Golf’s Presidents Cup Betting Picks

Royal Melbourne Golf Club - Presidents Cup Logo

Can the International Team pull off the major upset and defeat the Americans at this year’s Presidents Cup from the majestic Melbourne Golf Club? It has only happened one time since the inaugural playing for the Cup in 1994.

The 1998 team, led by current team captain Ernie Els, dominated the Americans en route to a 20 ½ to 11 ½ victory. Ernie will be more of a head coach this year.

Tiger Woods, though, who was also in the field on that fateful weekend, will be leading the Americans into battle as their playing captain in 2019.

The last time the President’s Cup was played down under in Melbourne was in 2011, and there are less than a handful of players from each side competing this year.

Along with captain T, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, and Matt Kuchar are returning in hopes of helping the United States secure their 11th Presidents Cup in 13 tries. Australian native Adam Scott is the only International Team member from the last time the tourney was played on this course.

The two teams played to a tie in South Africa in 2003. 10-1-1 is hard to bet against. I have to admit. The current line is set at (-270) for the US and (+260) for the International Team.

You normally don’t see the plus money nearly equal to the juice on a moneyline bet like this. It makes me wonder if the sportsbooks would like bettors to be intrigued enough to lay some cash on underdogs.

There are some question marks surrounding the US squad this year including Dustin Johnson just coming off of knee surgery as well as the absence of Brooks Koepka.

There’s also jet lag. “Melbin” is a long long way. For American west coasters, it’s 19 hours difference in time. That’s intense.

Sure, most if not all of the team is rolling over in a private jet but as far as I know, that doesn’t affect the strain on your circadian rhythm that ensues.

Everyone on the team minus DJ played at the Hero World Challenge just days ago in the Bahamas.

There are several different betting options available for us this week and I’m sure there will be more posted in the next few days.

Today’s odds and picks are brought to you by BetOnline.AG.

Let’s dive in and make some predictions!

Day 1 Winner

  • Team USA: -120
  • International Team: +175
  • Tie: +450

This one caught my eye. The US team is nearly 3 to 1 to win the Cup but almost even money to win day 1. Let’s investigate.

The players for both teams have obviously changed This is especially true for the international side but the last time the tournament was held here in 2011, the Americans dominated the first round of play.

Since 11/12 of the US players just competed on Sunday, maybe the oddsmakers believe the Americans will be tired on day 1.

The way I see it, if they are tired on day one then they are going to be that much more fatigued on each consecutive day of play.

Maybe the Americans slow by the weekend as the play, the lag, as well as the altered sleep, begins to add up but I think Team USA hits the ground running after all except DJ having competed just days prior.

Recent history is also on the side of Team America here.

The Presidents Cup is held every two years and we have to go all the way back to 2005 when Wedding Crashers was playing in the movie theaters to find the last time the International Team won day 1.

Insert timeless Wedding Crashers quote here.

6 straight wins on the first day of play for the Americans, though…

That’s hard to bet against unless you are punting for a tie.

The Bet

Leader After Day 2

  • Team USA: -150
  • International Team: +190
  • Tie: +550

Piggyback ridin’ off of our last bet, Team USA has had the lead after day two for 6 straight competitions.

You can bet solely on day two and get the (-120) again but day 1 has been more dominant for US players in the past so having a point or two to carry over for our score will be nice.

Yes, there are more matches so the likelihood of a tie is decreased but there is the possibility of the Internationals playing aggressive on day 2 in hopes of keeping pace and succeed in closing the gap.

Team USA may be running off adrenaline on day 1 and it could be a while before they nod off Thursday night thus increasing the likelihood of a round two comeback from the International Team.

These are a lot of “ifs”. though. I think some of the game youngsters like Sungjae Im and Joaquin Neaman answer on day 2 and this one is tied going into the weekend.

The Bet

When Will the Cup Be Decided?

  • Singles Matches 5-8: -110
  • Singles Matches 1-4: +150
  • Singles Matches 9-10: +500
  • Singles Matches 11-12: +1000
  • Cup to be Decided Before Day 4: +2500

Okay, this one is mostly luck but I think we can make an educated guess. Value should be considered as well but we can’t be blinded by the numbers.

We have to simply ask ourselves, though, do we think the Americans are going to dominate this tournament or what?

We need to look at the rosters and see who is actually playing well and whose golf is crap right now.

Matt Kuchar-playing like poopy. Patrick Reed-rocking. Rickie Fowler is just getting his feet under him and Dustin Johnson who is coming off of minor knee surgery is an unknown.

On the International side, you can imagine locals Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, and Cameron Smith would love to shine in front of their home country on such a stage.

Slick and smart iron play will be of the utmost importance on this course as the greens can be fast and unforgiving.

I really like the fundamentally sound golfers to play well more than those who are a little more aggressive than calculating.

Hideki Matsuyama is the first name that comes to mind. He is going to be a tough out for anyone.

I think the US Team recovers from a day 2 slump and the level of talent begins to rear its mean mug by mid day 3.

I like the Cup to be decided in singles matches 1-4 on Sunday for the (+150) payout.

The Bet

Top American

Xander Schauffele

This is a tough pick, of course. We are pulling our best Pat McAfee with this 50-yard punt but I just feel the X-Man has the most valuable odds here.

Justin Thomas is the only golfer ahead of him on the betting board but the payout drops to (+450).

I thought about taking Patrick Reed because of how hot he is playing right now. Captain America has also been more active than anyone on the roster during the Fall season and now finishing up the year.

He is in great form but after receiving a two-stroke penalty for brushing sand from behind his ball this past weekend in the Bahamas and it cost him a chance at winning…

Just that small of a distraction makes me hesitate.

Xander Schauffele hasn’t been as active lately but a rather measured activity level of just three PGA tournaments since the end of October, the young man should be at his peak to perform.

10th, 2nd, and 10th in his previous 3 PGA Tour appearances is pretty solid. That last appearance was at the Hero World Challenge, though, where there were only 18 competitors.

He did have the best 2019 from start to finish out of all of the golfers on the team.

Tiger Woods

Why not, right?

It’s a stretch but he is expected to play on 3 days if not 4.

The over betting line for Tiger playing 2.5 matches is set at (-300).

He is 4th and 1st in his previous two tournaments.

We know the man is as well-schooled as anyone on the course.

He has more physical experience here than the rest of his squad and he has had to study the course with extra vigor as a team captain.

It’s not likely but it’s Tiger Woods, yall, and at 14 to 1…

The Bets

Top Debutant

Sungjae Im

This young man has nothing to lose.

Sure, he’s only 21-years-old but the young man from Jeju Island, South Korea is coming off of an amazing year.

If you’re unaware, he won the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year award in September over a couple of aces in Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff.

Im has already worked his way up to 36th in the Official World Golf Rankings and is currently 7th in the FedEx Cup points standings thus far in this young season.

3rd at the Zozo Championship and 11th at the HSBC in his previous two attempts point towards solid form.

He is also going to be operating on just a two hour difference in time zones from his home of South Korea and the tournament site of Melbourne, Australia.

He’s a great putter and if he plays slightly above average on approach shots, he could definitely snag this top debutant bet.

There are some really talented golfers making their first appearance on the respective Presidents Cup teams, though, including the previously mentioned Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, and Gary Woodland.

I don’t think it’s particularly wise to approach the Presidents Cup expecting to make money as the potential for parody is pronounced but we can have some fun with it.

The Bet

Top International

Hideki Matsuyama

It’s hard to believe this man is only 27 years of age. He has done so much in his short career on the PGA Tour.

I love his game for this golf course too! The Japanese superstar always seems to play within himself and is conservative more times than not.

There are courses where the reward for aggressive play outweighs the negative consequences…

This course in Melbourne is not one of them.

Aussie Adam Scott knows the course as well as anyone and he has referred to it using the noun “carnage” in the past.

Other than American Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama is arguably the #1 iron player in the world and that’s a big reason JT is favored as the top American.

Scott and Hideki are each (+450). The payout is not much considering but I feel Matsuyama has the most value regardless.

He’s rested and in great form as well.

From October 6th through November 3rd, he played 4 times.

16th, 3rd, 2nd, and 11th were the results.

That was a month ago but he knows his body and game after several years in the big leagues so I expect him to still be in a rhythm.

The Bet

To Win the Presidents Cup


I really do like the International Team this year. Louis Oosthuizen’s name seems to always be atop the European Tour leaderboards as of late.

Koreans Byeong Hun An and Sungjae Im both had great years.

I love the way Australian stars Adam Scott and Cameron Smith have played lately as well. They have both won us money in the past couple of months.

I love Canada’s Adam Hadwin. I always get to use my Happy Gilmore joke with the former hockey player.

There is a ton of talent on the International side for sure. I just can’t get behind them to outplay top superstars on the American side over four days.

I made the mistake of picking the home team in the Ryder Cup versus Europe and believe me, I don’t want to lose on the account of nationalism but I have to side with common sense and history as well.

11-1-1 is a pretty solid record and with veteran golfers in their prime like Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland, and Justin Thomas, I can’t pick against the US Team.

The Bet

In Conclusion

This should be a really fun tournament! If you work 2nd shift in a security guard booth, you’re in luck too!

This one is taking place allllll the way down under in Melbourne, Australia.

The city is on the southeastern tip of the continent and not really that far from the darn South Pole.

There aren’t many sure bets available this week.

Many times, there are the most unlikely of heroes in these country vs continent(s) tournaments.

Matchplay is just a different dynamic. Sure, in stroke play, you’re playing against the golfer you’re paired up with but there isn’t the “mono a mono” aspect in your everyday PGA Tour event.

There also isn’t the pressure from playing for your entire country.

Some of these International guys like Adam Hadwin or Abraham Ancer are the only ones on the team from their country. I think that makes it harder for them mentally than just being one of 12 Americans.

Don’t try to get rich with our bets this week.

We went with a few punts as well as a couple of slight favorite odds for the Americans to take the first two rounds.

Get your bets in early and enjoy the links on one of the most beautiful and difficult courses in the world.

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Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.