On paper, it’s looking like a beat down.
That’s how Vegas sees it, anyway.
Team USA vs. the Internationals takes that honor, with oddsmakers listing the Americans at -700, or 1 to 7 favorites.
You can still bet the Americans, of course. Or put your money on their underdog opponents.
Just be warned: Andy Lack has no interest in either side of that wager. GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator is looking at the menu of proposition bets instead. Also known as props, these are wagers not tied to the final outcome of the event.
The prop board includes three plays Lack really likes.
You can check out his picks — and his reasoning — below.
If you’d rather make plays on the Presidents Cup without risking real money, download Chirp. The free-to-play mobile platform (and GOLF.com affiliate) has prizes to give away, including a $500 credit to the GOLF.com Pro Shop for Day 1. Check out the full slate of prizes here:
Andy Lack’s Presidents Cup Plays
Top Overall Points Scorer: Justin Thomas (10/1)
Odds available on FanDuel
There are three questions that we must keep in mind when betting top points scoring props for the Presidents Cup. How many matches will they play? Who will they partner with? And does their game fit Quail Hollow? Although official pairings will not be unveiled until Wednesday afternoon, Thomas is the safest bet to play every session. A veteran of team competition, Thomas holds a 6-2-2 record in the Presidents Cup, and carries a combined 6-0-2 record in four balls and foursomes.
Between Presidents and Ryder Cups, the world No. 7 has built a solid rapport with Jordan Spieth as a partner. This duo will be one to watch once again in Charlotte. As for course fit, Thomas won the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail, and ranks top-five among this week’s competitors in the following categories: driving distance, birdies or better gained, strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained around the green, strokes gained total on courses longer than 7,400 yards, and overall strokes gained per round at Quail Thomas should be the favorite in this market, and I’ll gladly back him at 10/1 to be the top overall points scorer.
Top International Points Scorer: Sungjae Im (6/1)
Odds available on DraftKings
While I have less of a sense of the direction that International Captain Trevor Immelman will go with his pairings, Im and Hideki Matsuyama both feel like locks to compete in every session. No wonder they are co-favorites to be the top points scorer for the Internationals.
I am generally not one to bet favorites, but the back end of the International team is so weak that I expect Immelman to do a lot of mixing and matching. Im is a top-three talent on the squad, and I expect him to be utilized heavily. A potential pairing with countryman and friend, Tom Kim, is one to keep an eye out for.
Quail Hollow is one of the longest courses that players will see all season, and over the last year, the world No. 19 has been the best long-iron player in the entire Presidents Cup. Sungjae Im to be one of the lone bright spots this week for the Internationals.
Top Rookie Points Scorer: Sam Burns (5/1)
Odds available on DraftKings
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Sam Burns’ team competition debut, as I believe he possesses the ideal skill set for both this format and for Quail Hollow. The world No. 12 ranks top five out of all competitors in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda greens, birdies or better gained, and SG: Off the Tee. With three of his four PGA Tour victories coming on Bermuda, Burns should be more than comfortable in Charlotte.
A wager on Burns is also a prediction that the LSU product will have the opportunity to play with his vacation buddy and close friend, Scottie Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world. A Burns/Scheffler pairing should be dominant, and even if Burns plays with Billy Horschel as well, I like their prospects. Zurich Classic teammates are competitive every single year at the New Orleans team event, held on a comparable Bermuda-grass course.
I believe United States captain Davis Love will use Burns heavily this week, making him the best value in the Top Rookie Points Scorer market.