The United States has been getting whipped in the Ryder Cup for the better part of a decade, losing four of the last five and six of eight against the Europeans since 1995.
For that reason, some have questioned why the Americans are listed as favorites in this year’s event, which begins early Friday morning. At the LVH SuperBook in Las Vegas, the US squad is a -160 favorite after opening at -140, and the odds are similar offshore.
What’s the reasoning?
“Usually the home team gets favoritism in this event,” said Jeff Sherman, golf oddsmaker at the LVH. “I don’t recall, although I do have short-term memory, the road team favored much at all. The price is more reflective of the Europeans’ recent play in addition to the home advantage Team USA has, perhaps outside of Luke Donald, who resides in the Chicago area.”
The last three Ryder Cups have been won by the host team, and the US squad has won 16 of 19 events when it’s played on American soil. That includes the 2008 victory at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., the US team’s lone win since 2000.
But while the US has home-course advantage, the Europeans seem to have the better team. Europe’s players have a combined 48-19-17 record in fourballs and foursomes, led by Sergio Garcia’s 13-2-4 mark. Lee Westwood (14-6-6) and Donald (6-1-1) have also been strong in team events.
The Americans have the edge in individual play (Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk are a combined 8-3-2), but by that point, they’re usually playing from behind after disastrous Fridays and Saturdays.
Woods, among others, has vowed to turn in a better effort in 2012.
We’re skeptical if it will be good enough.
Our pick: Europe. The US team is playing better golf entering the event, but it’s impossible to ignore the plus-money value being offered on a European team that is stacked from top to bottom and looks like one of the best we’ve seen on paper.
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Courtesy of LVH SuperBook …
Europe -1/2 +160
USA +1/2 -180
Europe Pick +140
USA Pick -160
Europe +1/2 +120
USA -1/2 -140