Thursday sees the 12th edition of the Presidents Cup tee off at New Jersey’s Liberty National course.
The home team are prohibitively priced and rightly so. The new wave of young talent has greatly refreshed and strengthened the US team, whilst the Internationals limp in with a team where many of their top talents are off form and the strength in depth is simply not comparable to their opponents.
A wide margin home win is the expectation of all, bookies included, and the prospect of the Americans landing 20 or more points is very real.
Picking a leading American points scorer in what should be a deluge of home points could be tricky. Jordan Spieth heads that market and rightly so. Young enough to play every session and a likely banker in a singles tie, it should come down to pairings. An opening day foursome with match play colossus Patrick Reed augurs well, and they appear to have drawn the cannon-fodder in the visitors’ day 1 pairings. A fourball pairing with good friend Justin Thomas looks possible and that too should be hard to beat. Speith is 9/2 to be top US point scorer, but 8/1 to win most points overall. Given we expect a large US win, this discrepancy in price looks too large, and we’ll back him with a two point bet.
The visitors look to be pinning their hopes on a couple of stacked pairings delivering the goods and sneaking some points elsewhere. The Grace/Oosthuizen partnership that won all 4 matches last time has a winnable opening tie with Berger/Koepka, but it’s the Aussie pairing of Day/Leishman who have the optimal draw and could register a rare opening day point. Day is the bookies favourite to win most International points, but partner Leishman arrived as the man in form and could offer fractionally better value.
Finally, the opening day pairings look decidedly lop-sided. The bookies favour a 3-2 home lead but we see a more crushing opening. 5-0 is possible, but we think the Aussies can win the closing game and the decision is whether the visitors get anything else – we think not.
Correct Score: USA by “any other score” (winning 20.5 or more points), 1 pt win, 9/1 Paddy Power
Jordan Spieth – top overall points scorer, 2pt win 8/1 generally available
Mark Leishman – top International points scorer, 1pt win, 13/2 Betfred
Day 1 correct score: USA 4 International 1 : 1pt win, 11/2 generally available
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