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The Degenerate’s Guide To Gambling On The Open Championship

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open championship betting

Golf, alongside college football, is my favorite sport to bet on. The field is large enough to where you get a good return even on the favorites, and if you hit on a mid to low-tier guy, you’re swimming in cash like Scrooge McDuck. Betting on the majors is on an entirely different level given the amount of coverage these events get, and it can be extremely exciting going into the weekend with a few of your guys still live. You also get the entire field at major championships, so guys that may go 30/1 in tournaments with diluted fields you can pick up at 75/1. All in all, betting on major championships in golf is electric.

This week, we have the Open Championship coming to you from Royal Birkdale. The field is outstanding, with just about every player, sans Tiger, ready to go. I’ll give you all a few players from each betting bracket that are primed for a fantastic week.

Lines are from

Favorites (14/1- 40/1)

Jordan Spieth (14/1), Jon Rahm (16/1), Tommy Fleetwood (22/1)

All three of these guys have won in the past few weeks, whether it be on the PGA or European Tour. Spieth has had troubles for the larger part of the year, and almost lost the Travelers before he hit that ridiculous bunker shot. Rahm and Fleetwood both won on the Euro and looked fantastic while doing so. Spieth’s putting prowess will help him at Birkdale, assuming he can dial in the rest of his game. When Rahm is on, he’s extremely tough to beat, as is Fleetwood. When making these bets, you have to assume the best versions of them are going to come out unless they give you a reason to think otherwise. All these guys are hot coming in, so throw some cash their way.

Mid-Range (45/1- 100/1)

Justin Thomas (50/1), Thomas Pieters (50/1), Martin Kaymer (100/1)

Along with them all being phenomenal golfers, I took these three because of their odds. If Justin Thomas is sitting at 50/1 in any tournament, your boy is buying. He can do anything on the course, as shown by that 63 at Erin Hills, if he’s on. Pieters is an up-and-coming Euro player who, along with Rahm, will terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team for years to come. A great ball striker who doesn’t seem to have a weak part of his game, Pieters is a steal at 50/1. Kaymer is the most interesting pick in the entire field. With him, you have a two-time major winner who has finished in the top ten at the Open in years past — and he’s sitting at 100/1. Yes, please.

Long Shot (125/1+)

Jason Dufner (125/1), Bubba Watson (150/1)

Dufner has been up and down throughout the year, and Bubba has been mostly down. Both of them have the tools to compete for a major championship, as evidenced by the major titles they both have. Dufner won at Muirfield this year, where he dominated Thursday and Friday before a fairly down weekend, so he does have a 2017 W under his belt. While Bubba has yet to win in 2017 and is 147 in the FedEx Cup standings, he does have three top ten finishes and can compete on any given week. These choices are mostly being made for their odds. Past major winners at 125/1 and 150/1 respectively? That’s a win.

Stay Away

Rory McIlroy (20/1), Paddy Harrington (55/1)

The Open Championship is made for guys like Paddy. While I’m not scoffing at him and saying he has no chance to win, I just don’t like those odds. 55/1 is great for almost anyone, but when you look at the company he’s surrounded by? That’s a little steep for my liking. If you can get him a little lower, he’s worth a flyer. Rory, on the other hand, is a bad call all around. Without trying to sound like Brandel Chamblee, Rory’s played like absolute trash since coming back from his rib injury and wedding. On top of that, he has one of the lowest returns in the field at 20/1. McIlroy is a ridiculous talent — and has the potential to win on any given week — but nothing lately has shown me that he’s a favorite I’m willing to bet on.

Image via Shutterstock

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Great American, mediocre student, terrible golfer. For lukewarm takes, you can find me at @mel_kiper_sr on twitter, or hit the inbox at

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