Ryder Cup Predictions 2023: Best Bets, Odds and Picks from Golf Expert Diane Knox Balas

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Diane Knox Balas


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Diane Knox Balas loves golf (she’s Scottish, so of course she does) but let’s just say she’s much better at analyzing golf than playing! The same cannot be said for her brother, Russell Knox, who’s a 2-time winner on the PGA Tour and fueled Diane’s initial passion for the sport. A seasoned TV and radio host, Diane has given out 8 outright winners since joining the Pickswise team in April 2022. Her general rule is she has to have three stand-out reasons for each pick and spends her time studying stats, playing form and little nuggets of information from golfers’ lives on Tour. Diane lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Garrett, son Greyson and two English Bulldogs Bowser & Barkley. You can follow her antics on Twitter @KnoxyDiane and Instagram @dianeknoxbalas. For Diane Knox Balas media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

I’m just going to lay it on the line from the get-go here: it’s almost impossible for me to sit on the fence this week and remain impartial for the sake of “good journalism.” I am Scottish, worked for Team Europe at the last Ryder Cup and will be backing the blue & yellow to the death this week.

It’s Ryder Cup week, one of the greatest golf weeks we ever see. In case you’re not familiar, this biennial 3-day event is contested between Team USA and Team Europe, with 12 men ready to do battle for their continent.

My house is going to a fun place to be this week. With an American husband, American father and Scottish mother, I may have to force my 11-month-old son to pick a side early in his little life. Mind you, I’m going to keep that quiet in case he grows up to be a world-class golfer and can choose a team to play for.…!

The venue for the Ryder Cup alternates between home ground for each team, and after the 2021 “whipping in Wisconsin” it’s off to Rome, Italy for Europe’s turn at the hosting duties. Europe boasts an extremely impressive record when competing on home soil, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Let’s start by listing the 2 teams of 12 players:

Team USA
Scottie Scheffler
Xander Schauffele
Patrick Cantlay
Collin Morikawa
Brian Harman
Max Homa
Wyndham Clark
Brooks Koepka
Sam Burns
Jordan Spieth
Justin Thomas
Rickie Fowler

Team Europe
Rory McIlroy
Viktor Hovland
Jon Rahm
Tommy Fleetwood
Tyrrell Hatton
Ludvig Aberg
Justin Rose
Shane Lowry
Nicolai Hojgaard
Sepp Straka
Matt Fitzpatrick
Robert McIntyre

The Europeans retained the Solheim Cup last week in Spain; I’m taking that as a momentum booster heading into the Ryder Cup.

Even though the U.S. team dominated the Euros at Whistling Straits 2 years ago, Europe has won 8 of the last 11 Ryder Cups. Additionally, the Americans haven’t won on European soil since 1993. Having said that, in ’21 the Americans’ 10-point triumph in Wisconsin was the modern record for winning margin. 

The Europeans are going to have to start strong. Mind you, it’s in the interest of both sides to start strong as the team who leads after the first day of play goes on to lift the Ryder Cup almost 70% of the time.

Both teams have four rookies, although it seems almost unfair to class Brian Harman and Max Homa as “rookies” after all they’ve achieved.

Play begins on Friday with the Ryder Cup being lifted on Sunday, and 5 sessions are contested over the 3 days. Foursomes (alternate shot) and 4-ball (best score on the hole counts) are played on Friday and Saturday — 4 matches in the morning and 4 matches in the afternoon — and Sunday will be 1 session of 12 singles matches. With 28 points on the table, USA needs 14 to retain the Ryder Cup; Europe has to get to 14.5 points to claim it back.

The format of the Friday morning opening session will be announced in the coming days, although rumors suggest Europe captain Luke Donald will be going with foursomes.

In addition to this preview and pre-tournament picks, I’ll be giving you my insight and top bets prior to each round of the contest as team pairings and matches are announced. I have dug up some attractive higher-odd prop bets, too.

Our golf expert has 5 Ryder Cup prop bets to target, including one at +1100 odds!

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: What you need to know

The battle between the United States and Europe will commence on Friday morning at this stunning Italian masterpiece. The course was transformed and redesigned in 2018, with the grand unveiling in March ’21.

The home team is in charge of the course set up, and this is where the Europeans seem to thrive. In 2018 at Le Golf National in Paris, Team Europe defeated a team of shocked Americans by 7 points. The course was set up to favor the Europeans, and it truly played to their strengths.

Early reports from the course show thick, luscious rough, once again putting a premium on accuracy — much like we saw in Paris. Solid driving is going to be key this week. Also, as always in these must-win matches, excellent putting will pay dividends.

The “new” Marco Simone features numerous risk/reward holes and the rolling terrain will pose a unique challenge, with “the City of Seven Hills” providing the breathtaking backdrop.

Current Ryder Cup odds and Ryder Cup best bet: Team Europe (+125)

Team USA is the Vegas favorite to lift the Ryder Cup at -115 (DraftKings). This would end the Americans’ 30-year drought of winning the Cup on European soil.

At the time of writing, Unibet and BetRivers were offering odds of +100 for a U.S. victory. If you think Team Europe will win, you can get them at +125 (DraftKings).

The odds for a tie between the 2 teams are +1200 (BetMGM). The Ryder Cup has ended in a tie just twice, with the last time being in 1989, and if this occurs the Cup stays with the defending champions. But hey, stranger things have happened.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m backing the blues and taking Team Europe to win at +125. With in-form players like Hovland and Fleetwood, experienced Ryder Cup leaders in McIlroy, Rahm and Rose, and fresh talent like Aberg and McIntyre, I think the “underdogs” are going to shock a few people this week.

Make sure you check back on Pickswise throughout the week as we give our daily Ryder Cup best bets throughout the weekend

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