Ryder Cup preview: Roster breakdown, betting odds for Team Europe
The 44th edition of the Ryder Cup gets underway early Friday morning from Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.
We already discussed the Americans, so let's take a look at their competitors.
The Europeans will look to win on home soil for the seventh consecutive time. The last event in which they failed to hoist the Ryder Cup while playing in Europe was in 1993.
The top-heavy European team is led by Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland. Like the Americans, they will also roster four rookies - Ludvig Aberg, Nicolai Hojgaard, Sepp Straka, and Robert MacIntyre.
When the odds first opened, the Europeans were given roughly a 33% chance (+200 odds) of winning the cup. However, thanks to some incredible recent form shown by Hovland, McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, and the rookie Aberg, the market has bet Team Europe down to +105 - an implied probability of 48.8%.
Odds to win the Ryder Cup
Let's take a look at the European roster looking to lift the trophy in front of the Italian crowd.
|Top Points Scorer
|Top European Points Scorer
Odds via theScore Bet.
The top three players on the European side headline the favorites to earn the most points for their team. These superstars should at least play four sessions, so a bet for top overall point scorer could be valuable.
Looking strictly at the odds, Fleetwood's price as top European points scorer stands out. He's +1400 to be the top overall scorer, but +750 to lead his team. Based on the chances he will lead the entire tournament in points, his odds of being the top European performer should be closer to +600.
Unlike the Americans, there are no clear-cut pairings on the European side. However, after Tuesday's practice-round session, there seem to be some tandems taking shape.
McIlroy, Fleetwood, Lowry, and Straka were the first practice-round group off on Tuesday. McIlroy and Lowry fit naturally together as the two Irishmen were also a pairing in 2021. That could leave Ryder Cup veteran Fleetwood with rookie Straka.
The next practice-round group was Rahm, Hovland, Aberg, and Tyrrell Hatton. Rahm and Hatton played together in 2021, and there have been rumblings that Hovland and Aberg could be an all-Scandinavian pairing.
Hovland and Aberg were grouped together at the BMW PGA Championship - the DP World Tour's recent flagship event - and played practice rounds together when the European team took a trip to Marco Simone earlier in September.
Aberg is playing exceptionally well and is deserving of the high-pressure spot despite never having played in a major championship, let alone a Ryder Cup. The young Swede won the Omega European Masters and missed only one cut in 10 starts since turning pro.
The final practice-round group consisted of Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Hojgaard, and MacIntyre. Rose and Fitzpatrick make a solid pairing and could see some run in alternate shot. Hojgaard and MacIntyre are the two biggest question marks on Team Europe and may only play one session before Sunday singles.
The betting odds suggest the European rookies will spend more time watching than playing. Straka, Hojgaard, and MacIntyre are all +2500 or above to lead the team in points.
The European team doesn't have the same depth as the Americans. If it's going to come out on top, it will need the top dogs to perform and get plenty of secondary scoring from the likes of Hatton, Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick, and Lowry.