Fans won’t be on hand at TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championship, but a crowd has gathered around the globe to line up and bet on golf. A sports-starved society needs something to wager on and golf has been filling to void for a lot of people out there.
Outrights, matchups, props, group betting, the options are seemingly endless for the PGA Tour and that has brought a lot of new money to the sportsbooks and even some old money has returned or has started betting higher amounts as we all wait for the NBA, NHL, and MLB to return at some point this summer.
This week’s event has been one of the most-attended events, second only to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is more like if Burning Man or Bonnaroo were golf tournaments. It is a three-day drink-fest. The Travelers, though, which usually takes place in the middle of June, is up in Cromwell, Connecticut, a suburb of Hartford.
The par 70 course runs about 6,840 yards and usually draws a quality field, but as the third PGA Tour event since the coronavirus shutdown, no past field has been as good as this one. Most of the big names are on hand and are listed towards the top of the odds board.
Checking in with odds from DraftKings Sportsbook, Justin Thomas is the +1100 favorite, with Rory McIlroy the second favorite at +1200, Bryson DeChambeau the third choice at +1400, and then Jon Rahm and last week’s winner Webb Simpson at +1800. Top-five finish props for those five range from +250 for JT to +400 for Rahm and Webb. Similarly, top-10 finish props range from +125 for JT to +188 for Rahm and Webb.
This week’s event also marks the first time that Patrick Cantlay and Paul Casey, who have both had great success at this event, will play since the first round of the PLAYERS Championship. Cantlay is +2800, while Casey, who has four top-five finishes in the last five years, is +4500 this week.
With a great field, there is no shortage of players to bet. DraftKings Sportsbook has a Travelers Championship promotion. Bet $25 or more on any golfer to win this week and get $3 towards a free bet for each stroke under par that they finish. You’ll have to make a pre-tournament bet in order to be eligible and your player must make the cut in order to see any of the free bet money. The promotion is eligible to bettors in Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
The first $25+ outright winner bet you make will be the one that counts towards the free bet promotion. Last year’s winning score was 17-under, so if you had bet on Chez Reavie to win, you would have gotten $51 in free bets, plus your winnings for his victory. Even though Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher tied for second four shots back, you would have won $39 in free bets because they finished 13-under.
Last week, Webb Simpson set the event record at the RBC Heritage at 22-under. This could be a really lucrative promotion if the rough continues to play the way that it has and the PGA Tour keeps up the favorable pin placements.
Among the short prices, Bryson DeChambeau is the guy I would have my eye on. The +1400 price could be better, obviously, but BDC has back-to-back top-10 finishes since the return and also has back-to-back top-10 finishes in this event. He finished sixth in SG: T2G last week according to DataGolf and led the field two weeks ago at the Charles Schwab Challenge. A few more putts and he could have won that event. Per that same site, DeChambeau is fifth in Course History Index at this event over his 16 measured rounds.
Bubba Watson is also really interesting at 35/1. Watson and fellow lefty Brian Harman have both played well here. Something about that shot shape would seem to benefit players with some narrow landing areas at TPC River Highlands. Watson has the depressed price because he’s a three-time winner and was also seventh in the Charles Schwab. Harman, who has three top-10 finishes in five years, is a much bigger number at 100/1.
Sergio Garcia is another good look this week after coming in fifth last week at the RBC Heritage. Sergio was one of the worst putters in the event, but was so good in every other aspect of his game that he finished 19-under. He hasn’t played this event much, but is +5500. Remember, you could be freerolling one of these futures so long as your player finishes at least 9-under with that free bet promotion at DraftKings, so you can take some chances.
Speaking of taking chances, how about some long shots for the Travelers before we dig into some matchups and props? If Harman at +10000 isn’t enough for you, Matthew NeSmith is +20000. NeSmith did not put well last week in his home state, but he was inside the top 20 in SG: T2G and approach. That was a departure from the Charles Schwab, where he putted fairly well, but not much else was good. Put the total package together and we get a big winner at a big price. NeSmith is 38th in driving accuracy on tour this season, 16th in GIR, and top 50 in SG: Putting. For a 200/1 shot, that’s not bad.
If you don’t want to go for the gusto, one of the beautiful things about DK is that they offer so many other bets. NeSmith is +3300 for a top-five finish and +1400 for a top-10 finish.
Doc Redman is even bigger at +30000. Redman, the 22-year-old Clemson product, has not putted well at all this year, but he’s top 25 in driving accuracy, 38th in SG: Off-The-Tee, 25th in SG: Approach, and 47th in SG: T2G. Scrambling and putting have been concerns, but the raw skills are here for a player to make a run. He’s +5000 for a top-five finish and +2000 for a top-10 finish.
The matchups board is pretty impressive this week with so many good players. Collin Morikawa at even money against Abraham Ancer. Ancer was excellent last week in just about every category but putting, but Morikawa, perhaps the best iron player on tour, still seemed to be reeling from what happened in the playoff at the Charles Schwab. Ancer was eighth here last year and Morikawa was 36th, but even money looks like a gift price.
Bubba Watson is +110 against Dustin Johnson. DJ finished well last week to come in 17th, but Watson has had plenty of success at this course because it fits his game. DJ has only played once here since 2009. Watson makes it a point to play here because of past success.
Brandt Snedeker is -120 to miss the cut. Snedeker looked awful last week. He was only 2-over, but he graded poorly in just about all of the strokes gained metrics. He did not play the Charles Schwab, so he is likely working out some kinks right now. He’s had mixed results here, but a better field raises the cut line in a tournament like this and Sneds just didn’t play well last week.
With the props and matchups, which are running throughout the tournament at DraftKings, you can take advantage of a 30% Profit Boost for each round. Once you opt-in, you will have access to one 30% Profit Boost per round. The max bet is $50 and the max additional winnings on your profit are capped at $250. You cannot live bet a winner because the Profit Boost expires that day, but you can do things like leader after the round props, matchups, or other props. Like the free bet promotion, this one applies to users in Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Great offers from DraftKings, hopefully some great insights here. That’s why you keep coming to ATS. Stick with us throughout the rest of the PGA Tour season for more of the same.