Ryder Cup 2021 picks: Our experts’ best bets at Whistling Straits


Golf’s longest wait is finally over. We’re not just talking about the Ryder Cup opening ceremony—it’s been 1,089 days since the Europeans celebrated their 2018 win at Le Golf National. Finally, golf’s version of the Super Bowl is upon us.

Betting the Ryder Cup is one of our favorite activities. And though we’re sure you’ve locked in some bets already, now we have Day 1 foursomes pairings—so it’s only right that we break that down below … plus our favorite bets in general for the 49th Ryder Cup.

Before we go further, make sure you’ve read our in-depth betting content from earlier this week.

Here are our favorite bets as of Thursday evening:

Stephen Hennessey, deputy managing editor: Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (-110, BetMGM) – I’m not sure why the Spaniard duo has been made a slight underdog (at some books) against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Rahm is the World No. 1 and clear best player at Whistling Straits. Sergio has a combined 25.5 points in his Ryder Cup history—more than the entire U.S. team combined. I suppose books expect a lot of American fans to go to the window with a Spieth/JT ticket for the popular U.S. duo, but Rahm/Sergio is my favorite bet of Friday foursomes.

Christopher Powers, assistant editor: Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele over Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter (3-way, -110, BetMGM) — Admittedly, it’s dangerous to wade into the 3-way waters (a tie is a loss in this bet), but I feel very strongly about Cantlay and Schauffele winning the final match of the morning session. By putting them out there last, Stricker is basically telling you this is the anchor of the U.S. team this week. McIlroy and Poulter will be feisty, no doubt, but in foursomes, I’ll ride with two of the best all-around players in the world in Cantlay/Xander. Plus, Poulter and McIlroy are at their best when they are facing a little adversity. They’ll face plenty of it after they start 0-1.

Hennessey: Top U.S. points earner: Patrick Cantlay or Xander Schauffele (+600, BetMGM) – I took Cantlay on Tuesday night at +750. The market has adjusted, but I still think this is the play. If they play well Friday, I anticipate Cantlay and Xander being paired together all four sessions. I’ll bet both of these guys … I think both would be favorites in their Sunday singles matchup unless they face Rahm or Rory. I’ll stick with Cantlay but am also adding Xander.

Powers: Top Europe captain’s pick: Sergio Garcia (+110) — Assuming Jon Rahm plays every session (he’s going to), and assuming he and Sergio Garcia win their first match over Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth (I think they will), then Garcia is the most attractive play here. No way Harrington breaks up Team Spain if they start 1-0, so Garcia will have plenty of opportunity to rack up points alongside World No. 1. Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, have their hands full against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, and Shane Lowry, the third and final captain’s pick, is sitting in the opening session. Feels like Garcia has a big leg up on them both already. By the way, he’s the all-time leader in Ryder Cup points, which helps his case.

Powers: Daniel Berger top U.S. points scorer (+1400) — Cantlay and/or Schauffele are the safe play here, but now that Berger is going out in the morning session alongside fellow Seminole Brooks Koepka, he’s got all kinds of value. Of course, even if they beat Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, a match they are heavily favored in, you have to worry about them breaking up since Koepka might need rest, which could limit Berger’s opportunity. But getting out in the first session and having the chance to prove himself gives him all the value in the top U.S. points scorer category.

Hennessey: Team Europe to win the Ryder Cup (+220, BetMGM) – This number is out of hand. As I’ve pointed out, though the depth for the U.S. is historic (average world ranking of 8.9), I think the top half of the European team deserves a ton more credit for their form and ball-striking numbers coming. In my model at FantasyNational.com, I have seven of the top 12 players at Whistling Straits this week being Europeans. At over 2-to-1 odds, you have to pound Team Europe in what I think will be an extremely tight Ryder Cup.

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