The PGA Tour is back in full swing coming off the heels of two successful, well-played, competitive tournaments. Golfers make the trip from the South Carolina coast to Hartford, CT for the Travelers Championship.
The past couple of weeks featured two similar golf courses where accuracy and strong putting were emphasized while power off the tee was not. This week, at a course like TPC River Highlands, we could see any style of play get the victory.
Chez Reavie has next to zero power off-the-tee and he managed to win. Then there are guys like Bubba Watson who crush drives of 320 consistently as well as the Jordan Spieth’s of the golfing world who win with approach and putting.
Players will get a break from the very narrow fairways they have had to deal with the past couple of weeks. 29 yards wide at Harbour Town and 27 yards at Colonial… That’s pretty tight conditions.
This week, the fairways will average 38 which isn’t the largest but we haven’t seen fairways this wide in the past 10 tournaments. It’s not Kapalua at 62 yards but 38 will likely feel like it after two very tight courses in back-to-back weeks.
Just to recap our betting from last week, it was another tough one for Brian Harman backers.
We had him top twenty the past couple of weeks to pay around 3 to 1 but he finished 1 stroke out of the paying group both weeks! He has solid course history here but I don’t know if I can take him again.
JT Poston came through for us at (+275) for a top twenty.
Joel Dahmen was primed to pay us even better going into Sunday at 14 under par but an abysmal (+4) in the final round dropped him way down the leaderboard.
As far as course difficulty goes this week at River Highlands, it’s middle of the road most years, 25th out of 50 essentially.
I’m looking for golfers who are obviously playing well, hitting plenty of greens in regulation, and hopefully swinging a hot flat stick.
BetOnline.AG has the betting odds and options for us this week at the Travelers Championship. Let’s get to our predictions!
Bubba Watson: +2800
Yes, we normally stick with the top twenty bets but Bubba is mas o menos all or nothing here at TPC River Highlands.
My best good friend has five top 4 finishes over the past 10 years including 3 victories!
- He hasn’t finished better than 25th in any of his other appearances in the past decade.
- He isn’t the prototypical golfer an expert would design to beat this course but he manages to do it anyway. He dominates this course.
How has Bubba been golfing in 2020, though? He is going on 42-years-old in November so I think the Georgia Bulldog from Bagdad still has a few more solid years of competitive golf left on the PGA Tour.
In his previous 7 starts, Bubba has 18th, 7th, 6th, and 3rd place finishes but missed the cut twice.
His 7th was two weeks ago at Colonial and he was 52nd last week at the claustrophobic Harbour Town. He did shoot a final round 6 under par on Sunday bested only by tournament winner Webb Simpson who shot a final round 7 under par.
It looks like Justin Thomas was 8 under on the tournament’s last day but still very impressive and a great sign for this week’s Travelers Championship.
Paul Casey: +160
The only player with a better tournament scoring average all-time at TPC River Highlands than Bubba Watson is Mr Paul Casey.
He has played the tournament just 5 times and has a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with two other top 5’s and a 17th for good measure.
I would definitely try to milk this one more with a top 10 bet but he hasn’t played in the past couple of weeks like most of the field.
This will mark 4 months since Casey has teed it up competitively but the guy has been around.
He is 42-years-old and he knows his body. The fact that he has performed so well here in the past tells me there was probably a good reason he took the first couple of tourneys off.
He could have some trouble early on but I think Paul settles in and places within 15 spots of his outstanding average placing of 6th at the Travelers.
Course fit and history are there x1000 and the lack of recent form concerns me enough to drop him down to a top 20 pick.
Bryson DeChambeau: +600
I want what this guy is taking! Can I have some of that?
If Brooks Koepka is Big Poppa Pump then Bryson DeChambeau is Brian Urlacher. I think he gained 25 pounds over the break! I mean, I did too but it sure ain’t all muscle! He has regularly been driving the ball 350+ yards in competition!
Okay, enough exclamation points. You guys get it.
The calculating putting specialist is now out-driving Watson, McIlroy, and Koepka? Yup. His putting has actually been the least impressive part of his game. I think he just spent most of his time working on strength and power
It takes time to be able to balance newly found strength with your existing finesse. He’s doing alright, though.
I was just reading that Bryson attempted to drive the 420-yard 17th at River Highlands during practice this week. He said it would be too risky during competitive play but he is always testing his limits.
“Never say never because limits, like fears, are often an illusion.”
That is one of my all-time favorite quotes and while I don’t think Bryson DeChambeau is the future Michael Jordan of golf, he has shown that he at least has every tool to do the job.
At the size now, 6’1” 240 pounds, of the average NFL middle linebacker, Bryson just needs to catch up his finesse with his newfound power off the tee and he will easily be one of the best 5 golfers in the world.
He has 5th, 2nd, 4th, 2nd, and 8th place finishes in his previous 5 starts on the PGA Tour and two straight top tens here at TPC River Highlands.
DeChambeau is one of the favorites to win this week for a reason but I love the 6 to 1 we are getting on a top five. Considering the talent level of this week’s tournament, I think that line holds considerably much more value than the 11 to 1 to win.
I like our picks today, guys.
We are still just in our third week back from an unprecedented 3 months off for the PGA Tour so the variables we have to take into account are endless.
Every country has different rules regarding open or closed golf courses, social distancing, etc.
There’s also the fact that different golfers have different personality traits therefore some will be more inclined to play the quarantine safe and then, of course, you have your red-blooded ‘Mericans who will as they please.
I can see the positives and negatives on both sides but my common sense tells me that golf is a fairly socially distant sport so I think the PGA Tour and it’s players are making the right decision to play golf right now.
How can you ignore Bubba Watson in this spot and if he doesn’t win, he usually fails significantly here so why not pick him to get the victory? Paul Casey has not played a tournament in a while now but the 20-year pro knows his body and his game quite well at this point.
It also makes sense that he skipped the first two tourneys played in the extreme heat of Texas and South Carolina and now cruises into the familiar latitude of his native UK refreshed and ready to win.
4 top fives in 5 years are just a reminder of how close you were especially with those two runner-up performances he has had here. He is 5/5 here on top twenty’s so why not take the (+160) for him to do it again.
Finally, Bryson DeChambeau is the talk of the Tour and for good reason.
The analytical slow playing mathematician is now the biggest guy on the PGA Tour and drives the ball like he used to play semi-pro hockey.
Get your bets in now, guys, and enjoy the links from the not so friendly town of Hartford, Connecticut.