This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.
2023 Ryder Cup
Marco Simone Golf & Country Club
The best golfers in the United States and Europe have traveled to Italy for the 44th Ryder Cup.
A lot has changed since the last edition, most notably the introduction of LIV Golf, which has had an enormous impact on the makeup of both teams. Though many of the LIV players not in attendance are past their primes, they did offer something extra when it came to the Ryder Cup, so others will have to provide a spark.
This article generally focuses on fantasy-related contests, but with no relevant fantasy games in play, I'm going to switch to an odds-based approach this week. Dig into all the details below.
All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 9:00 PM ET Tuesday.
2023 Ryder Cup Odds and Picks
- Europe: +100
- USA: +110
- Tie +1000
To Lift The Trophy
- USA -120
- Europe +102
For those accustomed to betting on soccer, these lines are similar to two-way and three-way lines. They're essentially the same except one set of odds factors in a tie while the other does not. You'll notice that the European odds are similar for both, and that's because they need to win outright to lift the trophy. If the score is tied at the end of the week, the trophy stays with the previous winner, which in this case is the USA. Before you go thinking it can't happen, well, it has twice in fact, just not since 1989.
So, who has the advantage this time around? The U.S. Team is favored because their squad is deeper, and quite frankly they destroyed the Team Europe in 2021. But is that enough to give them the edge this time around?
One thing we must consider in our analysis is home-field advantage, which in the Ryder Cup is a big factor. Only one of the past seven Ryder Cups have been won by the visiting team. Prior to that, though, the traveling team won at a much higher rate. Is there something about the modern golfer that thrives more with a home crowd? Whatever the case, Team Europe is going to fare better than they did in 2021 purely because of the home crowd.
Another item specific to this version of Team Europe is the amount of turnover from 2021. This is where LIV Golf has had a major impact. Gone are Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter. All great competitors for sure, but all on the downside of their careers. Considering how Europe fared in 2021, I'm not sure it's a bad thing to get some new blood on the team.
The U.S. Team looks very similar to the 2021 version, with the main difference being the absence of Dustin Johnson. LIV golfers are not banned on the American squad, as evidenced by the inclusion of Brooks Koepka, but Koepka earned his way on by playing well in this year's majors and gathering enough points, and Johnson did the opposite. If he had stayed on the PGA Tour, perhaps he would be playing this week, but we'll never know. Even without Johnson, the U.S. Team is stacked. Most of the players are Ryder Cup veterans, and those who are new -- at least two of them -- won a major not that long ago. On paper, this team looks very intimidating.
You know where this is going, though. The Ryder Cup isn't played on paper, and that was proven time and time again from 1995-2006, when the European team captured five of six Ryder Cups even though the Americans were thought to have the better team each time. It was during this period that people surmised the Europeans were a true team and the Americans were just a collection of great golfers. Only in recent years has the U.S. Team actually lived up to its name, which has enabled them to turn the tide somewhat. And yet, the U.S. Team has not won on European soil since 1993!
If you look at the rosters from top to bottom, it's hard not to side with the U.S. Team, but remember only eight players are needed for each session Friday and Saturday, so even if you are a little weak on the back end it might not matter much until Sunday.
If you've followed me throughout the years, be it golf or college football, you know I often lean towards the intangibles rather than the stats, so with that in mind, I'm picking Team Europe to win the Ryder Cup. There are a handful of reasons for this pick, the first of which is the home crowd, which will not only spur on the Europeans but cause some butterflies for the visitors. The course setup will favor the home team as well, because they get to set it up exactly how they want and play to the strengths of their players. Another reason I'm leaning European is the form of some of the American players. I'm not sure the U.S. Team is clicking like they were two years ago. Lastly, there's Rory McIlroy, the guy who played out of his mind amid all the LIV drama. With no LIV players on his side, you can bet he's going to rally the troops and try to prove that Team Europe didn't need the LIV golfers. If they lose, McIlroy and co. will have to hear about how they needed guys like Garcia and Poulter on the team.
Top European Points Scorer
Some players aren't even worth and are automatic fades. Opportunity is a big factor when it comes to earning points in the Ryder Cup, and there are a few guys that simply won't get the chance to earn more than a couple points.
Rory McIlroy +430
The favorite in my mind because of talent, experience and most importantly motivation, as I mentioned above.
Jon Rahm +500
Hasn't played his best since the Masters, but could get up for this event and bring his best game. With that said, I'd look elsewhere on Team Europe.
Viktor Hovland +500
Belongs in the mix with Rahm and McIlroy. Will get plenty of chances to earn points and might be playing better than anyone right now.
Tommy Fleetwood +650
Should be a good fit for the course and has a good Ryder Cup record, but I wonder if he'll get enough chances.
Tyrrell Hatton +750
Fiery competitor, but that fire might cause Luke Donald to deploy him just once per day on Friday and Saturday, limiting his chances to earn points.
Matt Fitzpatrick +800
His Ryder Cup record is not good, but he's a better player now than he was in previous years. Still, probably not the right play here.
Ludvig Aberg +1200
Could surprise this week, but probably won't get more than two matches on Friday and Saturday combined.
Justin Rose +1400
The elder statesmen should bring some fire to the group, but he's likely looking at limited action.
Shane Lowry +1600
This is an interesting play, as he didn't get much playing time in 2021. With the LIV golfers absent, though, perhaps he gets into three matches in pairs.
Top USA Points Scorer
For the U.S. Team, I'm assuming since they are on foreign soil that the rotations are going to be pretty tight in that the best players are playing four matches on Friday-Saturday and the rookies are getting just one, but we'll see.
Scottie Scheffler +470
The best ball striker on the planet, but will his putting woes continue? If you believe so, you can't make this play.
Patrick Cantlay +600
If paired with Schauffele again, it will likely come down to those two, with the top scorer decided Sunday in singles.
Xander Schauffele +600
See above. This duo was solid in 2021, and I'd expect them to be paired early and often this year.
Brooks Koepka +650
A true wild card who usually gets up for big events, but didn't fare as well as the others in 2021. He seems to relish playing the spoiler though, so perhaps we see peak Koepka in Italy. I should note that he will need to play well out of the gate, or he might lose his opportunity for more matches Saturday.
Collin Morikawa +800
Could be a difference maker. Has the ball striking to be a major factor and earned 3.5 points in four matches in 2021. His odds are dropping, so he won't return as much money as he once did. But he's still one of the best values on the board.
Max Homa +900
Ryder Cup rookie with a lot of game, but will he get enough opportunity? He'll need to play well early Friday to get more chances Saturday, but I don't see more than two matches prior to Sunday.
Justin Thomas +1000
A little surprised to see him listed here, but you know he will be ready. The question is, will he look like the Thomas of old, or just the guy who looks better than he did two months ago?
Jordan Spieth +1200
Not the player he was two years ago, but always dangerous in spots like this. If he plays well early, he could see three matches prior to Sunday.