The Ryder Cup is one of the most intriguing golf events on the calendar. Played once every two years, it’s an All-Star tournament that pits the best of the American golfers against the best of the Europeans. The two teams go head-to-head on a bunch of different events from best ball to four ball to head-to-head. While betting on the Ryder Cup isn’t wildly popular, there is still great value to be had on this September 2018 tournament.
If you’ve never bet the Ryder Cup, here is a rundown of how it works as well as the betting odds for 2018.
Understanding The Ryder Cup Odds
When you’re looking at the golf betting lines, you’re going to see a slew of different odds. There might be matchups, odds to win the tournament or props to make the cut. If you’re new to betting odds, let’s do a quick run through to explain how to read them.
Sample Golf Matchup Odds
Tiger Woods -200
Justin Rose +150
When you see a minus sign in front of the odds, that’s the amount you would bet to win $100. In this case, you’d win $100 if you bet $200 on Tiger Woods and he won. On the other side, if there’s a plus sign, that’s the amount you win if you bet $100. In this case, you’d win $150 on Justin Rose.
You don’t have to bet in $100 amounts. You’re free to bet whatever amounts you like but this is how the breakdown works, so that everyone can understand the payouts.
How Is The Ryder Cup Played?
The Ryder Cup teams are picked by recently retired or senior champion golfers that serve as captains for the event. The captains pick the 12 players that make up their teams and decide the slot where each player will compete in the event. Each captain has several vice-captains that help them out with tactical advice and support throughout the tournament.
Ryder Cup Format
The current playing format for the Ryder Cup has been in place since 1979 with the 12 best golfers from the USA taking on the 12 best golfers from Europe over a three-day tournament. The first team to clinch 14.5 of the 28 points on the line wins. The Ryder Cup tournament is played under the match-play format rules rather than the stroke-play format that is used for the majority of PGA events.
Match Play Format
Under the stroke-play format rules, every single shot matters as the golfers battle to win every individual hole. At the end of each hole, the player or tandem with the lowest score take the point for that hole. The outcome of each hole depends on besting the performance of your opponent. Essentially, a golfer could win, lose or halve a hole regardless of whether they birdie it or bogey it. All that matters is that they produce a better outcome than their opponent.
Day 1 & 2: Four Matches, Foursomes and Fourballs
There are three different types of match-play golf played out over the three days that make up the tournament. The first two days include four matches of four-balls and four matches of foursomes, with 16 points up for grabs.
Four-balls is when two players from each side both play their own ball with the lowest individual score of the four players winning the hole. These matches could go on for a full 18 holes, or until one side that’s such a dominant lead that they can’t be overtaken or tied. These matches could either be won by a side or halved if after 18 holes each side has won the same amount of holes.
Foursomes is similar to four-balls in that two golfers from each side compete over 18 holes until one side takes an insurmountable lead. The only difference between foursomes and four-balls is that in foursomes each pair uses only one ball, with each player taking alternate shots. Once again, the foursome matches can be won by either side or halved if each side has won the same amount of holes.
The captains determine the teams for both the four-balls and the foursomes. Tactics are important since the captains are looking for favorable matchups on each hole based on individual strengths and head-to-head matchups.
Day 3: Singles Matchups
The third day of Ryder Cup play is when all 12 players from each side play singles matchups. Once again, the captain will decide the order the players compete in order to attempt to gain a matchup advantage. Each player can play a maximum of five matches including two four-balls, two foursomes and a single. The majority of players competing in the Ryder Cups get plenty of action.
The players on each side are selected in different ways. Team USA is made up of the leading players in points earned on the PGA Tour and major events, along with four additional players selected by the captain. The European side is made up of the leading four players on the Race to Dubai, the next leading five players on the official world ranks list and three additional players selected by the team captain.
Ryder Cup Winner Odds
The oddsmakers do an excellent job of listing a variety of different types of wagers that bettors can play for the Ryder Cup including of course picking which team will win the tournament outright. In addition to picking an outright winner, there is a number of intriguing prop bets available for every Ryder Cup.
Ryder Cup Top Points Scorer
One intriguing future bet available is the top point scorer market. This option allows bettors to place a bet on the golfer they think will either be the top points scorer overall over the full three days or the player they think will be the top scorer for either Team USA or Team Europe.
Ryder Cup Four-balls, Foursomes and Single Matches
In addition to betting on the top scorer, you could also pick the winners for each of the four-balls, foursomes and individual matches. In addition to the single bets on these, you could also bet an accumulator, which is essentially a parlay built on a number of individual matches.
Who Will Win The First Point?
There are other interesting futures bets including betting on which player you think will get the first point of the tournament. This type of bet can be tricky since you need to figure out the order and the matchup before you make your prediction. Golf enthusiasts can also bet on the individual points accumulated by star players at the event including how many points players like Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
Ryder Cup Specials
Different oddsmakers will run different specials for the Ryder Cup including bets like, “What will happen to the first tee shot?” These types of bets are great since anything can happen on each hole. Will the player hit the fairway? Will they find the rough? Or will their shot end up in a hazard or a bunker? These Ryder Cup specials can add to the excitement of each hole and provide additional opportunities to make some serious cash.
The Ryder Cup specials can include everything from whether or not there will be a hole-in-one to which players will win their head-to-head betting matchups. If you are a golf enthusiast and you are looking to get in on the action, make sure you shop around and find the oddsmakers with the widest range of Ryder Cup bets available.
2018 Odds To Win Ryder Cup (Three-Way)
United States -110
2018 Odds To Win Ryder Cup (Moneyline)
United States -120
Will Tiger Woods be a playing member of the 2018 Ryder Cup team?