RBC Heritage Round 2 Betting Picks, Preview: There’s Value on Tony Finau at 28-1
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Finau
One of the great things about sports gambling is that there’s always another opportunity right around the corner.
In my preview content this week – video, audio and written work, just so I could be wrong on as many platforms as possible – I named Hideki Matsuyama as my favorite outright play for the RBC Heritage. He thanked me for my confidence in him by opening with a 3-over 74 on Thursday.
While I’m sure the social media trolls will taunt me for the pick, allow me to peel back the curtain a little bit.
All of that preview work is completed by Monday or early-Tuesday. Of course, by the time the first round kicks off on a given week, opinions can change.
Now, I’m not disowning my Hideki call. That was (so far) an awful decision, though I’ll at least point out that many of my other favorite plays started well. I will say, though, that by the time Wednesday night had rolled around, I’d started liking Tony Finau more and more, to the point where I bet him nearly as much as Matsuyama.
(You can follow all my picks in The Action Network App – and yes, please feel free to screenshot my all-time record and send it to me. That’s original.)
Through one round, I can’t say I like Matsuyama very much, considering he’s already 10 shots off the lead, but I do still like Finau, whose struggles to win a second PGA TOUR title over the past four years could be offset this week by the fact that the big hitter tends to play well on short courses.
RBC HERITAGE PROMO! Win $100 if Jordan Spieth makes just ONE birdie all week
On Thursday, Finau was positive strokes gained in every major statistical category while posting a 5-under 66. Even more enticing is the fact that his strokes gained tee-to-green number of 3.61 ranked ninth in the field.
Currently at +2800 to win at BetMGM, I don’t mind a play on Finau with 54 holes remaining. If you only have one pre-tourney outright – and maybe you got some bad advice and took a guy who shot 74 or something – and want to add to the card, Finau would probably be my guy right now.
Let’s get to some R2 matchups…
Hideki Matsuyama (+125) over Gary Woodland
What? Did you really think I was gonna abandon my guy right away? OK, so Hideki didn’t exactly have his best stuff in the first round. He’s been known to mount strong comebacks, though. Three times this season, he’s started with scores of 73 or higher.
On those three occasions, his ensuing Friday score was 67. Even though he might need something lower than that to make the cut, there’s a good chance he figures something out, meaning there’s value in the plus-money here.
Lucas Glover (-118) over Charl Schwartzel
Nothing about Schwartzel’s game really gets me too excited these days, as he had four MCs in six starts before the COVID-19 shutdown. Glover, on the other hand, is a guy I liked here before the first round and he won this matchup by two strokes in the opener.
I’d ride him again here, as his ball-striking should continue to keep him in the red.
Jon Rahm (-112) over Justin Rose
The world’s second-ranked player was cruising along Thursday afternoon, making three birdies in his opening five holes. Soon, though, the birdies started turning into pars, and it got away from him late, as he posted a double-bogey and a bogey in his last five holes to shoot even-par 71.
Rose was one better, but even though he finished T-3 last week, I’m still not sold. A split with his previous club manufacturer (which should be a good move) and a split from his longtime coach (which remains to be seen) don’t seem like issues now, but he doesn’t have much of a comfort zone to rely on.
I like the number here for Rahm.
Luke List (-106) over Vaughn Taylor
Playing in the day’s first tee time, Taylor led for much of the early part of the morning, eventually shooting a 4-under 67. Looking at the stats, though, he did a lot of that with smoke and mirrors, riding a hot short game to overcome his ball-striking woes.
That’s often not sustainable, so I’d rather pivot here to List, who posted a score two strokes higher, but hit the ball better and is fresh off a Korn Ferry Tour win last week.
Sebastian Munoz (+145) over Ian Poulter
One of the most underrated players on the PGA TOUR – at least from the standpoint of talent vs. how much he’s ever talked about – Munoz posted a 6-under 65 in the opener, which is only one off the lead, but still wasn’t good enough for low score in his three-ball, as Poulter is tied for the lead after a 64. We’ve seen this movie before.
Last week, Poulter opened with a 66, only to back it with 70 the next day. At such a large underdog, I like Munoz to back up his low one more than his playing partner.