Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Team Europe
- The 2018 Ryder Cup takes place from Sept. 28 through Sept. 30 in France.
- Team USA is currently a -145 favorite at the Westgate SuperBook, with Team Europe coming back as a +125 underdog.
- Early money came in on Team USA, but now Team Europe is getting betting support because of its familiarity with the course.
For anyone who knows Jeff Sherman at the Westgate, you know the guy knows everything about anything when it comes to sports. But those who know him well know he is considered the golf guru in Las Vegas — his Twitter handle is @GolfOdds for goodness sake!
While most other sportsbooks around town won’t admit it, when it comes to setting lines, they wait for the Westgate to set a line and the rest of the books around town will work off of that.
So when Sherman says watch out for the European team in the upcoming Ryder Cup, you had better pay attention.
Westgate’s current line (as are most of the lines around town) is set for both a two-way wager, which doesn’t offer a tie option, and a three-way wager which, of course, includes the tie.
Currently, the Westgate has the two-way line at -150 for the USA and Europe at +130. In the three-way market, the USA is -130, Europe at +130 and the tie at 12-1.
“We opened the USA at -125 on the three-way price and we saw a lot of USA support the first few weeks,” says Sherman, “In fact, the line got as high as -200. Now we’re seeing European support.”
The money coming in on Team Europe seems logical, according to the longtime oddsmaker.
“The more you look at this, they’re playing the Ryder Cup on the course where they play the French Open every year,” Sherman explained. “The USA players are really long hitters, but you really can’t use a driver on this course. So that takes away the Americans’ core strengths. There’s a lot of water in play, so from a course advantage, the Euros have the edge. From a talent standpoint, the USA has the edge, which lends [to] the USA being a small favorite. If I was betting this, I’d play the Euros plus money just because of the course aspect.”
In terms of the handle, Sherman said the Westgate isn’t expecting to write a ton of tickets for the Ryder Cup. He doesn’t expect to see “majors-level action” here simply because of the start time and time difference.
“It will be tough to post match lines because the book will be closed here during the later matches,” Sherman said. “It’s definitely not an ideal start time from a betting aspect. We certainly expect mobile app use to be heavy for this event.”
Sherman’s colleague at the Westgate, supervisor Cameron Coombs, agrees the numbers won’t be near what they do for the Masters, but he still thinks the action will be solid.
“I think we still will get some decent action and also think a lot of bettors are waiting for the matchups to be posted and how the lines on the props are set,” Coombs noted. “That will also help push people towards the two-way and three-way wagers as they usually do get most of the interest.”
Because of the Ryder Cup’s early start time, the Westgate is doing its best to get as much action before the tournament starts.
“We offer alternate spreads for Europe vs. the USA and we have futures already set for the top USA and European scorer,” Coombs said. “But the juicy props usually have to come after the matchups are set.”
Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading at William Hill, thinks the Tiger Woods effect will lead to some decent traffic at the window.
“We expect Tiger’s win last week to add more betting attention to the Ryder Cup,” he said. “It’s the best two squads of all time and the last good golf event of the year. I really hope people get involved and bet this thing like crazy. It really deserves to be bet like crazy.”
At the time of writing, William Hill reported that the USA is taking 67% of the total number of moneyline tickets and 56% of the money wagered in the two-way bet.
Things are pretty interesting on the three-way moneyline. In that market, the USA is attracting 62% of the money, Team Europe is receiving 32% and 6% of is on the draw. However, the draw has accounted for 25% of the total number of moneyline tickets.