Off the heels of one of the most thrilling results in recent golf history, we immediately head to France for the 42nd Ryder Cup, in what ought to provide unrivaled excitement. The No. 1 player in the world, Justin Rose, leads his European squad into action at Le Golf National in Guyancourt, France, to take on a U.S. team still bubbling about Tiger Woods winning the Tour Championship, his 80th PGA Tour victory and first in five years.
These two heavyweights shared pleasantries and tons of respect for one another as they walked off of the 18th green at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta last Sunday, Woods being the tournament winner and Rose taking home the FedExCup. But while so many of today's golfers remain friendly, the Ryder Cup produces competition, gamesmanship and playing for pride like no other sporting event in the world. This year's entries have two absolutely stacked teams.
Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Tony Finau will take on Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, and Thorbjorn Olesen. How's that for an All-Star game of golf? Twenty-two of the top 30 players in the world are gathered in France, beginning on Friday, as the U.S. looks to retain the cup and Europe tries to recapture it on their home turf.
The individual matchups are difficult to bet because one must handicap a team of two vs. another team of two -- until we get to Sunday and the singles matches. However, we can certainly look at the most widely available offering right now which is simply who will win, The United States or Europe? I am seeing the U.S. favored in the neighborhood of -190, with Europe as the underdog at around 160. I feel the value here is on Europe as a "Home Dog." For me, the United States should be favored but at a price closer to -145 or -150, so I don't mind taking a shot with Europe at plus 150 or better. I also like the odds of plus 1200 that the matches will result in a tie. With the talent on each team so evenly matched, 12-1 is a nice price for what could very well happen. Keep in mind, if it does result in a tie, the U.S. keeps the cup, so check your betting rules for this type of thing if you are betting on which side will "win."
For a couple of proposition bets, I've looked at two players I feel could be the highest points scorer for Europe; Jon Rahm at 15-2 and Ian Poulter at 10-1. Rahm played well at the Tour Championship this past week and also finished 5th at this same golf course for the French Open in July. Poulter lives for Ryder Cup competition and is one of the most enthusiastic players on either side for this event. His putter has been known to get wicked hot during Ryder Cups in the past and at 10-1, I don't mind betting on it happening again.