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Ryder Cup Betting Preview and Picks

   by Matt Fargo - 09/24/2012

We closed the PGA Tour season with a win on Brandt Snedeker at the TOUR Championship. That victory gave him the FedEx Cup championship and a cool $11.4 million heading into Ryder Cup week. While the Masters and the U.S. Open have many of us glued to our televisions throughout the weekend, the Ryder Cup tops them both. The 39th Ryder Cup takes place from Medinah Country Club in Chicago, host of a U.S. Open and two PGA Championships, most recently in 2006.

Medinah is a par 72, 7,561-yard layout that has changed quite a bit since hosting its last big event. Greens have been redone, holes lengthened and water has been put in but the Americans will try and best use it to their advantage. Captain Davis Love III is allowed to set up the course any way he wants and he is having the rough mowed down and the greens running fast. Love said limited rough and quick greens should benefit the U.S. team as they are more used to those conditions than the Europeans are.

It is no secret that Europe has owned this event, winning six of the last eight Ryder Cups including last time at Celtic Manor in Wales. The Europeans come in with that momentum as well as having the overall higher ranked players in the world. Ryder Cup past success is a huge part in going forward and it brings out the confidence in players as well as allowing the captains to better set up the matches. While Europe has dominated of late, the home edge is still pretty big for the Americans.

It is so big in fact that the U.S. team is the favorites at -130. That may seem like a lot of value on Europe and it probably is but not enough to sway me and that that side. Obviously being from here, I will be rooting hard for the Americans but this is not a homer bet. Trust me, I could still make a bet on the other side and root for the Americans but I will not have to do that this year. While the Americans are the underdogs in the eyes of many, I think they make a very strong case for bringing the Ryder Cup back home.

When looking at the players and the possible matchups, there are all sorts of numbers that get thrown our way and some of those can either be useless or outdated. Case in point, not one U.S. player has a winning Ryder Cup record, while only two European players have a losing one. Advantage Europe right? Not really. These records are not indicative of how the players actually played as it was more who they were playing against. It is not necessarily the player that makes the record as the captains have a lot to do with it.

The Americans have a lot going for them. First off, it is on home soil and seven of the past 10 Ryder Cups were won by the home team. The Americans have lost only once at home dating back to 1999, in 2004 at Oakland Hills, which was set up like a major with thick rough and narrow fairways. As mentioned, it will be more wide open this time around which seems to fit the players games much better. And with that comes the boisterous fan base which is obviously a huge edge.

While the European team has more of the higher ranked players, on the U.S. roster, only Jim Furyk is outside the top 20. The Americans also have a ton of momentum on their side as all 12 U.S. Ryder Cup players were in the Tour Championship as opposed to just five of the European players. Making it even more positive, seven American team members finished inside the top 10 and while the grind of the FedEx Cup was enormous, it will certainly not suggest a letdown this week.

Rookies play a big part in the Ryder Cup as this experience is brand new. The Europeans have only one rookie on their roster, Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium while the Americans have four. Disadvantage? Not at all. Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson have won a major championship, Jason Dufner has won twice on tour this year and has been in the mix in the majors and Brandt Snedeker just won something called the FedEx Championship thanks to three top six finishes in the playoffs.

Overall, the American have a little more experience (115 matches vs. 111 matches) so there is no real edge there but with the way the Americans are playing right now, they will be extremely tough to beat.

2012 Ryder Cup

USA -130 (5 Units)

Record to date after 35 events: +58.1 Units

Sony Open -5 Units

Humana Challenge -6 Units

Farmers Insurance Open +22 Units

Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units

Northern Trust Open -5 Units

Accenture Match Play +7.1 Units

Honda Classic -5 Units

WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units

Transitions Championship +6 Units

Arnold Palmer Invitational -4 Units

Shell Houston Open +16 Units

The Masters -6 Units

RBC Heritage -5 Units

Valero Texas Open -4 Units

Zurich Classic of New Orleans +21 Units

Wells Fargo Championship +36 Units

THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units

HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial +11 Units

The Memorial -5 Units

FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units

U.S. Open -5 Units

Travelers Championship -5 Units

AT&T National -5 Units

Greenbrier Classic -5 Units

John Deere Classic +8 Units

The Open Championship +36 Units

RBC Canadian Open -5 Units

Bridgestone Invitational -5 Units

PGA Championship -6 Units

Wyndham Championship -5 Units

The Barclays -5 Units

Deutsche Bank Championship -5 Units

BMW Championship -5 Units

The TOUR Championship +26 Units

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