Team Europe is equally split between Ryder Cup stalwarts and debutants. Paul Krishnamurty expects the former to dominate their pairings and recommends two for their top-scorer market...
"Kaymer looks a value punt. The German arrives in reasonable form and has shown time and again that he is the man for the big occasion. If he plays and performs well in the first session, there's no reason why he wouldn't keep his place."
As explained in my Ryder Cup betting strategy piece, the top scorer markets have consistently proved the easiest way to profit from this unique competition. Whereas they appear like 12-man heats, they are nothing of the kind. Without being picked to play four of the five rounds, it is virtually impossible to win this market.
The essential starting point, therefore, is to identify which players will appear four or more times - something that applied to only 59% of competitors this century. Regarding this particularly inexperienced European side, it looks blindingly obvious who the team leaders will be.
Half of this side are debutants and highly unlikely to play all five matches. It is possible that someone will get picked for Friday morning's foursome sessions and excel, thus keeping their place, but I wouldn't bet on it. The only one that really seems plausible is Masters champion Danny Willett, who Steve Rawlings makes a very good case for.
Instead, I expect the six rookies to be selectively used alongside compatible partners. And of the six older hands, it would be asking a lot of 43 year-old Lee Westwood to play the full quota. Henrik Stenson would have been a prime candidate but the fact he's been resting a knee injury suggests he'll need a rest at some point.
That leaves four - Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer. Such is their quality, I expect Darren Clarke will want to use this quartet in virtually every round. Don't be surprised if three of them play the maximum. Combined, their odds equate to around 1.910/11 and those historic stats suggest that's a fair value bet.
McIlroy must surely play the maximum quota and the favourite's case is entirely straightforward after Sunday's FedEx Cup heroics. However Ryder Cups rarely turn out that way. Whatever his individual brilliance, Rory will have to also rely on partners for the first two days and he could plausibly end up with a tough singles draw. Odds of 4.84/1 are fair, but merely correct.
Rose has been nothing short of magnificent in his three appearances, winning 71% of his points and finishing top overall scorer at Gleneagles. He may well thrive in this atmosphere once again but, besides the Olympics, this hasn't been a vintage year. Any hint of his old back injury would warrant sitting out at least one round.
Garcia's 64% conversion ratio is actually more impressive, given that he's appeared in four more Ryder Cup matches. Coming off his best PGA Tour season in ages, Sergio is absolutely pivotal to Europe's chances and given an outstanding foursomes record, is a certainty to start proceedings. A good morning and I reckon he stays in. At 7.413/2, he's the best value for my money.
Considering he's twice the odds of the others, Kaymer looks a value punt. The German arrives in reasonable form and has shown time and again that he is the man for the big occasion. If he plays and performs well in the first session, there's no reason why he wouldn't keep his place in the afternoon and perhaps beyond.
Back Sergio Garcia to be Top European Scorer 4u @ 7.413/2
Back Martin Kaymer to be Top European Scorer 2u @ 13.012/1
That's Europe done, now get the lowdown on the the Top US Pointscorer Betting!