Golf tips: Best bets for the 2021 Ryder Cup
Jack Green picks out his best golf betting tips for this year's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, including top points scorers for the USA and Europe.
USA to win
With home advantage and eight of the world’s top 10 golfers in their ranks, the United States look formidable favourites at Whistling Straits.
In Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay, Team USA has elite players who come into the event in outstanding form, and that’s without counting Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
The latter duo’s long-running feud is perhaps the only factor that could derail this team, but both have dismissed it as a non-issue in the build-up to the event.
Europe have dominated the Ryder Cup in recent years, but they were thrashed 17-11 when it was last played on US soil in 2016.
Ryder Cup heroes Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood arrive in mediocre form, Bernd Wiesberger looks a clear weak link and Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton both struggled when included in previous teams.
Team USA also contains five players who have earned top-20 finishes at Whistling Straits, while Europe have only two: Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy.
This is a links-style, wind-exposed course, which in theory should help the Europeans, but Steve Stricker will undoubtedly have it set up to favour his players.
The US captain himself finished T18 at Whistling Straits at the 2010 PGA Championship and T30 at the same event five years later, so he’ll know the place extremely well.
Correct score: USA 16.5-11.5
The last three Ryder Cups have finished 16.5-11.5, 17-11 and 17.5-10.5 – all to the hosts – and another wide margin of victory looks likely for the USA here.
Given the gap in class between the two sides, a Medinah-like thriller looks unlikely.
It’s admittedly a bit of a punt, but 16.5-11.5 has been the final scoreline in two of the last six Ryder Cups and looks worth a go here.
Top American points scorer: Justin Thomas
Thomas was the only real bright spot for the USA at Le Golf National in 2018, playing all five matches as a rookie and earning a team-high four points.
He’s the favourite to be the top US points scorer again this time around and looks a very strong candidate.
While he hasn’t had the best season by his own incredibly high standards, Thomas has picked up two top-four finishes in his last three starts, and finished T18 at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in what was his debut PGA Tour season.
Steve Stricker will almost certainly pair Thomas with childhood friend Jordan Spieth in all four matches across the first two days, and they took three points from four matches in France last time around.
Top European points scorer: Viktor Hovland
Padraig Harrington has revealed that when he asked his European team who they would want to play with at this Ryder Cup, 11 out of 11 picked Hovland.
The Norwegian is an outstanding player and has shown as much this season, with a win at the BMW International Open in June and six other top-five finishes, including a runner-up at the WGC – Workday Championship. He’s a two-time winner on the PGA Tour at the age of 23 and just finished fifth in the FedEx Cup.
Hovland was also an excellent match-play competitor during his time in college at Oklahoma State, going a combined 6-0 in the 2017, ‘18 and ‘19 NCAA Championships.
All signs point to him being heavily involved here – and possibly even paired with Rory McIlroy – so it would be no surprise if the rookie racks up the points.