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The Match VIII Picks: PGA TOUR Golf Best Bets, Predictions, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook

Geoff Ulrich provides his top golf bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Match VIII: Mahomes and Kelce vs. Steph and Klay.

The eighth version of The Match will take place this weekend at Wynn Las Vegas Resort. The Match is an exhibition, match-play golf event that began in 2018 with a Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson showdown at acclaimed Shadow Creek.

This season’s version of The Match will feature four amateur competitors pairing up in teams of two. Basketball stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will partner and take on NFL teammates Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in a 12-hole scramble event that takes place at the Wynn Golf Club — which also previously served as the venue for the 2021 edition of The Match, which saw Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau lock horns.

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 29, 2023, and is set to be broadcasted on TNT with commentators including Charles Barkley, Von Miller and Draymond Green.

All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

For those who don’t know, a scramble format is played as follows:

“A scramble in golf is a match-play variant where a team picks the best lie after each shot. After picking the best lie, each member of the team then takes their next swing from that spot. That means that players whose shot wasn’t selected for use will pick their previous shot up and play their next shot from the best lie.”

Once a member of a team holes a ball, that is the score that will be used for competition. The lowest score recorded by either team wins the hole.

Since we have four amateurs in play this week handicapping this event won’t be easy. In terms of skill level Curry seems like he’s by far and away the best player. He holds a +1 handicap and placed 16th in the American Century Championship in 2022 — which is a celebrity golf tournament that is held in Nevada every season and uses modified Stableford Scoring.

Curry’s best round in that event was a 17 (in Stableford Scoring). By contrast, both Mahomes and Kelce finished outside the top 50 of that event and neither recorded a round better than 2.

With the scramble format in play, Curry is going to be able to carry his team as any mistake his partner makes will potentially be wiped out by Curry’s own shot. In order for Mahomes and Kelce to prevail, they’ll need one of them to play well above their skill level and even beat Curry heads up. It’s possible but not likely to happen.

There is also the chance that Thomspon (an avid golfer but +15 handicap) comes in and makes a few shots which would help take the pressure off Curry. Either way, there would seem to be a clear advantage in this format for the Golden State teammates.

That being said, this is golf and anything can happen, especially when amateurs are involved. Below we’ll take a look at some of the odds available for The Match VIII on the DraftKings Sportsbook and go over some of the best bets for this week’s exhibition.

Most Par 3 winners Steph/Klay (-145)

The event is going to be played over 12 holes but all four of the par 3s on the Wynn Golf course will be used. Curry and Thompson are favorites to have the most wins on all of the props but their line to have the most hole wins on the par 3s is much longer than it is for them to win out on the par 4/5s. I’m not so sure that’s correct as birding a par 3 for an amateur means you almost certainly have to hit it close and the team of Klay/Steph also will have the best iron player of the group, by far, in Curry.

There is also a real chance that a par from Curry will be good enough to win on one of these holes. Water boundaries some of the greens at the Wynn and even a simple up and down from just off the green would be no guarantee for the Kansas City duo. If you’re looking to take Curry/Thompson for some added exposure in areas other than the traditional moneyline, the par 3 prop looks like a solid place to target them for this Thursday.

Longest tee shot Hole 2 Mahomes/Kelce (+175)

Even if we have our doubts about the consistency that the Chiefs teammates will bring, this 12-hole match looking to take them to win out on a single-hole prop has some merit. They’re significant underdogs on pretty much every prop across the DraftKings Sportsbook and yet still have plenty of opportunities to win holes or hit some great shots just given the forgiving nature of the scramble format.

One of the most intriguing ways to bet on the Chiefs players will be in the long drive category. Driver tends to be the easiest club for amateur players to hit and you would expect that off the tee is where the more skilled team of Curry/Thompson will have their smallest advantage. Additionally, to count for a long drive a ball generally has to land in the fairway so one wayward drive from Curry and we could have a near lock for a win.

Targeting the Chiefs early to take down a long drive on Hole 2 makes some sense as well as we may be able to catch Curry before he’s fully warmed up and blasting it 10+ yards past everyone else. All things considered, the long-drive category in a foursome match between amateurs should be a volatile one — making it a good spot to get some money on the underdogs for this Thursday.

To win the Match VIII Curry/Thompson (-230)

It’s hard not to like the chances of the Golden State teammates this Thursday.

Curry is far and away the most accomplished golfer of the bunch having played in multiple Korn Ferry Tour events in the past. At a +1 handicap, he’s far and away the best player in this group and has played golf religiously over the last decade — even speaking about potentially going pro. We can debate the merits of his professional ambitions but he’s the only one in this foursome who takes golf seriously enough to play anywhere near that level and did manage to not outright embarrass himself when he played against the second-tier pros.

Klay Thompson may be regarded as the worst golfer of the bunch but it’s worth mentioning that he plays with Curry a ton and has also apparently chopped his handicap down a couple of notches of late. There is also a possibility that Thompson is not even the worst player of the group.

The Moneyline on Curry/Thompson is pretty short but along with just betting this result straight up, I also don’t hate using it as a parlay with some bets down the road either. If you want to get cute, the Open Championship is not far off and you could combine current favorite Rory McIlroy (+750) with Curry/Thompson (-230) for a +1119 payout. It’s not the worst idea in the world and if the team of Curry/Thompson does prevail, you would suddenly have a lower-cost Rory McIlroy future to sweat for later on in July.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.