Where does the value lie in the Ryder Cup top points scorer markets?
I think the USA will win this week’s Ryder Cup on home soil by a single-point margin and I’ve given my reasons why here.
As for the top points scorer markets, a little more guesswork is involved as we won’t know Fridays opening pairings until late on Thursday. It makes sense to wait until then before going in to serious stakes as there’s nothing worse than finding out the player you’ve backed is sitting out the morning session, thus reducing his potential points haul to four from five.
That said, by waiting we might forgo the chance of nabbing a decent price or two as the bookmakers won’t be slow in adjusting their odds as soon as the pairings are announced. We can also make some fairly good guesses over which players will be paired up based on past Ryder Cups and using some common sense. This week’s practice sessions might also provide a bit of a clue, though nothing is set in stone and stakes should be kept small – it’s just a bit of fun after all.
One thing we can be sure of is that the first four matches will be foursomes (each team plays one ball per hole with players taking alternative shots), as opposed to four-balls where each player plays his own ball so there are fourballs in play on every hole, after Davis Love III used his privilege as home captain to select that format – as he did at Medinah four years ago.
So, bearing all that in mind, here goes with my idea of the best bets to be had.
Top American Points Scorer – Patrick Reed @ 7/1 Betfred
America’s big guns of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson unsurprisingly head the market – 4/1 & 5/1 respectively with Betfair – and that pair are closely followed by Patrick Reed. All three are likely to play five matches and the latter is almost certainly going to partner Spieth after they combined for 2.5 points at Gleneagles two years ago. They also played together in last year’s President’s Cup, defeating Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel 3&2 on the Saturday, and Reed who gets the nod here as he’s in better form – he won The Barclays at the end of August – and has a better singles record. Not to mention he’s a bigger price.
Given I fancy the USA to wrest the Ryder Cup back by getting at least the 14.5 points they need on Sunday, it’s hard to resist Reed each-way in the Top Combined Points Scorer market at a standout 14/1 with Betfred, with four places on offer.
Top European Points Scorer – Danny Willett @ 12/1 bet365
This is more of a punt as I’m ignoring the top four of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia, all of whom are perfectly capable of top scoring. That said, Rory has never achieved that feat, Stenson may not play enough matches due to injury concerns, Garcia has not played well since finishing fifth in the Open and Rose has been quiet since taking Olympic gold. While Willett went AWOL after his brilliant Masters triumph, he played beautifully to finish second at the Italian Open two weeks ago and is very comfortable on this side of the pond. He should see plenty of action (four matches at least) despite being a rookie, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was paired with the more experienced Lee Westwood after they fed off each other in the final round at Augusta. Plus, I’d strongly fancy him to win his singles match regardless of who he’s up against.
It’s a no-brainer then that the Sheffield man is also worth supporting in the top debutant markets and here we have the choice of ‘European’ or ‘Combined’ at 3/1 and 9/2 respectively with BetVictor (they are top price for both). As I like America’s Ryan Moore to do well on his Ryder Cup bow, I’m going to take him out of the equation and plump for the shorter odds.
We can get with Moore in BetVictor’s top wildcard market at a standout 8/1 (he’s as short as 9/2 elsewhere). He was the last man to make the gig courtesy of his stellar play on Sunday when making McIlroy pull out all the stops to win the Tour Championship / FedEx Cup, and his red-hot putter makes him a natural pick for the foursomes.
Patrick Reed top American points scorer @ 7/1 Betfred
Patrick Reed top combined points scorer each-way @ 14/1 Betfred
Danny Willett top European points scorer @ 12/1 bet365
Danny Willett top European debutant @ 3/1 BetVictor
Patrick Reed top American points scorer & Danny Willett top European points scorer each-way double @ bet365 (6/1 & 12/1)
Ryan Moore top wildcard @ 8/1 BetVictor