The best betting props for the RBC Heritage
After the thrilling high of the Masters, and the prestige and pomp that surrounds Augusta, the PGA Tour now heads to South Carolina and the sleepy Harbour Town course for the 2021 RBC Heritage.
The traditional post-Masters tournament is a different challenge completely. While Augusta is long, Harbour Town is barely more than 7,000 yards and being a bomber off the tee isn’t going to help you. The fairways here are narrower and the greens are tiny and fast. A red-hot iron game is key, so when looking through the props we want someone who scrambles well, picks up shots around the green, and has a dialled-in short game.
Interestingly we might also want to dodge players that have done well at Augusta. Although that goes against a traditional line of thinking regarding form, there does seem to be a Masters hangover. Ten of the last 13 winners of this tournament when it has immediately followed the Masters either did not play or missed the cut.
I suppose it’s like asking someone to tuck into a huge lasagne after already feasting on a steak. Yeah, lasagna is fantastic, but if I’ve already filled up on steak with a few side dishes, I’m probably not going to properly enjoy the lasagna. If I’ve missed out on steak, however, you better believe I'm going to devour every last morsel of that delicious Italian dish.
With my belly rumbling, here’s who I fancy to do well this week, and maybe even pay for takeout food.
RBC Heritage Odds
Top 20 Finish: Matthew NeSmith (+450)
NeSmith is a big outsider to win the RBC Heritage and therefore his odds for a top 20 finish are appealing, especially when we dig into his profile.
He ranks No. 1 on Tour this season for greens in regulation and eighth for shots gained: approaching the green. He is a South Carolina local, and won the Junior Heritage event played at this course.
He made his first pro appearance here last year and finished 33rd, but that could have been so much better. He shot rounds of 66, 67 and 66, but a bad spell on Saturday when he shot a 73 cost him a top 20 finish. He finished the week ranked sixth for greens in regulation and sixth for strokes gained approach, so he has the tools to properly contend.
Finally, there’s more to his love for this course than just pure form. This is where he proposed to his girlfriend. If that doesn’t get the butterflies going and inspire him to a big week, I don’t know what will.
Top Continental European Player: Sergio Garcia (+130)
Last year’s renewal of this tournament throws up some interesting statistics – not least about Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard led the field in strokes gained: tee to green but there were only five players in the field of 75 who were worse with the putter than Sergio. Despite that awful number with the flat-stick, Garcia still posted a top five finish – and if he’d sunk a few more putts he could legitimately come into this tournament as the defending champ.
Instead, he arrives in Harbour Town after a missed cut at Augusta, but this does not concern me. Before the Masters, Garcia made the quarterfinals of the Matchplay and was ninth in the Players Championship.
He is a great bet to threaten the top 10 once again on a course that suits his style, and should have enough to see off Alex Noren, Sepp Straka, Rory Sabbatini, and Henrik Norlander in this prop.
To Make the Cut: Shane Lowry (-250)
There’s no getting away from the post-Open slump Lowry went through after his major heroics, and although the party never stopped in County Offaly, it was a different story for Lowry, who struggled for form.
But that seems to be behind him now as he’s shown some really promising patches of golf and should certainly make the cut here. A wind-affected, narrow Harbour Town should fit Lowry’s A-game, and the Irishman showed that by finishing third here in 2019. He missed the cut in 2020 but that came in a tournament that was just the second after the three-month lockdown, so we can forgive him being a little rusty.
He finished eighth in the Players Championship, and was 21st at Augusta, which was a career-high for him in the Masters. He’s made 10 of his last 11 cuts, and this course suits him more than most, so this looks like a very strong prop.
Tournament Trio: Patrick Cantlay to beat Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson (+200)
One of the most interesting tournament trios is the match-up between Dustin Johnson, Simpson and Cantlay, and I fancy the latter. Cantlay missed the cut in the Players Championship and at the Masters, but before that had a real purple patch which included winning the Zozo Championship, finishing second in the American Express, third in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and adding three more top 20 finishes in the same run.
His form at Harbour Town stacks up, finishing third, seventh, and third in his three appearances here, and his missed cut at Augusta isn’t going to put me off.
Webb Simpson is the defending champ here, but he finished 12th at Augusta, and that puts me off. Not only because of the record mentioned in the intro, but also because Simpson didn’t break 70 all week at Augusta, and didn’t even seem that impressive despite a good finish.
DJ missed the cut as the defending champ at Augusta, and that followed some poor performances in the Players Championship (48th) and the WGC-Workday (54th). His form here is mixed – missing the cut twice and finishing 28th in 2019 despite leading after 54 holes. He finished 16th in 2018 and 17th in 2020. Given his recent form I wouldn’t be surprised if DJ was looking to take a week off, but RBC are one of his sponsors so he may have to turn up here despite not fancying it.