The RSM Classic Expert Golf Picks: Our Staff's Top Longshot Bets
Not many things in sports are quite as rare or as rewarding as hitting on a longshot bet in golf.
For me, getting out of a bunker on fewer than three swings is both extremely rare and very rewarding. For the New York Jets, winning a single game is quite rare and rewarding. For Brooks Koepka, not rolling his eyes whenever he sees Bryson DeChambeau is both rare and rewa...well...it's definitely rare.
A longshot winning a PGA Tournament is far from an uncommon occurrence. During the 2020-21 PGA season, HALF of the tournaments were won by a golfer with 50-1 odds or longer. Half.
What is an uncommon occurrence is us bettors hitting on those longshots. That is exactly why we've enlisted some of the sport's top handicappers to give us their favorite longshot bets every week -- so we can hit it big.
As a rule, we'll aim for players with odds 50/1 or longer.
Last week, the scorching-hot Geoff Fienberg picked Jason Kokrak to win the Houston Open, and guess what Kokrak did? He won the Houston Open -- at 55/1 odds, no less.
This week, our experts will tackle the 2021 RSM Classic. Let's go hit some big ones!
The RSM Classic Expert Longshot Picks
Sam Eaton: Chris Kirk (+6600)
The tee times aren’t out yet, but Friday-Sunday look very blustery, therefore, you better hope your outright bets play the Seaside course on Thursday -- could be a huge advantage.
There are a few players who fit the long-shot model, for example, Justin Rose is of interest with winds picking up over the weekend. The course fits Adam Long, but that wind worries me. I’m going to take a risk at Chris Kirk, who looks pretty tasty at +6600. Kirk’s form might have faulted in recent months following his hot streak, but he’s got good competition history, with three top-10s, including that win in 2013. Kirk can get the putter very hot and is usually pretty handy on shorter courses. Wind shouldn’t be a huge issue for Kirk, either.
-- Sam Eaton (@SamEaton12)
Rick Gehman: Adam Long (+10000)
Long is in the midst of an astonishing "boom or bust" run where he has either finished inside the Top 30 OR missed the cut in 27 straight events. That's the type of volatility that you want from a longshot, especially when he's earned a T25, T22 and T11 in his last three starts. Now he gets to travel to Sea Island where he's finished T30 and T35 in the last two seasons. This event should reward Long's accuracy off-the-tee and provide plenty of good vibes.
-- Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood)
Joe Idone: Luke List (+9000)
Despite being one of the longer hitters on the PGA Tour, List has always seemed to be most comfortable on shorter, par-70 layouts like we will see in three out of four rounds this week in Sea Island. List ranks third overall in the field in SG: T2G over his last 24 rounds, which leads me to believe a 90/1 betting number presents some value. He stumbled a bit during stretches at the Houston Open last week but still managed to finish T-11 despite losing almost six strokes putting for the week! The majority of his game remains poised for the winner's circle if he can find a hot putter one week.
-- Joe Idone (@TourPicks)
Tom Jacobs: Luke List (+9000)
Luke List has been really consistent of late, posting top finishes on multiple occasions dating back to May. It started with a T6 at the Wells Fargo, followed by a T4 at the John Deere in July and T5 at the Barbasol the following week.
There was a bit of a lull toward the end of last season, but he’s picked it right up again to start the 2021/22 season. Finishes of 17th, 7th and 11th so far are encouraging, and he strikes me as the type that could be the next breakout candidate, a la, Jason Kokrak. He’s the same age as Kokrak (36), and while he may not quite have the same upside, he has a very similar skillset, with ball striking at the fore of what he does best.
Now on Bermuda greens, and on a course where he has 4th and 13th-place finishes, as well as form on correlating courses such as the Honda Classic (2nd, playoff loss) and the Heritage (T3), List’s time could well be coming.
-- Tom Jacobs (@TomJacobs93)
Geoff Fienberg: Henrik Norlander (+12500)
Many project a putting contest at the RSM this week, and that very well could be the case, but I don't bet golf by guessing who's going to putt well -- I prefer to bet on guys I think can go pin-stalking all week and hope putt luck is on our side. Norlander having both a playoff loss and a T5 finish here is attractive, but likely overlooked, because a very long list of players have quality Sea Island resumes. Check out my RSM Classic video preview with Rick Gehman, where I mentioned Henrik as we went searching for a longshot. Hunting for the best Henrik number last night gave us another reminder of how valuable the OddsChecker grid is, having noticed that Norlander is priced as low as 80/1 and as high as 125/1.
-- Geoff Fienberg (@gfienberg17)