2021 Olympic Men’s Golf Odds, Picks & Preview: Joaquin Niemann, Mackenzie Hughes Are Perry’s Favorite Plays in Toyko
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Joaquin Niemann.
- Golf is back at the 2021 Olympics, headlined by American stars like Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas.
- Joshua Perry is looking down the board a bit at Joaquin Niemann and Mackenzie Hughes for his outright selections in a small field.
- Get Perry's full Olympic men's golf preview below.
Golf betting comes to the Olympics for a second go around.
It ended up being a dual between Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, two of the top three favorites last time, with Rose coming out ahead. Meanwhile, Matt Kuchar pulled a classic Matt Kuchar move, shooting a final-round 63 to backdoor the bronze medal.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is playing a prominent role in the Men’s Olympic golf field this week, forcing the withdrawal of two of the favorites, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau.
To the surprise of no one, Patrick Reed was more than willing to fill the American void and will hop on the first bald eagle available and fly over after the 3M Open to represent Team USA in Bryson’s stead.
Spain doesn’t appear as lucky, and it looks as if they won’t have enough time to replace their star.
Even without Rahm and Bryson, we’re still getting a stronger field than the 2016 Rio games, so there’s plenty to look forward to this week.
Olympics Betting Preview
Kasumigaseki Country Club plays host this week. It measures in at 7,466 yards for a par 72.
I’ll dabble with some Japanese Tour bets from time to time, but this course is a complete unknown to me heading into the week. It’s not a regular stop on their calendar, and the last time it was used for an event of note was in 2010 for the Asian Amateur Championship, won by Hideki Matsuyama who went on to claim the low amateur honors at Augusta that next spring. A couple other TOUR pros took part that week as well. KH Lee came in fourth, just 11 shots behind Matsuyama, while Satoshi Kodaira was 22nd.
Courses on the Japan Tour tend to have difficult rough and tree trouble waiting off the fairway, putting the emphasis on precision off the tee coupled with strong iron play. That’s what I’ll expect to see this week as well. Iron play will be the focus.
For course comps over here, Jazz Janewattananond compared it to TPC Southwind on Twitter, which would be good news for Justin Thomas, who won there last year.
With no Rahm, it’s the newly-minted Open champion Collin Morikawa at the top of the odds at +700. This course should be perfect for him, so if he can avoid a major hangover, he’s a real threat to backup the Open win with a gold medal.
Xander Schauffele comes in next at +900 with Justin Thomas right behind at +1000. Thomas would be my play of the top group of Americans. This should be more of a second-shot course, and Thomas is one of the best in the world with the irons.
Rory McIlroy (+1100) and Hideki Matsuyama (+1200) are next in line. No one will know this place better than Matsuyama. If he had any form coming in, he’d probably be the favorite, but he still hasn’t had a top 20 since winning the Masters.
Viktor Hovland (+1400), Paul Casey (+1600) and Patrick Reed (+1800) close out the top part of this range. Casey is probably the most interesting to me, although I’d rather have a bet on him just to medal, not win. His ball-striking has been excellent for all of 2021, even for Casey. He’s put up six top 10s this year, losing strokes putting in three of them.
None of the medalists were lower than +2000 in 2016, so it’s probably wise to focus in on this area and find one play. I’ll start my card just below this range though with Joaquin Niemann at +2500 on PointsBet. Niemann is a great iron player on his day and can contend in this field. He hasn’t popped up during a big event yet, but his results are slowly improving.
I’ll take one stab here with Mackenzie Hughes at +7000 on DraftKings. Hughes has worked his way up on leaderboards in the U.S. Open and Open Championship.
It’s usually all short game with him, but the irons have been strong in recent events and the driver is hovering around field average. If weather plays a factor and this turns into a scramble-fest on an unknown course, we may get an outsider like Hughes to take this down.
No play in this range for me, but if we get place bets for top-10 or -20 markets like a normal week, keep an eye on Rikuya Hoshino. Hideki will draw all the Japanese media attention, so Hoshino will fly under the radar this week in his home country.
But he’s won three times in the last 10 month in Japan and was 26th in the U.S. Open last month. He’s boom or bust over there and will miss cuts on courses he doesn’t like, but if this place fits his eye, he’ll be inside the top 20 given the weakness in the bottom half of this field.
Men’s Olympic card
- Joaquin Niemann +2500 (1.32 units)
- Mackenzie Hughes +7000 (.47 units)
Total Stake: 1.79 units