The matchups for the first session of the Presidents Cup are set, and on paper, it’s advantage USA.
The Americans are favored in four of the five matchups, which will use the alternate shot format to begin the event.
Hideki/Charl vs Rickie/JT
Scott/Vegas vs DJ/Kuch
Kim/Grillo vs Reed/Spieth
Grace/Louis vs Koepka/Berger
Day/Leish vs Kiz/Phil
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) September 27, 2017
The United States is going with a marquee team right out of the gate, as Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler head into Match 1 as a -170 favorite over Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel. This match is a spot in which the Internationals will be targeting an upset if they’re going to compete. Unfortunately for them, neither player has been in great form.
Match 2 pairs Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar as -215 favorites over Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas. Looking at the form of the Internationals, and again, they appear to be in trouble. Vegas struggled the last three playoff events, while Scott missed the cut in his only playoff tournament.
The biggest mismatch of the day comes in Match 3 with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed going up against rookies Si Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo. Spieth and Reed are -310 favorites, and given their experience in team events, they should be able to roll here.
The fourth match out is the tightest with Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger a small -125 favorite over Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace. I think the wrong team may be favored here. Oosthuizen and Grace were perfect as a team in 2015, while this is Berger’s first team competition. The South African duo has been up and down all year, but they’ve both shown the ability to raise their level of play for this event.
The anchor match is the lone spot where the Internationals are favored. Jason Day and Marc Leishman are -150 to knock off Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner. This is a must-win for the Aussie pairing. As expected, Leishman and Day are the marquee team for the Internationals, which is why I back Leishman to be the top International scorer. Kisner is in good form and Phil has played enough of these, though, that the Americans could steal this one as well.
There are two plays I’ll be making for day one. The first is a Spieth-Reed/Fowler-Thomas parlay at +110. I just don’t see Spieth and Reed losing, and Fowler and Thomas are going against two players who haven’t played well in nearly two months.
The second is the USA to lead after day one at -165. This play is an outright win, and a tie would result in a loss. With four pairings favored for the Americans, it would take a great run from the Internationals to come out of the alternate shot format with more than 1 or 2 points. I’d expect a 3.5-1.5 lead for the USA with Day-Leishman winning and Oosthuizen-Grace getting a half for the Internationals.
Joshua has spent the last five years writing about sports and the last 10 years betting them, mostly on golf. He’s one of approximately five people who will watch the PGA over the NFL in November. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaPerry22
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