A strong field of 156 is assembling for the Travelers Championship 2020 which is one of only two remaining tournaments to tee off according to its original schedule. First held in 1952, the Travelers should be more competitive this week as the countdown begins to the PGA Championship in early August.
We enjoyed a profitable week at the RBC Heritage with top 10 finish returns on both Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka. Clearly things would have been more productive if we’d backed Simpson for the outright win but USAbetting is on a good run and looking to extend that at TPC River Highlands.
Two subdued performances from Rory McIlroy mean that it’s much tighter at the top of the betting this week. Rory still features but the Northern Irishman is locked in most places as one of three 12/1 (+1200) co-favorites with Bovada sports betting site, along with Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas.
Thomas is leading the Power Rankings after two top 10 finishes and he tied for third in the Travelers back in 2016. DeChambeau is on a run of five straight top 10s and is the most consistent player on Tour right now. All three have a case but there will be plenty of contenders in another strong field.
Next in the odds come Jon Rahm (16/1), Brooks Koepka (18/1) and Webb Simpson (20/1). Rahm was our betting pick for the outright win last week but could only tie for 33rd following a missed cut the week before. Simpson is the most recent winner on Tour while Koepka produced the best all round stats at Harbour Town and both have solid records in the Travelers.
Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schaufelle all follow at around +2500 while Abraham Ancer (33/1) is attracting interest after a strong finish on Sunday.
Then we come to our first former Champion and a man with a brilliant record in this tournament. Bubba Watson (33/1) has won the Travelers Championship on three previous occasions and is just one win away from Billy Casper’s all-time record. The left hander has no fewer than six top 10s in this event and is in good touch after a tie for seventh at Colonial.
Other golfers to consider include are the 33/1 shots Paul Casey, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Reed. Casey is making his first appearance since the restart and, as a favorite of ours, we’ve noted that he was runner up to Watson’s previous two wins.
At the head of the outsiders are a number of players who would carry much shorter prices on any other week. Jordan Spieth (40/1) has shown some flashes of his best form in the last fortnight and is returning to a tournament which he won back in 2017. Marc Leishman (50/1) is another former champion, having lifted the trophy in 2012 while 50/1 fancy Tony Finau’s power off the tee should be valued across the four days.
Gary Woodland, Viktor Hovland and Ian Poulter have all shown good touch over the previous two weeks while Sergio Garcia, Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen are among the former Major winners in the field. Even further down the list is the defending Travelers champion Chez Reavie (125/1) who won by four strokes from Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher in 2019. It’s clearly a strong field but what will it take to get over the line?
Our Travelers Championship Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Conclusion
While the big hitters have enjoyed plenty of success in the Travelers Championship, the course is a modest one in terms of length. TPC River Highlands has hosted this event since 1984 and it checks in at just 6,841 yards but there are some lengthy par 4s contained in the overall par 70.
While it’s a modest total, the fact that inaccuracy isn’t necessarily punished allows the power hitters to explode off the tee with some degree of impunity. The one area where they cannot afford to be complacent is around the Poa Annua greens where GIR and putting will be key. Scrambling has also been in focus in recent renewals so we need a combination of some solid, all round statistics.
Any of the top three could come through and while we don’t like picking favorites, both Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are making strong cases. Further back, one man who holds some better value is Dustin Johnson and, after a difficult year both on and off the course, DJ will surely be back in the winner’s enclosure soon.
Johnson has a good record on similar courses and, while we would perhaps stick to the top 10 markets this week, he does make a good case. As his fitness improves every week, power off the tee shouldn’t be an issue and, if his short game is there to back it all up, DJ is ready to convert at a seriously good price. Having checked out the odds from the USA offshore bookies, here are our Travelers Championship predictions and picks’ verdict: