Europe have dominated the Ryder Cup on home turf in recent times and we’re going with Thomas Bjorn’s team to deny the USA a first away win since 1993.
Le Golf National will stage the 42nd renewal of this unique competition, with a 7,183-yard par-71 lay-out deployed on the Albatros Course, south-west of Paris.
The venue for the French Open is regarded as one of the toughest tests on the European tour, with accuracy more important than distance.
Crucially, over half of the home team have had a top-10 finish here in the past three years, with Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood the last two champions.
The fairways are lined by large viewing mounds and vociferous home supporters should be able to crank up the pressure on the Americans.
Jim Furyk has a strong side at his disposal, with 10 players ranked inside the world’s top 17 and only wild cards Tiger Woods (21st) and Phil Mickelson (25th) outside the top 20.
However, the formbook can usually be thrown out of the window when the Ryder Cup comes around, with superior team spirit and desire having propelled Europe to victory in the past.
Reflecting on a 2016 loss across the Atlantic, Justin Rose said: “The Americans wanted it really badly and the crowd were right behind them.
“We want it back badly now. Losing it has made us all more hungry again, no doubt about it.”
We’re taking the hint and 6/5 for Europe to prevail is the first of our Ryder Cup predictions.
Rahm backed to make immediate impact
Rose and Rory McIlroy head the betting on who will be the leading points scorer for the hosts, but rookie John Rahm is rated a value alternative.
A former world number one in the amateur ranks, the Spaniard has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the professional game.
Rahm ended 2017 by finishing in the top seven of all four FedEx Cup play-off events and then winning the season-ending event on the European Tour in Dubai.
He has also claimed two victories in 2018 and top-four finishes in the Masters and US PGA, while he was fifth in the French Open here this term.
The 23-year-old is being tipped to start out as McIlroy’s partner in the opening fourballs session and can hopefully get off to a flyer.
“If I were to play with Rory, we’ve played a lot together and I think we know each other’s game very well and we have a very similar game plan in mind,” the world number eight said.
“I think the one thing that you can say about both of us is that we are both fearless. We really complement each other very well.”
Koepka and Reed rated biggest threats
When it comes to the visiting team, we’re splitting our stakes between Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed.
Koepka posted a 3-1 record two years ago and has since secured back-to-back US Open wins, as well as landing the US PGA last month.
Two top-10 placings in The Open show he travels well and 13/2 for the 28-year-old to top score for America is added to our Ryder Cup betting tips.
Reed got the better of final-round playing partner McIlroy to land the Masters this year and relishes the combative spirit of this event.
He has earned three-and-a-half points in each of the last two renewals, including a gripping, ding-dong Sunday singles win over McIlroy at Hazeltine, and appeals at 17/2 to go well again in France.
Reed is now seen as the US talisman in the same way Ian Poulter is for Europe and he said: “It’s a good problem to have to have people either saying Captain America or Masters champion.
“Before, I only had one of them and now to have both of them it feels great, but this week, I’m definitely Captain America.”
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