RSM Classic Betting Guide: Finding the Right Longshots in a Weak Field
Ray Carlin, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Peter Uihlein
- The 2018 RSM Classic features a weak field headlined by tournament favorites Webb Simpson and Cameron Champ.
- The RSM Classic is a good tournament to back longshots and there's value on players like Peter Uihlein and Sam Burns.
Another week, another close call.
Danny Lee matched the course record for us at the Mayakoba Classic and usually that would be enough to get a win, but Matt Kuchar had other plans unfortunately setting a new target for the tournament at 22-under.
So the search for a winner continues as the fall swing comes to a close this week at the RSM Classic.
This tournament features a very weak field headlined by Webb Simpson and in the past has served as a great spot for players to break through on tour. In fact, five of the last six champions claimed their first PGA tour titles here at Sea Island.
The RSM will be split over two courses for the first two round, Sea Island’s Seaside and Plantation tracks.
Seaside is a Par 70 that measures 7,005 yards and will be the course for three of the four rounds. It doesn’t require too much length off the tee and really puts the emphasis on the approach game. Unless the wind blows pretty hard, we can expect the winner to get near 20-under par for the week.
The players will also see the Plantation course for a round on either Thursday or Friday. It’s a Par 72 that checks in at 7,058 yards. This is the easier of the two courses and provides some value in the first round leader markets. The two extra par 5s will give players more birdie opportunities.
Most books won’t offer this bet because of the advantage half the field receives, but we can usually count on Sportsbook to post numbers in this situation. The value comes from the lack of accounting for which course the players are on. The first round odds are simply a reflection of the players overall capability of winning the tournament. For example, if two players are at +2500 to win, but are starting on the different course, they’ll still have the exact same number to lead the first round, usually in the +3000 range.
I like to invest a little extra in the multiple course tournaments to try and take advantage of these spots. It’s not a guarantee the leader comes from the Plantation course, but that half of the field does have a clear advantage.
As mentioned above, Webb Simpson headlines this field and is one of only two guys below +2000. The 33-year-old checks in at +900, while the rookie bombing sensation Cameron Champ is next at +1800. As per usual, no favorites for me this week so on to the mid-tier.
We’ve had some success in the range in the past at the RSM, hitting Austin Cook at +9000 a year ago, so that’s where my focus is for this event.
Starting off, I’m looking at Denny McCarthy at +6000 on MyBookie. McCarthy has a couple of top 20s this fall and his approach game has been improving in recent weeks. If that trend continues on this course, he could be a threat.
Right in line with McCarthy, I’ll be backing Peter Uihlein at +6000. Uihlein was in contention for three rounds in his last start in Las Vegas. Uihlein is still searching for his first victory on tour and this could be the right spot for the 29-year-old.
On the other end of the career spectrum is Jim Furyk +5000. The tour veteran has looked really good in recent weeks and with the Ryder Cup captaincy in the rear view mirror, he’s able to focus on playing again. We saw him pop back up on the leaderboard with a sixth-place finish at Mayakoba. He’s also finished inside the top 11 here in his last three starts.
I think Furyk may be past his prime when it comes to winning, so I won’t invest in the 50-1, but on a short course where he’s had success, I like his top 10 odds at +400 on Bovada.
When it comes to courses in the in the south, I like to target guys who played in the SEC in college. In the last five years, three SEC grads have won the RSM (Cook, Kevin Kisner and Chris Kirk).
I’ll go with LSU alum Sam Burns at 100-1 on Sportsbook. Burns has struggled in the fall — he’s missed three of four cuts — but his one good result came in Mississippi at the Sanderson Farms. Hopefully, heading back to more comfortable surroundings will help him find his form.
Next, I’ll take a shot with Roberto Castro at 110-1. Castro has gained strokes with his approach in all three of his fall events. He’s not an SEC guy, but Georgia Tech is close enough. He also had his best putting performance in the past month on Bermuda greens at the Sanderson Farms, so if he can carry that over, he’ll have a chance.
I’m rounding out my card with a top-20 play on Ryan Blaum at +800 on Sportsbook. Blaum has been solid in the fall, making three of four cuts with a top 20 at Sanderson Farms.
- Denny McCarthy +6000/+1000 Top 5 (.55 units each)
- Peter Uihlein +6000/+1000 top 5 (.55 units each)
- Sam Burns +10000/+1600 top 5 (.33 units each)
- Roberto Castro +11000/+2000 top 5 (.3 units each)
- Jim Furyk +400 top 10 (1 unit)
- Ryan Blaum +800 top 20 (1 unit)
Total Stake: 5.33 units
Season: -15 units