RBC Heritage picks 2022: The Daniel Berger bet our experts are making
Not many people predicted the Scottie Scheffler coronation in his first week as World No. 1. We told you to ride with us on Brooks Koepka, and it blew up in spectacular fashion. A few of us even said to fade Scheffler, which in hindsight was incredibly dumb. No excuses.
You best believe we are going to get up off the mat for RBC Heritage week, which is among the most fun tournaments to bet given the pool of players who have a chance to win. That said, a number of elite players are teeing it up, thus reducing the chance of a pure longshot winner like Harbour Town has produced so many times before. We’re not discouraging throwing a few darts at the bottom of the board, though.
But the triple-digit odds players will have to compete with the likes of Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson, among others, this week. Will one of the studs get it done, or will we have a Stewart Cink-like longshot shock the world? Two of our experts are high on Daniel Berger, who nearly won at the Honda Classic just over a month ago. They explain why below.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 RBC Heritage.
RBC Heritage picks 2022: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Patrick Cantlay (20-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Cantlay is due for another win soon. He made the cut at Augusta and had a stressless weekend. He seems to really excel at Pete Dye courses and likes hitting less than driver off the tee … plus has an elite short game. A great fit.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Daniel Berger (18-1, DraftKings) — This a bread-and-butter type of course for Berger, so his poor weekend at Augusta doesn’t bother me. He’s gaining 1.4 strokes/total per round on average over his past 24 rounds on Pete Dye tracks, and he’s the best player in the field on courses measuring under 7,200 yards.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Daniel Berger (29-1, FanDuel) — Berger should fit Harbour Town very well. He can navigate any wind concerns with his tour-low driver apex, and his scrambling abilities will suit him well. We’re seeing some long odds on him compared to the other favorites.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Collin Morikawa (14-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — The two-time major champion was in the mix again last week, eventually finishing fifth. If I could design a course that best suited Morikawa’s game, it would look a lot like Harbour Town. This is a course that benefits precision both off the tee and on approach. Morikawa is an elite iron player and ranks inside the top 20 in Driving Accuracy. It’s time for Morikawa to add another trophy to his mantle.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Corey Conners (28-1, Bet365) — Conners is peaking at the moment. The Canadian just recorded his third straight top-12 finish at Augusta National and made it to the final four of Match Play the week prior. You could tell something clicked for him in Austin—and he comes to another Pete Dye design that should reward his strong suits—he’s second in this field in SG/off the tee over the past 24 rounds on courses less than 7,200 yards … a prerequisite for success at Harbour Town.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Webb Simpson (40-1, Bet365) — While I fear Collin Morikawa found something on Sunday at Augusta and could very easily win here, I’m going to take the value on Webb. If not for injury concerns, which he already quelled by saying he was pain-free at Valspar, and lack of recent form, he’d be half this price. Harbour Town is one of Simpson’s favorite stops, having won there in 2020 and finishing inside the top 16 in every other year since 2016. It might take him a little longer to seriously start contending again, but this number is too good to pass up.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Matt Fitzpatrick (22-1, BetMGM) — Fitzpatrick comes into this event ranked third in the field for SG/total over the past two months. He also has great form here at Harbour Town, recording three top-15 finishes in his last four outings which includes a fourth last year.
Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (above) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "Be Right" wherever you get your podcasts!
RBC Heritage picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Danny Willett (150-1, PointsBet) — The 2016 Masters champion played well at Augusta, proving a complete game and not necessarily length can contend there. That’s also key to playing Harbour Town well. Willett’s a positional golfer, and this is a positional course he could certainly excel on.
Mayo: Kevin Na (50-1, DraftKings) — Na has four top-10 finishes in his past seven starts at the RBC Heritage, accompanied by three missed cuts. Classic Na. He advanced from his group at the Match Play and followed it up leading all players in approach at the Masters, en route to a T-14 finish. Plus, if you look at the three closest comp courses: Sony, Colonial and Wyndham, Na has a win at the first two, and has never finished outside the top 10 in three starts at Sedgefield.
Gdula: Adam Hadwin (65-1, FanDuel) — Hadwin gets a boost at a course like Harbour Town, where accuracy is rewarded and irons can help separate. He enters with three straight top-10s overall and four of five made cuts at the RBC Heritage.
Gehman: Anirban Lahiri (180-1, DraftKings) — We could be seeing a resurgence in Lahiri’s game as of late. He’s figured out his ball-striking, gaining 13.56 strokes in those categories over his last two starts, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. That’s translated to a runner-up finish at the Players Championship and a T-12 at the Valero Texas Open. If that trend continues, he’s incredibly undervalued at this price.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Maverick McNealy (55-1, Bet365) — I’ve been betting McNealy all year, so I ain’t getting off the train now. Powers and I have had this bet circled on our calendar since Pebble Beach … we’re just pumped this number is 55-1 and not 30-1.
Powers, Golf Digest: Brian Harman (100-1, DraftKings) — Much like my pick to win, Webb Simpson, Harman has an elite record at Harbour Town and at Pete Dye golf courses in general. Prior to a missed cut at Augusta National, which has gotten a little too long for players like Harman, the Georgia Bulldog was rounding into form, having gained strokes on approach in four of his last six starts and having gained strokes off the tee in five straight. He also may have found a little something with his putter at the Valspar. I’ll be pepperring the triple digits section of this odds board this week, and it starts with Harman.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Alex Noren (55-1, Bet365) — We’re starting to see flashes of the old Noren recently—flashes that saw the Swede rise all the way to No. 8 in the OWGR. He has made his last seven cuts in a row, which includes a sixth and a fifth-place finish. Noren has recorded three top-30 finishes in a row here whilst struggling with his game, so I’m excited to see just how well an in-form Noren can do here.
RBC Heritage picks 2022: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)
Caddie: Justin Thomas (9-1, DraftKings) — JT is coming off an emotional week-plus, being there for his buddy Tiger Woods for his comeback at Augusta. He contended at the Masters, too—we just rarely see the odds-on favorite come through at Harbour Town … and I don’t think JT’s strengths line up here.
Mayo: Dustin Johnson (18-1, DraftKings) — Obligated to play because of his RBC sponsorship, DJ has had plenty of chances to win at Harbour Town over the years and has just never come through. He even blew a massive 54-hole lead to CT Pan one year. He’ll likely finish top 20, but a win at a course where his biggest asset is minimized (the driver) is a tougher task this week.
Gdula: Webb Simpson (29-1, FanDuel) — I just haven’t seen enough life in the irons from Simpson in 2022 to chase him at a course where he has thrived historically, which has driven down his odds.
Gehman: Jordan Spieth (40-1, DraftKings) — There are certainly paths to success for Spieth this week, but I think there are a lot more paths to failure. He continues to look lost with his putter, now losing strokes on the greens in five of his past six starts. On top of that, he gave away 3.55 strokes on approach at the Masters and has a tendency to get wayward off-the-tee. This could be a recipe for disaster at Harbour Town.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Cameron Smith (14-1, FanDuel) — Cam has good history at Harbour Town, but he just endured the toughest weekend of his career. We know Cam loves the vibes of Hilton Head—the fishing off the course, etc. It feels like a nice week to check out and unwind after the pressure of having a chance to win a green jacket.
Powers, Golf Digest: Cameron Smith (14-1, FanDuel) — Fading red-hot golfers has proved to be a dumb move as of late, but you have to figure Smith is emotionally, physically and mentally drained after last week. Ipso, facto, he’ll probably win by five.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Corey Conners (28-1, Bet365) — Conners has had a successful but tough last few months of being in contention. Conners struggles on these Bermuda greens, which highlights why he has missed three of his five cuts here at Harbour Town.
RBC Heritage picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Patrick Cantlay (-110) over Cameron Smith (DraftKings) — A fade on Cam Smith coming off an emotional Sunday and a play on my outright winner.
Mayo: Collin Morikawa (+105) over Justin Thomas (DraftKings) — Two similar players, except the better one is paying plus money in a matchup.
Gdula: Denny McCarthy (-126) over Dylan Frittelli (FanDuel) — There’s a pretty large gap in recent strokes-gained data for McCarthy over Frittelli. Most of that is putting, but the tee-to-green data isn’t all that different either.
Gehman: Tommy Fleetwood (+100) over Jason Kokrak (DraftKings) — Fleetwood has piled up four straight top 25s in stroke-play events and his advanced metrics are improving on a regular basis. He’s now gained strokes off-the-tee in three of his last four and from tee-to-green in four straight. This stat profile resembles early 2020 for Fleetwood, the last time that he was contending on a regular basis.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Kevin Na (+128) over Joaquin Niemann (FanDuel) — Na’s coming off the hot approach week at Augusta and comes to a course where his short game can shine. Niemann is coming off the emotional ride of playing with Tiger Woods for two rounds at Augusta, and then he faded with rounds of 77-74 on the weekend.
Powers, Golf Digest: Collin Morikawa (+105) over Justin Thomas (DraftKings) — I’m a sucker for an elite player at plus odds against a fellow elite. Plus, Morikawa is coming in off a scorching hot Sunday at Augusta while Thomas was hitting it all over creation with the driver.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Shane Lowry (-120) over Corey Conners (Bet365) — As you can see above, Conners struggles at Harbour Town. Lowry on the other hand has a ninth and a third-place finish in his past three outings. Lowry also enters this week ranked first in the field for SG/total over the past two months.
Matchup Results from The Masters: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Fleetwood (-120) over Watson); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Tiger to make the cut +120); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Gooch (-120) over Bezuidenhout); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Conners (-120) over Burns); Gdula: 0 for 1; Hennessey: 0 for 1; Powers: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 16-4-4 (up 11.52 units); Powers: 13-8-3 (up 4.66 units); Caddie: 13-9-2 (up 3.51 units); Alldrick: 12-11-1 (down 0.81 units); Hennessey: 11-12-1 (down 4.16 units); Gdula: 10-14-0 (down 4.56 units); Gehman: 8-12-4 (down 4.65 units)
RBC Heritage picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Kevin Streelman (+850, Bet365) — Streels is trending in the right direction with three straight top-25s. He also has great course history at the RBC Heritage with three top-seven finishes in his past seven starts here.
Mayo: Kevin Kisner (+450, DraftKings) — A scan of his recent stats reveal a player who is surviving solely on chipping and putting, having lost on approach on three consecutive events. (Shotlink data isn’t widely accessible for the Match Play or the Masters.) Kisner lost in the final of the Match Play, and despite a horrendous Sunday at Augusta National, was still ninth in approach for the week.
Gdula: Kevin Na (+430, FanDuel) — The emphasis on good irons and great short game, with mitigated SG/off the tee reliance should give Na a good chance to contend here.
Gehman: Adam Hadwin (+500, DraftKings) — Hadwin has seen major gains on approach in 2022, gaining strokes in seven of his eight starts this year. Those gains are translating to success as Hadwin will enter with three straight top-10 finishes. The icing on the cake for Hadwin is his proficiency from 175-200 yards. Shots from that range are twice as frequent at Harbour Town than the tour average.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Brandt Snedeker (+1400, Bet365) — Snedeker popped up on the leader board at the Valero, showing a return in form post injury. He comes to the Heritage, where he won in 2011 and can rely on less than driver off the tee and his strong short game.
Powers, Golf Digest: Chris Kirk (+550, Bet365) — Kirk top 10s have been the gift that keeps on giving in 2022. That’s thanks to his consistent tee-to-green play and some solid putting, though he’s cooled off in that department in his past two starts. Hopefully he snaps out of that funk at Harbour Town, where he finished seventh a year ago.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Matt Kuchar (+500, DraftKings) — Kuchar has never missed a cut here at Harbour Town and has four top-10 finishes here. He comes into this installment with a seventh and second-place finish in his past seven events.
Top-10 results from The Masters: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Cam Smith +140); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Will Zalatoris +250); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Corey Conners +450); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Powers: 9 for 24 (up 30.55 units); Alldrick: 6 for 24 (up 21 units); Mayo: 4 for 24 (up 1.55 units); Gehman: 4 for 24 (down 3.3 units); Hennessey: 4 for 24 (down 8.53 units); Caddie: 6 for 24 (down 7.35 units); Gdula: 1 for 24 (down 20.6 units)
RBC Heritage picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Patrick Cantlay — Cantlay closed with a one-under 71 last week at the Masters, finishing T-39. Some could argue that Cantlay has been underperforming but he still has four top-10 finishes in his eight starts this year. This will be Cantlay’s fifth trip to Harbour Town, and he has three top-seven finishes in his previous four starts.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka.
Hennessey: Russell Henley — Henley’s outright odds (22-1) aren’t too appealing in a strong field like this, but his strengths should match up well at the RBC Heritage: He’s 11th in SG/off the tee on courses less than 7,200 yards over the past 24 rounds, per Fantasy National, and is first in SG/approach over the past 36 and 10th in SG/around the green.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk. The Masters: Justin Thomas.
Powers: Matt Fitzpatrick — I am once again using a guy I really like this week for one and done that I’m not actually going to bet on, which has resulted in two winners this year (Luke List, Torrey Pines; Sam Burns, Valspar). Use this information wisely.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.