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Travelers Championship 2020 Odds & Picks

You couldn’t have asked for better action from the PGA Tour over its first two weekends back since a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, we’ve got Travelers Championship odds this week for the event at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.

After stacked leaderboards and exhilarating Sunday finishes at both the Charles Schwab Challenge and the RBC Heritage, we have a three-way tie for the favorite tag between Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas, each at +1100 to win the event at the best golf betting sites

Brooks Koepka, who was set at +2000, announced Wednesday morning that he was withdrawing from the event because his caddie had tested positive for COVID-19. Cameron Champ also withdrew after testing positive and three others – Brooks’ brother Chase Koepka, Graeme McDowell and last week’s winner Webb Simpson – have all withdrawn from the tournament for precautionary reasons.

Below, I’m going to break down the course, key stats I’m using to handicap the Travelers Championship betting odds, and my best bets to win the tournament. If you’ve never bet on golf before or are looking for a refresh on ways to handicap the links, check out our How to Bet on Golf guide. 

For now, here are the top 30 golfers on the oddsboard to win the Travelers Championship, and you can see the full list at Bovada:

Odds to Win 2020 Travelers Championship
GolferOdds
Bryson DeChambeau+1100
Roy McIlroy+1100
Justin Thomas+1100
Jon Rahm+1600
Dustin Johnson+2000
Patrick Cantlay+2500
Bubba Watson+2500
Xander Schauffele+2800
Abraham Ancer+2800
Justin Rose+2800
Collin Morikawa+3300
Paul Casey+3300
Sungjae Im+3300
Joaquin Niemann+3300
Patrick Reed+3300
Gary Woodland+4000
Jordan Spieth+4000
Marc Leishman+5000
Matthew Fitzpatrick+5000
Sergio Garcia+5000
Tony Finau+5000
JT Poston+6600
Scottie Scheffler+6600
Viktor Hovland+6600
Brian Harman+8000
Corey Connors+8000
Ian Poulter+8000
Jason Day+8000

Odds as of June 23 at Bovada

The Course

As is true with every golf tournament, if you want to have success as a handicapper, you must look at the course first and foremost.

TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses on the tour, playing as a par 70 at just 6,841 yards. This will be the second tournament in a row to be held on a Pete Dye-designed course. Bombers be damned, just like the previous two weeks, this is a ball striker’s course that doesn’t give a lot of advantages to the long hitters out there.

One key attribute to note for this track is that its fairways are relatively easy to hit. Players hit the fairways at an average rate of 67 percent at TPC River Highlands compared to the average PGA Tour course which sees a rate of 61 percent of fairways hit.

In addition to the wider fairways, it’s also just a generally easy course by tour standards. Expect the leaderboard to look a lot like the RBC Heritage at the end of the weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if the winning score is lower than -20, so golfers who avoid mistakes and can capitalize on birdie opportunities will have success.


Iain’s Key Golf Handicapping Stats
  • SG: Tee-to-Green
  • Par 4 Efficiency (400-450 Yards) 
  • Greens In Regulation
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Putting
  • Sand Save Percentage

-With the wide fairways and short course, I’m not focusing on off-the-tee play very much this week, but it will be factored into the strokes gained: tee-to-green stat that will give us an overall look at how a golfer is in every aspect outside of putting.

-Out of the 12 par 4s on the course, seven of them are 400 to 450 yards with an eighth coming in at 453 yards. This allows us to narrow down that 50-yard window when looking at par 4 efficiency.

-Greens in regulation have proven to be an extremely important stat at TPC River Highlands. With low scores being a common occurrence, it’s key for golfers to be hitting the greens with regularity to allow themselves makeable birdie attempts.

-Bogeys are flat out unacceptable if you want to find yourself in contention on Sunday and this tournament is going to be a shootout. Let’s make sure we’re betting on a golfer who doesn’t rack up too many squares on their scorecard.

-A very important stat to look at is strokes gained: putting. If you don’t look at this stat when handicapping a golf tournament, you’re doing it wrong. It’s hard to win a tournament if you aren’t good with the flat stick in your hand.

-For a little bonus stat, I’d throw in sand save percentage. The course boasted an insane 119 bunkers before some recent renovations, but almost every green is still hugged by sand traps. Golfers who struggle when their ball finds the beach won’t have much fun this weekend.


Travelers Championship Odds - My Three Best Bets:

Patrick Cantlay

To win: +2500*
Top 5: +475
Top 10: +200
Top 20: EVEN

Patrick Cantlay is my first pick for the Travelers Championship. He ranks in the top 10 in four of the five key stats I laid out, and he’s had success at TPC River Highlands in the past.

He ranks sixth in SG: tee-to-green, 10th in par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards, second (!!) in greens in regulation, and T19th in bogey avoidance. He also finished T15 at this event the past two years so he knows what he has to do to find success this weekend.

I will admit I have two concerns for Patrick Cantlay this week. The big one is that this is his first event back in action as he did not participate in the Charles Schwab Challenge or the RBC Heritage. I did the same thing last week when I picked Tyrrell Hatton despite it being his debut, but after a slow first round he caught fire the rest of the way.

The second thing that concerns me with Cantlay is his putting. He ranked 92nd in strokes gained: putting before the pandemic break, so let’s hope he worked on that flat stick during the hiatus.

*odds based on opening numbers

Bubba Watson

To win: +3300*
Top 5: +600
Top 10: +280
Top 20: +130

Anyone who knows anything about the PGA Tour knows that Bubba Watson LOVES TPC River Highlands. He’s won the event three times (2010, 2015, 2018) and he also has finishes of second, fourth, sixth, 14th and 25th.

As impressive as that is, I wouldn’t normally bet on a golfer just because he has historically done well at a course, but Bubba Watson also seems to be hitting his stride.

He quietly had an impressive RBC Heritage last weekend. His season-to-date numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping, but check out how he fared in these stats last weekend: 12th in SG: tee-to-green, T24 in greens in regulation, T20 in bogey avoidance, T7 in SG: putting. Very consistent across the board.

Nobody has dominated this course quite like Watson has over this past decade and I like what I saw from him last weekend, so it’s time to jump on the Bubba train.

*odds based on opening numbers

Joaquin Niemann

To win: +5000*
Top 5: +700
Top 10: +300
Top 20: +150

My third pick is the Chilean Joaquin Niemann. I was surprised to see his odds set where they are considering how he played this past weekend. He was in danger of missing the cut late on Friday but then proceeded to catch fire. He played his last 40 holes of the tournament at -16.

His stats also line up with this course nicely. He’s 21st in SG: tee-to-green, 58th in par 4 400-450 yards efficiency, 18th in greens in regulation, and 51st in bogey avoidance. He’s T97th in SG: putting but was a respectable 25th at the RBC Heritage. He also had a top-five finish at last year’s Travelers, finishing T5 alongside Paul Casey and Kevin Tway.

*odds based on opening numbers