With the European and American teams being so evenly matched on paper, it is the home advantage factor that is tipping the scales in favour of USA in the betting, where they are the 1.75 favourites.
The home team has won six of the last seven Ryder Cups, with the only anomaly on that list being Europe’s annihilation of USA at Oakland Hills in 2004. And since the Ryder Cup became a Europe versus USA competition in 1979 (it was GB & Ireland Vs America beforehand) there have been 11 home winners and just five away winners.
Europe are priced at odds of 2.45 to buck the trend by winning the Ryder Cup in Medinah, and are 2.10 to retain the coveted trophy, which they could do with a draw.
Start as you mean to go on
Although the Ryder Cup cannot be won on the first two days, getting off to a positive start has proved crucial in recent Ryder Cups. In every Ryder Cup since the turn of the century, the team that has reached 10 points first has gone on to win the Ryder Cup.
It is 1.85 that USA reach the 10 point barrier first, and 2.05 that Europe do so. Odds of 17.00 are being offered about both sides reaching double figures at the same time.
Taking this idea even further, the team leading at the end of day one in four of the last five Ryder Cups has gone on to victory. While the only exception in that period was the 2010 event when the first day was heavily disrupted by rain and can therefore be disregarded.
Europe are again the 2.65 outsiders to be leading at the end of day one with USA at odds of 1.80 and the tie at 6.50.
The average world ranking for players in the U.S. team is 12.17, with the European equivalent statistic set at a much larger 18.92. The U.S. have five players ranked in the world’s top ten, in comparison to Europe’s four, while Jim Furyk is USA’s worst ranked player at 23 but Europe have three players ranked outside the top 30; Molinari (31), Kaymer (32) and Colsaerts (35).
Molinari, Colsaerts and Kaymer can be backed at odds of 30.00, 35.00 and 40.00 respectively to be the top overall points scorers, with in-form Furyk quoted at 20.00 in the same market.
Throughout the history of the Ryder Cup there have been just six hole-in-ones. Peter Butler was the first in 1973, but we then had to wait another 20 years before Nick Faldo aced the 14th at The Belfry in 1993. Costantino Rocca and Howard Clark then each achieved the feat in 1995, before Paul Casey became the fourth Englishman to record a Ryder Cup hole-in-one in 2006 at the K Club.
But Casey would be forced to share the headlines that weekend as 24 hours later Scott Verplank became the first, and to this point only, American to score a hole-in-one at the Ryder Cup.
Unibet offer odds of 4.50 that either team scores a hole-in-one this weekend, with 1.18 available on the reciprocal. It is 9.00 that a European aces any hole, and the same odds for an American to do so.