Ryder Cup Prop Picks
Let’s look at some player props and side market bets, which I believe is where a lot of the action should and will be this week.
Back Paul Casey to be Top European Points Scorer at +1000 (Caesers Sportsbook)
In our Ryder Cup preview video, I was bullish on Paul Casey having the potential for a huge week, and I am still adamant this could be the case. I will get the concern out of the way before launching into the positives though. There is a very high chance Casey starts his week off with his partner from Paris, Tyrrell Hatton. This would normally be a positive, but given Hatton’s form there is a chance this negatively impacts Casey. That said, I still have faith that Casey can bring the best out of Hatton and I do believe Hatton could up his game here. If the two succeed in the first match, they could be wheeled out again in the afternoon, and this is what you are hoping for when looking for a top points scorer bet. It is imperative you pick players that can play five matches and while it’s a risk with Casey given he’s never done it, I believe this is the best chance he’s ever had. When you look at European side, there are three players considered the leading stars – Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, but there’s players outside this trio that Europe will have to rely on and I think Casey is the best of the rest.
Casey has proven course form, with T12 and T30 finishes here in the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships respectively, a T4 finish at the brutal Kiawah Island for this year’s PGA Championship and at T7 finish at the US Open at Torrey Pines, which suggest he may be just as likely to succeed on this layout as any other player in the field. Arguably the most consistent player on this team, not named Jon Rahm and a player at the peak of his powers over the past three years, this match play veteran can be a useful cog in this side. Casey has had more top-10 finishes (10) in 2021, than he’s had missed cuts in 2019, 2020 and 2021 combined (9), and that can’t be overlooked. Four wins from 2018-2021 including two on the PGA Tour and one earlier this year in Europe, Casey is arguably playing the best golf of his career at 44 and he can have a career-week at the Ryder Cup. If he goes with Hatton and plays well they will keep that team rolling, but I think he would partner well with Tommy Fleetwood in an attempt to recreate the ball-striking tandem of Fleetwood and Molinari in Paris, and I also think he could be a useful partner for rookie, Bernd Wiesberger in Fourballs. Harrington should do all he can to keep Casey involved all week.
Top combined points scorer – Back Xander Schauffele at +1200 (FanDuel)
There are six players I am almost certain will play five sessions this week across the two teams. McIlroy and Rahm for Europe and Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele for the US. Justin Thomas is the obvious candidate, given his efforts in Paris (4-1-0) and clear pairing with Spieth but I like the Olympic gold medallist as a quiet leader for this team.
The other reason to select him is the fact he is the longest price of the four to take the honours. With Spieth’s 0-6-0 record in Singles matches across the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup and Thomas’ cold putter this season, I think they could come unstuck in a match or two each, leaving Schauffele and Cantlay as the guys. From a consistency standpoint, I like Xander more than Cantlay on the greens, and that could be the deciding factor to separate the pair, as Xander may be the more likely of the two to win his singles match on Sunday.
Day 1 Correct Score – Back USA 5-3 at +500 (Bet365)
There is pretty simple logic to this bet. This has been the score for one side or the other in each of the last four Ryder Cups and five of last seven overall, despite some lopsided final results. In Paris Europe took a 5-3 lead on day one as they did in 2014 at Gleneagles and USA did the same when winning in Hazeltine in 2016. This was also the score the US side led by in Medinah and while that didn’t result in a win for them in the end, it should have done. It’s the most obvious score-line after day one looking at previous cups and I will take the team I expect to win the event, to lead by that margin by end of play Friday.