Ask any professional golfer of note what the most nerves they’ve ever felt on a golf course have been. Chances are that the large majority of them will mention the Ryder Cup, if, that is, they’ve been lucky enough to participate in this one-of-a-kind event that pits the finest golfers in the United States against their counterparts from Europe.
That means that the nerves will be kicking up once again starting in the wee hours (if in you’re in the US) on Friday morning as the first day of the competition unfolds. This year’s event, which is the 42nd edition, will be held at Le Golf National in Paris France. For the next three days, a dozen players on each side will meet up against each other in a variety of formats to determine the champion and which side gets to hold the prestigious trophy until the next time around.
Perhaps it is the team format that engenders so much excitement and pressure for these world-class golfers who are used to competing on their own for big stakes. (There is no purse money at the Ryder Cup.) Or maybe it is the fact that they are playing for something bigger than themselves that causes the nerves to come to the fore.
In any case it makes for some thrilling action. And, for those who like to gamble on sports, it also brings some excellent opportunities. You can use the sites we’ve listed here as a jumping-off point to place your bets on the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Here are the top sites we recommend for betting on the 2018 Ryder Cup:
A Little Ryder Cup History
The first Ryder Cup took place in 1927 in Massachusetts and pitted the best golfers in the United States against the finest in Great Britain. That first event was won easily by the U.S. by a score of 9 ½ to 2 ½. It was also beginning of the format by which the event would be held every two years, with the host country alternating for each event.
The United States dominated the event throughout the years, and the format was eventually changed in 1979 to allow European players onto the side once solely made up of Brits. Even then the U.S. kept rolling. By 1983, they had won every Ryder Cup but three.
Yet the tide started to turn in 1985 with a European victory spearheaded by Spanish great Seve Ballesteros, the first non-US win since 1957. Since that match, the Europeans have won the event 10 out of 15 times with one tie. The U.S. did win the last match in 2016 by a comfortable margin of 17-11 at Hazeltine in Minnesoty.
Ryder Cup Format
For those who have never seen the Ryder Cup before, you’ll be surprised by the different team and singles event that make up the format and comprise most of the drama. You’ll also enjoy, if you’re the betting type, all of the different angles that can be spun off this format and turned into a wager. The format:
- Fourball: This event takes place on the morning of the first two days of the cup. Each team has two members and all four play a hole. The lowest score on each team is pitted against each other, and, if one is lower, that team takes the hole. Most holes won during the 18-hole match wins the point for the team.
- Foursomes: Each team again has two players, but, in this case, they alternate shots on a single ball. The team that puts up the lower score wins the hole and, again, most holes won takes the point in the match play format. Foursomes are played in the afternoon on Friday and Saturday.
- Singles: On Sunday, all twelve players on each team are matched up in singles competition. This is when much of the drama takes place, since each player’s match could provide a huge swing in momentum or, conceivably, win or lose the Cup.
With eight foursomes, eight four-balls, and twelve singles match-play matches, there are 28 points at stake. The first team to 14 1 /2 points wins the Cup. If there is a tie, the Cup returns to the country currently holding it, which, in this case, is the United States.
2018 Ryder Cup Storylines
Each year, the Ryder Cup enthralls golf fans on both sides of the pond. And, each year, it seems as if the stories that emerge are completely unique, even as the bottom line for each team getting to that magic number of 14 ½ points never changes. Here are some of the top things you’ll need to know as you get set to watch and, perhaps, wager on the event.
Tiger Roaring Again
Many people were wondering if Tiger Woods would ever play again in a Ryder Cup, let alone be a factor. In 2016, the all-time great’s injuries were such that he was relegated to being a vice captain for the United States team. Yet not only is he on this year’s squad, he comes in red hot.
Tiger’s amazing 2018 resurgence included several near-misses in big tournaments, including a second-place finish in the British Open. Yet it all came together last week as he dominated for a victory in the Tour Championship, his first win on tour in five years. The victory created a buzz in the golf world that has been missing for quite some time.
Now Tiger gets the chance to avenge an old demon: his Ryder Cup record, which isn’t that impressive over the years. He’s teamed with Masters champion Patrick Reed right off the bat on Friday morning. American captain Jim Furyk isn’t wasting any time getting his hottest player into the act.
It is hard to remember a time when a team seemed as stacked as the Americans do right now. Getting Woods at a time that he’s playing so well gives them an embarrassment of riches. Everywhere they turn, the Europeans are going to be matching up with one of the top players of the world.
First of all, you have some of the most established young superstars in the game, what with Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Reed, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas on the squad, just to name a few. There’s Dustin Johnson, who might be the most intimidating force in all of golf, lining up for the Americans as well. Throw in the two veterans Woods and Phil Mickelson, who can bring all their years of experience to bear.
This isn’t to say that the Europeans don’t have talent. It’s just that they seem, on paper at least, to be overmatched. That’s why they’re the betting underdogs at just about any Ryder Cup betting site you can find. But they do have one thing going for them…
Home Course Advantage
The Americans did snap a slump with their victory in the States two years ago. But another barrier looms large as they tee it up in search of the Ryder Cup. No United States team has won the Cup since back in 1993, when the U.S. eked out a narrow win in England by two points.
26 years have elapsed since thin. That is a lot of history staring the United States in the face. For all of their individual accomplishments, the players on the United States team have never known that collective win on European soil.
The crowds in Europe are often quite raucous in their support of their side, which can sometimes unnerve the United States players who are used to being cheered on at every turn. Add on the sheer pressure of the event, and it’s understandable that some bettors might be leery about putting too much stock in the “American might” aspect of the competition. History says that Europe is the play, and history is tough to beat.
Betting Opportunities On Ryder Cup Betting Sites
When you sign up for a site to bet on the 2018 Ryder Cup, you’re going to want to make sure that you have a wide variety of wagering options from which to choose. As stated above, there are number of ways you can attack this competition from a betting standpoint. Here are a few of them.
Team Vs Team
Right now the United States is favored, with -150 being the current prevailing odds. That means that you’d be betting 150 units of currency to get back 100. By contrast, the Europeans are at +130, which means that you’ll get 130 back for a 100-unit bet. If you include ties, the odds stand at US -130, Europe +130, and Ties at +1200.
In case you’re wondering, there has been only one tie since the event switched to US vs Europe. As mentioned above, the United States is getting most of the attention based on the star quality of its individual players. But history, pressure, and the team format tend to lessen the impact of what would normally make a huge difference in an individual stroke-play tournament.
Player Vs Player
By betting on individual players, you are trying to guess which performer will stand out, regardless of how their team actually does. One of the most popular proposition bets on Ryder Cup betting sites will be a wager on which player scores the most points for his team.
Right now, Dustin Johnson leads the pack on the US side at odds of 5-1, although he’s closely followed by Koepka, Thomas, Reed and Woods, all at under 10-1. Sentimental favorites could find value in Mickelson, who has struggled in the past couple years but often rises to the occasion when the spotlight is brightest, at 30-1.
On the European side, the top-heavy nature is striking. Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose are tied at the top at 9-2, while only two other players (Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood) are under 10-1. Again, if you like the veteran angle, Sergio Garcia, lurking at 12-1 could be an excellent value play.
Other Ryder Cup Bets
From there, you can get much more specific with your Ryder Cup bets. As just a few examples, you could bet on which captain’s pick will score the most points, play head-to-head matchups, or try and guess which team will score the first point of the match. The options are pretty much endless, so try and find a site that gives you a lot of ways to score.
How To Choose Your 2018 Ryder Cup Betting Site
When choosing any kind of online gambling site, it’s always good to know the specifics about deposits and withdrawals. That’s no different if you’re betting on the Ryder Cup. Knowing about the way that you get your money into and out of your account will put your mind at ease. It also helps if you know which payments are accepted, as they can run the gamut from traditional credit card payments to the more modern style of paying by cryptocurrency.
Many sites require you to make a minimum deposit. Make sure you’re comfortable with that. You should also make sure that you’re OK with the procedure for withdrawals, which should clearly be spelled out somewhere on the site so that there can be no surprises.
Make sure to look out for what bonuses you can score. Many sites might be offering bonuses which are tied into the beginning of the Ryder Cup. After all, they tend to hone in on the most popular sporting events as a way to draw in new customers.
On that note, you should be able to get some kind of bonus on your initial deposit. If you plan on sticking around for a while and continuing to bet on golf or other sporting events, you might be able to score some VIP rewards as well.
Last but certainly not least, you need to be aware of the customer service reputation of the site that you select. When it comes to any issues or crises that arise concerning your gambling on that site, they should be addressed in a rapid fashion by site employees. Otherwise, you could be looking at hassles that will dampen your enjoyment or, even worse, put your money at risk.
This edition of the Ryder Cup promises to be one of the most exciting in years. And that’s true whether or not you’re planning on laying down some wagers via Ryder Cup betting sites. If you do like the gambling aspect of it though, you certainly should have enough opportunities to make the kind of dough that will allow you to buy your own gold cup as a reward.