The long awaited golf event, featuring two of the best golfers of all time and two of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time, will tee off on Sunday. It’s arguably the biggest and most anticipated sporting event in months, and it’s become a betting Super Bowl of sorts. In addition to standard betting on the winners of the match, there are dozens of props for DraftKings Sportsbook bettors to choose from. Here’s a look at some of the top betting insights that can be gleaned from the data (as of Friday May 22).
What is your favorite play for The Match: Champions for Charity?
4. Betting on The Match Looks Just Like 2018In November 2018, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson squared off in Capital One’s The Match, which took place at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. Mickelson took home the prize as the underdog, and 18 months later he’ll look to serve Tiger another defeat. Betting on the upcoming event and the 2018 version of it, despite the fact that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are now involved, looks eerily similar to that of 2018.
The betting line is nearly the same as it was in 2018, and the bets and handle splits are within just a few percentage points as well.
3. Bettors Expect More From Phil and Brady on the Back 9Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady are the underdogs in The Match: Champions for Charity, but bettors seem to have a very different take on how they’ll fare early on and how they’ll fare overall. Comparing Front 9 betting to Back 9 betting, about 50-60% of the bets and the handle are on the Woods/Manning team for both sides. For the Mickelson/Brady team, however, they’re getting 12% of the bets and 15% of the handle to win the Front 9, while getting 30% of the bets and 39% of the handle to win the Back 9. The odds are pretty similar for these two bets, +165 for the Front compared to +188 for the Back, so there’s likely something else working here that’s causing more late-round optimism for Team Phil and Tom. More on that below.
2. Bettors are Looking for Highlight Reel Shots
Bettors are banking on something special happening this Sunday.Top 3 most bet props for The Match:
1️⃣ Hole in one in the tourney— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) May 22, 2020
2️⃣ Either team to hole out
3️⃣ Eagle in the tourney pic.twitter.com/yngWqaPmrP
It’s clear that DraftKings Sportsbook bettors are hoping for plenty of excitement. They’re wagering on some of it right out of the gate, with “Tiger Woods to Birdie Hole 1” being the next most popular bet for the day after the three seen above.
1. Back 9 Format Adds a Betting WrinkleAs mentioned above, the Back 9 betting looks very different from the Front 9 betting, and that could largely be due to the difference in format. The Front 9 is simply “Best Ball,” where the best score by a player on each team is the score of record. The Back 9 is a “Modified Alternate Shot,” which means that after the tee shot, each team will choose one of the two balls and alternate shots from there, with each side keeping one ball in play instead of two. This format for the Back 9 will put far more pressure on Brady and Manning, as they won’t simply be able to sit and watch their partners finish out holes if they are struggling.
As a result, there’s a significantly lower chunk of bets being placed on a Back 9 tie (+350) compared to a Front 9 tie (+400) even though the betting lines are relatively similar. The alternate shot format figures to lead to more bad shots for each team, more chaos and more excitement, but also making it less likely that holes will end in ties. For Front 9 betting, 38% of the bets and 24% of the handle are on a tie. For Back 9 betting, those numbers are only 7% and 2%.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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