Golf

RBC Heritage betting guide: 6 picks our gambling expert loves this week

Our expert likes Shane Lowry’s chances this week.
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Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the RBC Heritage, which gets underway Thursday in Hilton Head, S.C. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, has now won three of his last four starts. While his pre-tournament price of around +450 to win The Masters looked so short, it also appears that trying to beat him looks a lot like trying to beat Tiger Woods during his prime when he too was trading at these types of prices. 
Scheffler is again around +450 to win this week in Hilton Head, S.C., at the RBC Heritage. He is 4-1 to win next month’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky, and once again, listed at around +450 or 5-1 to win the U.S. Open in June and The Open Championship in July. There have been many comparisons of Scheffler to Woods in the last year and by the looks of things, these parallels may only be the beginning. At 27 years old, the undisputed best golfer in the world appears to only be getting started.
Harbour Town Golf Links is a short trip to the coast, roughly 140 miles southeast from Augusta, Georgia. This year’s RBC Heritage is a Signature Event. The top players on the PGA Tour are here and it is a limited field, no-cut event of just 69 players. The course is considered a Pete Dye design but Jack Nicklaus actually assisted Dye in one of Jack’s first-ever design experiences.
It is interesting that so much about Harbour Town is a polar opposite of Augusta National. Very wide fairways are replaced by relatively narrow ones. Players hitting into large, undulated greens last week, will now face flat greens that are some of the smallest on Tour, and the bentgrass surface is replaced by Bermudagrass. A par 72, Augusta National stretches to over 7,550 yards while Harbour Town, a par 71, tops out at less than 7,200 yards. It is very much a different type of golf being played this week, that relies primarily on Driving Accuracy, Strokes Gained: Approach, and Scrambling. And on top of all that, a tartan plaid jacket goes to the winner, not a green one.
I was lucky enough to play Harbour Town about five years ago and it was on the same trip that I also played Sea Island, home to the RSM Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga. These two coastal courses are similar in many ways. Other courses I consider as comparable to Harbour Town are Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Colonial in Ft. Worth, Tx., the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook where they play the Valspar Championship, Sedgefield (Wyndham Championship), and TPC Sawgrass, home to the Players Championship, another Pete Dye design.
We cashed a top-10 finish with Xander Schauffele last week and a top-20 with Will Zalatoris — and missed a top-20 with Joaquin Niemann by one shot. In the end, Scheffler was far too much to overcome. I’m going to try to swerve him again this week. He did not play here in 2022 following his first Masters win but took 11th here last year. With the birth of his first child on his mind and everything that he went through in winning last week, maybe, just maybe, this is a week that we can successfully dodge Mr. Scheffler as the heavy pre-tournament favorite.
In line with Harbour Town being such a contrast in style to Augusta National, we are skirting the big names that filled up the leaderboard last week: Scheffler, Aberg, Fleetwood, Morikawa, Homa, Schauffele, Zalatoris, Cam Young, etc. — and going with that second-tier player, a shorter knocker who relies on accuracy, approach, and short game. It all makes a great deal of sense — until Scheffler proves to us once again that he cannot be beaten, anyway.
This was a nice price that I found but I’m okay with anything 30-1 or better on a guy who is a winner at three of our comp courses, TPC Sawgrass, Sedgefield, and Waialae. He’s also finished runner-up here at the RBC Heritage. He was positive last week at the Masters for both SG: Tee to Green and Around the Green. He is No. 3 on Tour in Driving Accuracy and over the last 36 rounds, Kim ranks 14th in this field for Scrambling. How to predict one’s performance the week after a major championship is tough but I’d rather avoid those that were in the throes of battle down the stretch last week and settle for someone like Kim that had a comfortable top-30 finish.
We were on the Irishman last week and while ultimately his finish position was not to our liking, his iron play was tremendous, ranking No. 1 in the field at Augusta for SG: Approach. In six trips to Harbour Town, he’s racked up a ninth-place finish and two third-place finishes. He’s also finished top-20 at the Players Championship four times. Lowry is No. 1 on Tour in Driving Accuracy and 26th in this field for SG: Around the Green over the last 36 rounds.
This was another good catch as far as the number, but 35-1 seems to be widely available and is still good by me. Many had high expectations for Henley last week at the Masters after his fourth-place finish there in 2023. Like Kim, I like backing Henley here this week after finishing 38th last week. He was solid at the Masters, pretty much level par in all of the Strokes Gained categories. He ranks inside the top-25 this week for SG: Around the Green, on approach, and Scrambling over the last 36 rounds. Note that Henley finished fourth in two of his last three starts before arriving at Augusta. He has a win at the Sony Open to go along with a runner-up and was fourth there earlier this season. He has four top-25s at TPC Sawgrass, three top-10s at Sea Island, and is a machine at Sedgefield with four straight top-10 finishes including a runner-up last year. Henley has finished top-10 twice at Harbour Town and was 19th last season.
I am seeing plenty of books listing Kim at 50-1, and 55-1 would probably be my floor on the young player who missed the cut here last year in his debut at the RBC Heritage. He was a player however, that I immediately thought of this week off of his low round of the day on Sunday at Augusta, carding a 66. With a win at Sedgefield in 2022, he does feel like a great fit for this course. That low round on Sunday at the Masters seems like it may be influencing his price this week but he does rank 18th on Tour in Driving Accuracy and was second in the field last week for SG: Approach. He’s now finished 16th and 30th in two tries at Augusta. Combined with that final round performance this year, I have to believe he’s feeling good coming into this week.
While Kim produced the low round of the day on Sunday, it was Kirk who went low at the Masters on Saturday, posting a 68 in extremely difficult conditions, a day that saw the field average a score of nearly 2.5 strokes over par. Kirk now has a win on Tour in two straight seasons. He’s won at Colonial and Sea Island, and has five top-10 finishes at Waialae, including two runner-ups. Over the last 36 rounds, Kirk ranks inside the top half of the field in every category I considered this week and is 18th for SG: Approach along with top-10 for Hole Proximity from 125-175 yards.
This number has come down too. I’m seeing 80-1 as the consensus price and while that isn’t bad, I wouldn’t want to go lower than that. Todd is the one player this week that I played that did not play the Masters. However, the week prior, he finished fifth at the Valero Texas Open and was sixth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month — another Signature Event. Todd is extremely accurate off the tee and is an excellent putter. Over the last 36-rounds, he ranks seventh in this field for SG: Around the Green and is third in Scrambling. He’s finished fourth here before as well at Sea Island and has three top-10 finishes at Colonial.
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