We have a special edition of the weekly betting preview as we take a break from the hectic PGA Tour schedule and head to Kohler, Wisconsin for the most historic team-event there is, the Ryder Cup.
The Americans and Europeans last met in 2018 at Le Golf National just outside Paris where Team Europe battered a toothless and stale Team USA 17.5–10.5 to reclaim the cup. Since that epic comeback by the Americans at Brookline in 1999, the Europeans have now won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups held. The pressure is certainly on Captain Stricker to create the right mojo and guide his ultra-talented team over the hump on home soil.
We arrive to the northern shore of Lake Michigan a year late because of the ongoing pandemic throughout the globe. Of all the golf tournaments that exist throughout this game, the Ryder Cup is the last one you would want with no spectators. The fans create an atmosphere more akin to an English Premier League match rather than a normal PGA Tour event and the Americans will need all the support they can get as team unity has been focal point in the lead up.
According to SI Sportsbook, the Americans, even with their short comings in the 21st century, are -188 favorites to reclaim the cup. The Europeans are +190 to retain the cup on foreign soil. A tie is valued at 11-1. Team USA did win the most recent battle in the USA (at Hazeltine in 2016) but Whistling does offer more of U.K. vibe, so we’ll see if the long Straits course continues to favor the Yanks or not.
Even with all the drama heading into this event, we still believe the right team is favored and they will win on home soil. You can head to the window now and place your bet, but the smarter move will be to wait.
The week begins with Friday morning foursomes, an alternate-shot format favoring the team with better chemistry. As many know, the Europeans have been able to find the secret sauce and camaraderie needed to win. During this century of dominance, Team Europe holds a 41–31 advantage in these matches and even more impressive, boast a 15.5–8.5 lead over the past three competitions.
As for the “fourball” format, the U.S. has done a bit better in recent years. Fourball is better known as “best-ball” among the weekend golfer community and since 2012, the U.S. actually owns an 18–14 lead. Whereas, when Sunday single matches arrive, the Europeans have a 27–21 lead during that same time. So, with all this talk about “matchups” and “teams,” it has always come down to individual players making it happen when it matters most.
We believe Whistling Straits will set up better for the younger and more talented U.S. team and if they get off to their normal sluggish start, that would be the best time to jump in.
In the Top USA points scorer market, you must look at Patrick Cantlay at 15-2. The most crucial aspect here is playing each session and captain Stricker will certainly look to the PGA Tour Player of the Year to anchor all of them. Cantlay has never felt better about his game and he is the sort of player who will keep an even keel throughout the three days. Look for Cantlay to continue his strong form this week when the U.S. team will need his cool demeanor more than ever.
In the Top Europe points scorer market, we really like Viktor Hovland at 15-2 as well. The Norwegian is making his Ryder Cup debut, but he’s the exact type of youthful exuberance this veteran team needs. Yes, Jon Rahm will also be playing each session and is the best player in the world, but there is no value with him and Hovland should thrive under little pressure. Much will depend on who he is paired with in the team format, but we are certain Captain Harrington will set one of their future centerpieces up for success.
MORE RYDER CUP COVERAGE FROM MORNING READ
- The quick guide to the Ryder Cup, including teams, schedule and how to watch
- Three holes that could decide the Ryder Cup
- Watch: Why Whistling Straits is 'all that'
- 11 reasons the Ryder Cup is the most compelling thing in golf
- All 36 courses that have hosted the Ryder Cup, ranked from best to worst
- Who should be favored in the Ryder Cup?
- The astonishing story of Skip Alexander, the golfer with the bloody hands
- Bryson DeChambeau brings his game, and baggage, to Whistling Straits
- Sergio Garcia is about to play in Ryder Cups across four decades
- There's no Tiger and no Phil playing at Whistling Straits, and that's no problem