When golf returns after the first Major of the year, there can often be a sense of anti-climax with a reduced field. The RBC Heritage has the dubious honour of following the US Masters but on the plus side, from a betting point of view at least, there is often some value in the markets.
This year, there are some obvious absentees including the Masters Champion Patrick Reed and as you will see from the previous list of winners, we frequently get some high priced options so let’s see if we can pick one.
There’s no Reed, Fowler, Spieth or Thomas this week but the World Number One is here and Dustin Johnson (+800 or 8/1 with Bovada) leads the outright betting with the American-focused bookmakers by some distance. DJ missed the tournament last year through injury and has no great record at this event but in terms of rankings, he is the highest placed golfer by far and an obvious candidate to start things off.
Johnson is back in fourth place on the Power Rankings, however, and there are plenty of other candidates to consider.
Paul Casey (+1200 or 12/1) starts as second favourite this week and is a 2018 Tour Champion having taken out the Valspar Classic. The Englishman tied for 15th at the Masters but his record of three Top 25s here is a modest one.
Behind Casey we come to our first former winner of the RBC Heritage with Matt Kuchar (+1600) who took the title in 2014. Aside from that win, Kuchar’s record is exceptional and he has made the weekend in each of the last 14 years with four straight top 11’s coming into 2018.
The first set of odds that really interest us belong to Marc Leishman (+2500) who enjoyed a productive 2017 and briefly led in Augusta last week. The Australian eventually finished ninth to record his fourth Top 10 of the season and there was enough to suggest he will be back to the winner’s plate very soon.
Englishman Luke Donald (+5000) is very much an outsider this week but if you want a golfer with a strong record in this specific event then look no further. Donald hasn’t actually won the RBC Heritage but has been a runner-up on no fewer than five separate occasions and that list includes two second place finishes in 2016 and 2017.
That record ensured a profit on Luke in the Top Ten markets last year and he should certainly be considered for single digits once again.
At shorter prices are four men with identical odds of +3300 including Brian Harman who heads the Power Rankings this week after a string of respectable, if unspectacular finishes in this event. Harman sits alongside Cameron Smith, Webb Simpson and Tyrrell Hatton at the head of the outside punts.
Slightly behind them is Canada’s Adam Hadwin (+3300) who is always a dangerous golfer in reduced fields. He has won just one PGA event in his career but has six top 25s this season and his putting stats are exceptional, so we think he’s poised for an assault on the Top Ten at least.
Much further back is another golfer with a good record at the RBC Heritage. William McGirt (+7500) has three Top Tens here since 2014 and is a threat along with other names at similar prices. They include Jason Dufner (+6000) and Jim Furyk (+6600) who is a two-time winner of this tournament with his most recent success coming in 2015.
Our Preview’s RBC Heritage Picks & Betting Predictions with Course Trends
We are back at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina to celebrate 50 years of this event on a short, Par 71 course at a fraction under 7,100 yards. Any links course requires certain skills and last year’s winner Wesley Bryan perfectly underlined the stats needed to succeed.
Bryan ranked just 66th for Greens in regulation and 55th for Accuracy off the tee but his putting was in tune as he led the way in scrambling.
Our favorite has the requirements covered but Dustin Johnson is too short in the betting for comfort in an event that provides so many long-odds winners. The pick for us this week is Marc Leishman whose scrambling stats at Augusta took him into single figures and he is the type of player to respond to a gruelling four days rather than sit back.
Leishman for the win is the tip along with some Top Ten options from players that have good stats and / or a great record at this RBC Heritage golf tournament.
So the RBC Heritage predictions and betting picks for this preview are: