2021 Ryder Cup Betting Preview: Odds, Team Breakdowns, Course Guide and Predictions

Golf expert Tom Jacobs joins OddsChecker in the first of 3 betting previews for the 2021 Ryder Cup. Check out his all encompassing betting guide to golf's biggest event
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2021 Ryder Cup Betting Preview: Odds, Team Breakdowns, Course Guide and Predictions

Ryder Cup week is among us once again, and the excitement levels are high. Delayed a year due to the pandemic, this year’s renewal comes three years after a resounding victory for the European side in Paris back in 2018. Let’s look at the teams.

Team Europe

The Captain – Padraig Harrington – Played in 6 Ryder Cups, winning 4.

1Previous Ryder CupsFourballsFoursomesSinglesOverall Record
Jon Rahm10-2-00-0-01-0-01-2-0
Rory McIlroy54-3-25-4-12-2-111-9-4
Paul Casey42-1-31-1-01-1-24-3-5
Sergio Garcia98-4-310-4-34-4-122-12-7
Tyrrell Hatton11-1-00-0-00-1-01-2-0
Lee Westwood108-6-29-5-43-7-020-18-6
Ian Poulter64-4-15-2-05-0-114-6-2
Tommy Fleetwood12-0-02-0-00-1-04-1-0
Matthew Fitzpatrick10-0-00-1-00-1-00-2-0
Viktor HovlandRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Shane LowryRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Bernd WiesbergerRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A

Team USA

The Captain – Steve Stricker – Played in 3 Ryder Cups, winning 1.

1Previous Ryder CupsFourballsFoursomesSinglesOverall Record
Dustin Johnson43-5-01-3-03-1-07-9-0
Justin Thomas12-0-01-1-01-0-04-1-0
Brooks Koepka22-2-01-1-01-0-14-3-1
Jordan Spieth35-1-02-1-20-3-07-5-2
Tony Finau11-1-00-0-01-0-02-1-0
Bryson DeChambeau10-0-00-2-00-1-00-3-0
Collin MorikawaRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Patrick CantlayRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Xander SchauffeleRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Daniel BergerRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Harris EnglishRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A
Scottie SchefflerRookieN/AN/AN/AN/A

Ryder Cup Odds

Ever since the betting for the 2021 Ryder Cup opened up, USA have been heavy favorites despite the past record of Europe in the event.  As of the time of writing, the best odds available on the US winning the Ryder Cup are -175, whereas Europe can be backed at odds of +210.  

ResultRyder Cup Odds
USA-175
Europe+210
Draw+1200

It's not just the outright winner that you can wager on, sportsbooks have an array of prop markets available to bet on, including:

  • Top Overall Points Scorer
  • Top American Points Scorer
  • Top European Points Scorer
  • Winning Margin
  • Top Rookie
  • Top Wildcard
  • And many more

Click here to see our full range of Ryder Cup odds.

The Course

Whistling Straits, 7,390 Yards, Par 71 – Hosted the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships

A classic Dye design, Whistling Straits can play in a variety of ways dependant on conditions. Stretching alongside Lake Michigan, this layout is well exposed and that could be a factor. Of the three major championships hosted here, many will note none were won by an American. In 2004 Vijay Singh beat two Americans in a play-off, in 2010, Martin Kaymer defeated Bubba Watson in a playoff, when Dustin Johnson fell foul to a rules infraction, while four other Americans made up the top-10. In 2015, Spieth (2nd), Koepka (T5), Dustin Johnson (T7) and Finau (T10) accounted for four of the top-10, highlighting their obvious liking for the course. The best finisher of the European team that year was Rory McIlroy in 17th. With three par-5’s and potentially two driveable par-4’s, this is a course longer-hitters could feast on, and America have plenty. Europe will be hoping for tougher conditions, to protect the course from target golf by the US team.

History

Last five Ryder Cups:

2018 (Le Golf National, France)  – Europe won 17 ½ - 10 1/2

2016 (Hazeltine, Minnesota, United States) - USA won 17 - 11

2014 (Gleneagles, Scotland) – Europe won 16 ½ - 11 1/2

2012 (Medinah, Illinois, United States) – Europe won 14 ½ - 13 1/2

2010 (Celtic Manor, Wales) – Europe won 14 ½ - 13 1/2

European success is something we are accustomed to in this event, especially over the past nine renewals, in which Europe have won seven. Extend it further and in the past 17 Ryder Cups, USA have only recorded five 5 victories. The tide first turned in 1979 when Continental European players were added to the Ryder Cup, to change what was previously just a GB&I team, and while USA won the first three renewals following this change, it has certainly not been the same since. With that in mind the +210 (FanDuel) for Europe to prove victorious once again may appeal, but I think emotion and a desire for value may mean overlooking the obvious result.

Using the 1985-2018 timeframe, there have been 8 Ryder Cups contested in America. The two sides have shared the spoils, winning four apiece, but there was one year like no other – 2012. Dubbed the “Miracle at Medinah”, there is no other way to describe it. 8-4 in favour of USA after Day One, a 10-6 lead after Day Two and 12 singles matches in which USA were favoured for most, it looked like a USA win was inevitable. Those final two matches Europe won on Saturday, to claw it back to 10-6 provided hope, but the performance of the first five Europeans on Sunday ensured a memorable day.

Aside from a history lesson, why then focus on Medinah and other Ryder Cup’s on American soil? Simply put, I think it’s a huge advantage for the American side being at home. There was so much emotion in 2012, given Captain Jose Maria Olazabal’s relationship with Seve Ballesteros and it was that and some choice pins on Sunday that made it harder for the US team to protect their lead. Only one American (Dustin Johnson) was part of that damning loss in 2012 and he went unbeaten on the week, finishing 3-0. Giving Johnson’s short memory and the fact none of the others on this team were involved, scar tissue is not an issue.

Find the very best and latest promos available to you in your state right here. 

Storylines

Are the USA pairings easier to make?

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth should reprise their roles from Paris, and I cannot see the Presidents Cup pairing of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele not going again, giving USA two clear pairings. If you then add Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau into the mix, a former pairing, that gives us three already. Koepka was also grouped with Berger in the interviews, and a Florida link up with Berger could be an option. It does make the job tougher on Stricker having little to go on in terms of Ryder Cup form from his side, with six rookies and three other players who have played just one.

For Europe though, it looks even tougher. A team built around experience with Westwood, Garcia, Poulter and McIlroy, you would think it would be easier to comprise pairings, but it may not be the case. I think Rahm needs to go out with a similar level of player and Hovland would be my choice, but instead it looks as though he could go with Casey, Fitzpatrick, or Hatton on day one. The veteran pairing of Garcia and Westwood have always been formidable, but that is dated form and a combined age of almost 90 suggests they couldn’t play all week together. If Rory doesn’t go with Lowry, I think a Rory/Hovland pairing akin to what he achieved with Thomas Pieters in 2016 (3-0) would be a good play. Fleetwood looks slated to play a big role, as Harrington talked about needing ball-strikers this week, but he was grouped with Poulter, Lowry and Wiesberger in his interviews, and none of those look natural fits. One thing is for certain, Harrington will be hard to second guess.

Who plays with Bryson DeChambeau?

There’s a chance Bryson plays a big part this week, and who he is paired will be important. I discussed my concerns with his Foursomes suitability, but as Rick and Geoff pointed out in our video preview, there’s a chance players are lining up to play with him, just to see how the longball works. Finau makes all the sense in the world in Fourballs, but if the interview schedules are anything to go by, it looks like he may start by going out with Scheffler, a power-hitting pairing.

Which side’s rookies will have the biggest impact?

The most obvious answer is USA. They have 6 to Europe’s 3 and Cantlay and Schauffele are widely expected to play four matches. Add to that two-time major winner, Morikawa and recent winners, English and Berger, it looks like the biggest question mark surrounds Scheffler, but he has the profile to be an outstanding rookie.

Europe take Hovland, Lowry and Wiesberger. Hovland should join Rahm and McIlroy in having a heavy workload, but who he plays with is key. Harrington put water on the idea of pairing Lowry and McIlroy together purely based on their Irish connection, so it may be that Rory gets to play with Hovland, a prospect he’s excited about. Despite getting in the team on merit, I don’t see a big workload for Wiesberger.

The Bets

I only see an American victory this week, and possibly a resounding one at that. Despite the -175 (BetMGM) looking on the short side, it looks the bet, but you could back USA to lead after day one and day two individually at -120 (PointsBet). I think a hot start is imperative for USA for morale, so this is an angle to play.

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Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!

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