World Match Play Tips: Outright and match bets for the quarter-finals

Jordan Spieth has been in breathtaking form this week
Jordan Spieth has been in breathtaking form this week

We're down to the last eight at Dove Mountain, with the quarter-finals including a fascinating match-up between a forty-something legend and arguably the game's hottest young prospect. Paul Krishnamurty believes that youth will prevail...

"Spieth just hit nine birdies to end Matt Kuchar's nine match winning run. The youngster is in relentlessly good form and would deserve favouritism against anyone in this mood."

Outright

Back Jordan Spieth 10u @ 5.39/2

Already advised

Back Jason Day 8u @ 9.89/1
4u loss Jason Dufner
2u loss Jonas Blixt

As a general rule, you won't go far wrong backing outsiders in this 18-hole matchplay tournament, especially when it comes to latter stages. It stands to reason, surely, that anyone who has already won three matches on the spin must be in good form and enjoying the format. Occasionally, however, that strategy must be abandoned because a match appears too one-sided. It pains me to say it, but it is extremely hard to envisage Ernie Els putting up any meaningful resistance against Jordan Spieth in tonight's quarter-final.

Ernie owes his place in the last-eight to a quirk of the draw. His three victims may have included a pair of reigning major champions, but neither Justin Rose or Jason Dufner put up any sort of performance. Nor did Stephen Gallacher in the opening round. Els has barely hold a putt of significance all week and missed several short ones. 

In contrast, Spieth just hit nine birdies to end Matt Kuchar's nine match winning run. The youngster is in relentlessly good form and would deserve favouritism against anyone in this mood. I hope I'm wrong - Ernie is my last remaining Find Me a 100 Winner pick and within touching distance of profit if he can shorten to 10.09/1 at some stage tonight - but it is hard to be confident when the man himself clearly isn't, seriously underplaying his chances in his post-match interview. Something like the 5 & 4 beating Spieth gave Thomas Bjorn in the second round looks on the cards.

Odds-on backers may be tempted to take 1.51/2 about Spieth winning the match, but I prefer an outright bet. I can't see anyone else starting favourite against Spieth throughout the remainder of this tournament and, if continuing in the current vein, a first WGC title is there for the taking.

Match bets

Back Louis Oosthuizen 2u @ 2.35/4 (vs Day)

The other matches look more In keeping with the general trend of this event and are too hard to call with confidence. Having backed Jason Day both pre-tournament and in-play, I'm obviously quite sweet on his chances but 1.758/11 for this match is too short. Oosthuizen has been under-rated all week and anyone who took 110.0109/1 pre-tournament is sitting on a very tasty bet. Over their three matches, Oosthuizen is 14 under par, three shots better than Day. That makes him the value at these odds.

Back Victor Dubuisson 4u @ 2.47/5 (vs McDowell)

After three remarkable comebacks, it may seem like it requires a super-human effort to dislodge McDowell in this format. Gmac has been brilliant over the closing holes, demonstrating why he'll be such an important figure in the Ryder Cup, but such gruelling matches take a lot out. Stamina won't be an issue but he cannot afford to hit a flat spot against this extremely dangerous opponent. Dubuisson is another whose performance this week has suggested he has the ideal temperament for matchplay and the Ryder Cup. He's led constantly for three days while Gmac has trailed, and his golf has been impeccable. At roughly the same odds as yesterday against Bubba Watson, this emerging French star rates another value outsider. 
     

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