Ever since the United States won the Ryder Cup two years ago, a narrative has persisted: Sure, the Americans won at home, but it will be a completely different story in Europe. One reason narratives get created is because, at least at one point they are true. The United States has not won a Europe-hosted Ryder Cup in 30 years, and even now, despite being favored for the better part of two years, the Americans enter the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome basically even with the European side.
The United States enters -115 to win the Ryder Cup with Europe holding +100 (even) odds. As the reigning Cup holders, the Americans are -130 to retain the trophy (the reigning champions walk away with the hardware in the event of a tie), but it's no one's goal to leave this international event with anything other than bragging rights for a two-year period.
Last time around, the United States fielded one of its most talented (and youngest) teams ever; it pulled off a dominant 19-9 win at Whistling Straits.
The 2023 competition sees the Americans welcome four rookies -- Max Homa, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman and Sam Burns -- with the United States' prior youth movement now serving as veterans. Lucky for them, the now-second year stars -- Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler -- combined for a 11-1-3 overall record in 2021 with a perfect 6-0 mark in foursomes.
Europe enters with the three best players in the field,, with Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm playing some of the best golf in the world. But it also enters However, it also pulls up the bottom of his with Justin Rose, Nicolai Hojgaard and Robert MacIntyre rounding out a far-less-deep side than the one presented by the United States
All of it boils down to the Americans looking to win consecutive Ryder Cups for the first time since 1991 and 1993 with Europe seeking to maintain the stranglehold on its homeland that it's held since 1997.
Let's take a look at how our CBS Sports experts believe the 2023 Ryder Cup will play out, and feel free to review theon the U.S. and Europe sides.
2023 Ryder Cup predictions, expert picks
United States MVP
Patrick Cantlay: He won't get all the attention, but Cantlay really intrigues me this week. Justin Thomas was talking him up on Tuesday, and he's so perfectly built for match play (plus he has a comfortable partner who could go all four matches with him). We know he'll play a lot, he's playing quite well, and as Thomas said, "He drives it really far and he drives it really straight. He has a good iron game, and his short game is ridiculous. He wants the big moment. That pretty much checks it all." While I'm not totally sure I agree with every word of that statement, I also wouldn't be surprised if Cantlay went 3-0-1 this week. Odds as top American: 25/4 | top point scorer: 12-1 -- Kyle Porter
Patrick Cantlay: Cantlay will get paired with his good friend Xander Schauffele in foursomes where they have garnered a 5-0-0 record together across the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. If they are able to grab two full points in this format, it would give a massive jolt for the visiting team in sessions that normally produce European flags. He arrives off the best statistical season of his career leading the PGA Tour in birdie average and total driving and has shown his quiet nature is a perfect match for the team environment. Odds as top American: 25/4 | top point scorer: 12-1 -- Patrick McDonald
Scottie Scheffler: There is only one golfer on the American side who has never lost a Ryder Cup match. He just so happens to be the No. 1 player in the world and No. 3 in the Data Golf rankings. And sure, he may not be playing his best golf right now, but he's also capable of going head-to-head with anyone on the European side in singles. Then consider that team play can help hide his flawed putting, and Scheffler immediately becomes an attractive candidate in this spot. Odds as top American: 5/1 | top point scorer: 8/1 -- Adam Silverstein
Rory McIlroy: The Ulsterman has that look. That I've gone 3-6-0 at the last two Ryder Cups, but I think I can hit driver everywhere here look. Which, as someone who has been picking the Americans to win this event for each of the last 24 months, concerns me. Since Whistling Straits, McIlroy has posted the two best statistical years of his career. Before Paris, McIlroy's Ryder Cup record was sterling. Then he got a bad setup (for him) in 2018 and entered 2021 not playing great. Expect Rory to return to his usual self at this event. Odds as top European: 5-1 | top point scorer: 9-1 -- Porter
Viktor Hovland: Ride the hot hand. The Norwegian rolled through the FedEx Cup Playoffs with two emphatic victories, and all signs point to him being featured in all five sessions. While he went 0-3-2 in his debut, Hovland will have the pick of the litter in terms of his playing partners with some suggesting rookie Ludvig Aberg being a match. He puts a ton of pressure on opponents with his ball striking and the moment never seems too big for him. Odds as top European: 5-1 | top point scorer: 9-1 -- McDonald
Rory McIlroy: My initial gut reaction was to go with Jon Rahm as the stone-faced, European villain who might just decimate the Americans without fanfare or pomp. And then I realized that lack of outward enthusiasm is not the makeup of the best Ryder Cup players. As Kyle said, this just feels like the year Rory gets back to basics and goes off in this event. His singles game has been superb -- even if he's still mired in a major championship drought -- and McIlroy has an affable personality that will make him a great partner in four-ball and foursomes. Hovland may be on a role, but he literally went winless in 2021. Odds as top European: 5-1 | top point scorer: 9-1 -- Silverstein
Ludvig Aberg (Europe): It seems almost too obvious at this point that the 22-year-old who was playing college golf at Texas Tech this time six months ago is going to rock the world this weekend at Marco Simone. If he gets Rory as his partner over the first two days, then we might get an historic performance from those two. Regardless, Aberg is going to be a star, and it might happen as soon as this weekend. Odds as top European: 12-1 | top point scorer: 22-1 -- Porter
Max Homa (United States): Can the world No. 7 really be considered a breakout candidate? I say so. Homa was terrific in his U.S. debut in the 2022 Presidents Cup with a 4-0-0 record that included a deciding putt on the 18th hole of one match. He's fresh off his first major top-10 that started a streak of five straight top 10s on the PGA Tour and has been driving the ball like a stallion. Homa's putter is underrated and if early nerves are swerved, big things should be expected. Odds as top American: 10-1 | top point scorer: 20-1 -- McDonald
Max Homa (United States): Must agree with Patrick here. Homa's had a tremendous year and proved that he is a capable team golfer in the Presidents Cup. He's Data Golf's highest-ranked Ryder Cup rookie -- and unlike many others -- he's actually trending upward in the strokes gained metric over his last 25 rounds. This could be the type of breakout performance that sets the stage for a first career major championship once the 2023-24 season begins. Odds as top American: 10-1 | top point scorer: 20-1 -- Silverstein
Brian Harman is sneaky good for the U.S. team: I've been on that corner since his blowout win at The Open earlier this year, and there's no reason to back off of it now. My concern is that course setup -- depending on what it is -- could affect how much he plays, but I do think his performance this week in Rome is going to surprise some folks. -- Porter
Multiple players will only play two sessions: Every player in the 2021 Ryder Cup saw at least three sessions, but that will not be the case this time around. A top heavy European side will lean on their horses leaving the likes of Robert MacIntyre and Nicolai Hojgaard on the sidelines more times than not. The same may be said of the Americans as question marks in the form of Brooks Koepka and the experience of Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark may force Zach Johnson to continuously trot out his best players. -- McDonald
Justin Thomas shuts a lot of folks up: J.T. has not been bashful about his poor (for him) level of play last season. If there's a cure for those blues, it's the Ryder Cup where he's 6-2-1 in two appearances with a sterling mark in four-ball and singles. Not only that, the mental aspect of the game will be softened by pairing with Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler will be along for the ride. In other words, it's a best-case scenario for Thomas to break out of his funk. And if he plays well Friday, he could be a sneaky good play for U.S. and overall MVP with respective odds of 10-1 and 18-1. -- Silverstein
United States (14.5-13.5): I have labored over this. I've considered it from every angle. I've picked the Americans more times than I can count. And at the last minute, I'm wavering. It seems like it's going to be extraordinarily close, and while I believe in the Europeans more than I believe in the Americans this year, I want to believe in the United States more than I want to believe in Europe. This team is certainly built differently than U.S. teams that came before it -- those that lost in Europe -- and while that does not guarantee a victory, it should mean that the Americans will keep things close throughout. Unless they get surprised by some crazy course setup maneuvers, they'll be in it until the last few matches on Sunday. And if that's the case, then pretty much anything can happen. Give me the stars and stripes in an all-time thriller. Odds to win: -115 | exact score: 11-1 -- Porter
United States (15-13): A 30-year streak should have no effect on this team. They bring the more talented side, the more seasoned partnerships in both formats and much more depth. Plenty has been made of the top three Europeans (McIlroy, Hovland, Rahm), but it will be the top three Americans (Scheffler, Cantlay, Schauffele) who win the game within the game and block Europe's path to victory. The home team will have its moments, but by final putt Sunday, the Ryder Cup will remain in the hands of the Americans. Odds to win: -115 | exact score: 11-1 -- McDonald
United States (15.5-12.5): Those on site report that Marco Simone has not been setup as European-friendly as Le Golf National was in 2018. While the Euro side won that year and is certainly better this time around, so are the Americans. The 19-9 win at Whistling Straits was not a fluke. And while there are some intriguing young guns on the Euro side, their roster really has not changed in that significant of a way. More than anything, Hovland's rise to stardom has given them a big three instead of a big two. The biggest problem for the Americans is that their best player from 2021 (Dustin Johnson, 5-0-0) didn't qualify; however, Scheffler looks poised to take his place, and the U.S. has significantly upgraded the bottom half of its roster. Even though the odds have trended toward the Euros, it feels more like late-stage jitters than anything else. Odds to win: -115 | exact score: 12-1 -- Silverstein
Kyle Porter, Greg Ducharme and Patrick McDonald break down the 2023 Ryder Cup. It's storylines and best bets ahead of the showdown at Marco Simone Golf Club. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.