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Team USA heavily favored in 2021 Ryder Cup odds

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

May 10th, 2021

We are just four months away from the 43rd renewal of the Ryder Cup, and it is never too early to don your stars and stripes – or indeed blue and gold depending which side of the pond you are from. The biennial contest was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this rivalry hasn’t been renewed since September 2018. That three-year wait has only stoked the flames of what is always a fascinating, intense three days of golfing drama between the world’s best players.

Padraig Harrington captains Europe, who are the holders off the cup, but they are the +138 underdogs. Steve Stricker will captain Team USA, who come into the match as -137 favorites despite a poor recent Ryder Cup record.

Ryder Cup 2021

Fri, September 24 2021, 11:00 AM

Team USA

-137

Team Europe

+138

Tie 14-14

+1200

Team USA has home advantage

This year’s Ryder Cup will be at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The course has hosted the PGA Championship three times in 2004, 2010, and 2015, and will now host the biggest battle of them all when the Team USA takes on Europe.

Since Europeans joined Team Great Britain and Ireland in 1979, the States have an 8-11-1 record in the Ryder Cup, but a 6-4 record on home soil. The last time the Ryder Cup was held in the States it was in Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota, and Team USA ran out comfortable 17-11 winners.

Interestingly though, no American has won any of those three PGA Championships at Whistling Straits. German Martin Kaymer won there in 2010, which gives the Europeans a sole victory, but the other two Majors there were won by Vijay Singh (Fiji) and Jason Day (Australia).

Recent history favours Team Europe

Team Europe certainly has the edge in recent years, holding a 7-2 record since 2002. That run includes two demolition jobs in 2004 in Michigan and 2006 in Ireland. On both occasions Team Europe won by a scoreline of 18 ½ - 9 ½, with Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood driving the Europeans to massive victories.

Team USA landed a blow in Kentucky in 2008, but Europe won the next three on the spin. In 2010, the U.S. clawed back a 3-point lead during the final day’s singles, and the Cup came down to Graeme McDowell vs. Hunter Mahan. McDowell won 3&1 to regain the Cup for Team Europe.

Two years later, we saw the Miracle at Medinah. Team USA had a 10-4 lead after 14 matches, and although Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy helped claw back the deficit, Team Europe was still down 10-6 going into the final day. Europe won 8 ½ of the possible 12 points on Sunday to win 14 ½ - 13 ½ in what was the biggest comeback since 1999.

Team Europe won again in Scotland in 2014 before the States ended that bleak run by thrashing the Europeans 17-11 in Minnesota in 2016 with Patrick Reed picking up 3.5 points for his team. Team Europe won the Cup back in 2018 with a 17 ½ - 10 ½ win, which featured a remarkable weekend for Francesco Molinari, who won all five of his matches – the first European ever to do so.

DJ heads up Team USA

The U.S. team is made up of the leading six players on the Ryder Cup points list and then six picks by Captain Steve Stricker. The top six in the points list currently includes 2020 Masters winner Dustin Johnson, 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, and 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa.

Throw in Justin Thomas and four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka and that’s not a bad looking start to Team USA.

Patrick Reed will be keen to get in the mix. The controversial American has a habit of winding up the Europeans, and has a 3-0 record in singles matches in the Ryder Cup. Jordan Spieth is 7-4 in team matches in the Ryder Cup, and will be looking for a Captain’s pick as well as he rediscovers his very best form.

12 of the last 16 Majors all went to Americans, which shows just how dominant they’ve been on the big stage.

Will Ian Poulter make it on Team Europe?

Team Europe’s selection process is slightly different, with the leading four players on the Race to Dubai points list and the leading five players on the World Points list joining three Captain’s picks from Padraig Harrington.

Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, and Rory McIlroy all look certain of their place in Harrington’s team, with Lee Westwood and Viktor Hovland likely to join them.

Sergio Garcia is a Ryder Cup veteran, having been Europe’s leading points scorer in 1999, 2004, and 2006, and the 2017 Masters winner will be hoping for a Captain’s pick. As will Ian Poulter, who comes alive in the match play environment. The Englishman was Europe’s leading scorer in 2008, 2010, and 2012, and incredibly has an unbeaten 5-0-1 record in Ryder Cup singles matches.

2021 Ryder Cup Prediction

Team USA is the heavy favorite, and rightly so at this early stage. Rahm and Hatton are the only Europeans among the top 10 golfers in the world, and Shane Lowry and Francesco Molinari are the only Europeans to win a golf Major since 2018 – neither of whom may make Harrington’s team.

While Team Europe is headlined by Hatton, Rahm, and McIlroy who is coming back into form, you can pick holes lower down their team. Matthew Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey can blow hot and cold, while Westwood is 3-7 in Ryder Cup single matches.

Team USA has far more strength and depth on paper. Johnson, DeChambeau, and Morikawa all won Major titles in 2020, while you can also add in World No. 2 Justin Thomas and World No. 4 Xander Schauffele into the mix. Reed loves the match play format and Koepka and Spieth have seven Major titles between them.

And that’s without even mentioning Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay, who are both among the World’s top 12 golfers, or Billy Horschel, Max Homa, or Daniel Berger, who are all PGA Tour winners this year.

Verdict: Team USA (-137)

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