John Arlia brings you The Game Day’s The Match 2021 Prediction: Brooks Koepka vs Bryson DeChambeau odds, analysis, and bet picks.
The head-to-head matchup that golf fans have been waiting for is finally set as Brooks Koepka will take on Bryson DeChambeau in the latest edition of The Match at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, November 26.
DeChambeau and Koepka are two of the top players on the PGA Tour, but what makes this matchup even more intriguing is their on-again, off-again rivalry, which dates back to 2019 when Koepka called out DeChambeau for slow play.
Most recently, however, the rivals played a part in Team USA’s historic Ryder Cup victory over Team Europe in September and even shared an embrace during the post-match celebrations at the urging of Justin Thomas and others.
Whether their beef has been squashed for good remains to be seen, but this latest iteration of The Match should have plenty of banter and even more quality betting opportunities to take advantage of.
Enough with the drama, let’s get into some analysis.
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The Match 2021 Odds
- Bryson DeChambeau to Win (-125)
- Brooks Koepka to Win (+100)
All odds for The Match are courtesy of FOX Bet and current as of Wednesday, Nov. 24.
The Match 2021 Format
For the first time since Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson faced off in the debut of The Match, the event will return to singles match play format.
No more teaming up with other athletes such as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to play best ball; just two golfers on the course mano a mano.
Each individual hole will be scored as a win, loss, or tie, with the player that wins the most holes earning the victory. In the instance of a tie, The Match will move into sudden death.
One new wrinkle for this edition is that instead of playing a full round of 18, Koepka and DeChambeau will only play 12 holes. This will help keep the proceedings watchable on TV as there’s plenty of downtime (aka time to place live prop bets) as the players travel from shot to shot.
This update certainly adds a different element to match play betting, as a couple of bad holes early one could doom one’s chances quickly.
The Match 2021 Analysis
As is reflected in the odds, trying to pick between DeChambeau and Koepka is like splitting hairs. Both players have enjoyed plenty of success across their careers, both are major champions, and both are among the best players in the sport.
However, there still are some edges that we can find here.
Using the Head-to-Head tool at Fantasy National, I found that in the 227 measured rounds where Koepka and DeChambeau have played the same course on the same day during a PGA Tour event, Koepka holds a 109-89 advantage over DeChambeau with 29 ties. That would imply Koepka to be a -122 moneyline favorite in this match play scenario.
If you were to narrow the sample size down to the last 24 or 36 such rounds, however, DeChambeau becomes the favorite as he has played superior golf as of late. To be fair, Koepka has dealt with knee and wrist injuries throughout 2021, but he still managed to put up some impressive top-10 finishes at three of the four major championships.
Both players have also had success playing desert golf, with Koepka winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2021 and 2015 while DeChambeau claimed the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas in 2018.
The Match 2021 Prediction
Some of this handicap comes down to motivation. Koepka is a player that craves the biggest stage and his track record at major championships shows that he’s at his best when the lights are the brightest. Koepka has even admitted he struggles to get psyched up for lower-tier events.
While Bryson may have a slight edge from participating in The Match previously and being the better player at the moment, I just can’t see a scenario where Koepka comes on National TV to play against his rival and lays an egg.
The Match 2021 Bet Pick
Brooks Koepka To Win (+100) at FOX Bet
Koepka is certainly the player in this matchup with more question marks given his wrist injury in September and the lack of a top-20 finish since the Open Championship in July.
There are some encouraging signs, though. Koepka played well at the Ryder Cup, going 2-2 in four matches overall and winning his singles match. Unlike DeChambeau, Koepka also played both Tour stops in Las Vegas in October and while he didn’t exactly light it up, it’s good to see him getting some reps in.
There’s plenty of time between now and Black Friday for Koepka’s game to truly round back into form, so I’m trusting the guy with the better track record of West Coast golf to shine on a grand stage once again.