There have been some shining moments for the U.S. in past Ryder Cups, but not many. Nothing compares to the enormity of what Team USA did on Friday at Whistling Straits. In many ways, this young, talented U.S. squad tore up the pages out of Ryder Cup teams of the past and threw them into Lake Michigan. This could be an identity-defining day in Wisconsin for Team USA.
Key word, could be. There’s a lot of golf to be played. The U.S. led by four points at Medinah in 2012 before the Miracle at Medinah happened. And Team Europe led by four points in 1999—and we all know what happened at Brookline.
Do we think the Europeans will pull off a Brookline in Wisconsin? Probably not! The oddsmakers certainly don’t, either: BetMGM makes Team USA a resounding -900 favorite to lift the trophy, and the Europeans a +550 underdog. We think they should be an even bigger underdog after looking at the pairings for Day 2’s foursomes session.
The Europeans are underdogs in three of the four matches in the morning on Saturday—Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia being the lone favorite, albeit a slight one (-125, tie no bet, per BetMGM). The Europeans will have their work cut out in the other matches.
Here are our favorite bets to eye up for Saturday at the Ryder Cup.
Stephen Hennessey, deputy managing editor: Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (-125, tie no bet vs. Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger) — The Spanish duo was the lone bright spot for the Europeans in the morning on Friday, and Paddy Harrington smartly is going back to the new Spanish Armada duo. You could stick Rahm with anybody right now, and we’d probably bet on that side. Koepka and Berger looked strong in the morning, and they’ll be well-rested, so there’s a good reason they’re only slight underdogs. But take the value on the best player in the world.
Christopher Powers, assistant editor: Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger over Jon Rahm Sergio Garcia (3-way, +130) — I realize betting against Europe’s only glimmer of hope (Rahm) is a dangerous prospect right now, but Koepka as an underdog is very enticing. He and Berger are the perfect pair to match the fire of Rahm/Sergio, and you know Team Florida State wants to take them out and essentially end this whole thing by noon on Saturday.
Powers: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay over Lee Westwood/Matthew Fitzpatrick (3-way, -145) — Interesting that Harrington is putting one of his old cogs, Westwood, out in the cold Wisconsin morning each day. Even more interesting is that he’s choosing foursomes, when he has to make key putts, as opposed to fourball when you can rely on your partner a little more. This is a long-winded way of saying he and Fitzpatrick have no chance against these two American stalwarts.
Hennessey: Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth over Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger (-125, 3-way) — I thought about taking Viktor and Bernd … maybe in different circumstances. This is a ton of pressure on two Ryder Cup rookies to take down the emotional leaders of Team USA. JT and Spieth, on the other hand, will be free-wheeling it way more than they did in the first match of Friday. I don’t think this line quite reflects those factors, so I think there’s decent value with the U.S. side here.
Hennessey: Xander Schauffele to win five points (+500) — Two players have a chance to win five points right now: Xander and Dustin Johnson. DJ is 37 years old, and frankly I’m surprised he’s back out in the morning on Saturday. He must be sitting in the afternoon. Xander, however, is 10 years younger, and if he’s going to keep boat racing Europeans, Steve Stricker will be temped to stick with the hot hand. Especially with a soft match tomorrow, I think this has a chance to cash.