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Capital One's The Match 7: Best Bets for Woods, McIlroy vs. Thomas, Spieth

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2022

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Another edition of Capital One's The Match series is on our doorstep, and golf fans should be thrilled.

The Match VII will include world-class competitors in Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. It will also feature the legendary Tiger Woods, who hasn't played in a major PGA event since missing the cut at the Open Championship but remains a huge draw.

All four participants are pro golfers, making this iteration much different than the last. The Match VI pitted NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers against Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

As was the case in past iterations of the event, there should be plenty of trash-talking and entertaining dialog between four pros who know one another well. Spieth and Thomas are longtime friends, while Woods and McIlroy are co-founders of TMRW Sports.

Naturally, The Match is once again a charity event, serving as a platform to benefit Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

Below, you'll find all the latest info for The Match VII, including the odds and our picks for the best bets.


Capital One's The Match VII

Who: Woods/McIlroy vs. Spieth/Johnson

Where: Pelican Golf Course in Belleair, Florida

When: Saturday, 10 December

Time: 6 p.m. ET

TV: TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN

Odds (from FanDuel):

Spieth/Thomas -125 (bet $125 to win $100)

Woods/McIlroy +100 (bet $100 to win $100)


The odds are fairly even in this one, with Spieth and Thomas being ever-so-slight favorites. Their status isn't too surprising, since Woods is no longer in his prime and is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot:

Tiger Woods @TigerWoods

<a href="https://t.co/C2HPgSSCAK">pic.twitter.com/C2HPgSSCAK</a>

The 46-year-old withdrew from the Hero World Challenge last weekend because of the foot issue.

That doesn't mean backing Spieth and Thomas is the right play here, though. They are the more formidable team overall, but the format could give Woods and McIlroy an edge.

The Match will be a 12-hole, best-ball event, in which only the lowest score from each team will count on each hole. In theory, Woods could play an atrocious round of golf and still win as long as McIlroy bests both Spieth and Thomas on the majority of holes.

And McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, could do just that. Of course, it would be unwise to assume one of the sport's all-time most competitive players won't find a way to hold his own.

Despite his health issues, Woods insists he can hit every shot needed to compete:

GOLF.com @GOLF_com

"I can hit the golf ball and hit whatever shot you want, I just cant walk ... Only time can heal this one." <a href="https://t.co/WeKqThcSnU">pic.twitter.com/WeKqThcSnU</a>

Since competitors in The Match use golf carts—ones wired for sound, no less—Woods' ailment may not be a major hindrance at all.

Since he and McIlroy aren't heavy underdogs and still offer the best potential payout, they're our best bets for The Match VII. The prediction here is that this will be a tightly contested affair, with McIlroy and Woods winning by a narrow margin after 12 holes.

Don't be surprised if we see a Tiger Woods fist pump after he wins a hole on his own, either. Most importantly, enjoy this one, because it's going to be a lot of fun.


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