Travelers Championship Betting Preview: Don't be Afraid to Bet Big on Bryson

SI Gambling and Fantasy analyst Alex White previews the 2020 Travelers Championship field and goes through his favorite betting plays at TPC River Highlands.
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Last week proved how frustrating golf betting can be.

Webb Simpson, a heavy favorite two weeks ago missed the cut at Colonial and burned a lot of golf bettors. One week later he wins the RBC Heritage and most who got burned turned a cold shoulder in Webb’s direction. It’s a perfect reminder of how volatile golf is and will continue to be.

Last week's major takeaway? Don't let recency bias sway your final betting decisions.

Now with a couple of weeks of competitive golf to pull from, we can truly start to make educated decisions and let form be our major indicator of who we go back to each week. A big win is around the corner for our consistent followers that trust the process. 

Tournament Stop

Tournament: Travelers Championship

Defending Champion: Chez Reavie -17

Course: TPC River Highlands

Yardage: 6,841

Par: 70

Greens: Poa Annua

*Top 65 and Ties Make the Cut (No MDF)

Course Tidbits

Cromwell, Connecticut will be this week’s stop on Tour: home of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. It’s a course on the shorter side compared to other PGA designs.

It’s another Pete Dye layout which tends to give an edge to golfers who have previously played his designs. Pete Dye was a sly character with his main goal of tricking with blind approach shots, hidden traps surrounding the greens, and random undulations on the green surfaces. Pete Dye designed a myriad of short courses on tour that have their own significant challenges and nuances to keep scoring under control.

TPC Highlands is a unique design that allows the plodders on tour to compete with the bombers. For example plodders like Chez Reavie, Russell Knox, and Ken Duke have won here as well as bomber Bubba Watson; three times to be exact. The leaderboards will look vastly different this year as many big-name golfers tee it up for the first time here. I won't be looking so much into course history as I will form and overall ability. 

Key Stats

SG Ball Striking: Top 10 in field

- Viktor Hovland

- Paul Casey

- Justin Thomas

- Colin Morikawa

- Patrick Cantlay

- Emiliano Grillo

- Dustin Johnson

- Xander Schauffele

- Corey Conners

Par 4 (400-450): Top 10 in field

- Ryan Armour

- Rory McIlroy

- Patrick Reed

- Charley Hoffman

- Xander Schauffele

- Doc Redman

- Harry Higgs

- Brian Harman

- Sungjae IM

- Emiliano Grillo

SG OTT: Top 10 in field

- Rory McIlroy

- Viktor Hovland

- Paul Casey

- Bryson DeChambeau

- Dustin Johnson

- Abraham Ancer

- Billy Horschel

- Patrick Cantlay

- Jason Kokrak

- Jon Rahm

Top 10 overall rankings

- Bryson DeChambeau

- Chez Reavie

- Vaughn Taylor

- Patrick Reed

- Patrick Cantlay

- Patrick Reed

- Joaquin Niemann

- Rory McIlroy

- Abraham Ancer

- Gary Woodland

- Brian Harman

These rankings are based on a personalized mixed model created on fantasynational.com.

Favorite Bets

Bryson DeChambeau (14/1)

Has he caught your attention yet? Now with five straight top 10 finishes he better have.

I don't need to say much to sell you on this pick since he is on the verge of another win to bolster his resume. I will not miss the week he takes home another trophy and neither should you. The odds are the same as last week but in my eyes, they’re more than fair.

Justin Thomas (14/1)

All of JT’s statistics are trending in the right direction, his game looks crisp at the moment. With three straight top 10 finishes he should be in the mix once again come Sunday. I believe Bryson and Thomas could be the final pairing this Sunday. These guys are 14/1 for a reason. Sometimes the plays staring you right in the face are the best bets even if they don't yield as much ROI as you may want. A win is a win.

Justin Rose (30/1)

Rose backed up his solid play at Charles Schwab with a 14th place finish at RBC Heritage. He is trending in the right direction and now gets on a course that rewards straight drivers of the golf ball. The club change is obviously no fluke. Rose only lost one stroke on the greens, but other than that he smashed all other major statistic categories. Rose gets on back on Poa Annua greens, where he excels compared to Bentgrass and Bermuda greens; making up the other main green surfaces on tour. A win is around the corner for Rose, and this week is as good as any to make it a reality.

Value Bets

Joaquin Niemann (50/1)

Niemann has been a ball-striking machine since the layoff. Last week alone he gained 7.4 strokes through approach and I am jumping right back on this train. He is a form golfer and he found something special Saturday and Sunday to vault him up the leaderboards at Heritage. I only worry about his putter, however. I know he can get in birdie range but he will need to find the bottom of the cup early and often to separate himself from the other big names around him. The odds are fair for the form he is bringing into this contest. Confidence is key in this sport and he is prime for his second PGA Tour win. All aboard!

Gary Woodland (50/1)

The odds simply don’t match the name or winning upside. At 50/1, Gary is an exceptional value.

Woodland's approach consistency is unmatched in this range. In his last five events, he is averaging five strokes a tournament through approach alone. The putter needs to catch fire for a couple of rounds and he can easily lead going into Sunday.

Marc Leishman (60/1)

With a win under his belt in January, Leishman has already proved he belongs in the winner’s circle. Not to mention he also had a second-place finish at the Farmers the last tournament before the long hiatus.

He is in the same boat as Woodland. All it will take is a couple of great putter rounds to put these guys in contention. The odds are more than fair considering he has won this tournament back in 2012.

Longshot Bet

Max Homa (150/1)

This is purely a form play.

Last week Homa was horrific on and around the greens losing nearly seven strokes between the two major categories. He still managed a 41st place finish; purely due to the fact he smashed his driver and lit up his iron play. Now he comes to a course with Poa Annua greens, which in his history have treated him well. The odds are in our favor considering he has won at the Wells Fargo Championship where the field strength matches this one. I love a good longshot bet and Homa has the chops to pull it off. 

MORE SI GOLF COVERAGE:

- 2020 Travelers Championship Value Bets & Longshots

- 2020 Travelers Championship: DFS Breakdown