Main Bet: Jordan Spieth each-way (10 places) @ 17/1
After seven long years of waiting, St Andrews finally gets to stage the 150th Open Championship.
Almost remarkably, it's 12 years since Rory McIlroy last attempted to win the Claret Jug at the Old Course. The Northern Irishman had to sit out the 2015 event after suffering an injury playing football.
Had he teed it up there, history may well have been very different. Instead, Rory remains stuck on four Majors having not added to his tally since 2014.
And yet that doesn't stop him from being the very clear favourite this week at 8/1, four points shorter than 12/1 Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler as I write this preview on Sunday afternoon.
McIlroy's only Open appearance at St Andrews (2010) was one to remember: he led the way after an opening 63, got blown off course in a second-round 80 but recovered to shoot 69-68 on the weekend to finish tied third.
He's also a three-time runner-up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (2009, 2011, 2014), that multi-course October event having two of its four rounds played at St Andrews.
That course record, form in the majors this season of 2-8-5 and a victory in last month's Canadian Open and it's easy to see why the money will pour in on him this week.
But what of the weather? As it stands the forecast shows "a moderate breeze" on Thursday and Sunday and a "fresh breeze" (18-20mph) on the middle two days. There's a chance of some rain too.
The fear with St Andrews is that it just isn't tough enough to cope with modern technology unless the wind really blows. "Moderate" and "fresh" may not be enough.
The last three Opens at the Old Course were won with 15-under (Zach Johnson 2015), 16-under (Louis Oosthuizen 2010) and 14-under (Tiger Woods 2005), suggesting scoring can be tamed.
If wind, the main defence, can't do it, other options are tricky pin placements, those pot bunkers and growing the rough. Reports from the course say there is plenty of hay down the left on 17 which narrows the landing error on one of the course's toughest holes and it's thick in other places.
Firm and fast conditions will also stop scoring getting out of hand and it certainly has a brownish look in places.
In my 10-year trends piece, Xander Schauffle came out on top and I put him up at 22/1 on the Sportsbook.
After winning both the Travelers Championship and the 36-hole JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland earlier in the week, as well as taking the 54-hole lead at the Scottish Open despite being on the wrong side of the draw, he also happens to be the form horse.
The Sportsbook has markets for 8, 10 and 12 places this week and Schauffele is down to 14s now in the latter two.
I'll let that 22/1 ride but, if you're not on, I couldn't put anyone off at 18s.
But my main tip this week is Jordan Spieth.
Spieth already owns a Claret Jug after his sensational finish to the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale when he dodged a bullet at 13 after a wild drive and went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie from 14-17 to win by three.
That came two years after his close brush with victory at St Andrews in 2015.
Spieth was in sensational form at the time having won the first two majors of the season and after rounds of 67-72 he made his move on Saturday with a 6-under 66.
Teeing off at 17 Spieth was tied for the lead but he bogeyed the Road Hole and then failed to birdie the last. A par-birdie finish would have given him victory.
Earlier that week, he'd said: "I've watched the Open Championships here at St Andrews, and I don't think there's anything more special in golf than playing an Open Championship at the Home of Golf.
"I have fond memories from playing here a few years back, vivid memories, one of those courses you play where you don't really forget much. There's only a couple of those maybe in the world. I think here and at Augusta National are my two favourite places in the world."
That brings us to the Augusta link, something I focused on in the trends piece.
Despite the obvious differences, there are plenty of strategic similarities in how the courses should be tackled - creativity a large factor - and nine of the last 10 winners of The Open at St Andrews had previously posted a top three in the US Masters.
Spieth, of course, has Augusta form coming out of his ears: a win, two seconds and two thirds.
Expanding the focus to his overall record in majors, as well as winning three of them, Spieth has managed at least one top three every year since 2014 apart from 2020 when the Open wasn't played due to the pandemic.
He's yet to have one this season so I'll take that as a sign he's due!
When Spieth won the 2017 Open he'd finished tied 35th in the US Open. Last month he was tied 37th in the US Open so maybe he's on a similar path.
Since then he's missed the cut in the Travelers Championship but did so after a Friday 66. And then came his big performance in the Scottish Open.
Ahead of his near-miss at St Andrews in 2015, Spieth had won the John Deere Classic and that's the last time he played the week before the Open.
Playing in Scotland should be an even better build-up. Indeed, he listed the benefits after his Saturday round at The Renaissance Club: "It's playing in this wind and off this turf. Getting acclimated to the speed of the greens and slopes of the greens and watching how much the wind affects the golf ball."
Spieth is 17/1 in the 10 places market and that's the price I'll take.
Next Best: Tony Finau each-way (10 places) @ 45/1
Eight of the last 10 Open champions had posted at least one top 10 in one of their previous three starts.
In fact, the last five winners had enjoyed a top two in one of their three.
That brings Tony Finau into the crosshairs after his second place in the Canadian Open last month.
That followed a fourth place in the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial and he's since added tied 13th in the Travelers Championship on his latest start.
Go back to May and there's another runners-up finish in the Mexico Open so Finau certainly ticks the 'current form' box.
A little surprisingly, he didn't enter the Scottish Open but Finau may be more relaxed than most of the US raiders this week given that he's twice played in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
He finished tied 10th both times, shooting 66-71 in his two rounds at St Andrews in 2019. In 2018 he birdied seven holes on the Old Course in round four but racked up an eight on the par-5 14th and had to settle for a closing 70.
That's all money in the bank though and he'll know that little bit more on his third visit.
Finau hasn't really got going in the majors this season although tied 35th at the US Masters and tied 30th at the US PGA weren't exactly shabby.
And overall his record at this level is excellent. The first of his top 10s came at the 2015 US PGA (he'd not qualified for the 2015 Open at St Andrews) and since then he's taken his tally to 10.
That includes three top 10s at the US Masters which is good for the Augusta link.
Filtering out Open form, he's never finished outside the top 30. The full list is solo third at Royal Portrush, tied ninth at Carnoustie, tied 15th at Royal St George's, tied 18th at Royal Troon and tied 27th at Royal Birkdale.
He said at Sandwich last year: "I love links golf. I don't get to play it very often. A lot of years this is the only links golf I play all year. I definitely enjoy the creativity it takes to play this type of golf.
"I like having a lot of options off the tee, into the greens, around the greens. So it's a lot of fun for me to play this type of golf, and I've enjoyed playing it up to this point in my career."
Despite a flat start to the season, his Strokes Gained numbers are excellent - 20th Off The Tee, 17th Approach, 13th Tee To Green.
The only weakness has been his putting although he's generally putted well on slower Open greens. Finau was 4th for Putting Average at Troon on debut and 13th for PA at Royal St George's.
Note that he's finished in the top three for Greens In Regulation in each of the last three Opens and was 1st for GIR in the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links.
Finau is tempting at 50/1 for eight places but six of his major top 10s were between tied eighth and tied 10th.
It's 45/1 in the 10 places market so that's the one to go for.
Final Bet: Haotong Li each-way (12 places) @ 100/1
Cashing in on 12 places worked - although only just - in the US Open when 100/1 pick Seamus Power finished tied for 12th with Jon Rahm to ensure a profit for the week.
So I'm going to look at the three-figure prices in that market again.
Keith Mitchell, as pointed out last week, has surprise local connections due to his sister attending St Andrews University. He's played the Old Course several times on visits and, despite not making a mark in the Scottish Open, the American closed with a 4-under 68 to give himself momentum.
The downside: Mitchell has missed both his Open cuts and doesn't have a top 30 in seven major starts.
Dean Burmester has the big hitting that could come in very handy on the Old Course's drivable par 4s and a closing 65 gave him seventh place in the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
He had a decent week in the Scottish Open too.
But the one with a bunch of formlines all running into him is Haotong Li.
Firstly, the Chinese star has a recent win. In fact, it came just two starts ago when he somehow ousted Thomas Pieters to win the BMW International Open in Germany.
That can hardly be described as a surprise either as he'd sprinkled some good finishes throughout 2022: tied 12th in the Sony Open, third at the Ras al Khaimah Championship, sixth in the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain and 18th in the previous week's European Open.
Next up is his strong record in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Li was fifth on debut in 2018, tied 23rd the following year and tied 14th last October.
Looking at his course splits, he shot 68 and 66 at St Andrews in 2018 (his best two rounds of the week), 64 and 69 in 2019 and 72 and 68 in 2021.
Add that all up and Li is a combined 25-under for his six rounds at St Andrews.
The final big plus is that he's no stranger to a major championship leaderboard.
In the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale, Li memorably closed with a 64 to leap from the pack and finish solo third.
He's also made both cuts at Augusta National (32nd and 43rd), has a tied 16th in the US Open and was the halfway leader in the 2020 US PGA before finishing tied 17th.
Piece it together and 100/1 for 12 places looks attractive.
Watch Golf... Only Bettor, ahead of this week's 150th Open Championship below, presented by Sky Sports golf presenter Sarah Stirk with guests Dave Tindall from betting.betfair and Sporting Life's Ben Coley, with another Betfair tipster, Matt Cooper, joining them live from St Andrews.