2022 The Open Championship Betting Picks

During the 2022 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week using odds as of Tuesday morning. Here are his thoughts on this week’s The Open Championship.

Note: Nate will tweet out his official bets when they are placed before the event. He also discusses his bets in all sports on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.

Check out his preview of The Open Championship on Monday’s BetMGM Tonight.

About the tournament

The best players in golf meet for one final time this calendar year for the 150th edition of The Open Championship. The last major of the year will be contested at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland for the first time since 2015.

St. Andrews’ Old Course is a par 72 course that measures about 7,300 yards. There are two par 3s, two par 5s and 14 par 4s that make up the historical links-style course. Weather is a huge factor when handicapping the tournament, especially when it comes to the wind.

For betting this week, I will use tee times in the first two rounds, as well as weather predictions, to figure out who might have an advantage playing in tamer conditions. I will make most of my bets later on Wednesday night before the golf begins around midnight. Here are some players that interest me without factoring in the weather conditions:

Top of the board

Rory McIlroy (10/1) is the consensus favorite this week. Being born in the United Kingdom, McIlroy is the justified favorite because of his form and familiarity with this type of golf.

The second favorite is Xander Schauffele (14/1), who is the hottest player in the world right now with back-to-back wins in his last two PGA TOUR events. He won the Travelers Championship and just won the Scottish Open this past weekend. Between those events he won the JP McManus Pro-Am event in Ireland, and all those victories have helped him climb up to this spot on the oddsboard.

Schauffele’s surge has caused a drift in the odds for Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler, who are both priced at 18/1 and were in contention at the U.S. Open. Both players are at least on my radar, especially if either falls to 20/1 or better.

The only bet I have placed for this championship as of this writing is Will Zalatoris (28/1). The original bet on him for this week was placed within an hour of him finishing tied for second at the U.S. Open, which was his second runner-up finish in as many majors.

I thought his odds would be shorter the week of this major, but I was wrong because Zalatoris is back to 28/1 after a missed cut at the Scottish Open. I will give Zalatoris a pass for missing the cut this past weekend because he was playing in the tougher weather draw — and it was also his first competitive golf since being inches away from forcing a playoff against Matt Fitzpatrick at the U.S. Open.

Zalatoris has now finished in second place in three different majors and has six top-10 finishes in majors in nine starts. He withdrew from his only Open Championship appearance with an injury last year, but I think his game will fit the Old Course because he’s played well at other historic venues. Putting has kept him out of the winner’s circle for a PGA TOUR event, but he has putted very well in all three majors this season.

Mid-range targets

The next four players I have circled as potential bets all fall into the 40/1 to 50/1 range. Sam Burns (40/1), Hideki Matsuyama (40/1), Viktor Hovland (50/1) and Joaquin Niemann (50/1) are players I would like to have a bet on as long as the weather forecast for Thursday and Friday looks favorable.

Burns has been a frustrating player for me to figure out over the last 18 months. I have bet on him several times, but haven’t landed on him in any of his four PGA TOUR wins since May 2021. Most recently, I bet on him at the PGA Championship where he finished a pedestrian 20th and then went out the next week to win the Charles Schwab Challenge. Burns’ ability to avoid bogeys with his putter should be a useful attribute at this course.

Matsuyama and Hovland are both players whose numbers could drift throughout the week, as both missed the cut at this past weekend’s Scottish Open. Matsuyama has been in better form than Hovland, although Hovland once looked poised to break through in a major after a strong start.

Niemann is a personal favorite of mine after he cashed an outright ticket for me at the Genesis Invitational earlier in February. The Chilean played well at the Scottish Open by finishing tied for 16th, and his number intrigues me.

Longshots

Cameron Young (100/1) and Mito Pereira (125/1) are two players I wrote about in my Memorial and U.S. Open articles as potential targets, but they didn’t end up being bets because of price. Both played very well at the PGA Championship — and Pereira should’ve won the tournament. They both missed the cut at the Scottish Open last week, and I believe that has created an opportunity to buy low on two players who were trendy betting picks in June.

Keith Mitchell (100/1) has appeared in my betting column several times this summer. He finished well enough at the Canadian Open to qualify for this week and then finished tied for sixth at the Travelers late last month. Mitchell doesn’t have much experience, but I like his form going into a tournament in which he earned his way in.

Haotong Li (150/1) is also likely to make my betting card as a longshot. Most of Li’s success has been on the European Tour, although he did finish third at the 2017 Open Championship and led at the halfway point of the 2020 PGA Championship. Li recently won the BMW International Open in Germany and he ranked first in the field in strokes gained approach at the Scottish Open.

I’ll also consider Kurt Kitayama (150/1) after he earned his way into the Open Championship by finishing second place at the Scottish Open. I bet on Kitayama at the U.S. Open at 500/1, so I have to give him another look off a good performance in Scotland.