2021 Ryder Cup: Preview & Predictions

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Xander Schauffele
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Laura Paterson @ Dec 23, 2021, 8:13 PM

The 43rd Ryder Cup tees off on September 24 at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Europe will be looking to retain the trophy they comprehensively won in Paris in 2018. The United States have won just one of the last five matches. Will their home soil advantage and highly ranked team overcome the experienced Europeans in the 2021 match-up?

Let’s take a look at the team selection, Ryder Cup betting odds, picks and predictions for this year’s competition.

Team Selections

Who’s on the American team’s roster?

Captain: Steve Stricker

  1. Collin Morikawa (automatic qualifier)
  2. Dustin Johnson (automatic qualifier)
  3. Bryson DeChambeau (automatic qualifier)
  4. Brooks Koepka (automatic qualifier)
  5. Justin Thomas (automatic qualifier)
  6. Patrick Cantlay (automatic qualifier)
  7. Tony Finau (captain pick)
  8. Xander Schauffele (captain pick)
  9. Jordan Spieth (captain pick)
  10. Harris English (captain pick)
  11. Scottie Scheffler (captain pick)
  12. Daniel Berger (captain pick)

Who’s on the European team’s roster?

Captain: Padraig Harrington 

  1. Jon Rahm (automatic qualifier)
  2. Rory McIlroy (automatic qualifier)
  3. Tommy Fleetwood (automatic qualifier)
  4. Viktor Hovland (automatic qualifier)
  5. Paul Casey (automatic qualifier)
  6. Lee Westwood (automatic qualifier)
  7. Bernd Wiesberger (automatic qualifier)
  8. Matt Fitzpatrick (captain pick)
  9. Tyrrell Hatton (captain pick)
  10. Ian Poulter (captain pick)
  11. Shane Lowry (captain pick)
  12. Sergio Garcia (captain pick)

Rankings favor U.S. team

It’s no secret that the United States have struggled in the Ryder Cup recently, losing four out of the last five matches. However, the golf betting odds suggest they are firm favorites this time around. This comes as no surprise given the caliber of players in the team and the home-ground advantage.

The U.S. team has eight of the current top 10 in the world rankings, while the other four – Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler – are all in the top 22.

The Europeans, on the other hand, only have five players in the top 20 of the world rankings. They do have world No 1. John Rahm in their arsenal, however.

Ryder Cup experience is normally a huge advantage, but this time around I think the U.S. team is better off with their inexperience. There are six Ryder Cup rookies in Steve Stricker’s team, but they come in without the weight of defeat that has plagued the team’s veterans over the last few years.

Europe have chosen experience over exuberance, and Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter have 25 matches just between themselves. Viktor Hovland, Bernd Wiesberger and Shane Lowry are the only rookies in Padraig Harrington’s team.

If Harrington’s men are going to win in the Ryder Cup next week, John Rahm is going to have to be at his best over the three days, as he’s likely to play in five matches. Similarly, Rory McIlroy’s form will also be crucial, given that he plays most of his matches in the States and is up against many of the U.S. team’s players week in and week out.

Pick: United States @ -190

John Rahm will be the top European points scorer

As mentioned, Rahm is going to be key to Europe’s success in the Ryder Cup and as the world No 1., it’s likely that he is going to put the most points on the board for Europe. He’s had a great 2021 season, winning his first major, finishing second in the FedEx Cup standings, and getting 13 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour.

Although he lost both of his fourball matches at Le National in 2018, he did claim a point in an emphatic singles win over Tiger Woods.

Pick: Jon Rahm – top European points scorer @ +400

Can Brooks Koepka deliver for the United States?

Koepka is struggling with a niggling wrist injury that forced his withdrawal from The Tour Championship. He’s been unable to join up with his teammates for their reconnaissance mission at Whistling Straits so far, but captain Steve Stricker is still hopeful that Koepka will play a key part in the competition.

Koepka has also caught some flak for calling the team format of the Ryder Cup “a bit odd.” So this is a bit of a longshot, however, if Koepka does indeed play and brings his A-game to Whistling Straits, there’s every chance that he could be America’s top point scorer.

Pick: Brooks Koepka – top US points scorer @ +900

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About the Author

Laura Paterson

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Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.

Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.