Ryder Cup Betting Preview – Team USA vs. Team Europe


Betting opportunities abound for the 2021 Ryder Cup, which will take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin September 24-26. [Image: Flickr.com]

Eagerly awaited event

The Ryder Cup is always one of the biggest betting events on the golf calendar, usually taking place every two years between Team Europe and Team USA. Some of the best players in the world come together to battle it out for their home regions. Today we preview the event and identify some of the most popular betting markets for the 2021 Ryder Cup.

When does the Ryder Cup take place?

The 43rd renewal of the Ryder Cup is taking place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24 until September 26.

This event was originally supposed to happen in September 2020, but was postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Team Europe is the defending champion after decisively defeating Team USA in France three years ago.

The format of the Ryder Cup

  • Friday (September 24) – 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches
  • Saturday (September 25) – 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches
  • Sunday (September 26) – 12 singles matches

In total, 28 points are up for grabs. A team will need to get 14.5 points to win the Ryder Cup, while the defending champion will need 14 points in order to retain the trophy. All of the matches will consist of up to a maximum of 18 holes.

What do the teams look like?

Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington is the captain of the European team, while Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin native, is leading the US side. There are four Major champions on Team Europe, while Team USA has six Major winners in its ranks.

48-year-old Lee Westwood will be the oldest player to take part since Ireland’s Christy O’Connor, Sr.

Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) and Viktor Hovland (Norway) will be the first people from their respective countries to play in the Ryder Cup. 48-year-old Lee Westwood will be the oldest player to take part since Ireland’s Christy O’Connor, Sr. in 1973. Here is a look at both of the teams that will be playing in the 2021 Ryder Cup:

Team Europe

  • Jon Rahm
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Tyrell Hatton
  • Bernd Wiesberger
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Viktor Hovland
  • Paul Casey
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick
  • Lee Westwood
  • Shane Lowry (Captain’s Pick)
  • Sergio Garcia (Captain’s Pick)
  • Ian Poulter (Captain’s Pick)

Team USA

  • Collin Morikawa
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Bryson DeChambeau
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Justin Thomas
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Tony Finau (Captain’s Pick)
  • Xander Schauffele (Captain’s Pick)
  • Jordan Spieth (Captain’s Pick)
  • Harris English (Captain’s Pick)
  • Daniel Berger (Captain’s Pick)
  • Scottie Scheffler (Captain’s Pick)

Who are the favorites?

Despite Team Europe winning four of the last five Ryder Cups, Team USA is the favorite for the 2021 edition, as it has nine of the top 11 players in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). Caesars Sportsbook currently has the best odds for a Team USA win at -187.

[Image: DraftKings.com]

What are some popular Ryder Cup betting markets?

There are many different types of betting markets available for the Ryder Cup, including betting on the event as a whole, on individual matches, or on the performance of specific players over the course of the competition. Here is a look at some of the most popular betting markets for the Ryder Cup:

Outright Winner

The most popular market will be betting on which team you think is going to ultimately come out on top in the Ryder Cup. You can also bet on a tie.

Caesars Sportsbook currently has the best odds for a Team USA win at -187, while a Team Europe win is +200 with multiple sportsbooks, including BetMGM, Bet365, and Unibet. You will be able to back a tie at +1200 with the majority of sportsbooks.

Top Points Scorer

Another big story line during the Ryder Cup is seeing which players perform the best and who falls short of the mark. A popular betting market is trying to predict which player will win the most points for their team and/or for the entire competition.

Jon Rahm is the favorite with many sportsbooks to be the top points scorer across both teams, with odds of +800 to be found at PointsBet and Bet365. Justin Thomas is next in line with odds of +900 available with FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook.

DraftKings, as you can see below, has it much closer at the top, with Thomas actually the favorite at +700 and four golfers at +800. If you are going to wager, shop around for the best lines.

[DraftKings.com]

Correct Score

While it can be difficult getting the final score of the Ryder Cup exactly right, it is still a popular market, as you can get attractive odds for these types of wagers.

DraftKings and Bet365 have a 16-12 USA win as the likeliest outcome of the 2021 Ryder Cup, pricing it at +900.

[DraftKings.com]

Match Winner

Bettors also enjoy placing wagers on the outcomes of individual matches over the course of the three days. This often includes combining wagers into a multiples bet in order to increase the total odds. The books will release the lines on specific matches once the teams announce their pairings.

Interesting Ryder Cup trends

There are many different variables to consider when it comes to assessing the Ryder Cup from a betting perspective. As people look to find an edge, they will try to find some trends that tend to crop up over time. Here are some of the more interesting trends that will be considered:

Rookie Count

There is often a lot of talk about the number of rookies that are playing on a Ryder Cup team. For this year’s renewal, six members of Team USA are rookies, while Team Europe only has three rookies.

Of the last eight Ryder Cups in which one team had more rookies than the other, the team with more rookies won four times, while the team with fewer rookies also won four times. Therefore, it does not appear that having more rookies will be too significant in the grand scheme of things.  

World Rankings

Team USA dominates proceedings when it comes to world rankings, but is this is enough for the team to come out on top? Of the last ten Ryder Cups, the team with the better average world rankings has only won three times.

For the 2021 event, the American team has an average world ranking of 9.0 which is the best in team history. The average world ranking for the European team is 29.4 this time around.

Home Advantage

In most sports, the needle usually moves toward the team that has the home advantage. It appears to largely hold true for the Ryder Cup; of the last ten renewals, the home team has won on eight occasions.

Favorites

The betting favorite going into the Ryder Cup has ultimately come out on top five of the last ten times, so there is no clear trend in either direction.



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