In normal situations, The Match is must-watch TV.
For Colorado sports fans, that amplifies 100-fold when Peyton Manning is in the equation.
He is, after all, Peyton “Freaking” Manning.
The legendary quarterback returned hope to the Denver Broncos when he signed with the franchise in 2012, even though there was serious doubt he could return to his high level of play after a broken neck. After years of futility for an organization that expected to compete for Super Bowls, Manning was the light at the end of a dark tunnel.
That was true even before he led the Broncos to their third Lombardi Trophy and a win in Super Bowl 50. So, yeah, if PFM is involved, sports fans in Colorado will watch.
Now throw in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down the country and left us without major US sports since the middle of March, and it’s no coincidence that Manning is coming to the rescue again (in a manner of speaking).
What: The Match: Champions for Charity with Peyton Manning/Tiger Woods versus Tom Brady/Phil Mickelson
When: 1 p.m. MST, May 24
Where: Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, FL
Watch: TNT, TBS, TruTV and HLN
Four of the best-to-ever play in their respective sports head to the links for a must-watch event aimed at benefiting coronavirus relief.
The Match odds
Since the launch of legal sports betting on May 1, Colorado bettors have had little to wager on in terms of US sports, aside from UFC events. That won’t change for the foreseeable future.
There is talk that MLB, the NBA and NHL could resume soon, but nothing definitive is expected in the next few weeks.
In terms of international sports, the return of Bundesliga could give prospective bettors and Colorado sportsbooks additional options.
That leaves The Match.
As of now, Manning and Woods are the favorites. Since there’s a little over a week to go until the event, it’ll be interesting to see if that shifts.
DraftKings has Manning and Woods at -225, while FanDuel has the pair at -230. Brady and Mickelson are at +180 and +184, respectively.
There are now five apps for Colorado sports bettors, which is out of 17 that will launch in the future:
- DraftKings: Partner with Golden Mardi Gras
- FanDuel: Partner with Golden Gates Casino
- BetMGM: Partner with Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino
- BetRivers: Partner with J.P. McGill’s Hotel and Casino
One of the traits Manning is best known for is his subtle, witty trash-talk.
When he promoted The Match last week, he was in true form.
Sorry not sorry… pic.twitter.com/qSbYVsHXVz
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 7, 2020
“The tournament had to be in Florida after Tom’s B&E arrest,” Manning joked of Brady, who was not arrested for breaking and entering or anything else after walking into the wrong Tampa Bay house. “With the ankle monitor, he couldn’t leave the state. So it had to be in Florida. Tiger and I talked to the sheriff in Tampa, and he’s going to be allowed to go to Palm Beach to play.”
Manning then jabbed Brady for signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
“I would have loved to have had this tournament in a place where they don’t like Tom very much — Indianapolis, Denver, Boston — after he just betrayed them and broke their hearts,” he said. “So, Palm Beach is the best we can probably do.”
When it comes to the Manning and Brady rivalry, fans of the New England Patriots and even the New England media, always seem to throw out the head-to-head record.
It was done just this week when NBC Sports Boston said, “… the former Patriots quarterback won 11 of the 17 games played between them. Brady is hoping to enjoy similar success on the golf course later this month …”
How convenient that the most significant record is always left off. In the games that mattered most, the AFC Championship game, Manning was 3-1 against Brady.
While those in Boston may hang their hat on that 11-6 record — since this is a major event — Manning is probably the safer bet to rise to the occasion and add to his record.
Get your popcorn
In normal circumstances, The Match would draw record ratings.
In these crazy and uncertain times, the COVID-19 relief event could be the fun distraction that so many of us crave — as fans and bettors.
The only requirement is one last Manning, “Omaha!”
Preferably right before Brady putts.