Tiger vs. Phil Will Cost $19.99. Here Are Some Early Bets to Make Your Money Back

Tiger vs. Phil Will Cost $19.99. Here Are Some Early Bets to Make Your Money Back article feature image

Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods

  • Tiger Woods is a -220 favorite to beat Phil Mickelson in their head-to-head match this November in Las Vegas, which will be $19.99 to watch on pay-per-view.
  • Jason Sobel analyzes the props market for the Thanksgiving weekend match and makes a pick on which golfer provides value.

There are a few certainties regarding The Match, next month’s head-to-head contest between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, that I wish we could bet.

For example: It will take place on Friday, Nov. 23 – even though some books are still listing the match with the caveat “… or Saturday, Nov. 24.”

Another one: Tiger and Phil might not even be the two biggest names featured on the pay-per-view telecast, which could be chock full of superstars tagging along inside the ropes.

And one more: I really, really, really wish we could bet on how much betting will take place. Expect just a few instances of side action between the two competitors for each nine-hole split, but similarly expect the TV screen to resemble CNBC while the markets are trading. With this event staged in Las Vegas with $9 million on the line, there will be little doubt that Tiger and Phil are encouraging viewers at home to play along, with graphics constantly updating to show where the public money is going.

Enough of the hypotheticals.

Let’s get to a few of the pre-match props that we can bet on, with plenty more expected to be released in the coming weeks as we get closer.

Color of Tiger Woods’ shirt

  • Red +300
  • White +300
  • Black +450
  • Any other color +150

I’ve pored over the analytics and researched all the numbers. And I was able to spot a trend that many of you might not have noticed: For big rounds, Tiger usually likes to wear a red shirt.

OK, so most of these are usually Sunday final rounds when he’s stalking a victory, but we’ll know instantly if he’s taking this one seriously if he pulls a red one out of the closet for this match.

I say he will — and it’s worth a 3-to-1 punt. Although, here’s an intriguing thought: With the amount of shirt changes Tiger often went through during rounds this summer, could a similar play in the Vegas desert mean every bet will cash? I believe the books would refer to this as a “nightmare scenario.”

Color of Phil Mickelson’s shirt

  • White +150
  • Black +250
  • Blue +400
  • Any other color +400

He wears white pretty frequently, and the black might be more slimming, especially with those pinstripe slacks he likes. But you have to think of this bet the same way Phil will think of it.

He’s well-aware of the potential wagers on this match and probably aware of this specific one. Think he’s gonna throw on a white shirt just to pay off the favorite? Come on. I’ll take Lefty in a sporty Mizzen + Main blue – the short-sleeve version, not the long-sleeve one that looks like he’s heading into work in the corner office.

To Win the Match

  • Tiger Woods -220
  • Phil Mickelson +180

I’m going to write plenty of content over the next month explaining why I think Mickelson will win this match.

Let’s remember: This has nothing to do with which player has been historically better or even which one is more talented right now. As we’ve learned over the years, any elite professional golfer can beat any other elite professional golfer on any given day, so even an edge in talent shouldn’t overcome variance in this specific format.

I think the winner will come down to desire and gamesmanship. The player who wants it more will head to Vegas a few days early, play the course, get accustomed to match play. The player who “plays the game” most will be the one having a bigger voice in decisions such as green speeds and pin placements.

In each instance, I believe Mickelson will be the one who cares about the result enough to prepare accordingly beforehand. Oh, and at this price, he’s wayyy too big of an underdog.

Alternative Spread

  • Tiger Woods -1.5 -115
  • Phil Mickelson +1.5 -115
  • Tiger Woods +1.5 -300
  • Phil Mickelson -1.5 +240

Hey, go big or go home, right? If you’re like me and you like Phil to win, you might as well take him at the adjusted line and shoot for the big payday. I don’t even know if the books are considering -1.5 as a stroke-play wager or to win by that many holes, but either way, it could provide a nice return on investment.