Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:48 PM
The RSM Classic Picks and Predictions
- Nov. 18, 2020
- By Matt Blunt
RSM Classic Odds, Picks & Predictions
The 2020 Masters finally got played, and on a Sunday where the mighty NFL even scheduled their games for minimal overlap, you would have hoped for a bit more drama on that final Sunday.
Can't take anything away from how well Dustin Johnson played throughout the tournament as he did everything right in earning that green jacket. For a guy that's won at least once on Tour every year for more than a decade, he deserved to have more than just a single Major on his resume.
This year's Major season ends at Augusta, and before they make that trip back down Magnolia Lane in April to start the 2021 Majors, there are a couple more weeks to get through before the very light holiday schedule kicks in.
It's the RSM Classic in Georgia this week before Thanksgiving week off and one more official event – Mayakoba Classic – in Mexico to begin December.
FedEx Cup points are still on the line for these two events, and with so much uncertainty in the schedules for the Tour and for individual players, the approach of playing when you can and you want to appears to be the way many golfers are approaching things right now.
This week's field in Georgia for the RSM Classic is much better because of it, and it will be interesting to see if any sort of post-Masters hangover afflicts any of the big names who did decide they wanted to give it a go this week.
One of my selections for the Masters last week – Webb Simpson +850 - comes into this week as the decisive favorite for the event, with Masters runner-up Sungjae Im (+2200), and Tyrrell Hatton (+1600) the only other two below 25/1 this week currently.
Golf Betting Resources
2020 RSM Classic
- Date: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 to Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020
- Venue: Sea Island Resort
- Location: Seaside Course
- Par-Yardage: 70, 7,005 yards
- TV: Golf Channel
- History: Betting Archives
- Vegas Expert Picks
- Betting Odds
- VegasInsider Sportsbook Pick: Bet on the 2020 RSM Classic at BetMGM
This week's event is one of those using multiple courses for the early rounds, but splitting up the first two rounds on two different tracks is still much better than doing so on three. It's the Seaside Course that will get the bulk of the action with three rounds of golf on it, as the Plantation Course is only 55 yards longer but is a Par 72. Guys better make sure they at least keep up with the field on their day at the Plantation Course, because how guys do there will go a long way in how late they can sleep in on Saturday.
Neither course is going to be much of a stiff challenge for these guys unless the wind kicks up, and so many guys already know this venue so well either from years on Tour or living in the area. Hitting greens and winning the proximity to the hole battle is especially critical here, and it's Simpson's ball striking and his finishes of 2nd and 3rd here the past two years that have him as the deserved favorite.
Simpson has teed it up eight times here since 2010, withdrew on one of those occasions, and has five finishes inside the Top 12. Never a win here though, and last year's playoff loss to Tyler Duncan was the second playoff defeat for Simpson at this place.
But guys who can share a similar game when they are on are what you'll want to back here, but there are also more than a handful of guys who reside near this venue and call it their home course. Nobody on that list is a past champion here though, as good finishes come and go, but none of them have ever bested the field. Definitely something to consider.
After the three names at the top already mentioned, the board further takes shape with guys such as: Tommy Fleetwood (+2500), Russell Henley (+2500), Harris English (+2800) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2800) all sub-30/1.
Harris English is an interesting case, as he's one of the home course guys that probably gets a little too comfortable here at times. He's missed the cut in four of his last six starts here, and topped out at 25th back in 2015. Tough to get behind a guy with that tournament history in that price range, even if he is in his own bed.
There are some suggestions that the wind might be more of an issue throughout this event as well, even with temperature forecasts showing sunshine along with it. Winners here basically have to flirt with -20 for the week to get it done, but should the wind become Sea Island's best defense, anyone in this field could end up taking it down in the end.
Four of the past six winners here have come from +6000 or higher odds, and four of those years also saw the winner get determined in a playoff. The prop of “to win in a playoff” sits at +350 is another thing to consider as well.
RSM Classic Contenders
- Webb Simpson: +1000
- Sung-Jae Im: +1600
- Tyrrell Hatton: +1800
- More Golfers
- (Odds Subject to Change)
But let's get to the picks, as a strong end to a long season would be great.
Golfers to Watch - RSM Classic
Top Picks and Predictions
Contender to Back
Corey Conners +3500
Conners was able to bounce back from an opening round 74 in easy scoring conditions at the Masters to finish T10 thanks to rounds of 65, 71, and 69 to close out the event. It was good enough to cash the Top Canadian prop, as I still can't believe another Canadian in Mike Weir took down the Top Lefty prop for the event.
Can't imagine he's a top candidate for a Masters hangover either as he keeps grinding each week, but finishes of 10th, 24th, and 8th now in his last three starts suggests his game is in good form. His game is about accuracy in all it's forms, so a shorter track with fewer Par 5's really negates any lack of length issues Conners may have at particular courses.
He finished last season 13th in SG: Off-the-tee, 12th in SG: Approach and was 16th in SG: Tee-to-Green overall. When Conners doesn't have to scramble around the greens and subsequently put more pressure on an already shaky putter, he can go low with the best of them.
Finishes of 23rd and 37th in 2018 and 2017 respectively at this venue have Conners course history good enough to not be a detriment, as i think we see his name in the hunt this weekend.
Justin Rose +4500
Rose's lack of a course history here will always be a knock on why to avoid him this week, especially when so many others in the field know Sea Island so well. But Austin Cook won this event in his first try a few yeas ago, as did Mackenzie Hughes back in 2016. Charles Howell went missed cut in 2017, won in 2018, back to missed cut in 2019, so knowing the course might get talked a lot this week, but it's far from the be all, end all when you start digging.
And when ball striking is going to be the key, it's hard not to like a guy like Rose who's been one of the best in the game at that for awhile now. Rose is 40 now so there is the notion that we are backing a guy somewhere on the spectrum of the downside of his career, but length is never really an issue for him, and if he can get a good grip on this course early, there is no reason we can't see Rose contend.
Being in the thick of it for awhile at Augusta had to be invigorating for a guy who's now had three Top 40's in his last four starts. In this kind of field, in this price range where he's got nothing but others with much better course history stories fitting this week, Rose may be the forgotten one that turns up on top from that group.
Long Shot Pick
Keegan Bradley +10000
Bradley is another guy without any competitive experience here, but if you want to take your chances with a guy you know will be pounding fairways and greens this is your guy. The “taking your chances” part comes in with Keegan's putting stroke, as putting has long been a sore spot in his game, and you are going to get a bogey or two every week from him just by missing very makeable par putts.
If Bradley's approach game is off and he's scrambling around the greens too much, his chances of winning are slim, but with such huge greens at this venue, I don't anticipate him scrambling around much at all. Dial in that proximity to the hole and make just Tour average with the putter, and Bradley could be there every week.
72 Hole Matchup to Take
Selling me on the home course idea is much easier in the head-to-head marketplace, where I do think that getting plus money with Poston makes plenty of sense. To start, yes, he missed the cut at his 1st career Masters last week, which is easily excusable when you really think about it. His four prior starts before that saw three Top 27 or better finishes, and Reavie's a guy who's played here just twice in competition, and not since 2015. What has he done to really deserve to be priced as a favorite against a local guy.
At least in a similarly priced matchup of Zach Johnson (+100, local boy) vs Kevin Kisner, Kisner's a past champion here, as he blew away the field by six strokes in that same 2015 tournament. Don't get why Reavie is priced in a similar fashion here at all. If Poston stays out of his own way at times, a top 20 finish could easily be in the works this week. Not sure Reavie has the same result.
Top 40 Finish
- Hudson Swafford +335
- Josh Teater +400
- Jonathan Byrd +550
Thought this was an interesting way to not completely dismiss the local golfer narrative, and look at three guys who are part of the Sea Island community and getting the biggest prices to hit Top 40. If the home course thing actually turns into a thing, chances are the bulk of those guys are going to be mingling all over the leaderboard, and I've just got to connect on one of these three to turn a profit.
Swafford is the most likely by price, but it's easy to forget he won on Tour two months ago after it's really been nothing but missed cuts since then. He missed the cut here last year, but did connect with three Top 40 finishes in three of his previous five starts here too.
Byrd is the other interesting one in that he also missed the cut here a season ago, but went 23rd, MC, 21, and 44th in his other starts dating back to 2015. He's got the rare opportunity to make the most of his limited starts coming at his home course, and a +550 price on him just to be in the Top 40 in that spot is a risk worth taking.
How to Bet on Golf
Golf betting has gained much more exposure and interest in the past few years, and with plenty of plus-money prices littered throughout the various forms of golf wagers, the chance for bigger scores is part of the reason behind that increased popularity.
Sportsbooks ensure that there are no shortage of wagering options on golf tournaments every week, and it isn't all about picking the winner. Grabbing the outright winner of a golf tournament is the best way to get that 'big score' but it's also the hardest wager to cash. After all, a typical professional golf tournament has a field of 140+ different players to consider.
Understanding Golf Odds and Bets
Most golf odds are listed in the fractional format – 10/1 on Dustin Johnson for example – and in that particular case you would multiply the amount bet by that first number to project your winnings. So a $100 bet on DJ to win that particular event would win you $1000.
If you are more comfortable with the American version of odds listings that you typically see across the other major North American sports – ie +1000 – these numbers are easily convertible. Online and app based books may already have that option built in, but the easiest way to do it yourself is to add two zeros to the first number in the fraction. So a 10/1 price on DJ converts to +1000 in that format.
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