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Ryder Cup reaction: Turn to prop markets with Europe on cusp of emotional win

6 Min Read

Golfbet News


    Written by Will Gray @GolfBet

    GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy – And just like that, it was over.

    That was yesterday. Yes, the Americans finally showed some fire late Saturday afternoon at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, inspired both by Patrick Cantlay’s headwear choice and his ability to flip a match from blue to red for the first time all week. The emotions of that celebration boiled over into the adjacent parking lot, and as the sun set in Rome the discussion focused on emotional displays from both sides.

    The Americans have found a rallying cry. The Europeans have more reason to dig deep in Sunday Singles. But the narratives won’t erase the five-point advantage Luke Donald’s crew is currently clinging to.

    Yes, it will take an historic comeback from the Americans to keep the Ryder Cup for another two years. Brookline in 1999 and Medinah in 2012 both featured Sunday comebacks from 10-6, while the Americans will need to come from a 10.5 to 5.5 deficit. It looked like it would be worse before Cantlay’s lengthy birdie on No. 18 secured a full point and sparked a celebration whose ramifications will reach into Sunday.

    But oddsmakers are looking at the raw numbers while listing the Europeans as heavy favorites. They’re -1000 on the three-way line, -2000 if tie is factored out, and well on their way despite Cantlay’s heroics in ending McIlroy’s perfect week.

    Updated odds to win the Ryder Cup:

    -1000: Europe

    +1100: U.S.

    +1600: Tie

    So with the result nearly (but not totally!) decided, where can your attention drift as a fan and bettor? To the prop market, of course. Alternate spreads, handicap markets, top point scorers … it’s all up for grabs as the tournament reaches a crescendo on Sunday.

    Singles Matches

    Twelve matches remain, with a wide swath of prices. Here’s a look at the final tee sheet from Marco Simone:

    ∙ Jon Rahm (-125) vs. Scottie Scheffler (+100)

    ∙ Viktor Hovland (-135) vs. Collin Morikawa (+110)

    ∙ Patrick Cantlay (-150) vs. Justin Rose (+125)

    ∙ Rory McIlroy (-200) vs. Sam Burns (+160)

    ∙ Max Homa (-140) vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick (+105)

    ∙ Tyrrell Hatton (-140) vs. Brian Harman (+110)

    ∙ Brooks Koepka (-120) vs. Ludvig Åberg (-105)

    ∙ Justin Thomas (-115) vs. Sepp Straka (-105)

    ∙ Xander Schauffele (-185) vs. Nicolai Højgaard (+135)

    ∙ Shane Lowry (-110) vs. Jordan Spieth (-110)

    ∙ Tommy Fleetwood (-145) vs. Rickie Fowler (+115)

    ∙ Wyndham Clark (-195) vs. Robert MacIntyre (+145)

    The ones that stand out to me? Lowry over Spieth, as the Irishman has been an emotional spark all week (even when not playing) and Spieth has been all over the place with his ball-striking. If I’m backing an underdog, it’s probably Rose – who has played really well and may have a bit of extra line value right now because of the narratives surrounding Cantlay.

    Top Points Scorer

    McIlroy’s loss Saturday afternoon dropped his record to 3-1, and it brought the top scorer market back into play. He’s still a hefty -165 favorite to lead the tournament in scoring, a title he would clinch with a Sunday win over Sam Burns. But a few others can catch or pass him, with the top American threat being Max Homa.

    Top Points Scorer:

    -165: Rory McIlroy (3-1-0)

    +500: Viktor Hovland (2-1-1)

    +600: Jon Rahm (2-0-1)

    +700: Tyrrell Hatton (2-0-1)

    +1200: Max Homa (2-1-1)

    +4100: Tommy Fleetwood (2-1-0)

    In the American-specific market, only three names are still in play. Homa (-170) already has 2.5 points, while Harman (+185) and Clark (+600) have 2 and 1.5 points, respectively. They could earn at least a piece of the pie if they win their matches over Hatton and MacIntyre, respectively, although Clark would need a win plus a Homa loss. Ultimately, I think Homa takes top honors here, as I expect him to get a result against the former U.S. Open champ – after a 4-0 Presidents Cup he is clearly asserting himself as one of the best players on the American squad.

    Alternate Spreads

    If you are expecting an American comeback that might fall short, there’s also a handicap market: the Americans are +160 to cover a +3.5-point spread, meaning they would win at least seven of 12 singles’ points and lose no worse than 15.5 to 12.5.

    On the flip side, the Europeans are +140 to cover a -5.5-point spread, meaning they’d do no worse than a 6-6 split on Sunday and win by a score of at least 16.5 to 11.5.

    Day 3 Winner

    Despite the current score – but potentially because of the emotional surge with which they ended the day – the Americans are favored to win the Singles session via DraftKings to close out the Ryder Cup. Zach Johnson’s squad is listed at +105 to earn at least 6.5 points, with Europe priced at +115 to clear the same barrier. A 6-6 tie would pay +700.

    Miscellaneous Outcomes

    Then there’s the assortment of “special bets” via FanDuel that target more specific outcomes. How many of the 12 Singles matches will end in a Tie? Over 1.5 pays +110 there. Jon Rahm (out first against Scottie Scheffler) and Rory McIlroy (batting fourth against Sam Burns) are +250 to both win their matches. The Americans are +1200 to win the first four matches, a result that would surely fuel the fire of a comeback but would require Scheffler over Rahm, Burns over McIlroy, Collin Morikawa over Viktor Hovland and Cantlay over Justin Rose. Should Europe flip the script and win each of those four matches, the prop would pay +1300 – and the Ryder Cup would officially be over, with the Europeans reaching the coveted 14.5-point threshold.

    Final Score Prediction

    What will the scoreboard look like Sunday night? It’s the question both teams have been trying to figure out all week long, and now we have some clarity. The exact score market at DraftKings pertains to Sunday’s match results, but it translates into what the end tally will be. For instance, the six options that would keep the score within 7-5 one way or the other are each priced at +650, implying a tight battle in Singles. The first outlier beyond that comes at +900 for Europe 7.5-4.5 and U.S. 7.5-4.5. Those results would create final scores of 18-10 Europe and 15-13 Europe, respectively – two vastly different narratives.

    Correct Singles Score odds:

    +650: Tie 6-6, U.S. 6.5-5.5, U.S. 7-5, Europe 6.5-5.5, Europe 7-5

    +900: U.S. 7.5-4.5, Europe 7.5-4.5

    +1200: U.S. 8-4, Europe 8-4

    +1800: U.S. 8.5-3.5, Europe 8.5-3.5

    +2500: U.S. 9-3, Europe 9-3

    The selections from there are priced at +5500 or higher, including 1,000-to-1 for either team to pull off a 12-0 sweep. The +1800 options are particularly intriguing: The Americans winning 8.5 points would be enough to retain the trophy, while the Euros winning 8.5 points would create a 20-8 final margin – one point beyond the record-setting 19-9 margin established two years ago at Whistling Straits.

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