It’s tough for any event to follow a Major but the Travelers Championship is a prestige tournament that can usually guarantee a strong field. The 2021 renewal is no exception, with defending champion Dustin Johnson and three-time winner Bubba Watson among those lining up this week.
TPC at River Highlands is the destination so let’s get straight on and assess the contenders for this Travelers Championship preview with predictions and betting picks.
Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship by one shot from Kevin Streelman in 2020 and he starts as joint favorite along with Bryson DeChambeau. Both men can be found at best odds of 12/1 with most outlets.
Johnson has addressed a dip in form with two top 20 finishes in his last two starts but he has only successfully defended a title once before, in 2010. DeChambeau faded badly at Torrey Pines on Sunday but he has a solid record in this tournament. Since his debut here in 2016, the Scientist has made the cut on all five appearances and has three straight top 10 finishes from 2018.
Both favorites look to have strong claims but there is plenty of competition. Behind the top two, Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay can all be found at a best of 16/1. Casey was at his consistent best with a top 10 finish at the US Open and two runners up slots in the Travelers Championship cements his ‘nearly man’ profile.
Koepka isn’t highly fancied this week and doesn’t even warrant a slot in the Power Rankings but Cantlay is attracting interest. He shot 60 in this event as an amateur 10 years ago and was a winner this month at Muirfield Village.
Moving through the chasing pack, Patrick Reed and Scottie Scheffler are both on offer at 25/1 while Tony Finau is slightly further back at 28/1. Scheffler returned some good stats at the US Open which could be relevant this week, as he led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting and also in Putting: Birdies or Better.
On the edges of this section are Brian Harman, Abraham Ancer and Kevin Streelman who are all listed at 30/1 in places. Streelman had that near miss behind Dustin Johnson a year ago but he is also a former champion – winning the Travelers Championship in 2014. This is clearly a favored tournament and Streelman could be worth a follow in the top 10 finish markets at the very least.
Kevin Streelman may have a solid record in the Travelers Championship but the entire field is playing catch up behind Bubba Watson. The left hander has three wins here between 2010 and 2018 and was also a runner up behind Marc Leishman in 2012.
Bubba leads the all-time money earners list in this event and that record sees him head up the Power Rankings. Despite all that, Watson can be found at best odds of 55/1 and there could be definite value in that figure.
At a shorter best price of 45/1, Harris English is also tempting following his solo third at the US Open. Elsewhere, Matthew Wolff, Charley Hoffman and Cameron Smith are all available at 50/1. Hoffman has converted for us at decent odds in the top 10 finish markets and it may be worth noting that he claimed a runners up spot in the Travelers Championship in 2012.
Other names to consider in a talented outside bunch include Keegan Bradley at 55/1, Sam Burns at 60/1, Justin Rose at 66/1, Garrick Higgo at 66/1, Rickie Fowler at 70/1 and Phil Mickelson at 80/1.
Our Preview’s Travelers Championship Predictions, Course & Betting Trends & Picks Conclusion
TPC at River Highlands is located in Cromwell, Connecticut and it has played host to the Travelers Championship since 1984. The tournament itself started in 1952 as the Insurance City Open with Ted Kroll winning the opening edition.
Bubba Watson has those three victories but he needs one more to equal Billy Casper’s overall tournament record. Stewart Cink and Phil Mickelson are the double champions inside this year’s field.
As a par 70 at 6,844 yards, many players can afford to leave the driver in the bag this week. Power off the tee is largely irrelevant while four-inch primary rough makes accuracy far more important. Greens that run to 12 on the Stimpmeter can take it all down to a putting contest.
Last year’s scoring average of 68.626 was the lowest for nine years and favorable conditions could shave a fraction off that in 2021. Overall, we’re looking for accuracy and form, particularly with the putter.
It’s a tough call and, looking at that outside bunch, it would be no surprise to see a long odds winner this week. It may be an occasion to focus on the top 10 finish betting markets but, if pushed, this preview would settle on Patrick Reed to win it.
Reed is consistent with five top 20 finishes in his last seven starts. That run includes the first three Majors of the year, while he has returned four top 25s in nine appearances at the Travelers’ Championship. It is not a stunning record but Reed is always a threat and this is the type of field in which he can thrive.
There could be a lot of value in the top 10 finish markets and here are three suggestions for single digit finishes this week as part of our tournament predictions.
- Patrick Reed to win at +2200 (22/1) with Bovada or Bookmaker.
- Top 10 Finishes (odds from BetOnline): Reed (+225), Charley Hoffman (+500), Keegan Bradley (+400) and Harris English (+500).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.