s festivities at Royal St. George’s.

Top Spaniard: Jon Rahm (-225)

Rahm is a massive overall favorite at +800 (nobody else is better than +1700 — Brooks Koepka). Sure the field is strong enough for Rahm to be knocked off (I’m not biting on +800), but if someone does it probably won’t be a fellow Spaniard. Sergio Garcia doesn’t inspire any confidence right now, while Jorge Campillo and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are not threats. This is basically Rahm vs. Cabrera-Bello (with Garcia having a distant shot), which gives the world No. 2 solid value at -225.

Jon Rahm tees off on the second hole during the Final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club.

Top South African: Branden Grace (+450)

The South African field is much deeper than that of Spain, which is why you can get Grace at +450. Louis Oosthuizen is understandably favored at +200, but he has finished better than T20 only once at the British Open since winning it in 2010. Grace fired three rounds in the 60s at last week’s Scottish Open and he had previously delivered two straight top-ten performances on the PGA Tour (fourth at the Memorial and seventh at the U.S. Open).

Top former Oklahoma State player: Viktor Hovland (+100)

Hovland is competing with Rickie Fowler, Alexander Noren, and Talor Gooch. Fowler’s game is slowly rounding into form, but the emphasis there is on “slowly.” Noren and Gooch are solid but unspectacular. As for Hovland, he has been one of the best players on tour since golf returned last summer from its coronavirus hiatus. The Norwegian has winning potential every time he steps on any course. I also like Rahm to be the top Arizona State player at -150, Harris English to be the top Georgia player at +350, and Stewart Cink to be the top Georgia Tech player at +138.

Jordan Spieth to finish in the top 30 (-175)

Spieth used to be an all-or-nothing kind of player; he would either win the tournament or pretty much miss the cut. Now, he has quietly become super consistent. The 27-year-old is back in fine form after his game went off the rails in 2018 and 2019, but maybe not to the extent that he is ready to win another major (he hasn’t won on since the 2017 British Open). Spieth has made 12 consecutive cuts and has placed in the top 30 in 11 of those events.

Scottie Scheffler to finish in the top 20 (+150)

Dating back to February, Scheffler has seven top-20 finishes on the PGA Tour (including five in the top 10). He also turned in a top-20 result at the Scottish Open (T12), where he would have finished even better if not for a first-round 73 (his next three rounds were 63-67-69). Perhaps most importantly, Scheffler has been in the top 20 in five of six career major starts as a professional, including five in a row.

Justin Thomas to finish in the top 10 (+200)

Thomas can be a force on any course in the world, and links golf is no exception. The third-ranked American was T11 at the 2019 British Open and he is coming off a T8 showing at the Scottish Open. Thomas won the Players Championship earlier this year and he is a major winner (2017 PGA Championship).

Justin Thomas plays his shot from the 18th tee during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course.

Brooks Koepka to beat Bryson DeChambeau (-142)

DeChambeau and Koepka are not paired together for the first two rounds (boo!). So they will just have to go head-to-head virtually, which FanDuel is offering. DeChambeau has cooled off since winning the 2020 U.S. Open and it is never a good idea to bet against Koepka at majors.

No hole in one in the tournament (+100)

This is pretty much a 50-50 bet, so I will happily take No at +100. No was also a slight underdog at the U.S. Open, and that was a winner for us. The pin positions at Royal St George’s are generally tough—tougher than on 16 at Augusta National, for example. Although the weather is expected to be surprisingly good this week, it will be windy. That won’t make things any easier — and neither will the fact that two of the four par-three holes are over 238 yards.

Want more picks and predictions for the 2021 British Open? Check out all our expert previews below:

The Pickswise golf handicappers are on hand with expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions as well as tournament previews and analysis throughout the PGA Tour, including all of the majors. We will also have our 2021 British Open 3-ball picks and our best golf prop bets for each round of the 2021 British Open.

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