NBA superstar Steph Curry and future NFL Hall of Fame inductee Peyton Manning are the favorites in “The Match” charity golf event. Their opponents are five-time golf major winner Phil Mickelson and Basketball Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley.
Sportsbooks have Curry and Manning favored at -175 (implied odds 63.64 percent). A $100 bet on that line nets $57.14 should the duo emerge victorious.
Mickelson and Barkley are the underdogs at +138 (implied odds 42.02 percent). A $100 winning bet nets $138.
Mickelson and Sir Charles are underdogs because of the format of modified alternate shot — otherwise known as Pinehurst. Each player tees off, and then the team selects which ball to use. They alternate hitting the shot until the ball is holed.
Barkley’s golf game is notoriously bad. His swing has, for years, been the subject of ridicule among his peers, something the NBA analyst has taken in stride.
“The Match: Champions for Change” airs live tomorrow, November 27, at 2 pm ET on TNT. The event is to “highlight diversity, equality, and inclusion through donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) while raising awareness and spotlighting opportunities for diversity and equality in sports.”
Steph Curry’s golf game is nearly as skilled as his three-pointer. The three-time NBA champion and two-time NBA MVP has played in two professional golf tournaments during the basketball off-season. He missed the cut each time, but held his own playing on a sponsor’s exemption against the pros.
Manning is no slouch on the golf course, either. The two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL MVP was on the winning team during “The Match: Champions for Charity” in May. Manning teamed up with Tiger Woods to win on the final hole against Mickelson and partner Tom Brady.
Barkley is certainly the worst of the three golfing amateurs, which is why, despite being paired with one of the game’s best players in the history of the sport, his team is still the underdog.
Curry plays out of California GC — better known as Cal Club — and sports an impressive +2.1 handicap index. Manning plays at several county clubs, including Cherry Hills and Castle Pines in Colorado, and The Honors Course in Tennessee. Manning’s handicap is 4.8.
It does not appear that Barkley maintains a handicap with the United States Golf Association. But it’s safe to say that it’s many times higher than Curry and Manning’s.
Barkley’s performance is expected to dictate the outcome of the match. If he hits a few decent shots here and there, and perhaps drains a couple putts, Mickelson will certainly keep his team in the game.
But oddsmakers aren’t confident Barkley’s game will shine.
- Will he make a putt from 30 or more feet? +400
- Will he hole out from off the green? +600
- Will he hole out from 100 yards or more? +2500
The lines all give Barkley little chance of accomplishing each feat. His odds of carding a hole-in-one are +8000. While that implies a chance of just 1.23 percent, knowing Barkley’s game, the line doesn’t seem nearly long enough to attract any meaningful betting action.
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