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Breaking $100: RSM Classic - PGA Betting Picks

Another week, another favorite hoists a trophy, as Tony Finau bulldozed the field at the Houston Open, winning by four strokes while coasting into the clubhouse on Sunday. Finau has now won three times in seven starts and will be teeing it up at the RSM Classic this week, at odds three times shorter than six days ago. He is rightfully in single bullet range, but at a putting contest, on a course that has water hazards lurking everywhere, that is not a bullet we are willing to bite, even though he had back-to-back victories last season. (Edit: He has since withdrawn from the event.)

Scottie Scheffler finished T9 while losing two strokes putting, 10 strokes less than fearless Finau in that department. The former World No. 1 has his work cut out for him on the greens if he looks to return back to the top of the rankings. He matched Tony tee-to-green, but the majority of those strokes came from around the green, where Finau had limited opportunity to gain strokes, hitting 79% of his greens in regulation. We took a gamble on Scheffler's "putting resurgence" in Mayakoba and whiffed. On to the RSM Classic we go!

For those of you who are new to the article, Breaking $100 is a comprehensive PGA betting guide on how to squeeze every cent out of your $100. We will be breaking $100 into a betting card of outrights, first-round leaders, placings, and a "farewell fiver," all in an attempt to turn a structured betting strategy into a profitable and entertaining Sunday sweat. $100 is easily divided or multiplied, so please only bet amounts that you can afford to lose. You can find me on Twitter an unhealthy amount of the time @TheModelManiac, if you have any questions, compliments, or insults for me.

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Course Breakdown and Key Stats

Sea Island Golf Club: Par: 70, Yardage: 7,004 Greens: Bermuda

With past winners reaching-19 under par the last five years, we have dialed up the birdie or better percentage as we have done for most fall events. The large greens and relatively short holes have putting correlating to success more than approach, which is hardly ever the case, as approach is typically king. We have ramped up Bermuda putting over the last 50 rounds, putting success from 15 feet and in, as well as recent putting in the 2023 season. We will see how this goes as putting can be really tough to predict.



Our betting strategy for outrights is rather conservative, requiring a winner once every eight events in order to break even. This week we have six outrights that are all at 40-1 or longer.

Joel Dahmen ($3.08 @ +4000)

The once happy go lucky PGA Tour professional who was content with just owning a tour card, is now one of the 100 best players in the world (No. 96), courtesy of four top-20 finishes in his last five tournaments, with his two most recent starts placing him inside the top-10. Dahmen has put together an incredibly consistent ball-striking resume of late, losing strokes on approach only once in the 12 ShotLink rounds over that five-event stretch, gaining +1.18 strokes per round (10th).

Dahmen has always driven the ball well and driven himself nuts on the green, at a level of consistency that could be deemed as Dahmen's First Law. He has gained the 18th-most strokes off the tee (+0.46 per round) while "Ying and Yanging" his way to the 18th-worst putting metrics in the field. However, at a short course that demands accuracy, Dahmen should gain more than his usual half a stroke off the tee, as he is the nineth most accurate driver of the ball. He barely lost strokes putting last week and if he can gain a few fractions on the greens this week, the rest of his game is champion material.

Andrew Putnam ($3.08 @ +4000)

Andrew Putnam has averaged -0.5 strokes off the tee in his 20 rounds this season, largely due to his 278-yard driving distance which is 20 yards shorter than tour average. This is Putnam's only deficiency in his game, which is promising, as his lack of distance will be significantly nullified here, while his driving accuracy (30th) that is 10% better than tour average should be emphasized and will catalyze his path to victory. He should gain off the tee this week, for the first time this season.

The rest of his game could star as "Herbie, the Love Bug", capable of steering itself and winning the championship when the moment allows. That moment is now, as his +0.71 strokes gained on approach (22nd) over the last 12 rounds will be on full display from the fairway this week, while his +0.76 strokes gained putting (20th) will have repeated opportunities to roll in the birdie putts needed to get close to -20 and win the RSM Classic. Shoot em straight and keep Putnam in, Andrew!

Brendon Todd ($2.05 @ +6000)

Brendon Todd ranks fourth in both driving accuracy and putting on Bermuda. He has also gained the 14th-most strokes on approach this season and heads to a venue that rewarded this kind of skill set with a fourth-place finish in 2019. Todd has two top-10s in his five most recent starts and is priced at 60-1 while ranking fourth in our model. That is all you need to know about Todd's game, and with four fourths already mentioned in his write-up, one can only assume a "four-shadowed" victory is imminent.

Harris English ($2.46 @ +5000)

After winning twice in 2021, a hip injury kept Harris English from continuing to play the kind of golf that afforded the Georgia-native a spot on the Ryder Cup team. His game is on the precipice of bouncing back, having made five cuts in his six starts this season. The strength of his game has always been his putter, which will be most important this week. He has hit 68% of his fairways in the last 12 rounds and if his approach play can provide some support, English may be crowned the King of Sea Island.

Justin Lower ($1.03 @ +12000)

Justin Lower has gained the 14th-most total strokes in this field over his 22 rounds this season and has finishes of T4 and T8 yet he is priced at 120-1. He has averaged half a stroke on the greens and should be able to lean on his accuracy off the tee without worrying about his lack of distance. His irons are averaging +0.64 strokes in 12 of 14 rounds he has played, ignoring two poor rounds earlier in the season. At this price tag, with this kind of skill set and recent form, Justin is going lower than everybody this week!

Brian Gay ($0.31 @ +40000)

As a member of the Champions Tour, where he has three top-10 finishes in his last five starts, Brian Gay heads back to Sea Island where he finished third in 2017. His game seems to have found a seasoned stride that suits shorter, accuracy-intensive golf courses where a putter can do most of the damage. His T11 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship is enough to go back to him at 400-1, having to only lay down 31 cents to return $111. His game seems to be in sync and we want it that way!


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The model kicked out far too many placement bets again, largely due to FanDuel tossing some ridiculously big numbers at us. We eliminated most of the bets with the shortest odds and could land up having a monster week if a few of the longer bets cash this week.

Last week we profited $20.50 on placings:

  • Taylor Montgomery (T20: $10 @ +125 on FanDuel): -$10
  • Martin Laird (T40: $10 @ +175 on FanDuel): $17.50
  • James Hahn (T40: $10 @ +230 on FanDuel): $23
  • Austin Smotherman (T40: $10 @ +230 on FanDuel): -$10

This week:

  • Taylor Montgomery (T20: $19 @ +170 on FanDuel)
  • Tom Hoge (T20: $9 @ +155 on FanDuel)
  • Brendon Todd (T20: $9 @ +275 on DraftKings)
  • Matt Kuchar (T20: $9 @ +220 on DraftKings)
  • Adam Long (T20: $9 @ +490 on FanDuel)
  • John Huh (T40: $9 @ +290 on FanDuel)
  • Justin Lower (T40: $9 @ +200 on FanDuel)
  • Ryan Armour (T40: $9 @ +230 on FanDuel)


I love these bets so much because outside of the juice you pay on the betting odds, you are not really betting against the book, but instead, betting against the opponent in the matchup, making this the safest of golf bets, in my opinion.

Let me explain why this is such a safe and profitable bet. If you place a T20 bet and that player withdraws, you lose. Similarly, if you place a matchup bet and he withdraws, you lose. BUT, if you place a matchup bet and your opponent withdraws, YOU WIN! The fairest of golf betting playing fields. It also provides you with opportunities to fade players you feel are overpriced, by placing bets against them in matchups with a player we think has a significant edge over "Mr. Overrated."

Last week: Aaron Wise over Russell Henley (-116 on FanDuel) $10 - Henley missed the cut after losing over three strokes putting, while wise coasted to a T22 losing strokes off the tee for the first time since March.

This week: Justin Rose o Patrick Rodgers ($11 @ -110 on DraftKings)

The model likes Rose's accuracy off the tee and superior putting, while his poor around the green game should get a bit of rest at a course with bigger greens. Most of Rodger's strokes gained off the tee come from his distance, which will be nullified here, while his putter has been a little rebellious of late.

A Look Into The Future

With all the majors behind us, we now have an opportunity to identify odds for majors which may be drastically shorter by the time the week of the event rolls into our lives. We are going to give ourselves a budget of $12 to spend on futures for each major to return $200 which is double our usual return, but we are investing double the capital (futures + week of) to have double the fun in major weeks.

The Players

Tom Kim ($5.60 @ +4000 on DraftKings)

After just winning his second event in back-to-back regular season starts, Tom Kim is a star that is burning bright and if he continues to play the quality of golf we have now become accustomed to, 40-1 will not be available the week of The Players, especially if he wins again before then. TPC Sawgrass puts a premium on driving accuracy and stellar approach play, which could not suit Tom's game any better. This may be my favorite of the two futures bets we have placed so far.

The Masters

Max Homa ($2.80 @ +8000 on PointsBet)

If you take a look at the odds board, the players around Max Homa at 80-1 are relics, who have either fled to LIV, required some sort of exemption to remain on tour, or are just straight up bad at golf. Homa has won four times in the last two years and just proved that he can handle immense pressure on the biggest of stages, sinking clutch putts at the Presidents Cup a week after winning at the Fortinet.

His game translates incredibly well to what Augusta requires from its past winners. Golfers with distance off the tee, impeccable iron play and imagination and touch on and around the greens have had success at one of golf's most treasured venues. Max does all three of those really well and after making his first cut in three tries last year, he should be a serious contender when he returns there next year.


The Farewell Fiver

 (T20: Zach Johnson $5 @ +850 on FanDuel)

The US Ryder Cup captain has finished inside the top-20 in four of his last five starts at the RSM. We get +850 for him to do that for a fifth time in six starts, which seems like a gross misprice which we are hoping to make buckets of cash off of.

That should get us to $100 worth of bets for the week, making this the first authentic Breaking $100 article of the fall swing, which ends this week. Let's end it with a bang!

Good luck this week and as always, may the odds be ever in your favor!!!


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