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It's the last official PGA Tour stop of the year, as even pro golf is ready for a (bite-sized) break after 40+ weeks of tournament action. The RSM Classic remains the swan song on the calendar, with a full field packing St. Simon's Island before heading their separate ways for the holidays.
The Seaside Course at Sea Island will host three of four tournament rounds this week, with the fourth played on the adjacent Plantation layout, and while winds are the primary defense the scores are expected to be relatively low. With betting favorite Tony Finau a late scratch following his dominant win last week in Houston, this one feels wide-open with Brian Harman (+1800) now the betting favorite followed by Jason Day at +2000.
Here's a look at some of the players I'm looking to back (and fade) in the head-to-head market, starting with a promising up-and-comer who remains in search of his first Tour win (all odds via PointsBet):
Theegala made the Tour Championship without a win, a remarkable achievement that both netted him a Masters invite next spring and served as a testament to his consistency. The results haven't been flashy this fall, but he's still putting up numbers: three top-25s including a T-5 at Zozo and a T-6 in Napa. While he missed the cut last year in his RSM debut, he has generally proven to be a regular contender - even on courses that don't emphasize prowess off the tee.
Rodgers notably lost a playoff here to Charles Howell III four years ago, and he had a top-10 two years before that. But it's been missed cuts otherwise, including each of the last two years, proving he may be more of a feast-or-famine option this week in Georgia. Rodgers has been steady in the fall, with six straight made cuts including a T-3 in Bermuda, but I think this matchup offers plus-money on the more reliable option and that Rodgers may be getting too much credit for his near-miss in 2018.
No, the clocks did not turn back to 2015. Day is back among the pre-tournament favorites, a product of both his mini-surge over the last couple months and a lack of strength at the top of this week's field. The Aussie has cobbled together four straight top-25 finishes this fall, but that still has only brought him back to No. 113 in the latest world rankings. His RSM record is both brief and a mixed bag: T-12 two years ago and a missed cut in 2021.
Montgomery is making his Sea Island debut but has put up some similar results to Day in recent months: third in Napa, T-9 at Sanderson Farms and T-10 at Mayakoba. Two of the three are places, like this week's layout, where you can get around without leaning hard on the driver. Montgomery lacks the name recognition but has just as much if not more confidence entering the final event, and he's an elite putter (11th on Tour this season in SG: Putting). That could go a long way on a course where players will likely separate themselves with their work on and around the greens.
Canadians, unite. This north of the border battle pits the 2016 RSM champion against his long-hitting countryman who turned heads at the Presidents Cup. Pendrith hasn't really been able to capitalize on his appearance at Quail Hollow, finishing outside the top 40 in all three starts this fall including a T-66 showing last week in Houston. Hughes, on the other hand, got back into the winner's circle in Mississippi and narrowly missed out on a second RSM title last year.
Hughes has missed three of six cuts at Sea Island in his career, so when things go sideways it can get away in a hurry. And Pendrith was T-26 here last year in his debut. But I think the Seaside Course mitigates Pendrith's biggest advantage off the tee, and I like that Hughes has followed up his Sanderson win with a pair of top-25s. In a matchup the oddsmakers have priced as a coin flip, I give a pretty decent edge to Hughes.
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