Sobel, Sleeze, and Davy: Favorite British Open Matchup Props

Sobel, Sleeze, and Davy: Favorite British Open Matchup Props article feature image

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tony Finau

  • Tony Finau has played well in both majors this season, and his odds to beat a slumping Rafa Cabrera-Bello are just -140. That's a steal.
  • Marc Leishman is built for links golf, while Hideki Matsuyama hasn't quite found a groove this season. The former is just a -115 favorite over the latter.
  • The course conditions at Carnoustie should fit Zach Johnson's game. Sobel likes him at -130 over Bubba Watson, who hasn't figure out links golf.

If you’ve heard the The Action Network Golf Podcast, you know that the man (Sleeze) and the machine (Davy) battle it out with their golf takes. Colin Davy builds a model every week to analyze the best matchup props, whereas Drew Stoltz (aka Sleeze), a former golf pro, relies on his inside-the-ropes knowledge. Often they disagree, but sometimes they don’t. And those times are when you’ll want to pay attention.

This piece will detail Sleeze’s picks and Colin’s data on those. Of course, we had to add our golf expert, Jason Sobel, into the mix as well. Since the start of this article, when Sleeze and Sobel have agreed, they’ve gone 2-1. When Sobel and Colin’s model have agreed, they’ve gone an impressive 11-1. How do their picks align with Davy’s model this week? Check it out …

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Sleeze’s Picks

Tony Finau (-140) over Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Cabrera-Bello has been in a slump of late, missing three straight cuts with only one round in the 60s during that time. Carnoustie will be a completely different test than any of those venues, and any weaknesses he’s shown will be magnified. I like any Cabrera-Bello short this week, but I like it even more when Tony Finau is the man on the other side of it.

Davy’s Model: Finau (-215) over Cabrera-Bello

The Verdict: Agree

Dustin Johnson (-140) over Rory McIlroy

Both players are plenty long to hit driver all week and take the devastating fairway bunkers out of play, but DJ should have the advantage everywhere else. Although he’s been unable to pick off a major so far this year, he is about as sure a bet there is to finish in the top 20, while Rory’s inconsistency and shaking putting makes him more volatile. I’m definitely leaning toward DJ here.

Davy’s Model: Johnson (-176) over McIlroy

The Verdict: Agree

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dustin Johnson.

Brooks Koepka (-120) over Henrik Stenson

Brooks is obviously riding high after his second straight U.S. Open win, but even before that he’s been rock solid in majors. While I normally love Stenson in a links environment, his withdrawal last week due to injury makes me lean toward Koepka in this matchup. Brooks is hard enough to beat when healthy, and if Stenson is hampered by his shoulder pain, he could struggle.

Davy’s Model: Koepka (-161) over Stenson

The Verdict: Agree

Marc Leishman (-115) over Hideki Matsuyama

As I’ve made clear on our podcasts, I’m a big Marc Leishman guy. For my money, he is probably the top links player in the world, as evidenced by his three top-six finishes over his last four Open Championships. Hideki hasn’t quite found the form we grew accustomed to seeing from years past, and the super firm and fast conditions expected this week should play right into Leishman’s hands.

Davy’s Model: Leishman (-163) over Matsuyama

The Verdict: Agree

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Sobel’s Picks

Sergio Garcia (+110) over Francesco Molinari

I’ll admit it: This price made me do a triple-take to make sure I wasn’t seeing wrong. I mean, I know how well Molinari has played lately, but Garcia is my pick to win this week, so that means he should beat this guy, too. Don’t be fooled into believing success at a few TPCs in recent weeks should mean success here for Molinari.

Davy’s Model: Molinari (-155) over Garcia

The Verdict: Disagree

Andrew Landry (-130) over Shubhankar Sharma

Landry already has a win this season … and five top-10s … and he’s contended at a major before … and he plays well in the wind. Sharma has none of those things going for him.

Davy’s Model: No line

The Verdict: N/A

Zach Johnson (-130) over Bubba Watson

This is as much a Zach pick as a Bubba fade. The course conditions should suit the steady game of the 2015 champion, while Watson has spent his Open career befuddled at how to play links golf.

Davy’s Model: Johnson (-129) over Watson

The Verdict: Agree

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zach Johnson

Haotong Li (+115) over Webb Simpson

Yeah, we’re fading the bigger name here, but I’m not so sure that he’s the better player. After a third-place finish last year, people are starting to learn about Li, a youngster with tons of potential. This feels like a nice spot for him.

Davy’s Model: Simpson (-133) over Li

The Verdict: Disagree

Andy Sullivan (-120) over Bryson DeChambeau

One guy is trending in the right direction and a noted links master. The other guy had to withdraw from a title defense in the Quad Cities last week due to a shoulder injury. This is a nice situation for Sullivan, who could provide good value for a top-10 this week.

Davy’s Model: DeChambeau (-118) over Sullivan

The Verdict: Disagree