You’ve heard it over and over heading into the 2023 Ryder Cup, and you’ll keep hearing it well after the opening tee shots Friday morning at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: The United States hasn’t won on European soil in 30 years.
Given all the attention to that history, placing an outright bet on the U.S. to win might seem daunting. That’s fine, because there are plenty of other ways to successfully bet on this American team.
First, I would stay away from Top Points Scorer. With the unpredictability of the Ryder Cup, it’s too hard to guess who will shine. Having 12 players to choose from doesn’t seem like a recipe for success. BetMGM Sportsbook has Scottie Scheffler (+400) and Patrick Cantlay (+600) as the top two in odds. They’re also the U.S. team’s top two players in the Official World Golf Rankings. In four of the last five Ryder Cups, the top points scorer for the U.S. was not one of their top-two ranked players in the world.
Even with that general uncertainty, I do see three areas of success for betting on this U.S. team.
1. Top Rookie: U.S.
The odds for Top American Rookie are enticing because there are only four options. For this, I would pay attention to who is practicing with whom leading up to Day 1. History shows us if a U.S. pairing does well early on Friday they usually stay together for a lot of the weekend.
Sam Burns (+275) is already being linked to Scheffler. The two friends practiced together on Tuesday along with Wyndham Clark and Brooks Koepka. Reading between the lines, Burns and Scheffler might be paired together at least once on Day 1. If they can earn some points early, they might have a chance for more.
Even if those two aren’t a pair, Burns played with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa on Wednesday. Those are three names with proven Ryder Cup success.
The three other options in this market each had a better year statistically than Burns: Max Homa (+160), Clark (+275) and Brian Harman (+450). While Homa is the favorite here, you must wonder about his potential playing partners. The fact that Burns is being linked to players who are the core of recent Ryder Cups makes him an attractive pick.
Think about the other pairs on this U.S. squad who are already being linked: Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, Spieth and Thomas. How many chances will Harman and Clark have to accumulate points? Where does Homa fit in that equation – potentially alongside fellow Berkeley alum Collin Morikawa?
While the numbers add up for Burns, the red flag is his current form. However, we must remember his one victory in the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season came at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He’ll also be hungry to prove he belongs on this team. Let’s not forget the power of motivation in the Ryder Cup.
2. Day 1: Four-ball Correct Score
This one is very specific, but also strategic. It’s hard to ignore the history of poor performance for the U.S. on the road. But you can also use that history to find some positivity. In this case, it’s the U.S. performing well in Day 1 Four-ball.
In each of the last three Ryder Cups on European soil, the U.S. won Day 1 Four-ball. In 2018 it was 3-1. In 2014 and 2010 it was 2.5-1.5. This year the schedule will be different. In all three of those years, Four-ball was played in the morning. This year, Foursomes will be in the morning and Four-ball will be in the afternoon.
I would make the argument that afternoon Four-ball will allow the U.S. to get warmed up as the day goes on, and they’ll be ready to pounce in the format they have seen a lot of success in recently.
European Captain Luke Donald even said that his team was statistically better in Foursomes than in Four-ball and wanted an early advantage. If the European captain is outwardly saying Four-ball isn’t his team’s strength, shouldn’t we look to capitalize?
With that said, I’m looking at U.S. 2.5-1.5 (+450) and U.S. 3-1 (+450). If you pick them both and one of them wins, you’ll still more than double your money. It also helps that they were the exact scores of the last three Day 1 Four-ball sessions.
3. Select Day 1/Day 2 Matches
This one is out of the ordinary, but if we’re trying to be as smart as possible with our bets, I think it’s worth it to wait and pick some Day 1/Day 2 matches. I just don’t see any other pre-tournament U.S. odds that catch my eye.
This also allows us to be strategic about who we bet and in what format. More specifically, it means staying away from matches with particular European pairings.
The reason I say this is because Team Europe tends to be top-heavy with their lineup. In each of the last three Ryder Cups, half of the European team (six of 12) played three matches or less. This year feels like it’s even more top-heavy.
Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy will play a lot of matches. Throw in Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood and you can assume you have your six horses right there.
McIlroy and Fleetwood are already being linked. So are Rahm and Hovland, although they may branch off with Hatton and Ludvig Aberg, respectively. Team Europe will undoubtedly have to throw some unproven pairs into the fire. Depending on who they play against, you might have a very good bet in America’s favor.
Admittedly, you will likely have to put down more money than you stand to earn, but there are some attractive pairs to target. It’s no secret the U.S. will lean heavily on one duo early on. Cantlay and Schauffele have been nearly attached at the hip in the last three team events. They went 2-1-0 at the 2022 Presidents Cup, 2-0 at the 2021 Ryder Cup and 2-2 at the 2019 President’s Cup. If they get a matchup with some European rookies or unproven players that’s a bet to keep an eye on.
The moral of the story is staying away from the pairings of European stalwarts and keeping track of who’s trending upwards for the Americans. Patience will be the key.
Source : PGA Tour