2023 Ryder Cup Betting Picks: Winner, Top Scorer, Rookies, and Wildcards

Brandon Gdula
Brandon Gdula@gdula13
2023 Ryder Cup Betting Picks: Winner, Top Scorer, Rookies, and Wildcards

The 2023 Ryder Cup is setting up to be an extremely tight contest after a 19-9 win by the United States in 2021 at Whistling Straits.

The Ryder Cup betting odds for this year at Marco Simone, via FanDuel Sportsbook, favored Team USA slightly for a while, but the odds have flipped just days out from the competition.

  • Team Europe: +100
  • Team USA: +110
  • Tie: +1000

How can we bet the Ryder Cup, and what else can we look at for the event?

2023 Ryder Cup Preview

The unique format of the Ryder Cup -- fourballs, foursomes, and singles matches -- makes breaking it down really, really intriguing.

The vast majority of the information we can obtain from golfers comes from stroke play events, and the Ryder Cup isn't that.

However, historical strokes gained data has done a pretty good job of indicating winners and scoring differentials.

Based on historical data and current strokes gained numbers, Team USA has an average strokes gained mark of +1.68 (according to datagolf) over the past season.

That number for Team Europe is +1.36.

As is common, the real gap here comes from depth.

Team Europe has 2 of the top 3 golfers by total strokes gained in the event (Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm), 3 of the top 6, and 7 of the top 14.

However, they also roster the four weakest players by total strokes gained average (Robert Macintyre, Sepp Straka, Nicolai Hojgaard, and Shane Lowry) as well as five of the bottom six (Justin Thomas and Ludvig Aberg are also in the bottom six this season, though the rocket is strapped to Aberg at the moment).

I'm not sure many objective observers would make the case that Team Europe is the stronger side, and the numbers certainly bear out an advantage for Team USA.

However, the stronger team doesn't always win -- especially when the Ryder Cup is hosted in Europe.

This year's skill gap between teams is 0.32 strokes in favor of the United States (again, based on team averages).

The average advantage for Team USA since 1997 at events in Europe has been +0.27, so this fits right into the overarching historical trend for visiting Ryder Cups for Team USA.

Ultimately, the United States is 0-6 in these six Ryder Cups in Europe.

Does that mean they'll lose again?

Well, Team Europe has over-performed during their home Ryder Cups. There's no mistaking that.

But if we were to project this thing out without that subjective variable and considering the narratives, then here's what my model has to say.

2023 Ryder Cup Simulation Results

My Ryder Cup model uses various measures of team strength and accounts for host location and depth.

It has Team USA winning the Ryder Cup 50.7% of the time, Team Europe winning 41.2% of the time, and a tie occurring 8.1% of the time.

That makes Team USA (+110) appealing.

That's not the only market to look at, though.

Because the contest is so tight, we can also consider Team USA (-120) to lift the cup. In the event of a tie, the defending champion retains, meaning the tie probability comes in handy here.

Ryder Cup Points Leader Betting

Top Overall Points Scorer

As far as Ryder Cup points betting odds, there are various markets, including overall scoring leaders, team scoring leaders, and more.

Unsurprisingly, points scored (one point for a match win and half a point for a match tie) have a strong relationship with matches played.

Only a handful of golfers will play all five matches, meaning both team sessions on Friday and Saturday as well as the singles on Sunday. All 12 golfers go out for Sunday's singles session. It's the fourballs and foursomes that we need to focus on for volume.

Only three golfers played all five matches in 2021 (Jon Rahm, Victor Hovland, and Dustin Johnson), which was a bit of an outlier

Since 2012, Europe has averaged 2.8 five-match players with at least two in each of them. The USA has averaged 1.6 five-match players in that span.

Among points leaders (including ties) since 1995, all 22 played at least four matches, and 17 of them played five matches.

So, we need to find volume, and the most guaranteed volume seems to belong to the top of Team Europe. Rory McIlroy (+800), Jon Rahm (+1000), and Viktor Hovland (+1000) should play as many matches as they can handle. Reminder: Rahm and Hovland played all five in 2021.

As for McIlroy, he got off to a slow start in 2021. He lost 5 and 3 and 4 and 3 on Friday before sitting out the morning session on Saturday and then losing 4 and 3 in the afternoon fourball. He rallied to beat Xander Schauffele 3 and 2 in singles. He seems quite likely to play all five matches this year.

For me, McIlroy is the best blend of skill and expected volume of matches, but Rahm and Hovland are easy to justify, as well.

Top USA Points Scorer

Someone might get hot and play all five matches for Team USA, yet it's always a risk to assume so

The most likely top scorer here by the betting odds is Scottie Scheffler (+470), but with the duo of Patrick Cantlay (+500) and Xander Schauffele (+600) capable of running through all four team sessions, they have a lot of appeal.

There's an interesting case for Jordan Spieth (+1200), too, because of his attachment to Justin Thomas. With Thomas' recent struggles (and even without them), he's as likely as ever to pair with Spieth often, but Spieth can play in other pairings, too. Spieth also won five points at the 2022 Presidents Cup.

Top European Points Scorer

For the reasons laid out above in the overall points scorer section, McIlroy (+430), Rahm (+500), and Hovland (+500) make a lot of sense to target for this market, as well.

It would appear that the most likely candidate to go out in all five matches (or be considered a strong lock for four matches) other than those three is Tommy Fleetwood (+650).

Fleetwood finds himself firmly in the tier below Europe's Big Three but ahead of the rest of the pack by strokes gained metrics.

Top Overall Rookie Points Scorer

The rookie points leader market is always intriguing. We don't have past records to figure out how golfers have fared or been used at Ryder Cups.

However, we can extrapolate with a few notes.

Team USA has a rookie in Max Homa (+300) who was great at the 2022 Presidents Cup (4-0-0 for 4 points). Homa also leads all rookies in true strokes gained average. Homa is +175 to lead Team USA in rookie points, which is an alternate way to get access to him.

I do think there's a strong case for Wyndham Clark (+500 as the overall rookie and +250 to lead the US rookies). Clark has the ball-striking and putting to elevate any team he's on, and his performance in big-time events is enough proof to think he can close out a singles matchup.

From Team Europe, Luke Donald made sure to add Ludvig Aberg (+430 to lead all rookie scorers) to the team. Aberg is the most talented rookie on Team Europe, and he could have an easy case to be made for extra volume. The 23-year-old is in great form and figures to be called upon often. Aberg is also +185 to be the lead rookie on Team Europe.

Top Overall Wildcard Points Scorer

A name that jumps out here is Jordan Spieth (+900 to lead all wildcards in scoring and +500 to lead the US in wildcard scoring). Spieth was a no-brainer pick for the team and is a lynchpin in this format.

He also is likely to pair up with Justin Thomas for as many times as Thomas goes out, but even if Thomas doesn't have it, then Spieth should find his way in a pairing after a 5-point Presidents Cup.

Ryder Cup Profit Boost

All customers at FanDuel Sportsbook can get three 30% Profit Boost Tokens to use on the 2023 Ryder Cup.

For all the details, head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to learn more about the Ryder Cup profit boost offer.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.