Category - Major Events

Ryder Cup Best Bets: Take the Daily Winners

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth during a practice round.(Getty Images)

The countdown continues, and we have less than 24 hours until the start of the first foursomes match on Friday morning at the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Marco Simone Golf & Country Club is set, and the pairings will be announced at the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday. That single fact creates the biggest challenge when it comes to pre-match proposition (prop) bets at the biannual match.
A standard PGA TOUR or LPGA tournament starts the week with plenty of betting coverage. Odds to win are released on Monday, prop bets, head-to-head matchups (H2H), and placements (Top 5, 10, etc.) are all released on Tuesday. That gives the bettor time to react and wager prior to the tournament starting. This delivery cadence creates a routine that is disrupted by the Ryder Cup.
Prior to the match, we can certainly select the winner, and this betting guide will help you pick. You can choose the winner in two ways. The first is to wager on who will win the most points and, in that case, you can also bet on a tie because as the Solheim Cup showed us, 28 match points can be evenly split. You can also bet who will “lift the Cup.” In this case, there is no tie. Just pick the winner of the Ryder Cup. Keep in mind if there is a tie in points scored the Americans keep the trophy.
The U.S. Team at Marco Simone. (Getty Images)
The U.S. Team at Marco Simone. (Getty Images)
The remainder of the pre-match bets available are all surrounding player performance. In my Solheim Cup betting preview, I covered the rationale for not making pre-Cup prop bets. My one suggestion is to bet the daily winners and, for the Ryder Cup, I would take Europe on Friday (+125) to have the most points and the U.S. on Saturday (+125). Walking in with the Cup creates extra anxiety and it showed in the Friday foursomes in Spain when the U.S. won every morning match.
By Saturday, I expect the cream to rise, and the American side will steadily regain their lock on the lead in advance of Sunday singles. Living in the age of analytics, very few players will go five matches . . . and when it comes to most points, you must start with who will play.
I’d save my betting budget for in-play pairings, but for those who like to wager pre-match, pay attention to this.
Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy are veterans on Team Europe. (Getty Images)
Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy are veterans on Team Europe. (Getty Images)
Since we cannot read the Captain’s minds, history is our only friend. Over the last five Ryder Cups, an average of 4.4 players (out of 24) have played in five matches. Europe does it an average of 2.8 times and the U.S. just 1.6. Europe tends to have a top-heavy talented team: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland continue the trend in Rome. Selecting the player who will earn the most points from the field of 24 will most likely come down to one of these three.
All three also happen to be in the top four of the Official World Golf Rankings. Winning points will also depend on their partners. Pay attention to the practice round pairings to get an idea of who they may be paired with.
Partners play a huge role in determining the point totals. The Americans have more depth and therefore can sit their stars comfortably. Marco Simone is a difficult walk, and the elevation changes are significant, meaning the mental strain of each match is real. Guessing the country and rookie point leaders get even more difficult so please stay away. Try the most points in the field bet if you must, but if you save the betting budget for the in-play action you’ll be far more entertained.
I’ll be back with more PGA expert betting coverage on Saturday for the Sunday singles. Twelve H2H takes based upon my observations and research at the Ryder Cup.

Keith Stewart is an award-winning PGA of America Professional. He covers the LPGA and PGA TOUR for Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, LPGA, and PGA TOUR. If you are looking to raise your golf acumen and love inside information about the game, check out his weekly newsletter called Read The Line