Sobel: My Favorite Wagers For Day 1 of the Ryder Cup
Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: European team members Thorbjorn Olesen and Rory McIlroy fist bump after being announced to play together in the morning fourballs during the 2018 Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony at Le Golf National.
- With the Ryder Cup set to begin Friday, Jason Sobel details the three bets he likes most for Day 1 of the tournament.
- His bets include one tandem to win outright, and a close finish for both teams by the end of the first day.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – After two long years, after all that consternation over picks and the lengthy scouting missions and all the preparation, they’re finally ready to get started.
The players? Well, yeah. But I’m talking about you — the bettors!
It’s been a long wait to get to the first tee, but we now know the first four matches for Friday morning’s Ryder Cup four-ball session.
Here are my three favorite bets for Day 1:
Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen to win (+150)
The opening tandem of Justin Rose and Jon Rahm is the only European team favored to win its four-ball match, which means there’s a ton of value on the other three.
I really like Rory and Thunderbear to take down Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler in the second match, based largely on camaraderie. The U.S. duo is without a real fiery type of competitor, while the Europeans are hand-picked.
Rumor is that McIlroy had requested to play with Olesen; here’s guessing he’ll pay back captain Thomas Bjorn for letting him get his way.
Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed and Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood to halve (+500)
Some ties are like kissing your sister; other ties are like, well, kissing someone else’s sister. This one could be the latter. Expect plenty of fireworks in this match, with four world-class ball-strikers involved.
I don’t see a clear advantage on either side, so I like the idea of getting 5-to-1 odds here and hoping they’re still all-square after 18 holes. On a day when you won’t be able to bet too much with long odds, this match offers a nice opportunity to hit a solid payday.
Day 1 Winner: USA (+105)
As I wrote in my preview of the four-ball matches, I’ll give a slight advantage to the U.S. side, as I have them winning, 2½-1½.
Assuming all players on each team will play during Day 1 — perhaps a naïve assumption, but most captains try to get everybody an at-bat on the first day — that leaves the U.S. with Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau in the afternoon foursomes matches, while Europe will use Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren.
I give another slight advantage here to the U.S., for the simple fact that the team has more definitive partnerships who have prepared to play together.
Again, it’s not a huge advantage, but if the U.S. goes, say, 2-1-1 in each session, well, that’s a Day 1 win that would pay off.