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Post Series: Betting on Golf

The Ryder Cup is one of those special sporting occasions that transcends sport to capture the imagination of millions of fans across the globe, including many that usually have zero interest in golf. However, the most iconic event in the game isn’t only an opportunity for casual fans and seasoned spectators to join forces; it additionally delivers the potential to see some truly fantastic ROIs as a punter.

Here’s all you need to know about the three-day golf betting bonanza.

A Brief Look At The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup is a biennial event that pits the best players from the United States against the best players from Europe over three days during late September or early October.

Originally contested in 1927 between the U.S and Great Britain, but has included European stars since 1979. While there is no cash prize, the Ryder Cup trophy is one that every golfer wants to get his hands on. Teams of 12 are managed by a non-playing captain.

The unique appeal of the Ryder Cup is further enhanced by the match play format. This means that each match is played for a point (draw result in half a point for both sides). Over the course of three days, 28 points are on offer meaning that 14 & ½ points are required to win – a draw results in the holders keeping the trophy.

Matches are as follows:

Day 1: 4 foursome (pairs take alternative shots) and 4 fourball (four players play separately with the best score winning the point) matches.
Day 2: 4 foursome and four fourball matches.
Day 3: 12 singles matches.

The 2018 event is held from September 28th – 30th at Albatros Course of Le Golf National just outside of Paris.

Research Ahead Of The Ryder Cup

As with any golf tournament there are a number of factors to consider before placing your bets. In addition to seeking the value as you would at any other event, it’s imperative that you appreciate the unique attributes of the Ryder Cup.

Here are three elements that you cannot overlook.

The Venue

Home advantage can have a huge impact during the Ryder Cup. Europe have won the last five events on European soil, with the United States last winning on foreign ground way back in 1993. While the United States are the slight favourites heading into the 2018 event, the home influence should not be ignored. Always check the weather forecasts too.

The Players

The 2018 Ryder Cup captains – Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk – were announced in December 2016 and January 2017 respectively. Vice captains have already been added but the final rosters will be confirmed in the month leading up to the event. Whichever stars make the teams, checking their experience and form is vital. This could be particularly crucial when analysing potential bets on the foursome matches.

The Preparations

The Ryder Cup gains more press coverage than any other golf tournament, and it starts long before the first tee. Be sure to keep an eye out for any news regarding the preparations. From possible injuries to distractions within the camp, those outside issues could cause an impact during the three days.

Perhaps most importantly, you should follow the action. The Ryder Cup is a pressurised environment, and some players will handle it better than others. If one team falls behind, players may need to take greater risks or even lose belief. This can open up some amazing opportunities for bets once the event has started, including in-play selections during individual matches.

The internet is a great resource for research, with sites like RyderCup.com providing plenty of stats and information. Meanwhile, reading the predictions of ex-professionals and expert betting tips can point you in the right direction too.

The Golf Betting Markets

Using your knowledge and research to predict the outcome of events will give you a solid foundation. Nonetheless, if you are going to gain the maximum returns from your Ryder Cup bets, an appreciation of the markets will be crucial too.

Understanding the markets is as important as understanding the format, and will help you establish the value.

Outright Winner: The simplest bet of all. You are simply betting on Europa, USA, or the Draw. So, essentially, you need to predict whether you think either team can get to 14 & ½ points. It’s worth noting that some bookmakers will offer a ‘draw no bet’ option in which a 14-14 scoreline would see bets pushed (refunded).

Score: It’s also possible to bet on the final score. Since the change of format in 1979, the biggest wins have been 18 & ½ points to 9 & ½ points, although many experts feel the 2018 edition will be quite a close one. This is a risky selection as your prediction needs to be spot on. However, the odds very high, so it can be an ideal option for low stakes bets.

Handicap: A happy medium between the two markets above. The handicap line will give a hypothetical advantage to one of the sides. If Europe are +1.5 for example, the United States would need to win 15-13 or better to cover the line. There will be several lines on offer, so you can weigh up the probability against the odds to locate the value.

Top US/European Player: While the Ryder Cup is a team game, the individual performances play a crucial role. Scores are recorded, and you can bet on the best player from each team. Individual histories on the course can be used to research your selections. Likewise, experience of the Ryder Cup itself can be a telling factor.

Match Bets: In addition to betting on the tournament, all 28 individual matches can be bet on too. In addition to the outcome, you can bet on the handicap lines. In-play betting also enables you to bet on individual holes, which can be a great way to capitalise on the momentum at any given time during the contest.

One To Avoid: The ‘hole in one’ market may sound appealing, but it’s worth remembering that only four Ryder Cups in history (two were score in 1995 and 2006 for a total of six) have had hole in ones. At odds of just over Evens, the magical moment doesn’t offer value, even with four par 3s on the course.

Final Thoughts

The Ryder Cup attracts a lot of bets, and many punters act purely on emotion. This can influence the lines to produce some of the best value selections throughout the golfing calendar. Ultimately, a combination of research and understanding of the format and markets will go a fairway to helping you land in the green.

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