PGA Picks: Travelers Championship Predictions and Odds
What a wild ride the U.S. Open was, with more twists and turns than a Figure 8 small track stock car race. In the end, Jon Rahm won his first major, and he became the first favorite to win a major championship since Tiger Woods 13 years ago.
This week will be more subdued, but this list of top names tells you about the quality of the golf course and how the tournament is run, especially for those having to make the cross-country track from SoCal to Connecticut.
Let’s prepare to tee it up again with 156 players and the top 65 and ties playing on the weekend.
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A Look at the Field
Here is a look at the Top 12 with the lowest odds to win it all at online sportsbooks.
Bryson DeChambeau +1200 - Dustin Johnson +1200 - Brooks Koepka +1600
Patrick Cantlay +1600 - Paul Casey +1600 - Patrick Reed +2200 - Scottie Scheffler +2500
Abraham Ancer +2800 - Brian Harman +2800 - Tony Finau +2800
Harris English +3300 - Kevin Streelman +3300
The favorites to win this week are not only brand names but fellas that can launch the ball a long way, which we talk about further below. Dustin Johnson is the defending champion. However, the question we have is if DeChambeau, Johnson and Koepka, in particular, will suffer a bit of a letdown after the U.S. Open. Whoever doesn’t should be a contender.
Cantlay and Casey are deserving to be ranked this high. Cantlay has a trio of recent Top 15’s at this venue and ranks in the Top 5 (last 24 rounds) of Strokes Gained: Par 4 and Ball Striking, two key elements at TPC River Highlands. Casey is 68 under in six career starts in Cromwell, with a trio of Top 5 finishes. And he’s also Top 5 in the stats for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and Approach.
Reed seems a little overvalued. We know he can putt, and his iron play is above average. However, a balky driver is always an area of concern. He’s made six cuts in nine tries here, with five Top 30’s. Good, but Top 10 material?
Finau badly missed the cut last week and has missed the last two cuts at the Travelers after three consecutive Top 25’s. Do you trust him at these golf odds? (We don’t)
Ancer also missed the cut last week, snapping a stretch of five straight Top 20’s. Ancer is among the best iron players in the world and has two Top 11’s at this TPC course.
Streelman loves this joint. A winner in 2015, he was runner-up to Johnson last year, giving him five Top 10’s at River Highlands.
Course Characteristics of Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
TPC River Highlands offers a somewhat different challenge and is different from what the players on Tour have seen recently. The course will measure at only 6,841 yards, which is more than 800 yards shorter than at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree two weeks ago. The par is 70 and is among the shorter layouts.
The idea here is to hit it as long as you can and keep it in the fairway. Those that will do well here want to keep it on the well-trimmed grass and utilize the short irons, trying to smother the pins for birdie putts. Invariably, those that do will cash bigger checks.
However, having DeChambeau, D.J., Koepka and Casey here means some like to go deep and they will challenge conventional wisdom. These boppers will have pitching wedges into greens all day and look to stay away from the hardest parts of the course where some trouble may lurk.
The greens are small by Tour standards, and they should be given the length of the course. The greens will be fast. And for those that can keep as many approach shots as possible at 15 feet or closer, that turns this into a putting contest.
The rough will be nothing compared to last week and should not present much of a problem. The last line of defense will be the pin placements, and expect two of the days to help keep the birdie totals down.
With only two Par 5’s and two drivable Par 4’s, who controls the Par 4’s and who can post at least -3 on the Par 5’s over four rounds will be in contention to win.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
It seems foolhardy not to have Casey for picks in the Top 5 and Top 10, and further research should uncover head-to-head tournament plays for golf picks.
Four of the last eight winners of this tourney missed the cut the week prior. With Ancer coming off a weak showing after playing so well, he’s a solid choice for Top 10 and Top 20 plays.
We can make a very good case for Streelman based on his history and a nice value play for Top 10. Look for him in H2H action as an underdog.
Of the bigger names, Cantlay offers the greatest value for a small wager.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour. Doug has won five of the past seven weeks in golf, coming off his biggest week of the year at $1,410!
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 21 Documented No. 1 Titles - 94 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 25 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: MLB May 2021) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.