Unlike other post-major tournaments, the Travelers Championship has a tendency to draw a strong field and more of the world’s top golfers look to play rather than take a break following the rigors of the US Open.
This week is no exception so, after the lottery of Shinnecock Hills last week, we will hope for calmer conditions as we head across to the TPC River Highlands Course in Connecticut.
Justin Thomas tops the USA betting sites’ lists for this event and is at +1200 with Bovada (whose odds we will quote throughout this preview). Like many, the US PGA Champion had a disappointing time of it last weekend. The first point to note is that some results from the US Open can be disregarded due to the conditions and Zach Johnson said it all when he claimed it all came down to ‘sheer luck’.
Thomas has the stats to succeed but there are plenty of challengers just a few points behind in the outright betting.
Jordan Spieth (+1400) is the defending champion this week having won here in a play-off over Daniel Berger twelve months ago. Spieth was on a hot streak of form that would culminate in an Open Championship victory the following month but he hasn’t won anywhere since.
Despite that unfortunate stat, there is plenty of support for Spieth as there is for Brooks Koepka (+1600) and Rory McIlroy (+1200). The three are joint second favourites behind Thomas but only US Open Champion Koepka has any consistent form.
Already we can see that there is a strong field for this Travelers Championship tournament and behind the four favorites, we have Jason Day, Patrick Reed (both +1600) and Paul Casey (+2000) just a few points behind in the outright winner betting market.
English golfer Casey was a runner up at the Travelers Championship in 2015 while there is a lot of support for Reed, who has seven Top 10 finishes this season to go with his Masters victory in April.
Moving slightly further back, we are interested in the +2500 price on Marc Leishman: The Aussie won here in 2012 and this season has consistently threatened to add to his total of three PGA Tour wins.
At the head of the Power Rankings this week is Daniel Berger (+2800) but his win odds are long enough to see him lead the list of outside bets. Berger was second here last year, losing out to Spieth in that dramatic play off, and that followed a tie for fifth on his previous visit.
After a commendable four days at Shinnecock Hills, Berger has to be considered for a Top 10 finish at the very least.
Bubba Watson (+2800) has won this event twice and started 2018 on the comeback trail with two tournament wins. Bubba’s recent form isn’t so hot but he also has a runners up slot at the Travelers and is another to consider for a single digit finish.
Elsewhere, Brandt Snedeker (+6600) had been a constant favorite of ours in the Top 10 markets and while we have avoided the 37 year old since his return from injury, there have been recent signs that he could start to be profitable again.
Behind those names are a host of golfers who have the games to come through the pack and they include Charley Hoffman (+4000), Zach Johnson (+6600), Keegan Bradley (+6600) and 2016 Champion Russell Knox (+5000).
Our Preview’s Travelers Championship Picks & Betting Predictions Verdict with Course Trends
The TPC River Highlands Course is a short Par 70 at 6,844 yards and has played host to the Travelers Championship since 1991. Distance hitters have performed well here with Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan among the list of recent winners.
There are holes here that are driveable in less than regulation but there is plenty of water to punish wayward tee shots, particularly towards the end where the ‘Golden Triangle’ at 15, 16 and 17 has often decided the destiny of this event.
Greens in Regulation is also critical and that is why we are edging towards Jordan Spieth for the outright win. Spieth is second on Tour in GIR and while his putting is the issue, the slower, wider greens at River Highlands can offer the perfect surfaces to regain form with the flatstick.
Bubba Watson has shown in 2018 that he can score well in events where he has a strong history so the big hitting left hander sneaks in as a Top 10 Travelers Championship prediction along with 2017 runner up Daniel Berger and Paul Casey, who remains so consistent on Tour. To summarize our picks for this Travelers Championship preview: