British Open odds, picks: Jordan Spieth highlights early best bets

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We’re less than two weeks away from the 2022 British Open, and the odds board is starting to take its final shape.

Rory McIlroy (10/1) will arrive as the consensus favorite for the final major of the year, with the Old Course at St. Andrews as its host. Following closely behind is 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler (12/1), with Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas (14/1) rounding out the top four.

After that, there’s a decent drop to the defending champion Collin Morikawa and 2022 U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick (20/1).

But, which favorites should golf bettors seek out on the current futures board? Here are my two best bets near the top of the board. Odds are by BetMGM and are subject to movement.

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Jordan Spieth (25/1)

One of the biggest course correlations for the Old Course is Augusta National, where Spieth has experienced great success in his career.

But Spieth has also demonstrated a penchant for playing well at the Open Championship and brings an impressive résumé to the 2022 edition. In his past four starts across the pond, Spieth has finished second, 20th and ninth after winning in 2017. Plus, the last time the Open Championship was played at the Old Course, in 2015, Spieth finished in a tie for fourth, only a shot outside the playoff.

Jordan Spieth shoots.
Jordan Spieth lines up a shot at the Travelers Championship.
Getty Images

Spieth’s underlying metrics also support him having a good tournament. Distance, not accuracy, is pivotal off the tee at this course, and Spieth has gained driving distance on the field in 14 of his past 16 events. Further, over his past 24 rounds on tour, Spieth ranks third among all PGA Tour players in strokes-gained: tee-to-green and 21st in strokes-gained: approach.

Plus, I expect bettors will see Spieth excel with his putter on the slow greens at the Old Course. Across his past 24 rounds on “velcro” greens, Spieth ranks third on tour in SG: putting, per fantasynational.com.

Combine those metrics with his history at this major, and I would play Spieth at 20/1 or better.

Betting on the US Open 2022?

Cameron Smith (25/1)

Smith is another player who has demonstrated previous success at Augusta National — three straight top-10 finishes — and whose game should fit the Old Course well.

With such wide open fairways, Smith will likely see his biggest Achilles’ heel — foul balls off the tee — mitigated a lot. As a result, the Australian and 2022 Players champion should see his strokes-gained: approach history — fifth on the tour across his past 24 rounds, second across his past 50 rounds — positively emphasized.

Cameron Smith shoots.
Cameron Smith takes a shot at the U.S. Open Championship.
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Plus, though he doesn’t own the best record at the Open Championship, recent results have shown an improvement. After going MC-78th in his first two starts, he has top-33 finishes in his past two starts.

Additionally, Smith owns a good putting record on slow greens. Across his past 24 qualifying rounds, he’s 29th on tour in birdies or better gained. Further, Smith won this year’s Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, the second-most correlative course to the Old Course, per datagolf.com.

With his weakness mitigated, Smith can contend if he figures out his recent putting struggles.

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