OKBEt sifts through the numerous Presidents Cup markets in search of the best bets for what could be the event’s final renewal.
Presidents Cup golf betting tips
Hideki Matsuyama is a 4 point favorite to be the top International scorer at 6/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3).
- 6/1 for Sungjae Im to be the top International scorer (4 points e.w.) (OKBET, Betway 1/4 1,2,3)
- 1pt Jordan Spieth is the 12/1 favorite to be the top American scorer (Coral, Ladbrokes)
- 1pt Jordan Spieth is the 14/1 favorite to be the top overall scorer (General)
- Day four (singles session) 1pt Internationals at 5/1 (General)
- 1 point USA to win day one or day two 5-0 at 15/2 (OKBET)
Preview of the Presidents Cup
Europe lost the Ryder Cup by a single point in 1983, their third defeat in as many renewals since banding together to take on the might of the United States, whose winning streak dated back before World War II. However, defeat brought about something far more significant: the birth of competition as something truly competitive.
“Why do you all sit there like that?” yelled Seve Ballesteros as he helped his teammates up from the floor. “We did not lose; in fact, this was a tremendous victory. And you’ll see – the next time we f*** them.”
Seve was correct. Europe was dominant in 1985, won away from home in 1987, retained it in 1989, and would not suffer a humiliating defeat for the next quarter-century. This one had been unique. Finally, they had sent a clear and proud message to their superstar rivals: we can beat you, and we will soon.
This is golf folklore, and if the sport had flown smoothly over the last three years, it would have felt especially relevant as we prepare for the Presidents Cup, another team event dominated by the United States. They’ve now won 11 of their last 13 games, including the last eight, and few expect their International opponents to stop the rot at Quail Hollow this week.
They had hope in 2019. In fact, they led going into the singles, only to lose 16-14. It was their second chance in three, and if there had been a Seve in Melbourne, those in the team room would have heard something similar to what he yelled back in ’83. The Internationals had hinted in Korea that they might be able to stop the rot. They almost confirmed it in Australia.
Tiger Woods helped his team win in Melbourne, but they had to work hard for it.
However, three years is a long time. We’ve had a pandemic, a few more prime ministers, an insurgency here, and a pandemic everywhere. Just as things were getting so normal that we could stop using the word normal, the long-threatened LIV Golf machine arrived to put the Presidents Cup on the verge of extinction.
Trevor Immelman and his team may be fighting for the survival of their version of the Ryder Cup this week. Many international players take it seriously, even if an American golf fan who has become accustomed to victory may tell you otherwise. To those of us who are theoretically impartial, it is still a welcome stopgap between Ryder Cups, and it provides us with another underdog to root for.
None of this is sufficient. The Presidents Cup requires the world’s best players to compete, and while the depth of talent in the United States means that remains a viable claim, LIV departures have decimated the Internationals. This team should have included Cameron Smith, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Marc Leishman, Joaquin Niemann, and Abraham Ancer. Carlos Ortiz and Charl Schwartzel could have been.
Without these names, there appears to be little hope, either for a positive outcome this week or for the future. The Internationals are as much as 8/1, so a win would rank among the greatest upsets in team golf history. If they lose as badly as many predict, this four-day event will be nothing more than a funeral procession by the weekend.
Perhaps prosperity will come from suffering. If the Internationals fail, the men’s golf stalemate continues, and the LIV billions do not reach the best women’s players, there is a simple solution: bring men and women, PGA and LPGA, together for something that could do what the Presidents Cup in this guise never will and match the Ryder Cup for intrigue and legitimacy.
This idea, which I first saw proposed by Michael Clayton, is like all the best ones: pure, logical, and compelling enough to leave the rest of us wondering why we hadn’t given it serious consideration ourselves. The men’s game is dominated by the United States, but not the women’s. A Presidents Cup featuring the best players from both tours would not only be historic and historic, but it would also be competitive.
For the time being, all we have is hope, and not much of it. The US would be a better team if Kevin Kisner was not playing and Dustin Johnson was, but Kisner is the World Match Play champion. They have a well-liked captain and no one on the team is widely despised. They’re at home, on a course where two of their team members have won tournaments. There are no justifications.
What are the best Presidents Cup betting options?
As you may have guessed, even odds of 8/1 aren’t enticing enough. Three years ago, I thought the Internationals were a good bet at 11/4, but they were quickly reduced to 3/1 shots to avenge themselves in North Carolina. That price has more than doubled, but their chances of winning have decreased even more dramatically.
This is still team golf and match play golf, and American complacency is a risk. They’ve also lost some elite players, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger, Patrick Reed, and Harris English, all of whom played a role in that dominant victory over Europe (was it really only last year?).
They’re missing Will Zalatoris, who is out with an injury, and have gone with Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel. These are top-tier players, but they aren’t unbeatable or fearsome in the way they go about things. They practiced together on Monday, and if they are paired together on Thursday, their International opponents will have a fighting chance.
However, the US side has depth that the Internationals lack. It’s worth noting that DataGolf believes their chances are closer to 4/1 than 8/1, which should make anyone think twice. As a result, I disagree on this occasion and cannot recommend a bet that may not even trade shorter.
Who will be the leading US scorer?
Scottie Scheffler is the best player here and, having beaten Jon Rahm in his last team golf match, he is the rightful favorite. In fact, odds of 6/1 are not out of the question. However, I have two reservations: he’s one of only three US players without competitive form at Quail Hollow, and given the arduous season he’s had, he might be content with fewer than five matches.
Neither is a major disadvantage, and the bermuda greens of this long, championship course add to the feeling that he’ll fit right in. Nonetheless, he’ll have a new partner here, and it could be Sam Burns, who arrives out of shape. Betting on team golf is difficult enough as it is, and there are enough unknowns to keep you away from the top of the market.
Choosing Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, who will almost certainly tee off together on Thursday, makes sense. But it made sense at Whistling Straits, and neither man played five matches, so neither could match Dustin Johnson’s flawless return.
There’s something to be said for Johnson being the only member of the team to play every session. Never before had the United States appeared to be such a cohesive unit, and captain Steve Stricker made full use of the talent at his disposal. In terms of relative strength, this side is every bit as strong, so could we see a scenario in which no one plays all five?
That would compress things, increasing the likelihood of a deadlock and bringing all 12 players into the mix. As a result, I’m going to keep my stakes low and back JORDAN SPIETH at appealing odds.
Spieth has a little extra motivation here because he missed the 2019 renewal before playing poorly for much of the following Ryder Cup, or else scoring poorly with an out-of-sorts Justin Thomas as his sidekick.
He went on to halve his singles, the first time he’d salvaged a result in seven matches across both main team events. That’s concerning, but there’s some randomness at work here, and an 0-6-1 record ensures that he’ll be engaged come Sunday, at a time when the outcome may already be certain.
He also has course form, having played well here as a rookie in 2013 and again in 2017, when attempting to complete the career grand slam for the first time. Finishing just outside the top 20 was a very good effort in the circumstances, and it confirms that Quail Hollow, with its slight Augusta parallels and greens he’ll undoubtedly enjoy, is a good course for him.
In terms of how he’s playing, there’s a sense he’s cooled off since flushing his way to the RBC Heritage title, which is fair, but he also finished 10th in the Scottish Open, eighth in the Open, 19th in the BMW Championship, and 13th in the TOUR Championship. It’s not bad form, with one bad round hurting him in the season’s final event before finishing with a 65 and leading the field in strokes-gained approach at East Lake.
It’s that iron play that needs to click if he’s going to be at his best, and it has, so we’re looking at a return to his best putting form to finish the puzzle. That’s a risk I’m willing to take, and if he can partner Thomas on Thursday (they played together on Monday) and win his sixth Presidents Cup foursomes match, it could be the start of a big week. He knows he hasn’t yet produced for the United States in the way we know he can, and that focus could be crucial.
Collin Morikawa, a course debutant, would be the next best for similar reasons. The two-time major champion will be determined to put a stop to his first winless season by leading from the start. He was excellent on his Ryder Cup debut, his iron play finally firing at East Lake, and there appears to be a good chance he’ll play with either Tony Finau, Cameron Young, or Max Homa, all of whom appear to be suitable partners in some way, particularly Finau.
But I think Spieth at 11/1 win-only is the best option, with the general 14/1 that he top-scores also worth a shot. The price difference is small, but for good reason, and if he gets the four points or more he’ll need to win the US market, he’s unlikely to be beaten by any member of the opposing team.
Who will be the most prolific international scorer?
There should be more room for differentiation here, as some players would need to be exceptional from the start to justify more than three sessions, while others would need a good reason not to play five. The winner appears to be involved in every session, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy: play well, score points, and you get to play more.
The key, however, must be to concentrate on the best players in a group with a significant disparity from top to bottom. This may seem obvious, but even in 2019, when two rookies shared the spoils, they were Ernie Els’ fifth and sixth-ranked players. Louis Oosthuizen was fourth in 2017, second in 2015, and players ranked second and seventh shared the spoils in 2013.
Only in 2007 did their four lowest-ranked players produce the best International scorer, which was major champion Mike Weir. Immelman’s side has no equivalent. This time, his bottom four are Taylor Pendrith, Si Woo Kim, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, and Cam Davis, with Sebastian Munoz serving as their weakest link. It would be even more surprising if KH Lee were their star, and Mito Pereira is woefully out of shape.
That leaves a pool of five players from which the winner will almost certainly emerge, and with Adam Scott likely to be paired with one of the weaker players on Thursday, and at 42 not expected to turn out five times, I’ll suggest we’re talking about four.
I’ll make no apologies for siding with two of the remaining three, namely HIDEKI MATSUYAMA and SUNGJAE IM, as Corey Conners is likely to be with Taylor Pendrith at some point, and both have serious putting issues to overcome.
CLICK HERE to bet on Im as the top International with OKBET.
These are Trevor Immelman’s best two options, and Im appeared to be born for the task when he earned 3.5 points on debut in Australia. He finished the 2022 season at the pinnacle of his game, finishing second three times in five starts, and his putting improvement should continue on his preferred bermuda surfaces.
He’ll most likely be paired with respected colleague Joohyung Kim, but I’d be surprised if they were together all week, and Kim may be tired at times. That, combined with the fact that Im has already played and won a singles match in this arena, makes him the preferred pick at what are generally similar odds, though there is a case for backing both in the hope that they prove a formidable partnership.
Kim has hired Rickie Fowler’s former caddie, Joe Skovron, which is a wise move given Fowler’s first victory here. However, I’m wary of expecting too much too soon, and that change is also an unknown, so I’m content to pass over him in favor of the 2021 Masters champion.
Matsuyama’s fitness is my only concern, but with four days of matches, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. He’d be the clear favorite here if it weren’t for his undeniable talent, and the fact that he’s only lost seven of 17 matches in the event shows how well he’s done, given that he’s always been on the losing side.
CLICK HERE to bet on Matsuyama to win the International with OKBET.
This is the first time he’ll go out as the clear star of the Internationals, as a major champion, and after flushing his way through his final preparation round last week, I’m hopeful he’ll be one of the key reasons the scoreline stays somewhat respectable. Another plus is that we know he’s very effective at Quail Hollow, and three points out of five is a target he can hit.
Splitting stakes in both of these in the top overall market should also be considered, on the basis that US rotation could lower the target. The Internationals have requested that more players participate in each session (40 to 31 in renewals where the minimum number of matches per player was set at three or less), and this gap is expected to widen. It’s worth noting that, as of 2019, the minimum number of sessions per player was reduced to two, and only one International player appeared twice. There might be a few more here.
All of this means that if Im or Matsuyama play their best golf this week, they could top-score overall despite playing in a losing side, as Im did in 2019 (along with two others) and Oosthuizen did in 2015. Both are available at 20/1, for a combined 19/2 chance, but I’m content to concentrate on the top International scorer market and two chunky each-way plays aimed at exploiting a serious lack of depth.
Do any specials catch your attention?
Those expecting the US to run wild should consider the 5/1 with OKBET that they will win every session, though this has yet to happen. Better to bet on THURSDAY’S FOURSOMES OR FRIDAY’S FOUR-BALLS 5-0, which have been combined to make a boosted 15/2 shot – each can be backed at 14/1 individually, which makes for 13/2 if done that way but does offer the chance of collecting twice.
The first session (USA first) had scores of 5-0, 4-1, 1.5-3.5, 5-0, 2.5-3.5, 5.5-0.5, 3.5-2.5, 4-2, 3.5-2.5, 4-1, 3.5-1.5, 1-4. There have only been seven renewals, each beginning with five matches on day one, and the United States has managed the whitewash twice, both at home. This alone does not imply that 14/1 represents good value, but I believe it does. At an average price of 8/11 for each match, this is effectively a five-fold accumulator, and I can see a scenario where this looks good business after the draw.
They came within a half-point of a whitewash on Friday in 2017, and given the respective lineups, odds of 5-0 in either of the first two sessions make a lot of sense. If this is over quickly, we might be able to capitalize on the disappointment of a non-event.
CLICK HERE to bet on the USA winning 5-0 on day 1 or day 2 with OKBET.
Finally, and contrary to much of what I’ve written above, don’t dismiss the possibility of professional pride and focus influencing Sunday’s singles, as well as any wide-margin handicap wagers or correct scores.
In 2017, the Internationals trailed 14.5-3.5 away from home, facing a record defeat, but won 7.5-4.5 on Sunday to restore pride. When the match was over in 2007, they won the singles session again and again, notably securing three of the bottom four matches when the celebrations began. These are two of the Internationals’ most humiliating defeats, and backing them at 5/1 with OKBET, Betfred, and BoyleSports (bet365 goes 13/5, some other firms offer 7/2) to win the Sunday singles session appears worth the risk.
They’ve won the final session in 2007, 2013, and 2017, and tied it in 1996, 1998, 2011, and 2015. While this is expected to be the most one-sided renewal to date, the visitors should be favored to end on a high regardless of the match situation. If, as expected, it’s all over, it may take the sting out of what appears to be a sharp US side that should win and win well. Perhaps they’ll begin with a bang and then fade away.
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