Professional golf takes center stage once again this week with the arrival of the last major on the PGA Tour schedule this season. The 148th Open Championship features a star-studded field, all of whom are aiming to take home the world-famous Claret Jug, which is possibly the most recognizable prize in the sport.
As is the case with all the biggest tournaments throughout the season, online golf betting increases dramatically throughout the week leading up. That is why BonusSeeker is here to preview odds for the event from FanDuel Sportsbook and provide some free golf betting tips for anyone who wants to take a swing at profiting off the sport's oldest major championship.
About The Open Championship
For the first time since 1951 and just the second time since 1860, The Open Championship will be held outside of England and Scotland on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. When it comes to The British Open (a popular, but unofficial name for the event), online golf betting takes on an entirely new face due to the fact that the tournament takes place on a links-style course and thus, plays differently than many courses in the United States.
Online Golf Betting Tips For 2019 British Open On FanDuel
- Links Courses Are Different
In the U.S. and on the PGA Tour, most courses are parkland layouts, which means there's a ton of green grass and trees all over the course. This tends to set up nicely for players who crush the ball off the tee, even if it doesn't wind up in the fairway. Links courses in Europe like Royal Portrush require accuracy and finesse over raw power because hitting the fairway is much more important. In place of trees and other physical obstacles are sand traps, hellish rough and winds due to many of these courses being near the sea. When golf betting online, this is probably the very first thing to take into consideration. We wouldn't automatically eliminate big hitters by any stretch, but those without quite as much distance can still survive.
- Local Players Have An Advantage
Just like most U.S. players have an advantage playing on the types of courses they grew up with, golfers from Europe and other parts of the world cultivated their skills on links-style courses. Players tend to perform better in environments they are comfortable with, which could give U.K.-born players additional layers of comfort and confidence going into an event like this. It's no surprise that six of the top 10 betting favorites are non-Americans, with five of those being continental Europeans.
- Check The Stats
Don't merely check the flag to see where players are from and make picks based on that, as there’s much more to it. What you should look at, however, are the correct statistics to get an indication of who may perform well this week. Some PGA Tour stats to look out for on a links course like Royal Portrush are the following:
- Shots Gained: Driving Accuracy
- Hit Fairway Percentage
- Shots Gained: Approaching The Green
- Approaches From 150-175 Yards
These categories are not the be-all and end-all for determining who will have a big week in Northern Ireland, but they can guide you in the right direction with the entire season’s worth of numbers included.
Golf Betting Online Tips And 2019 Open Championship Odds
- Rory McIlroy (+900 on FanDuel App)
To say there’s pressure on McIlroy this week would be a massive understatement. The 2014 Open Championship winner returns home to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush, where he smashed the club record with a 61 at just 16 years of age. He's the betting favorite at all the best sportsbooks in NJ including FanDuel, where he can be found at +900. Despite having the lowest odds, the added pressure would make a McIlroy victory that much more legendary. No player knows this course better or has achieved better results, so a pick on Rory is a confident one.
- Brooks Koepka (+1000 on FanDuel)
Koepka is currently the best player on tour in majors and has won four of the last nine he's played in. He's never won The Open, but he tied for sixth at Royal Birkdale in 2017. On the surface, Koepka's ball-mashing style doesn't really suit a course like Portrush since he's long but not always accurate off the tee. Take that with a grain of salt this week, because his irons and wedges compile a deadly approach game, and Koepka always seems to flip a switch when the lights are on. If he stays on the fairway, another top 10 could easily be in store even if he doesn't win.
- Tiger Woods (+1800 on FanDuel App)
The reigning Masters champion hasn't played since the U.S. Open but still comes in with the fifth-lowest 2019 British Open odds. As always, plenty of action on FanDuel and other NJ sportsbooks are on Tiger, and maybe they're well-earned bets after he nearly won at Carnoustie a year ago. He's won three British Open titles with the last coming in 2006 so it would be another amazing storyline from Woods if he pulled out a second major this year, but we don't see it happening. Tiger has only played three times since the Masters and it's a tough ask to play two practice rounds and go win the Open Championship. At these odds, money is better spent elsewhere this time around.
2019 Open Championship: Golf Betting Predictions
- Rory McIlroy (+900 on FanDuel)
McIlroy has faced huge expectations and pressure before to mixed results. It can be easy to forget the rampage he went to rack up four majors in four years from 2011 to 2014. The five-year drought has been long enough, and if there’s such a thing as fate, McIlroy should lift the Claret Jug on Sunday. There's less value in the favorite than any other player, so here’s a free golf betting tip: always shop around to find the best price.
- Henrik Stenson (+3000)
Stenson finished top 10 in his last two PGA Tour events, including the U.S. Open, and is coming off a huge performance after a T-4th finish at the Scottish Open this past week. The Swede is deadly accurate off the tee and is riding a wave a great play recently. At +3000, we love the value on an solid all-around player who checks most of the statistical boxes going into The 2019 British Open.
More Free Golf Betting Picks On British Open
Part of the reason why FanDuel is among the top sportsbooks in New Jersey is the wide range of markets offered. Making golf betting predictions on tournament winners can be incredibly difficult, so we're making some British Open picks on some alternate finishing positions.
- Rory McIlroy Top 10 (+110)
Expect him to be there close to the end no matter what, and take plus-money on a top 10 finish at a course in which he holds the record. There's a chance he turns this bet into a cakewalk as well.
Brooks Koepka Top 10 (+125)
Koepka has been too dominant in the biggest spots to forego some kind of wager on him during The Open. He’s not the first thought when you think about links golf, but he is the first thought when it comes to the most dangerous players in majors.
- Xander Schauffele Top 10 (+240)
Schauffele has a tendency to perform well in majors, including last year's British Open as a second-place finisher. In four of the last six major championships he's gotten tied for sixth or better, and that's a streak we'd like to ride.
- Francesco Molinari Top 20 (+125)
Molinari is last year's British Open champion and can't be discounted for another strong showing in his native Europe. The Italian oftentimes is as cool and calm as any golfer on tour and seeing him play well in a follow-up performance would be no surprise.
- Henrik Stenson Top 20 (+130) or Top 30 (-120)
If Stenson doesn't win, he also won't completely implode. If the reduced odds don't bother you and you want a golf betting prediction to last through the weekend, put several units on Stenson to stick around and finish top 20 or 30.
- Sungjae Im top 40 (+210)
Im has done enough off the tee and on the putting green to warrant a British Open pick to finish in the top 40. I took Im to finish top 30 last week, and we like the increased odds here and the extra 10 positions to work with.
For more free golf betting tips, click on the link to visit our golf betting guide.