Ryder Cup Props: Great Value on Viktor Hovland To Lead Team Europe

The 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits will have plenty of prop markets for bettors to enjoy. Andrew Caley gives you his best Ryder Cup props, including the incredible value on Viktor Hovland to be Team Europe's top scorer.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2021 1:05 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Ryder Cup exemplifies a unique golf event and represents a terrific prop betting opportunity for bettors.

One of the most popular prop bets for the Ryder Cup is the top point scorer for each team. Golfers like Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau are the Americans making the headlines heading into this year's event. Still, Justin Thomas is favored to claim the most points for Team USA. 

The 14-time winner on the PGA Tour made his first Ryder Cup appearance in 2018 and secured four of a possible five points, tied for the most by either team.

Ryder Cup props

Top Team USA points scorer

Player Odds
Justin Thomas +600
Joran Spieth +650
Patrick Cantlay +650
Dustin Johnson +700
Xander Schauffele +800
Bryson DeChambeau +900
Collin Morikawa +1,000
Brooks Koepka +1,000

Pick: Xander Schauffele (+800)

There are a few Ryder Cup rookies in this year’s event who will hardly look green and Xander Schauffele is among them. While Schauffele didn’t post a win on the PGA Tour this season, he snagged the gold medal in the Olympics and recorded eight Top-10 finishes, including a T3 at the Masters, a T7 at the Open Championship, and a T5 at the Tour Championship.

Schauffele has the all-around game and mentality to excel at the Ryder Cup: He ranked fifth in total strokes gained this season and should be paired with the red-hot Patrick Cantlay (with whom he practices regularly) at least for Day 1 of the competition — that means Schauffele will have the chance to rack up some serious points.

Top Team Europe points Scorer

Player Odds
John Rahm +333
Rory McIlroy +550
Viktor Hovland +700
Tommy Fleetwood +850
Paul Casey +1,000
Shane Lowry +1,000

Pick: Viktor Hovland (+700)

For my money, Jon Rahm isn’t only the best player on Team Europe, but on the entire planet. That said, everyone knows this and there is little value on him to be Europe’s top point scorer. .. But Whistling Straits sets up well for Ryder Cup rookie Viktor Hovland. 

The 24-year-old comes into the Ryder Cup playing well, finishing T5 in the Tour Championship and coming off a season where he ranked fifth on Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 15th in SG: Approach. Hovland is the type of player who can get hot in a hurry, and he should play in all five sessions. Expect him to be paired with a Ryder Cup veteran like Paul Casey or Ian Poulter. Hovland has great value here.

To hit opening Team USA tee shot

Player Odds
Justin Thomas +500
Patrick Cantlay +550
Jordan Spieth +550
Xander Schauffele +600
Collin Morikawa +650
Dustin Johnson +650
Brooks Koepka +1,100
Tony Finau +1,400
Bryson DeChambeau +1,800
Scottie Scheffler +2,200
Daniel Berger +2,200
Harris English +2,800

To hit opening Team Europe tee shot

Player Odds
Sergio Garcia +500
John Rahm +550
Rory McIlroy +550
Shane Lowry +700
Viktor Hovland +700
Tommy Fleetwood +800
Ian Poulter +900
Paul Casey +1,100
Tyrell Hatton +1,400
Lee Westwood +1,600
Matt Fitzpatrick +2,000
Bernd Wiesberger +5,000

Jon Rahm - Total points won

Result Odds
Over 2.5 +110
Under 2.5 -140

Pick: Jon Rahm Over 2.5 total points won (+110)

Patrick Cantlay may have been the PGA Player of the Year, but if I had a vote it would have gone to Rahm. The 26-year-old Spaniard is about as good of a Ryder Cup rookie there has ever been.

Rahm is coming off a season where he secured his first major win, capturing the U.S. Open in dramatic fashion. He also finished in the Top 10 in the three other majors, was on his way to a dominant win at the Memorial before having to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test, and finished second at the Tour Championship.

He also ranked second on Tour in SG: off-the-tee, eighth in SG: Approach, and a respectable 42nd in SG: Putting. We’ll give him a pass for missing the cut at the Fortinet Championship with a stomach bug, but that just gave him more time to rest.

Rahm will be in all five sessions and is the best player in the world. Sign me up for this value on the Over.

Ian Poulter - Total points won

Result Odds
Over 1.5 +100
Under 1.5 -125

Pick: Ian Poulter Over 1.5 total points won (+100)

No player embodies everything that is great about the Ryder Cup more than Ian Poulter. The veteran Englishman will be making his seventh appearance and his fiery attitude — and elite putting — have resulted in excellent results. Poulter has a Ryder Cup record of 14-6-2 over the course of his career, which includes going 2-2 in four sessions in 2018. 

Poulter gained the third most strokes on Tour with his putter this season, had three Top 10s (including a T9 at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play), and was T30 or better in three of the four majors. He has also totaled two or more points in four of his last five Ryder Cups — there are also a ton of great pairing options for Poulter in this year’s event and at this value, he's a good bet to get Over this number.

Team to win the first whole point

Result Odds
USA -150
Europe +125

Pick: Europe (+125)

You know that Team Europe captain Pádraig Harrington will want to let the world know that even though his team is underdogs, they are on a mission to defend their title.

And that begins with a solid start.

You can expect Harrington to put his best foot forward in the opening match on Friday, so don’t be surprised to see Rahm paired with someone like Hovland or Fleetwood right out of the gate. There is also no better way to quiet down a rowdy American home crowd than some early points.

Will there be a hole in one?

Result Odd
Yes +400
No -700

Day 1: Foursomes

Result Odds
Team USA to win 3-1 +375
Team USA to win 2.5-1.5 +600
Team USA to win 3.5-0.5 +1,100
Team USA to win 4-0 +1,200
Team Europe to win 3-1 +550
Team Europe to win 3.5-0.5 +1,800
Team Europe to win 4-0 +2,200
Tie 2-2 +275

Day 2: Fourballs

Result Odds
Team USA to win 2.5-1.5 +550
Team USA to win 3-1 +375
Team USA to win 3.5-0.5  +1,000
Team USA to win 4-0 +1,200
Team Europe to win 2.5-1.5 +650
Team Europe to win 3-1 +550
Team Europe to win 3.5-0.5 +2,000
Team Europe to win 4-0 +2,500
Tie 2-2 +275

Day 3: Foursomes

Result Odds
Team USA to win 2.5-1.5 +550
Team USA to win 3-1 +350
Team UA to win 3.5-0.5 +1,100
Team USA to win 4-0 +1,200
Team Europe to win 2.5-1.5 +650
Team Europe to win 3-1 +550
Team Europe to win 3.5-0.5 +1,800
Team Europe to win 4-0 +2,200
Tie 2-2 +275

Top Ryder Cup rookie

Player Odds
Xander Schauffele +450
Patrick Cantlay +450
Viktor Hovland +550
Collin Morikawa +600
Scottie Scheffler +700
Daniel Berger +700
Shane Lowry +750
Harris English +900
Bernd Wiesberger +2,200

Odds courtesy of bet365.

Ryder Cup prop bets explained

The Ryder Cup is not like an ordinary stroke-play golf tournament; it's a golf event like none other. The match play is incredibly intense, and fans cheer louder here than at any other golf event. Near limitless Ryder Cup betting options is a result of the unique team format.

You can bet anything from:

  • Which team will score the first point of the competition;
  • Whether John Rahm will score Over/Under 2.5 points;
  • Who will hoist the trophy and everything in between

Since this is not a regular tournament, you can factor in things like who excels at match play or the team with better chemistry.

Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka feud

Speaking of chemistry, don't expect Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to be paired together for a match.

What started as a dispute over the pace of play has escalated into a feud, and sports fans everywhere can't get enough of it. It's to the point where the PGA Tour tried to implement a ban on spectators calling out "Brooksy" to DeChambeau.

While both golfers enter this event saying the feud won't affect their play, a team's chemistry, and camaraderie play a tremendous role in this competition. While usually the underdog, Europe has had plenty of success because they are traditionally a closely-knit team. If this feud between DeChambeau and Koepka starts to boil up again, there could be an opportunity to fade them in the prop markets.

Tips for betting Ryder Cup props

Since the Ryder Cup is so different from a stroke-play tournament, there are some simple golf betting tips and strategies to follow to help you get the most from your Ryder Cup bets.

Current form Current form

Not much is more important in golf betting than knowing who is swinging some hot sticks. Who comes into this event playing well? Who is in a slump? How long has it been since they last played in a competitive event? Or is anyone nursing a nagging injury?

Course history < Course history 

The Ryder Cup happens every two years and is usually played at courses with a history of significant events, and this year is no different. Whistling Straits hosted the PGA Championship in 2004, 2010, and most recently in 2015. Look for players who have had success on this course.

Watch the weather Watch the weather 

No matter the format of the event, the weather will always affect golf bets. Strong winds can lengthen or shorten a course depending on direction; rain can soften greens and fairways, making the course play slower than usual. Make sure you keep an eye on forecasts as weather can change throughout the day, giving some golfers completely different looks at a course than others.

Set a narrative Home-field advantage

The Ryder Cup is a more boisterous event than most golf tournaments, and you can certainly tell which team is playing in front of its home fans. If the home team gets on a roll, or certain players become fan favorites, look for them to ride a wave of crowd-fueled momentum and maybe find some value in the prop betting market. The home side has won six of the last seven Ryder Cups.

Set a narrative A Perfect Pairing

The first two days of the Ryder Cup are all matchups where golfers pair up with a teammate. Look back to old Ryder Cups to see who has played well together and who hasn't. And make sure you follow along with the action to see if any new bonds form to find value later in the event.

Set a narrative Ryder or Die

There are just some players who thrive in match-play events. And some who are even better in team-based match-play events. Team Europe's Ian Poulter comes to mind. He has never won a major, but his game always seems to elevate in international head-to-head events like the Ryder Cup. Keep an eye out for players who excel in head-to-head match play.

Where can I bet on Ryder Cup props? 

As the U.S. and European teams compete, virtually all sportsbooks offer Ryder Cup odds. The best sites are safe, secure and provide a wide range of banking options. Check out the best golf betting sites for the Ryder Cup in your region and make smarter golf bets. 

Instant Replay: Ryder Cup prop bets

  • Remember, the Ryder Cup is not like a regular stroke-play golf tournament.
  • You can wager on individual matchups, O/U points earned, and anything in between.
  • Team chemistry and home-field advantage can give golfers and bettors an edge.

Ryder Cup props bets FAQs

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