This might come as a surprise, but the team with the professional golfer isn't favored to win Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Change."
Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry are joining forces to take on Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley on Friday at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Arizona. Manning and Curry are -175 favorites (bet $100 to win $57.14) on DraftKings, while Mickelson and Barkley are +138 (bet $100 to win $138) underdogs.
That's probably in large part because of Barkley's well-documented exploits on the course.
The 57-year-old was crowned NBA MVP in 1993 and entered the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. His greatness on the court hasn't carried over to the links, though.
Barkley's swing has been a regular source of lighthearted mockery over the years.
He has made a concerted effort to improve his game, though, going so far as to work with legendary instructor Hank Haney for the show, The Haney Project. Haney didn't have much luck in helping Barkley, but the former NBA star had a breakthrough at some point.
Barkley showcased a far cleaner swing during Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Charity" in May.
Still, there will probably be a gap between Barkley and his amateur golfing peers.
Curry has twice competed in the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae, an event on the Korn Ferry Tour, and his handicap has peaked at plus-1.5. You can picture the Golden State Warriors star plying his trade on the PGA Tour if he hadn't chosen basketball as his career path.
Manning, meanwhile, has had a little more time for golf after retiring from the NFL in 2015. The seven-time All-Pro quarterback looked pretty natural when he and Tiger Woods beat out Mickelson and Tom Brady in the spring.
Curry and Manning together will be a formidable pairing.
And while Mickelson is a five-time major champion, age is beginning to get the better of the 50-year-old, who debuted on the PGA Tour Champions in August. During the 2020 season, he had two top-10 finishes in 16 events. He opened the 2021 campaign with a 44th-place showing in the Safeway Open and then missed the cut in the U.S. Open.
Still, this is Phil Mickelson we're talking about. He and Brady looked dead in the water on the back nine of Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Charity" before mounting a late comeback.
Going with Barkley and Mickelson to prevail may not be a bad play if they're going to be given longer odds.
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