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2021 Ryder Cup Odds: Team USA Favored Over Europe

2021 Ryder Cup odds with expert picks and betting predictions for Team USA and Team Europe.

For the first time in three years, the United States will face Europe as their counterparts from across the pond attempt to retain the Ryder Cup. Playing the role of home underdogs in 2018, the European squadron took it to the Americans, winning by a total of 17.5 to 10.5, their largest margin of victory since 2006 at The K Club.

With the Europeans having the Americans’ number the past couple of decades, the Ryder Cup shifts to the United States as Whistling Straits in Koehler, Wisconsin, will play host. Having held previous PGA Championships, this Pete Dye design is no stranger to the limelight, crowning former world No. 1s in Martin Kaymer and Jason Day as major champions.

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Although it has hosted major championships in the past, the Ryder Cup is a completely different animal as players are not only playing for themselves, but for their teammates, their fans and their countries. Under such immense pressure, some will rise and some will fall as we outline for you what to expect from the Ryder Cup format.

Odds To Win 2021 Ryder Cup

2021 Ryder Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Team USA-200
Team Europe+225
Tie+1200

Odds as of September 20 at Bovada

The oddsmakers at Bovada have the United States team as the heavy favorite to capture the Ryder Cup next week at Whistling Straits. Looking to regain the Cup for the first time since 2016 and only the third time since the turn of the century, the Americans are -200 to do so. According to our odds calculator, this implies a 66.67 percent chance of them claiming victory. A $100 wager on the U.S. team would net you a $50 profit, while a $100 wager on the European squad would profit you $225.

Ryder Cup Playing Format

Friday And Saturday Morning: Foursome Sessions

It should be noted that the Ryder Cup formats get flipped depending on the continent they are playing in. In Europe, four-ball tends to begin each day, but in the United States, that honor resides with the foursome format.

Foursome is the equivalent to alternate shot, where teammates will take turns playing shots until holed out. Whistling Straits presents a fairly straightforward test when attempting to decipher how to attack this format.

Likely pairing strong drivers of the golf ball with competent iron players, long hitters such as Dustin Johnson of the United States or Rory McIlroy of Europe will tee off on the even-numbered holes. This would give those players opportunities to utilize their drivers on two of three par 5s as well as a nice mixture of long and driveable par 4s. Leaving three of the par 3s and the majority of the approach shots to top-notch iron players such as Collin Morikawa or Tommy Fleetwood, this should be the angle through which each team attacks the morning foursomes.

For whatever reason, whether it is complementary skill sets or a higher level of comfort, Europeans have a knack for playing some of their best golf in this format. After falling down three to one in the initial morning session in Paris, the Europeans swept the foursome matches in the afternoon to take the Day 1 lead. In total, they hold a 10-point edge in this setting – 41 to 31 – since 2002 at Belfry.

Friday And Saturday Afternoon: Four-Ball Sessions

Four matches each afternoon will be decided via the four-ball format. In this style of play, two Americans will face two Europeans and each player will play his own ball. The team’s lowest score on each hole between the two players will be used against their competitors in a match-play type setting.

Since the turn of the century, the Europeans lead the United States in this playing format by a score of 37 to 35. This tends to be the team format where the Americans hold their own, evident in the initial morning session in 2018.

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While many media pundits will discuss the magnitude of the Americans’ loss in Paris, I reckon it was not as big a blowout as they want to make it seem. The United States got out of the gates fast, winning the morning four-ball session by a score of three to one. Eventually sputtering, the United States went into the final day down 10-6, the same score from which the Europeans mounted a comeback in 2012 at Medinah.

Sunday: Singles Matches

Easy enough to understand, the final playing format for the Ryder Cup is that of single matches. A blind draw, each captain will list their players from 1 to 12, not knowing what their counterpart will do. This methodology is different from that of the Presidents Cup where they sit down next to each other and announce a player’s name, only for the opposing captain to counter.

Despite the randomness of the potential matchups, the Sunday singles have produced fireworks in years past. In Paris, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy led the final session, followed closely by Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm. In 2016, McIlroy was once again in the spotlight, but this time his opponent was Patrick Reed.

After starting his career 2-0-1 on Sunday, McIlroy has drawn two difficult playing competitors in consecutive Ryder Cups. Losing 1-down to Reed in 2016 and 1-down to Thomas in 2018, the Northern Irishman has taken on America’s best the past two Ryder Cups.

While many will look to the Sunday singles as a potential spot for the Americans to display their overwhelming gap in talent, it hasn’t been the case in the past nine Ryder Cups. Europe also leads in this format 60 to 48, further solidifying why they have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.

Team USA

One of the youngest and most talented teams in United States history is set to utilize home-course advantage at Whistling Straits. Looking to flip the script of the past two decades, six rookies accompany six experienced members of the team.

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With an average age just under 30 and the elder statesman being 37-year-old Dustin Johnson, this could be the changing of the guard when it comes to Ryder Cup success. While this will be Johnson’s fifth Ryder Cup experience, only he, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka have in fact raised the cup. Other members of the team have yet to do so, as their records are listed below.

Experience (# of Ryder Cup Appearances Including Whistling Straits)

  • • 5th appearance: Dustin Johnson
  • • 4th appearance: Jordan Spieth
  • • 3rd appearance: Brooks Koepka
  • • 2nd appearance: Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau
  • • 1st appearance: Collin Morikawa, Daniel Berger, Harris English, Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele

Career Record

  • • Dustin Johnson: 7-9
  • • Jordan Spieth: 7-5-2
  • • Brooks Koepka: 4-3-1
  • • Justin Thomas: 4-1
  • • Tony Finau: 2-1
  • • Bryson DeChambeau 0-3

Team Europe

Facing the youngest and most talented team ever assembled on the United States side, Europe will be trotting out its Ryder Cup stalwarts. The experience between Lee Westwood, Luis Garcia and Ian Poulter could prove to be invaluable as they look to bring up the next generation of Ryder Cup stars.

Likely passing the torch this year, Rory McIlroy along with world No. 1 Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland – the first Norwegian to ever be on the Ryder Cup team – will have to pick up where their elder statesmen left off. Combined with Paris rookie Tommy Fleetwood, the European team has put together a formidable squad as they are heavy underdogs to the more talented – at least on paper – American team.

Experience (# of Ryder Cup Appearances Including Whistling Straits)

  • • 11th appearance: Lee Westwood
  • • 10th appearance: Sergio Garcia
  • • 7th appearance: Ian Poulter
  • • 6th appearance: Rory McIlroy
  • • 5th appearance: Paul Casey
  • • 2nd appearance: Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton
  • • 1st appearance: Bernd Wiesberger, Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland

Career Record

  • • Lee Westwood: 20-18-6
  • • Sergio Garcia: 22-12-7
  • • Ian Poulter: 14-6-2
  • • Rory McIlroy: 11-9-4
  • • Paul Casey: 4-3-5
  • • Tommy Fleetwood: 4-1
  • • Jon Rahm: 1-2
  • • Tyrrell Hatton: 1-2
  • • Matt Fitzpatrick: 0-2