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The Match VII: Woods/McIlroy vs Spieth/Thomas Prediction

Since the first playing of The Match four years ago, the golf exhibition has taken on a life of its own. A wildly popular event among fans, the event has taken in a bigger handle than expected at most sportsbooks, which is part of why it keeps popping up. There have been different variations of the made-for-TV spectacular over the years, but The Match VII on Saturday, December 10, will for the first time feature four of the PGA Tour’s top players with three of them appearing in The Match franchise for the first time.

Tiger Woods is the most accomplished golfer ever and though he hasn’t played competitively that often over the past few years he still draws a crowd and plenty of attention. The 82-time winner on the PGA Tour makes his third appearance in The Match teaming with current world No. 1 Rory McIlroy in a 12-hole exhibition against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. With Woods exiting from the Hero World Challenge last week due to a foot injury, there is some concern about his team, which is why Spieth/Thomas emerged as the betting favorite.

The Match VII

Date and Time: Saturday, December 10, 2022, 6 p.m. ET

Location: Pelican Golf Club, Belleair, FL

Opening Golf Odds: Spieth-Thomas -135 / Woods-McIlroy +105

The Match VII TV Coverage: TNT, TBS, truTV

It is ultimately a charity exhibition with proceeds benefitting the Hurricane Ian relief effort so the atmosphere will be more subdued. We’ve already noticed that with the limited amount of trash talking leading up to the event. But all participants are competitors and winning is a big deal to them. McIlroy has done a lot of that recently taking the TOUR Championship prize a few months ago to close last PGA season. He also was victorious in his first start of the current season at the CJ CUP. And while he didn’t win during a jaunt to the DP World Tour, four starts ended with a top-5 finish.

Spieth and Thomas aren’t just two golfers thrown together to compete in this event. They actually are close friends with a special bond on the course that’s allowed them to dominate international competition over the past few years. The pair teamed for four wins at the Presidents Cup in September to help the U.S. to another victory. They also went a combined 4-2-0 in the 2018 and 2021 Ryder Cup tournaments.

The Match VII Odds

Tiger Woods / Rory McIlroy +105

Jordan Spieth / Justin Thomas -135

Woods has missed a lot of time after a car wreck nearly brought his career to an end. He’s had difficulty since then and withdrew from the Hero World Challenge last week with plantar fasciitis. He hasn’t played competitively since June when he missed the cut at The Open Championship. Woods said he’s been told to stay off his feet but should be a go for The Match since he can ride in a cart. “I can hit the golf ball and hit whatever shot you want. I just can’t walk,” he said.

McIlroy will have to carry the team and based on his recent play that’s not an issue. He’s the hottest player around right now with six straight top-6 finishes, including two wins, in his last six worldwide starts. The reduced number of holes will also play a role helping Woods navigate his way around.

Spieth and JT thrive in the team format, and they aren’t too shabby on their own. Both players are still in their 20s with marvelous careers to date. I don’t anticipate age being a huge factor in the outcome, but their camaraderie and ability to feed off one another in a team setting is glorious to watch. Following a down turn in his career a few years ago, Spieth has returned to the top of his game winning his 13th PGA Tour title at the RBC Heritage in April, one of his six top-10s. The quartet has combined for 24 major championships with JT the most recent winner at the PGA Championship in May coming back from seven shots down in the final round.

The 12-hole exhibition features a two-man best ball format. And there are some obstacles the players will contend with. Pelican Golf Club just outside Tampa is a new venue to PGA Tour players, though it’s been a stop on the LPGA side. It’s not a demanding course but the routing includes the toughest holes. And The Match will be played under the lights adding another layer of intrigue.

The Match VII Prediction

I know Tiger wants to play and thinks he can play, but sometimes the body just doesn’t allow it. I’m hesitant to back Woods and McIlroy simply because of that. And given the way JT and Spieth perform as teammates backing them in the outright market makes a lot of sense. Check back at for a complete list of props that will make watching and wagering even more exciting.

View the latest golf betting odds.

Ken Henson
Ken Henson
Ken covers horse racing, soccer, tennis and golf for

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