The regular PGA Tour takes a break for Thanksgiving this week but there is some golf to look forward to. In the latest edition of The Match, organizers and sponsors have harnessed one of the sport’s biggest ever rivalries for a 12-hole showdown which goes off on Friday (4pm ET; Live on TV: TNT, TBS, truTV, HLN).
Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka take part in a matchplay format and the grudge game should provide plenty of intense action along the way. The Wynn Golf Course in Las Vegas is a fitting host for the event so let’s see what options we have across the major online U.S. sportsbooks.
The Match 5 is a Matchplay competition with a maximum of 12 holes available to the players. In theory, therefore, it could all end on the seventh hole but it should certainly be a tighter encounter between two of the best on the circuit.
There are no playing partners as we saw back in July when NFL stars Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were also involved, so it is a straight shootout between Bryson and Brooks.
The two men are ideal picks for this type of event and kudos to the organizers for getting them to agree on taking part. The rivalry between them began in 2019 when Koepka was very vocal about The Scientist’s slow play. Since then, the debate has slipped into hostility at times and, while the pair appeared to ‘hug it out’ at the Ryder Cup, few golf followers were convinced.
The war of words has started again and one pre-match publicity stunt has DeChambeau driving off a Las Vegas rooftop at a target with Brooks Koepka’s face on it. The fury may be put on and the build-up may have a touch of Vegas theatre to it but clearly there is no love lost between the two, and that will provide a perfect backdrop to this event.
The Match 5 Moneyline Odds
The sportsbooks have a clear favorite here with Bryson DeChambeau going off at a general -125. Anyone looking to get behind Brooks Koepka can get average odds of around +105.
Those figures are largely based on the current world rankings where DeChambeau has a seven-place advantage over Friday’s opponent. He is nicely rested following Ryder Cup duty back in September and, while Koepka has returned to the course, he has missed two cuts at the start of the new season.
At the time of writing there are no prop bets available for the fifth edition of The Match. That could change in the lead up to the first tee time although there may not be too much scope in such a brief contest. Potentially, a Winning Margin market could appear but, for now, it’s all about picking a winner.
Our Betting Preview’s Match 5 Predictions & Picks Verdict
As the two players prepare for Friday’s event, DeChambeau is ranked number seven in the world while Koepka is down in 16th place. Brooks has missed those two cuts since the start of the season and his highest finish is 38th over four events across the last two months.
The course at Wynn Resort in Las Vegas could also offer the type of risk and reward approach that would favor Bryson DeChambeau. When it plays as a regular 18-hole venue, it comes in as a par 70 at 6,722 yards. That is a modest set up but it does provide a unique combination of six par 3s and four par 5s.
As designer Tom Fazio succinctly puts it, ‘the short holes are short and the long holes are long.’ What that means, among other things, is that there will be an advantage for power hitting in places, despite the relatively short overall distance.
Water is in play on 12 of the 18 holes but, by squeezing in a golf course in the heart of Las Vegas’ casino district, there won’t be too much punishment on offer for wayward drives. In the main, anything off target will usually just land on an adjoining fairway.
Ahead of the event, the organizers have yet to confirm which 12 of the 18 holes will be in play. It’s impossible to second guess their intentions but it’s likely that those which feature classic Las Vegas landmarks, such as the waterfall on 18 and the monorail alongside 15, will be included.
The course does tend to favor Bryson DeChambeau and, while neither golfer is in the best touch right now, he also edges the form guide. In matchplay, particularly, a quick-fire format such as this, anything can happen but we suspect that the sportsbooks have called this one correctly and that Bryson will edge Friday’s grudge match. So, for the concluding predictions, this is our Match 5 preview’s pick against the bookies:
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.