With the PGATOUR set to commence on June 11th for The Colonial, we are slowly starting to get a glimpse at live sports. Last weekend, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, raising more than $5M for the COVID-19 crisis. This weekend, Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning will be teaming up to take on Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson in “The Match 2” at Medalist Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.
Where to Watch Tiger vs Phil in The Match
The Match will be simulcast on Turner Sports channels including TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN. Bleacher Report will offer pre-match streaming coverage.
Golf Format for The Match featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
The Match will be played as a “best ball” format on the front nine, with an alternate shot format on the back nine. Best ball means that each player will player their own ball until the hole is completed, and the lowest score from each team will be the counting score for the matchup. Both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will get three strokes on the front nine, including one stroke on a Par 3, one stroke on a Par 4, and one stroke on a Par 5. Those strokes are expected to come on holes 3, 6 and 8. While three strokes sounds like a lot, both Brady and Manning play in the high single-digit handicap range and both Tiger and Phil are likely playing closer to a +6 to +7 handicap. This means over the course of an 18-hole match, Manning and Brady would be likely to get strokes on 14-16 holes. All that said, it is likely that we see Tiger and Phil winning the majority of the front nine holes despite the handicaps.
Medalist GC Front Nine Scorecard
*Manning and Brady receive one stroke each
On the back nine, it will move to a modified alternate shot format. All golfers will hit tee shots, and after the tee shot the teams will be able to choose which ball to play and who to hit it.
Medalist GC Back Nine Scorecard
Tiger is definitely better than Mickelson at this point in his career (probably 1.3 strokes on average) and is playing at his home course, while Manning is anywhere from 1 to 3 strokes better than Brady (plus has more time on his hands to play golf). All of this is reflected in the odds for the match.
Betting Odds for Tiger vs Phil in The Match
Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning are listed as -225 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook while Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady are +180. Fanduel Sportsbook is offering slightly more competitive pricing with Woods/Manning available at -205 and Mickelson/Brady +184. Bettors looking for the best value should bet the Match at Fanduel Sportsbook over DraftKings Sportsbook.
If forced to bet it, I would probably play the chalk and lay -205 to back Tiger Woods and his superior partner. Qualitatively, Mickelson’s often erratic play could cause problems for the tandem on the back nine with the alternate shot format, and put TB12 to the test.
However, both sportsbooks also offer prop betting options for The Match with different pricing that are more appealing.
Prop Betting Odds for Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning vs Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in The Match
There are a few types of betting markets that are being provided by most operators.
Leader after X Holes: Most sportsbooks are offering markets for who is leading after X holes, including 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15, with the match concluding on 18. Pricing shopping here is important since there are so many betting markets, and we’ve done that work for you (odds current as of 5/20).
Fanduel Sportsbook is offering you better prices on each leg for Woods and Manning, while DraftKings Sportsbook is offering consistently better prices for Mickelson/Brady and for the tie options. Using a proprietary match play calculator that I built, I plugged in what the match might look like if you assume Tiger’s team was 28.5% to win each hole, Phil’s team 23%, and a draw 48.5%. The results of that analysis are below and suggest this market is mostly one to avoid.
Odds to be Winning After Each Hole
First to go up X Holes: Bettors can also wager on which team will go up by X number of holes, with markets available for either 1 or 2. On DraftKings Sportsbook, Tiger and Peyton are -150 to go up by 1 or -175 to go up by 2 first, while Phil/Brady are +120 and +138. Bettors should avoid this market at Fanduel Sportsbook which is only offering -160 / +100 odds.
The Match Finishing Hole: You can also wager on what hole The Match will conclude on, with options available on DraftKings Sportsbook for 18th hole or extra holes (+175), holes 15-17 (+110), or 14th hole or earlier (+300).
My analysis shows there is a 10.5% chance of this being won before hole 14, a 52.5% chance of being won 15-17, and a 37% chance of this being won on the 18th hole or later. Given this, betting +110 for The Match to be won holes 15-17 is a +EV bet in my opinion.
Other Exotic Props: There are a variety of other prop betting markets including closets to the pin contests on holes 4, 8, 12 and 16. DraftKings Sportsbook only offers the 4th and 8th holes (+125 for Tiger and +175 for Phil) while Fanduel Sportsbook prices all of the holes the same (+115/+130/+600/+700). Playing from the championship tees, the majority of these holes will require a long iron from TB12 and Manning, and there are water hazards in play. The most likely scenario that we see here is that Manning and Brady bailout to safe zones, leaving the closest to the pin shots for Tiger and Phil. There could be some EV to betting Tiger and Phil.
Some other interesting markets are odds to win the back nine (I like Tiger/Manning -200 a little bit), most Par X holes won, and odds to hole out from off the green (I like NO -335) to explore.