The PGA Tour is back again this week from Cromwell, Connecticut, so it’s time to make some money with the help of the SI Gambling team of experts.
The reigning champion of the event, Chez Reavie, is back to defend his title at odds at 125/1 (now 100/1 on William Hill). Reavie won the 2019 Travelers Championship with a four-stroke victory over Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher.
Initially, all 10 were expected to participate, but news recently broke involving a decision by multiple golfers to withdraw; either due to testing positive for the coronavirus, or out of wanting to remain cautious and not risk contamination.
Travelers Championship Details:
Dates: Jun 25–28, 2020
Course: TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut
TV: GOLF Channel; CBS
Rory McIlroy (10/1) and Bryson DeChambeau sit atop the William Hill Sportsbook board as the co-favorites. Justin Thomas (11/1) Jon Rahm (16/1), Dustin Johnson (22/1), Abraham Ancer and Xander Schauffele (25/1) and Patrick Cantlay and Bubba Watson (28/1) round out the rest of the betting favorites.
Our team of gambling experts has compiled their approach to the RBC Heritage from a betting perspective. In addition, located below is sharp wagering information from both Vegas and London, England.
Let’s take a look at the odds as well as the team’s best bets and more!
Predictions and Best Bets:
Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)
Travelers Championship Breakdown Sharp Action:
Metric Gaming’s Golf Desk located in London, England has been on fire with sharp picks since the PGA return: just missing out on the winner as Colin Morikawa (40/1) who fell to Daniel Berger (80/1) in a sudden-death playoff at Colonial, followed up by a superb value play of Tyrell Hatton (56/1) who finished T3 in the RBC Heritage.
According to Daniel Banham, Director of Trading, these PGA Tournaments continue to remain wide open:
“At the Travelers this week there is a massive advantage for the bombers on tour. Generous fairways coupled with both Par 5s setting up as easily reachable for longer hitters. Favorites again are way too short on betting boards. Furthermore, we are of the belief that players not played three weeks in a row will have a slight advantage this week.”
Jon Rahm checks in with the highest win percentage at 7.21% in a very talented and level playing field.
“Accordingly, there is a tremendous amount of value to be found,” added Banham.
Metric Gaming advises all bettors to shop around for the best prices for the players their models are high on, notably Paul Casey (40/1), Marc Leishman (60/1 - down to 50/1 at WH), Jason Kokrak (100/1) and Keegan Bradley (125/1 - down to 100/1 at WH).
In addition, Banham highlighted two 72-hole matchup plays that are worthy of garnering attention from sports bettors: Matthew Fitzpatrick (-160) vs Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas (+110) over Rory McIIroy.
Metric Gaming’s Player to Win:
Jon Rahm (20/1 - down to 16/1 at William Hill)
Rahm, who checks in at No. 2 in World Rankings, is fresh off a performance that saw him T33 last week at the RBC Heritage. Rahm has simply been on fire this season with four top-10 finishes in events highlighted by a runner up finish in the Farmers Insurance Open.
Metric Gaming’s Sharp Value Plays:
Paul Casey (40/1):
Casey ranks No. 25 in the world and offers tremendous value; especially if he is able to stay in the same form we witnessed in 2018 when he finished T5 in the Travelers Championship. Metric Gaming sees tremendous value in a golfer who has three straight finishes of 5th or better at TPC River Highlands.
Marc Leishman (60/1 - down to 50/1 at William Hill):
Leishman, who ranks No. 15, comes in at healthy 60/1 odds. Leishman was in tremendous form prior to the pandemic shutdown when he captured the Farmers Insurance Open, finished second in the Arnold Palmer Arnold Palmer Invitational and 3rd in the Safeway Open.
Leishman won the Travelers back in 2012, so he knows the course very well.
Metric Gaming’s Sharp Longshots:
Jason Kokrak (100/1) & Keegan Bradley (125/1 - down to 100/1 at William Hill)
Kokrak at No. 59 in the world, is at long odds after missing the cut at the RBC Heritage. However, he checks in as a target of the sharps this week thanks to his strong finish of T3 two weeks ago in the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Vegas Whispers: On The Move At William Hill US:
Jhonattan Vegas (200/1) down to (100/1)
According to Michael Grodsky, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations at William Hill US, the sharp money has already begun to make its way on the Travelers in Las Vegas.
“One significant early mover on the board is Jhonattan Vegas. Vegas was priced as high as 200/1, where one Nevada bettor got him on a $500 wager for a potential total payout of $100,500. Another Nevada bettor placed $250 on Vegas at 100/1 for a potential total payout of $25,250. Vegas now resides at 80/1”, said Grodsky.
Editor’s Note: Vegas is listed by William Hill New Jersey at 150/1, different than William Hill Las Vegas.
Shawn Childs, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst (@Shawn__Childs)
PLAYERS TO WIN:
Justin Thomas (11/1)
As I stated a couple of weeks ago, Thomas is playing consistently in 2020. After a slow start on Thursday (72), his game caught fire over the last three days (66, 66, and 63) leading to an eighth place finish at the RBC Heritage. Over his seven events in 2020, Thomas has a win, four other top tens, and two missed cuts. His game projects as the second best option for this tournament. Thomas doesn’t have a great resume at this course over the past five seasons (3rd, 36th, 56th, and two missed cuts).
Bryson DeChambeau (10/1)
Last week it was interesting to hear the commentary on the golf channel about DeChambeau’s new found success with his driver. Rather than embrace his desire to push the upper limits and boundaries in golf, most took a stance his quest for distance would result in fade in accuracy and ultimate disaster on some holes. DeChambeau looks poised to be a significant factor in many events going forward with his goal to put a stamp on a few majors. I respect his path for greatness, which inspires the next generation of golfers. Over his last 16 rounds, DeChambeau is 40 strokes under par while extending his top ten streak to five events. Let’s say, he’s just KRAKEN the ceiling of his game.
BEST VALUE PLAY: Patrick Reed (40/1)
Last week at the shootout at RBC Heritage, Reed missed the cut after shooting 70 and 72. He’s on the cusp of being ranked in the top five in the world. This course tends to reward players that putt well and succeed with their short game. Reed leads the PGA in birdies over his last 24 rounds while ranking in the top ten in four key categories this week. Over his last five appearances at the event, Reed placed 5th, 11th, and 30th with two missed cuts.
BEST LONGSHOT: Phil Mickelson (125/1)
I know the excitement for Mickelson is only a flop shot away on the Senior Tour, but his odds look out of line even with three straight missed cuts. Over his previous 66 tournaments, he does have a pair of wins plus six other top three finishes. Mickelson still has flashes of brilliance but his push to match the fire of the young players on the tour does lead to too many bad holes. Only a dart while looking more viable in the daily games based on his sliding salary ($6,900).
Ben Heisler, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Editor (@bennyheis)
PLAYERS TO WIN:
Bryson DeChambeau (10/1)
Laugh at me all you want for eating the chalk on Bryson, but his form is straight up insane right now.
We know about the driver; averaging 323.8 yards per drive, which is on pace to break the PGA Tour single-season record for average distance. But what most aren’t talking about is everything else after that. He’s third on the tour in scoring average, 10th in sand save percentage, and 27th in birdie or better conversion percentage.
It has been immensely entertaining to watch DeChambeau become a real life version of Happy Gilmore off the tee, including attempting to drive the 420 yard green on 17 during a practice round at TPC River Highlands this week.
Editor’s Note: I also planned to include Brooks Koepka at 20/1, but he has withdrawn from the field after his caddie tested positive for COVID-19.
BEST VALUE PLAY:
Sungjae Im (33/1)
Im was uncharacteristically brutal at the RBC Heritage, particularly with his putter.
Last weekend was the last time he missed a cut since the Genesis Invitational back in mid-February. He was fine when he shot a 69 on Day 1, but blew up on Day 2 with a 75.
He still ranks third in Fedex Cup points on the season, while still ranking 10th in total driving, 12th in birdie average and 10th in scoring average. I’m ready to pounce on terrific odds for a player that’s finished no worse than 10th in the three outings he’s made the cut.
I also really like Paul Casey (40/1) along with Marc Leishman (50/1). You can read more over at my Value Plays and Longshots to Win for the Travelers.
Keegan Bradley (100/1)
Last week I hyped up Jim Furyk as a 150/1 contender at Harbour Town based on his driving accuracy and home course advantage. It didn’t go well, but I’m going to try again for Bradley this week.
The dude loves this course and loves being back in the Northeast. And the stats prove it!
He’s got four Top 25 finishes at TPC River Highlands, finished second back in 2019, and has never missed the cut at this event.
Other longshots I’m also backing this week are Max Homa (150/1), Brendan Steele (250/1) and Doc Redman (300/1).
FAVORITE MATCHUP PLAY:
Joel Dahmen (EVEN) over J.T. Poston (-120)
Alex White, SI Gambling Contributor / Full Time Fantasy (@FullTimeFantasy)
PLAYERS TO WIN:
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 ten 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 he 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 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 the other two major 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.
BEST VALUE PLAY: Joaquin Niemann (35/1)
Niemann has been a ball striking machine since the layoff. Last week alone he gained 7.4 strokes through approach. 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, he is prime for his second PGA Tour win. All aboard!
BEST LONGSHOT: Max Homa (100/1)
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. With that being said, he still managed a 41st place finish. This was 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.
BEST PROP: Will Dustin Johnson Finish in the Top 10: YES +250
DJ has had a disappointing start to his 2020 season. His best finish is a 7th place at the Tournament of Champions which is a condensed field to begin with. However, last week he ranked top ten in tee to green, off the tee, and shots gained approach. He struggled around the greens and putting which has been his downfall all season. This week he gets back to poa annua greens where he excels the most. DJ isn’t far from getting his form back and I believe the string of three tournaments will only make him hone in even quicker. I would rather be a week early then a week late.
Roy Larking, SI Gambling & Fantasy Contributor (@SIGambling)
BEST VALUE PLAY:
Paul Casey (40/1)
Knocking on the door regularly, Paul Casey has four top-five finishes during the last five Travelers Championship tournaments. Masterful at TPC River Highlands, Casey lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson in 2015 and finished in a four way second place tie in 2018. Rounding out his recent hot streak, Casey finished in a fifth place tie in the 2019 and 2017 tournaments.
Rust is a slight concern, as Casey hasn’t played since finishing 11th at the World Golf Championships - Mexico Championship on February 23, 2020. Returning to action on a track he knows well will help counter the rust factor somewhat. Dating back to the U.S. Open Championship, in June 2019, Casey has made the cut in 14 straight events he has entered.
BEST LONGSHOT: Ian Poulter (80/1)
Scoring in the 60’s, during six of his last eight rounds, Ian Poulter deserves a look this week. Poulter posted a -16 (268) last week and finished 14th during the shootout at the RBC Heritage tournament. Tied for third overall, with 23 birdies at Harbor Town, Poulter will look to cut down on the nine boogies he posted last week. Poulter currently sits at No. 57 in the World Golf Rankings.
FAVORITE MATCHUP PLAY: Xander Schauffele (-105) over Patrick Cantlay -115
After a disappointing 64th place finish last week, Xander Schauffele is looking to get back on track. Prior to that, Schauffele finished one-stroke behind Daniel Berger who won the Charles Schwab Challenge two weeks ago. A pair of boogies, over the final four holes, cost Schauffele the title. Patrick Cantlay is playing for the first time since the middle of February when he finished 17th at the Genesis Open. Cantlay finished 15th during the last two Travelers tournaments.