How to bet the 2023 Ryder Cup: Prop bets and score markets
8 Min Read
The odds markets continue to evolve as the 2023 Ryder Cup heads to Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. We’ve shown you many of the straightforward ways to bet on the event, from the team winner to the numerous options for the most points by a player. Now it’s time to showcase some prop bets available at BetMGM Sportsbook that center around the intrigue of the Ryder Cup format.
We’ll start with the opening day of competition.
Day 1: Correct Score
In three of their last four Ryder Cups in Europe, Team Europe has led Day 1 by a score of 5-3. The only year they didn’t was in 2010. That event saw the opening sessions split between two days because of weather issues – so we’ll exclude that year from the sample pool.
Much has been made about the chemistry of Europe and how they embody the team atmosphere. Even though that European 5-3 edge has come up with recent frequency, it still sits at +650 for an exact score prediction, behind four other options: 4-4 tie (+500), U.S. 5-3 (+550), U.S. 4.5-3.5 (+550) and Europe 4.5-3.5 (+600).
Perhaps this indicates that the U.S. Team isn’t as weak in a team format as some might believe. Dating back to 2002, the U.S. has won at least one of the Day 1 sessions every time, except for 2006. Europe also led 5-3 after Day 1 that year.
So what is the downfall for the U.S.? One bad session, often in a particular format. In 2018, it was a 4-0 European afternoon Foursomes that demoralized the Americans. In 2014, it was a 3.5-0.5 European afternoon Foursomes session.
The key for the U.S. will be to establish some normalcy in their pairings. That’s been the recipe for their recent Ryder Cup wins. You can assume that Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will be a popular early pairing. What about Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas? Will they be trusted to go out on Day 1 and compete? Can Scottie Scheffler really play with anyone, or will we see him with close friend Sam Burns?
You could theoretically say Team Europe has the same questions regarding playing partners, given that half their team has played in one or fewer Ryder Cups. They tend to get a pass, given their recent strong play on Day 1.
Other notable odds for Day 1: Correct Score:
+950: U.S. 5.5-2.5
+1100: U.S. 6-2, Europe 5.5-2.5
+1400: Europe 4-2
+2200: U.S. 6.5-1.5
+3000: Europe 6.5-1.5
+3500: U.S. 7-1
+5000: Europe 7-1
First Player Out in Singles
Theoretically, this is one of the hardest bets to get right since there are 12 options on both teams. However, if you look at recent history, you could narrow down the prospects because each team tends to lean toward a specific theme. I’ll explain using every Ryder Cup since 2008.
The main reason why I am using 2008 as the cutoff point is because that was the last time the European Team didn’t include Rory McIlroy, and all bets on this go through McIlroy. He has been the first player out on Sunday in each of the last three Ryder Cups. In his six appearances, he has never been out later than third. As a result, McIlroy leads the European Team odds at +175.
The three times that McIlroy wasn’t first, the Europeans sent out another highly-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking in two of them (Lee Westwood in 2010 and Luke Donald in 2012).
The one conclusion you could make based on these facts is that the Europeans love sending out their best overall players first. With that logic, Jon Rahm (+300) and Viktor Hovland (+350) are also appealing picks as the third and fourth-ranked players in the world, respectively. After these three players, there is a big drop off in the odds.
Other odds for First Player Out in Singles: Europe:
+900: Tommy Fleetwood
+1100: Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton
+1400: Justin Rose
+2000: Ludvig Aberg, Shane Lowry
+3300: Sepp Straka
+4000: Nicolai Hojgaard, Robert MacIntyre
The U.S. has sent seven different players out first in Singles in the last seven Ryder Cups. That alone makes this a very difficult bet to get right. For them, the first player out typically hasn’t been about the best overall player on the team. Since 2008, they have never had their top-ranked player out first. The U.S. tends to go for emotional leaders and those who have found a spark that specific week.
Xander Schauffele was a perfect 3-0 in 2021 when he went out first. In 2018, Justin Thomas was one of the lone bright spots (3-1 heading into singles) and was seen as an emotional leader. In 2014, it was the Ryder Cup debut for a fiery Jordan Spieth. He went out first with a 2-0-1 record. Who can forget about the charisma Anthony Kim brought in 2008? Captain Paul Azinger sent him out first to set the emotional tone.
Getting this bet right might take some research and observation as to how the weekend unfolds.
Odds for First Player Out in Singles: U.S.:
+300: Scottie Scheffler
+400: Xander Schauffele
+450: Patrick Cantlay
+700: Brooks Koepka
+900: Justin Thomas
+1000: Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa
+1200: Rickie Fowler
+2500: Sam Burns
+2800: Wyndham Clark
+4000: Brian Harman
Scottie Scheffler | Swing Theory | Driver, iron, wedge
Biggest Winning Margin
Of all the research I’ve done on prop bets for this Ryder Cup, one specific number from this market appears more than any other: the biggest winning margin of any match being 5 and 4 (+350). Ironically, this only has the third shortest odds behind 6 and 5 (+275) and 6 and 4 (+300).
In the last 10 Ryder Cups, the biggest margin of victory was 6 and 4 twice (2004, 2018). It was 6 and 5 once (2010). Neither of those numbers are close to matching 5 and 4. It happened five times (2016, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2002). In fact, 5 and 4 has been a popular winning margin no matter if it’s the biggest margin or not. It happened three times in 2018, four times in 2016 and 2014, and two times in 2012, 2006, 2004 and 2002.
Granted, anything can happen in the Ryder Cup. We saw 4-and-3 victories happen four times in 2021 as the biggest winning margin. It comes in this year at +2200.
The real issue with picking this bet correctly is that the Singles matches can be very unpredictable. After three days of golf, with many guys playing multiple rounds in a day, fatigue can set in. Add in the possibility that one team may already have the cup clinched while many matches are still on the course, and you could easily see some matches get out of hand.
If you really want to get bold, there are some huge numbers out there for this category.
Other notable odds for Biggest Winning Margin:
+750: 7 and 6
+900: 7 and 5
+1100: 5 and 3
+2000: 8 and 7
+2200: 8 and 6
+6660: 4 and 2
+12500: 9 and 7
+15000: 3 and 2, 9 and 8
Correct Score: Overall
Predicting the Correct Score is both appealing and difficult at the same time. You must get two aspects of the bet correct: the exact final score AND the winning team. Because there are so many options, every payout is a big number.
I would focus on a few specific outcomes. I think it’s no coincidence that a U.S. 14.5-13.5 (+1000) and Europe 14.5-13.5 (+1100) win are the two smallest odds. In the last 13 Ryder Cups 14.5-13.5 has been the winning score five times, including two of the last four on European soil.
Now you just have to pick the correct winner. The away team won two of those five 14.5-13.5 margins. You can see why this pick becomes difficult.
If you want to continue to play the law of averages, there is one other number I would suggest. A score of 16.5-11.5 has happened twice in the last seven events. If you think this is a U.S. blowout then U.S. 16.5-11.5 (+1600) might be the right pick for you. If you think Europe has this in the bag then Europe 16.5-11.5 (+2200) might open your eyes a bit! It also helps that Europe has won six straight cups at home by an average of 16.17-11.83.
Other notable odds for Correct Score: Overall:
+1110: U.S. 15-13
+1200: U.S. 15.5-12.5, Europe 15-13
+1400: U.S. 16-12, Europe 15.5-12.5
+1600: U.S. 17-11
+1800: Europe 16-12
+2000: U.S. 17.5-10.5
+2200: U.S. 18-10, Europe 17-11
+2800: Europe 17.5-10.5
+3000: U.S. 18.5-9.5
One of the coolest things about the Ryder Cup is the passion, not only from the players but from the fans. Whether you are rooting for the U.S. or Europe it is easy for fans to assume their conclusions on the results.
Some U.S. fans will point to the fact that their team hasn’t won on European soil in three decades. Many of them will just assume that the trend continues, and Europe will win by a big number.
European fans might say, “Not so fast!” and that an American breakthrough in Europe is well overdue, given all the star power.
The unpredictability of the Ryder Cup is what makes it one of the best events in sports. Who's to say that either of those philosophies will be right? We’ll find out soon enough.
September is Responsible Gaming Education Month. If you bet, set a budget and play within your means. To learn more, visit haveagameplan.org/pgatour.