The 2023 Ryder Cup is now less than 36 hours away from beginning with the United States looking to not just retain the coveted trophy but to win on European soil for the first time in 30 years. The last time was back in 1993 at The Belfry, so it's been a long time coming for the Americans.
In the latest edition of the Ryder Cup in 2021 at Whistling Straits, captain Steve Stricker orchestrated a masterclass as he utilized all of the analytics, information, and strategy available to push the USA to a historic 19-9 victory. That won't happen this week at Marco Simone in Rome, Italy, but it's that momentum for the Americans that Europe will hope to stifle. They'll certainly have help from the raucous home fans lining the course throughout the weekend.
Making Ryder Cup picks is difficult. Obviously, we'll have a pick to win, but there's a lot of strategy involved with trying to look elsewhere on the board, particularly to find value. As such, let's take a look at our 2023 Ryder Cup picks and best bets to see how, in my humble opinion, we should attack the action in Rome this weekend.
Note: All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. Odds will be updated when made available. For more betting picks and advice, check out BetSided.
Golf betting record in 2023 through TOUR Championship: 52-149-2, +25.496 units (5-51 on outrights, 0.5 unit bets, 0.1 unit longshot bets | -1.6 units at Fortinet Championship)
Ryder Cup picks 2023: Top USA and European Point Scorers, Pick to Win
Top USA Points Scorer: Xander Schauffele (+600)
For my money, especially with the questions still persisting around Scottie Scheffler and his putter -- he's quite literally been receiving lessons in Rome this week -- the best bet for US top points scorer is either Xander Schauffele or Patrick Cantlay. The pair will almost surely play together in foursomes and perhaps in four-ball too, and have proven formidable in the Ryder Cup and President's Cup.
Schauffele went 3-1-0 at Whistling Straits with his lone loss in Sunday singles. That's a bit of an outlier, though, and his overall game should be ready to contend with any European. With slightly longer odds than Cantlay, I like for him to get it done as the American backbone this week.
Top European Points Scorer: Viktor Hovland (+500)
There are, for good reason, going to be a lot of golf fans who gravitate toward Rory McIlroy or Jon Rahm for this. But that gives Viktor Hovland a touch more value, which I love. More importantly, not only was Hovland red-hot at the end of the PGA Tour season and FedEx Cup Playoffs, but he's a fit for virtually any course, especially with his much-improved short game. His lethal ball striking combo could give the United States fits, especially in the right pairings, and I have a feeling we could see him play in all five sessions for the Europeans, giving him ample time to rack up points.
Pick to Win the 2023 Ryder Cup: USA (+110)
The odds have dramatically shifted over recent weeks to the point that now the Europeans, once heavy underdogs, are now slight favorites. I love it -- give me all that value on the Americans.
While there are valid concerns about the USA coming into the 2023 Ryder Cup, the fact of the matter is that they are still the deeper team. Nicolai Hojgaard, Ludvig Aberg and Robert Macintyre are all unproven on this stage and also have a great deal of volatility. That's not to say the US doesn't have some of that too, but they have more experience top-to-bottom and have top-end talent to also match many of the top players from Europe. It's going to be tight, but if the US is a slight underdog, I'm going to jump on it, especially with what we saw in 2021.
Ryder Cup picks 2023: Best bets for Rome
2023 Ryder Cup to end in a Tie (+1000)
Remember when I said this was going to be close? This should tell you how close we're talking. These odds for a tie are as juicy as it gets and I love it. Europe has the advantage at the top with Rory, Rahm and Hovland over the likes of Scheffler, Cantlay and Schauffele. At the same time, the aforementioned depth advantage remains for the United States. But then there is the history in Europe and the 30-year drought for the US.
All this seems to start washing out when you really look at it. It's going to be an event that might come down to the wire based on just how evenly matched things are and, as such, a tie is very much in play. I'm willing to take the outside shot of the 14-14 final score at +1000 odds.
Europe to Win Day 1 Foursomes (+140)
Over the course of the American drought at European-hosted Ryder Cup contests, the Europeans have dominated in foursomes, holding a 62.5-49.5 advantage over Team USA since 1993 in foursomes, also known as alternate shot. Furthermore, in the 2018 Ryder Cup in Franche, Europe jumped out to a big lead by sweeping the Americans in foursomes.
For reasons that are hard to quantify while we're outside of the team rooms, Europe just seems to have the advantage overall in this format, particularly on home soil. We should see that play out again and I love the plus odds for that to be the case.