2022 Presidents Cup Betting: International Team Worth a Play at Long Odds

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The 2022 Presidents Cup begins this week at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here’s a look at the betting odds and why the International Team may be worth a gamble as the heavy longshot.

By now, you’ve heard the talking points. “This is about as lopsided a match as you’ll find in the history of sports. Team USA is loaded with talent, boasting eleven of the world’s Top 20 golfers. The International roster only includes three players in the Top 20 World Rankings. They’re going to get crushed!”

And it’s true, Team USA is a golf juggernaut. But having the world’s top golfers is only half the equation: the discrepancy is widened with the exclusion of the top International players. Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Abraham Ancer, and a few others were deemed ineligible to join the Presidents Cup International Team after accepting offers from LIV Golf.

While this seems like an open-and-shut case for Team USA, I’m playing contrarian this week. Here are three reasons you should consider placing a (small) bet on the International Team.

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Don’t Lay -700 Odds With Team USA in Presidents Cup

My colleague Bill Bowman wrote a great piece explaining how Team USA’s odds of -700 offer no value. It doesn’t matter how good Team USA looks, do you REALLY need $100 badly enough to risk $700?

Bill doesn’t. I don’t. And you shouldn’t either.

There are plenty of markets available for Team USA supporters. Bettors can place wagers on the point spread, or prop markets such as Top Points Scorer, Hole-in-One, and biggest individual winning margin. These markets are worth exploring, but understand prop bets are often negative expectation wagers. Sportsbook price the “silly bets” to their advantage, as bettors are simply looking for action. So tread lightly.

As far as laying -700 odds with Team USA on the moneyline? Don’t do it.

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The International Team enter the Presidents Cup a +750 underdog.
Adam Scott, of Australia, Tom Kim and Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, walk up the fifth fairway during practice for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Presidents Cup Team Talent: Closer Than You Think

Golf is different from most sports. The level of skill separating the best golfer in the world from the 100th best golfer in the world is much, much smaller than you think. The Heavyweight Champion of the World would destroy a boxer ranked outside the top 100, but in golf? We’re talking about a fractional difference.

Team USA is a worthy favorite to win the Presidents Cup, for certain. The team’s average world ranking is 12, compared to the International’s 48. Team USA players have 39 tournament wins since 2019, almost twice the number of the International’s 20 wins. Team USA is 11-1-1 in President’s Cup competitions all time…

And we can go on like this. Team USA is significantly better in every major category.

Except one. Scoring average.

Take a look at these stats. These scoring averages were measured using all competitive rounds of golf played in 2021.

2021 Scoring Averages

Team USA2021 Scoring AverageInternational Team2021 Scoring Average
Scottie Scheffler69.29Hideki Matsuyama70.11
Patrick Cantlay69.47Sunjae Im69.76
Xander Schauffele69.46Joohyung “Tom” Kim69.76
Justin Thomas69.49Corey Conners69.94
Colin Morikawa69.86Adam Scott70.51
Sam Burns69.77K.H. Lee70.58
Jordan Spieth70.24Mito Pereira70.21
Tony Finau69.75Sebastian Muñoz70.52
Billy Horschel70.02Cam Davis70.71
Max Homa69.97Christian Bezuidenhout70.32
Cameron Young69.84Si Woo Kim70.91
Kevin Kisner70.97Taylor Pendrith70.51

Pretty remarkable, right?

For all the firepower, for all their accolades, Team USA is less than half a shot better per 18 holes than the Internationals. In the match play format, where a match might not even go 18 holes, that margin is even smaller. The most lopsided of these head-to-head matchups would be Scottie Scheffler vs. Si Woo Kim. Scheffler would hold only one-and-a-half stroke advantage over Si Woo Kim.

All of a sudden, this lopsided matchup looks a lot closer than advertised.

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Fade The Betting Public

If there’s one betting strategy that transcends all others, it’s this: Fade the betting public.

Knowing nothing else about a competition, you’re often better placing a wager that goes against the consensus. Sportsbooks don’t make their money by letting the betting public be right most of the time!

There is no one, I mean ZERO people who think the International Team stands a chance this week. Everyone is predicting a runaway USA victory.

And that’s exactly why I’m betting The Internationals.

Presidents Cup Betting Pick

This isn’t my pick of the year, or a guaranteed winner, or any nonsense like that. It’s simply a small wager on a line that has been inflated by public money. The betting odds on the International opened around +275 and have ballooned at all major sportsbooks. That’s good enough for me to take a shot on the International Team +750.

For half a unit of my bankroll, I’m getting four days of golf entertainment, and bragging rights in the event this pick comes through. If things look dire early? Ah well. I’ll turn on some football and try again next week.

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About the Author
Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. An entertainment professional with 20 years of experience as an actor, writer, producer, and comedian, Robinson recently transitioned into the world of sports media as a writer and content creator. He has over 15 years of experience as a sports bettor, poker player, and card sharp. Robinson is proficient in all forms of betting and in-game wagering but his expertise is the PGA Tour.

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