The 2018 Open Championship: Best bets from the Betfair Specials markets

Golfer Alexander Bjork
Is Alexander Bjork the man to benefit from injury and poor form?
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With the 147th Open Championship just hours away, our man has scoured the side markets for any last-minute value and he quite likes the prospect of someone from Down Under coming out on top...

“Paul Krishnamurty makes a great case for Alexander Bjork to finish inside the top-40 and if Stenson and Noren really struggle that could easily be enough to land the Top Swede accolade too.”

It's usually a case of which bets to leave out in the side markets at majors but with so much up in the air this week given the conditions (see Matt Cooper's piece here) I'm a little reticent to get too involved but there are one or two I like...

The state of the course is incredible and it's more reminiscent of an Australian sand-belt track than a rain-drenched British links, so my first small wager is in the Winning Nationality market and I'm siding with the Australasians at 11/1. Firm and fast conditions are nothing new to the Aussies and they're a decent looking bunch. Major winners Jason Day and Adam Scott have both come close to winning this title before and so too has Marc Leishman. He lost a playoff in 2015. Cameron Smith and Matt Jones are both feasible outsiders and for good measure, bang in-form New Zealand links specialist, Ryan Fox, is also included.

I usually look to take on Rory McIlroy in the Top Irish market (paid dividends at the US Open) but his rivals aren't exactly pulling up any trees at present and his Open record is strong so I'm going to pass that one over and concentrate on the Swedes.

Star Swedes worth opposing

I wouldn't have dreamt of ever opposing the 2016 Open champion, Henrik Stenson, but the fact that he missed last week's Scottish Open set the alarm bells ringing (he always, sensibly, warms up for the Open in that event) and his elbow injury is definitely an issue. Alex Noren is fancied by many to perform well this week and I really can see why but the rumours coming out of Carnoustie suggest he's struggling with his game so those two really need to be opposed. Paul Krishnamurty makes a great case for Alexander Bjork to finish inside the top-40 here and if Stenson and Noren really struggle that could easily be enough to land the Top Swede accolade too.

Paul's also keen on Brian Harman to finish inside the top-30 and I thought he might be a decent play in the Top Lefty market. This looks too soon for the young Chinese player, Yuxin Lin, Bubba Watson is highly likely to struggle in these conditions (poor links player) and who knows what Phil Mickelson will bring to the table. Harman may not need to do much to reward backers at 5/2 but I'm too much of a Mickelson fan to pull the trigger. Phil missed the cut in the Scottish Open last week but he could just relish the unusual examination this week and he looks to be in good spirits if this tomfoolery with Gary Evans.


Elsewhere, I was sorely tempted by Bernhard Langer to get the better of sole German rival, Martin Kaymer, at 7/4 and for big hitters, Anirban Lahiri to finish in front of the out of form Shubhankar Sharma at 4/6 looks a great price.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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