The Match 4: Brady and Mickelson vs. Rodgers and DeChambeau - odds and best bets

Phil Mickelson waves to the crowd at Pebble Beach.
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Ricky Dimon

Golf

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The fourth installment of The Match is here, set to tee off at 6pm ET on Tuesday. Phil Mickelson is making his fourth consecutive appearance, while Tom Brady is playing for the second time. Both Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers are making their debuts.

Mickelson is 2-1 in the The Match. In the first chapter he won a head-to-head showdown with Tiger Woods on the first extra hole after they were tied through 18. That was played in the fall of 2018, while the next three contests–this one included–were scheduled in a span of less than 14 months. In The Match 2, Mickelson and Tom Brady lost to Woods and Peyton Manning by one hole following a near-comeback. The Match 3 was not a fair fight, as Mickelson was the only professional golfer on the course. He teamed up with Charles Barkley to rout Manning and Stephen Curry.

Hoping for more competitiveness this time around, DeChambeau has been brought into the mix to see if he — and Rodgers — can challenge Mickelson. Well, can they?

The Match 4 preview: Can Mickelson make it four in a row?

First of all, like the previous made-for-television events this cannot be taken with the utmost seriousness. In other words, it probably wouldn’t be wise to bet your entire mortgage on The Match 4. It’s not going to be a do-or-die situation out there. Sure the guys probably want to win, but not a single one of them is going to lose any sleep over the outcome. The point is to have fun.

That’s not to say we can’t offer some analysis, even if it may seem a bit ridiculous. You already know that Mickelson is 2-1 in previous installments of this saga. For a couple of reasons, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise. One, the left-hander is still in great form at 51 years old. Heck, he just won the PGA Championship this spring! Two, the guy loves to win, regardless of the competition. I know I just said that nobody really cares about Tuesday’s outcome, but Mickelson probably cares slightly more than everyone else.

It should also be noted that the format is modified alternate shot. That means each team member tees off on every hole, they pick whichever tee shot they want, and then they play alternate shot the rest of the way into the hole. Whoever didn’t hit the selected tee shot will hit the second shot on that hole. For obvious reasons, DeChambeau is a much worse alternate shot player than best-ball player. He hits it a long way, but he also hits it all over the place. One errant shot can kill a team in alternate shot, whereas it can easily be overcome in best ball if the partner plays a good hole.

Verdict: Lock in on Lefty

Not only is Mickelson playing well, but we have also seen from the last two matches that he is also a great coach. He was an expert at letting Brady and Barkley know the strategy for all of their shots. We already know the Mickelson-Brady chemistry is clicking, whereas DeChambeau and Rodgers are both wild cards in this format.

At +130,  I have no reservations about picking Mickelson and Brady to win.

I also like Mickelson and Brady at +105 to take the first 1-up lead, as their experience will come into play early. However, I do like DeChambeau at -200 to hit a longer drive than Mickelson on hole 6 and also on hole 8. Again, this is pretty much just for fun. DeChambeau is going to put on a show. He isn’t going to be holding back with the driver.

The Pickswise golf handicappers are on hand with expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions as well as tournament previews and analysis throughout the PGA Tour, including all of the Majors.

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