RBC Heritage: Betting on Ball-Strikers in Round 3

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Halfway through the RBC Heritage, we have a pretty tight leaderboard.

Bryson DeChambeau sits atop the field at 10-under par and enters the weekend as the betting favorite at +400.

Ian Poulter and Si Woo Kim are just a shot behind DeChambeau and come in next on the odds sheet at +800 and +1000, respectively.

A trio of players, Dustin Johnson (six shots back), Luke List (two shots back) and Brandt Snedeker (two shots back), are each available at +1200.

I like List (pictured above) the best of the favorites. We mentioned in our tournament preview that Harbour Town Golf Links isn’t really a bomber’s course, but List doesn’t seem to be bothered by that. He’s second this week in strokes gained: tee to green. List is slightly below the field average with the putter so far this week, but that’s just who he is as a player. You’d hope the tee-to-green game gives him enough birdie looks that he can overcome a couple of short misses on the green.

 

Looking way down the board, Emiliano Grillo (who I suggested as a +4000 play in our preview) is worth a flier at +8000. He’s leading the field this week in strokes gained: tee to green, but has lost nearly 2.5 strokes per round with the putter. Grillo has been putting better this year — he ranks 20th on tour — but it just hasn’t clicked in the first two rounds. He’s been a solid iron player during his time on tour, however, and I would expect him to stay near the top of the field in the ball-striking categories throughout the weekend.

Grillo is six shots back of DeChambeau, so it will require a decent-sized comeback. But if Grillo can get within three by Sunday, he’ll be in prime position. Harbour Town is a course where it’s tough to hold a lead on the weekend. The 36-hole leader hasn’t won the event since 2010.

Matchups

I’m also backing Grillo in his matchup against Ted Potter Jr.

I’ll parlay that with Kevin Kisner over Brian Stuard. Stuard is fourth this week in strokes gained: putting and around the field average from tee to green, so I expect him to cool off a bit. Kisner is a good fit for this course with his accurate driving and solid irons. Both Kisner and Grillo are -180 at the time of writing, and the parlay pays +142 on Bovada.

I’m also putting down a wager on Patrick Cantlay (-175) over K.J. Choi. Cantlay has gained 2.6 strokes per round tee to green and lost 1.2 with the putter. Choi leads the field in putting, gaining three strokes per round. But he’s lost 1.6 strokes tee to green, basically all with the irons this week. This is just one of those perfect storm matchups where you have the hot ball-striker/cold putter vs. the hot putter/cold ball-striker. Ball-striking usually wins out in these spots.

These matchups all start after 11 a.m. ET, so there will be time to consider these plays even after the action gets going today at 8:10 a.m. ET.

Note: All odds via Bovada at the time of writing on Friday evening.