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Will Team USA Regain The Ryder Cup Or Can Team Europe Defend The Title?

Although the opening ceremony and speeches are held on Thursday night, with the first pairings for the foursomes announced at the conclusion of the ceremony, the Ryder Cup gets underway in earnest on Friday morning with the first four pairs of foursomes.

This is one of the most eagerly awaited and exciting sporting events of the year and few sports events see such drama, excitement, anguish and changes in momentum as the tournament swings from one team to the other over the three intense days of action.

Of course, it is also a hugely popular event to bet on and if you would like to enjoy a wager on the outcome, then bet365 Sport offers an excellent range of pre-event and In Play betting markets on the games.

Alternatively, if you are based in the United States, then check out the wide range of markets available on the tournament at BetRivers Sportsbook, especially if you are going to be cheering on Team USA throughout the event!

With two high quality teams in attendance, let’s take a closer look at both and the reasons why either team could lift the trophy.

Team USA

The likeable Steve Stricker has picked a number of former Ryder Cup captains, as well as legend Phil Mickelson for one of the strongest United States teams in recent years. With six captain’s picks, Stricker most controversially omitted Patrick Reed from the team opting for the lower ranked Scottie Scheffler instead.

  • Captain – Steve Stricker
  • Vice Captains – Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III

Players (world ranking in brackets)

  • Collin Morikawa (3)
  • Dustin Johnson  (2)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (7)
  • Brooks Koepka (10)
  • Justin Thomas (6)
  • Patrick Cantlay (4)
  • Tony Finau (9)*
  • Xander Schauffele (5)*
  • Jordan Spieth (13)*
  • Harris English (11)*
  • Daniel Berger (16)*
  • Scottie Scheffler (21)*

*indicates that the player was a captain’s pick for the tournament.

Current Outright Winner Betting Odds – 1/2 favourites with bet365 Sport

Why Team USA Will Win The Ryder Cup

  • Quality – I don’t know of any US Ryder Cup team that is as strong as this one. Eight of the world’s top ten, plus no player ranked below 21st in the rankings, with the likes of Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods not in the team and Phil Mickelson only a vice captain? The sheer quality that this team possesses is frightening and if they start to feed off each others positivity, then this USA team is going to be very hard to beat.
  • Support – With travel from the Europe to the United States still banned for most people in the EU and UK until November this year, the crowds at the Ryder Cup this weekend are going to be even more partisan in their support of the United States team. With the vast majority of the crowd cheering the team on, that is surely going to inspire the players.
  • Home Team Advantage – There is no doubt that having a Ryder Cup on home soil is a huge advantage. All of Team USA’s most recent wins in the tournament have come on US soil and most of Team Europe’s 11 wins have also been on European soil. Simply the fact that we are playing the delayed 2020 tournament in Wisconsin gives this USA team a big boost.
  • Strength In The Singles – Team USA has struggled a little in the Foursomes and Fourballs at times, but the team’s strength comes to the fore in the singles event on Sunday when 12 of the 28 points are up for grabs. Given the sheer quality throughout the US team, it is hard to see too many European players starting as the favourites in their singles match.
  • Weather Forecast – Whistling Straits is a course that is very much made more difficult by windy weather blowing in from Lake Michigan. That is something that most US players are not keen on but the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday in particular is fine, calm and sunny. While Sunday should see the wind pick up a little and the fine conditions continue, which does seem to be a benefit to the United States team.

Team Europe

Padraig Harrington takes over from victorious skipper Thomas Bjorn for Team Europe’s latest trip to the United States to defend the trophy they won in France in 2018 by a considerable margin. The Irishman is a multiple Major winner and has picked a backroom staff team packed with Ryder Cup experience to help him at the tournament.

  • Captain – Padraig Harrington (Ire)
  • Vice Captains – Robert Karlsson (Swe), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Luke Donald (Eng), Graeme McDowell (N.Ire), Martin Kaymer (Ger).

Players (world ranking in brackets)

  • Jon Rahm (1)
  • Viktor Hovland (14)
  • Bernd Wiesberger (63)
  • Ian Poulter (50)*
  • Sergio Garcia (43)*
  • Shane Lowry (42)*
  • Tommy Fleetwood (37)
  • Lee Westwood (35)
  • Paul Casey (24)
  • Matt Fitzpatrick (27)
  • Tyrell Hatton (19)
  • Rory McIlroy (15)

*indicates that the player was a captain’s pick for the tournament.

Current Outright Winner Betting Odds – 2/1 with bet365 Sport (12/1 the tie)

Why Team Europe Will Win The Ryder Cup

  • Underdog History – It won’t faze Team Europe in the slightest that they start the Ryder Cup as the undeerdogs to retain the trophy. That has been the case in many of the recent events and Europe has won four of the last five Ryder Cup tournaments contested. In fact, it almost seems as if Europe needs to be the underdog to produce its best golf.
  • Team Spirit – Somehow, despite being from many countries all over Europe, the European team seems to nurture a far better team spirit than the United States can muster in the event. Why that is, is not very easy to answer, but it is something that the American teams of past tournaments have often remarked upon as being one of the key differences between the teams.
  • The Postman – If there is one player that has taken on the mantle from the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie as being the nemesis of American teams, it is “The Postman” Ian Poulter, so named because he always delivers. His Ryder Cup record is sensational given the number of tournaments he has competed in (this will be his seventh) and he has a winning record of 68.8%. However, it is often the moments Poulter delivers that are key for Europe and he can be a player who can change the momentum of the tournament on his own.
  • Koepka And DeChambeau – It is common knowledge in the world of golf that two of the American team, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau do not get on and likely never will. Both have said that they can put their differences aside for the Ryder Cup this year, but Koepka was absent from a pre-tournament get together, while DeChambeau reportedly ‘wrecked’ his hands training for the Long Drive Championship which takes place immediately after the Ryder Cup. Will their personal grudge undermine Team USA? Given the issues with the likes of Patrick Reed in previous years, this is something Team USA can do without.
  • Experience – If there is one area where Team Europe dominate this event it is in experience. Lee Westwood will be competing in his 10th Ryder Cup, Sergio Garcia in his ninth, while several other players have played in four or more events. With three Rookies on the team, Europe still has fresh new talent but that is supplemented by some very experienced heads who know what it takes to win the famous Samuel Ryder Trophy.

So Which Team Will Win The Ryder Cup?

Having examined the qualities of both teams, the pros and cons of each and looked at the different factors in play, I think we can safely say that this event should be a lot closer contest than either of the past two Ryder Cup tournaments have been.

Of all the factors, I think it will be the lack of support for Europe which probably is the most definitive given how partisan American crowds at this event are in normal years and this time around, with no opposition, the whole crowd will likely be uniquely pro-USA.

As such, I think Team USA win this tournament by 15.5 points to 12.5.

Ian John

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