British Open 2021: Latest Odds and Betting Tips for Golf's Top Contenders

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IJuly 14, 2021

British Open 2021: Latest Odds and Betting Tips for Golf's Top Contenders

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    Peter Morrison/Associated Press

    Golf's final major championship of 2021 is here.

    The British Open will take place this week at Royal St. George's for the 15th time and the first time since 2011. It also marks the first Open Championship since 2019, as the tournament was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Players in the field will have to display pinpoint accuracy and a strong short game in links conditions. Fans could see golfers flight the ball down to stay out of the wind and shape the ball in multiple directions.

    Let's take a closer look at some of the betting odds for this week and break down some of the top favorites.

British Open Odds

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Jon Rahm +800

    Brooks Koepka +1700

    Xander Schauffele +1800

    Jordan Spieth +1900

    Justin Thomas +2050

    Rory McIlroy +2200

    Dustin Johnson +2250

    Viktor Hovland +2500

    Louis Oosthuizen +2800

    Patrick Cantlay +3000

    All odds obtained via DraftKings

Jon Rahm

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    Ian Walton/Associated Press

    Jon Rahm got the proverbial monkey off his back by winning his first major at last month's U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Now, he finds himself as an enormous favorite ahead of The Open.

    Rahm is +800, with a sizable gulf between him and second favorite Brooks Koepka (+1700). Can the Spaniard win back-to-back major titles? He is certainly playing some good golf.

    The 26-year-old ranks second on tour in strokes gained from tee to green over the course of the current season, 21st in driving distance and fifth in greens and regulation. That combination of power and steadiness with the irons has helped him amass the best scoring average on the Tour.

    Rahm is also someone who has consistently risen to the occasion. He has finished inside the top 10 in each of the first three majors and is regularly in contention at the biggest tournaments.

    Although he has not played since winning the U.S. Open, Rahm is a strong pick to click this week. If nothing else, those +188 odds to finish inside the top five look appetizing. 

Rory McIlroy

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    Peter Morrison/Associated Press

    Fans might not have noticed because of all the carnage on the back nine on the final day of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, but Rory McIlroy was in contention for quite some time.

    McIlroy finished in a tie for seventh despite heading into the weekend at one over par. He crept into contention with a 67 on Saturday, but—like so many others—he failed to make a final push after sputtering over the closing nine holes the following day.

    The Northern Irishman might not have gotten the job done at Torrey Pines, but he seems to be building momentum toward his first major victory since 2014. 

    His putter started to heat up especially on Saturday. If he performs well on the greens, he stands as good a chance as any to win this week. The 32-year-old ranks second in driving distance and 29th in strokes gained in approach. He has the length and wedge play to win, but everything else will need to come together.

    Then there's this: McIlroy has finished tied for fifth or better in four straight British Open starts before a missed cut in 2019. That might scare people away, but his Open pedigree is something to bank on, especially given his recent form.

Louis Oosthuizen

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Will Louis Oosthuizen see his name at the top of a major championship leaderboard in 2021? It almost feels as though he deserves to win.

    The South African finished in a tie for second at the PGA Championship before finishing runner-up at the U.S. Open. Unlike some of his fellow competitors, he managed to shoot even par on Sunday at Torrey Pines and only missed out on victory due to a remarkable performance from Rahm.

    There are ample reasons to like Oosthuizen's chances this week. He ranks first in strokes gained putting and is 14th in scrambling, two things that will surely be of vital importance at Royal St. George's. He also has not finished outside the top 20 in any of his last five starts.

    Another thing to watch could be the bunker game. The 38-year-old is 18th in sand save percentage and knows how to bail himself out when the going gets tough.

    Time will tell whether Oosthuizen can hoist the Claret Jug, but he has had quite the season and will be hungry to buck his runner-up trend and come away with a win.


    All stats obtained via, unless otherwise noted.