2023 RBC Heritage Odds: Sungjae Im, Xander Schauffele Among Our Best Bets
Getty Images. Pictured: Sungjae Im (left) and Xander Schauffele.
- Our staff of betting analysts has identified its favorite RBC Heritage picks.
- Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler are favored, but our team is looking elsewhere.
- Check out our RBC Heritage picks -- and a full odds board -- below.
We’re right back to the PGA Tour grind, with our staff making its favorite RBC Heritage picks for the week.
The RBC Heritage odds board shifted early in the week with the news that Rory McIlroy was going to withdraw, leaving the last two Masters champion — Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler — atop the board. Everyone else near the top moved up just a bit, as well.
It’s an elevated event on the PGA Tour, so that means most of the game’s elite are in Hilton Head. Let’s get into who we’re backing this week.
Click arrow to expand RBC Heritage odds via BetMGM
|Min Woo Lee||+6600|
|Si Woo Kim||+8000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+25000|
|Davis Love III||+150000|
Favorite We’re Backing
- Jason Sobel: Sungjae Im
- Chris Murphy: Justin Thomas
- Matt Vincenzi: Collin Morikawa
- Spencer Aguiar: Tony Finau
- Nick Bretwisch: Xander Schauffele
Best Long Shot
- Sobel: Harris English
- Murphy: Si Woo Kim
- Vincenzi: Matt Kuchar
- Aguiar: Cameron Davis
- Bretwisch: Nick Hardy
- Sobel: Tony Finau
- Murphy: Patrick Cantlay
- Vincenzi: Cameron Young
- Aguiar: Matt Wallace
- Bretwisch: Russell Henley
Contrarian Player To Target
- Sobel: Matt Kuchar
- Murphy: Justin Rose
- Vincenzi: Adam Scott
- Aguiar: Stephan Jaeger
- Bretwisch: Keegan Bradley
Trend That Guides Your Betting Strategy
Sobel: As my pod partner Ben Everill noted on this week’s Links & Locks podcast, there should be an inordinate number of approach shots from the 175-200 yard range this week. Last year, 26.2% of iron shots were struck from this range at Harbour Town, which according to Data Golf is nearly 10% more than on the average PGA Tour venue. As a result, we should look for players who are dialed in with their mid-irons. No surprise that my favorite outright is Im, who leads the PGA Tour in scoring in relation to par from this range.
Vincenzi: Six of the past 10 winners of the RBC Heritage have missed the cut in their previous start.
Typically, the players who have grinded in contention at the Masters haven’t played great at Harbour Town following the major. The best finish for a Heritage winner at the Masters the week prior was all the way back in 2014, where Matt Kuchar finished T5 at Augusta.
Aguiar: Due to the forced layups off the tee, players see a 10.7% increase in expected approach shots from 125-200 yards. That increase comes from the reduction golfers will experience from 200+, making this course play very similarly for all options in the field. How someone can club down and find these fairways before getting that iron in hand to finish the last step of the equation will be massively telling.
Bretwisch: Just like the boys above, I’ll be targeting quality mid-Iron ball-strikers who are rather accurate off the tee (especially on more club-down style courses like Harbour Town). Due to the star-studded field this week for the elevated event, I will be discounting course history more than I usually do.
Our Best Bets
Sobel: Sungjae Im +2600 (FanDuel)
If there’s a benefit to having the RBC Heritage right after the Masters, it’s that this is a fairly predictive event, as we largely know what we’re chasing. Harbour Town plays just under 7,200 yards, but feels even shorter, as some of the bigger hitters will rarely feel the need to pull driver out of the bag. That levels the playing field with some of the shorter hitters – not that there are many short hitters among the game’s best.
Im (sort of) qualifies for this profile, as his season-long driving distance of 297.5 is just 0.4 above the PGA Tour average. That, of course, doesn’t make him a short hitter, but he still pales in comparison to the likes of Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, each of whom rank inside the top-20. He does everything else very well, though, ranking 62nd or better in every major strokes gained category.
Then there’s the fact that Sungjae has been trending in the right direction for a while now. I still think his usual price in the marketplace leaves him a bit undervalued, which is probably just the byproduct of the fact that his two victories are fewer than most others in that second-tier range.
More wins are coming soon and it would hardly be a shock if it comes this week, at a place where he’s finished T-21 and T-13 the past two years.
Pick: Sungjae Im +2600
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Murphy: Si Woo Kim Top 10 +550 (BetMGM)
As the week has progressed, I have grown in my love for Si Woo Kim. His game is just simply perfect for this place. I really like him all the way up to the win, but when I saw the value on him on BetMGM for the top-10 finish, that shot up to my favorite bet of the week. (BetMGM also pays out ties in full, unlike most other sportsbooks.)
Kim is a player that can absolutely win in this field as he did a few years back at The Players Championship. He will have no hesitation about the big names joining him at Harbour Town, where he had a runner-up finish just five years ago.
The Korean has put together some really nice weeks from tee to green over his past few tournaments, but he’s yet to find his putting stroke. The years he had the most success he gained better than 2 1/2 strokes on these greens and if he finds that again this week, he’ll have a chance to contend over the weekend.
Vincenzi: Collin Morikawa +1800 (FanDuel)
It’s been a strange 2023 for Collin Morikawa. In his seven-stroke play starts, he’s had five finishes in the top 13, with two missed cuts to go along with them. While the results are encouraging, he hasn’t truly been deep into contention since the season opener at Kapalua, where he unfortunately coughed up a big lead on the back nine on Sunday.
Over the years, players who’ve gotten deep into contention at the Masters have struggled to convert a win at the RBC Heritage the following week. This year’s Masters was truly a grind, with players playing up to 30 holes on Sunday — not to mention they battled rain and wind most of the week. Therefore, this week I prefer players who didn’t spend the mental and physical energy it takes to contend deep into a major championship. Morikawa fits the bill as a player who showed signs of sharp play but never was really in the mix.
Morikawa’s past two starts at the event have resulted in a seventh-place finish in 2021 and a 26th-place finish last year. In those two starts, the two-time major champion gained 7.6 and 7.1 strokes, respectively, on approach. If the short game cooperates, which is always a risky proposition for Morikawa, Harbour Town feels like the right spot for the 26-year-old to get his first win of the year.
Pick: Collin Morikawa
Aguiar: Cameron Davis Top 30 (+360, FanDuel)
With a board heavily compressed in the head-to-head sector, I am taking a low-risk approach this week and trying to sprinkle some placement wagers to account for most of my exposure.
One of my favorite ways to do that is with a Cameron Davis T30 wager at +360 at FanDuel. Davis has generated two top 25 finishes at this course in his career, and we can see why when we dive into the weighted proximity return for Harbour Town that places him seventh in this field. The price can be found for half this amount at other books in the space, making the +360 total one of the better values in any market this week.
Pick: Cam Davis Top 30 (+330)
Bretwisch: Xander Schauffele +2500 (FanDuel)
Xander Schauffele is my model’s number one player in terms of expected strokes gained from the mid-iron tiers of 150-175 and 175-200 (sorry, Collin Morikawa). He’s in incredible form and hasn’t been a name talked about in the golf community for quite some time.
I have Schauffele properly rated at +2000, so I’ll take the five points of value in an event where we know the outright winner is likely coming from the top of the board.
Pick: Xander Schauffele +2500
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