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2021 Ryder Cup: The best prop bets for Whistling Straits

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

September 22nd, 2021

It’s another three months until the jolly fella in the red suit is due to drop down the chimney, but for plenty of sports fans Christmas has come early this week at Whistling Straits. It’s Ryder Cup week, and it’s all about pride, passion, and dodgy fashion.

Team Europe take on Team USA in a three-day matchplay competition which throws up more drama than Netflix’s new series Clickbait.

Europe, captained by Padraig Harrington come into the tournament as Ryder Cup holders having demolished the Americans in Paris 17 ½ - 10 ½ three years ago. It was the Europeans’ fourth win in the last five Ryder Cups since the turn of the millennium.

Steve Stricker is the man in charge of Team USA, and will hope home advantage can swing momentum towards the Americans. They certainly have the stronger 12-man squad, and come in as hot favorites, but what are the week’s best value prop bets?

Top USA Points Scorer: Justin Thomas (+550)

Top USA Points Scorer (Ryder Cup 2021)

Sun, September 26 2021, 9:30 PM

Thomas, Justin

+550

Johnson, Dustin

+650

Cantlay, Patrick

+700

Schauffele, Xander

+700

Spieth, Jordan

+750

Morikawa, Collin

+900

DeChambeau, Bryson

+900

Koepka, Brooks

+900

Finau, Tony

+1000

Scheffler, Scottie

+1100

The key to the top points scorer market is identifying which players are most likely to be selected in all five rounds – giving them the best chance of scoring. Team USA has six rookies going to the Ryder Cup, but the squad is ridiculously strong and there are no clear weak links with all of them ranked in the world’s top 21 players.

Justin Thomas, however, has played in all five rounds in his two Presidents Cup appearances and on his Ryder Cup debut in France, and he was the leading American scorer in that Ryder Cup and in the 2019 Presidents Cup.

Playing alongside good pal Jordan Spieth in Paris, the pair went 3-1-0 and they’ve been partnered together for the media days this week which may be a pointer to Stricker continuing to put the dynamic duo together. Thomas beat Rory McIlroy in the singles that year to take his Ryder Cup record to 4-1-0, and now on home soil and back in form he looks set for another prominent role.

Top European Points Scorer: Rory McIlroy (+500)

Top European Points Scorer (Ryder Cup 2021)

Sun, September 26 2021, 9:30 PM

Rahm, Jon

+275

McIlroy, Rory

+500

Fleetwood, Tommy

+700

Hovland, Viktor

+700

Lowry, Shane

+900

Casey, Paul

+1000

Hatton, Tyrrell

+1100

Garcia, Sergio

+1100

Poulter, Ian

+1200

Fitzpatrick, Matthew

+1400

This is an interesting prop market given you’d expect both World No. 1 Jon Rahm and five-time Ryder Cup star Rory McIlroy to play all five rounds. Rahm is +275 in this prop, but the value is with Rory.

McIlroy played well in the last Ryder Cup on American soil going 3-2, while in France he struggled going 2-3. But he has finished as the second highest European points scorer in three of the last four Ryder Cups, and looks set to put on a good show this week.

In recent years he has asked to partner with a rookie, teaming with Andy Sullivan, Thomas Pieters, and Thorbjorn Olesen, and that could continue this year with Harrington rumored to be putting McIlroy with fellow Irishman Shane Lowry. That sets up a mouthwatering double act which could help Europe get off to a flyer.

Rahm is carrying all the pressure and weight of expectation, so Rory may prove to be great value in this prop.

Winning Margin: USA to win by 4-6 points (+350)

We all love to talk about the nail-biting Ryder Cup finishes – the Miracle at Medinah in 2016, the Battle of Brookline in 1999, Graeme McDowell’s putt on a rain-soaked Monday finish in 2010. But look closer and the Ryder Cup can often be a blowout.

In six of the last eight tournaments the winning margin has been five or more, and that statistic could have been enhance further had it not been for the U.S.'s collapse at Medinah. That tournament aside, three of the last four renewals in the States have been won by five shots or more.

This year the Americans are by far the stronger team, boasting quality throughout the 12-man squad, and have the advantage of home soil and a passionate home support. They don’t have the troublesome Patrick Reed on the team, nor Tiger Woods, who his teammates often said they hated playing alongside. Instead, it’s 12 young, hungry golfers with the Brooks and Bryson feud the only bubbling tension.

Team USA should win in convincing fashion. There have only been three absolute demolitions (seven points or more) in the last 40 years, and Europe have enough to stop this being a massacre, but the four-to-six point winning margin is a solid bet.

Top Combined Points Scorer: Collin Morikawa (+1600)

Top Combined Points Scorer (Ryder Cup 2021)

Sun, September 26 2021, 9:30 PM

Rahm, Jon

+700

Thomas, Justin

+800

Cantlay, Patrick

+900

McIlroy, Rory

+1000

Johnson, Dustin

+1000

Spieth, Jordan

+1100

Schauffele, Xander

+1200

Hovland, Viktor

+1400

Koepka, Brooks

+1600

DeChambeau, Bryson

+1600

While I’ve made the case for Justin Thomas to be the top Team USA points scorer, I couldn’t resist the temptation of having a small stake on this prop at +1600. Morikawa is so deadly off the tee and with his irons, and his game is perfectly suited for foursomes, so Steve Stricker would be wise to put him in for all five rounds.

It’s his Ryder Cup debut, and some may say that’s a negative, but this is the guy who won both the PGA Championship and Open Championship on debut – so who are we kidding? Morikawa is a class act with three top eight finishes in the four Majors this year, so he is well used to a high-pressure environment.

The early weather forecast suggests it could get a little windy in Wisconsin and those conditions would suit the reigning Open champ a little more than some of his teammates.

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