Travelers Championship Bets & Sleeper Picks: Why Max Homa & Doc Redman Are Live Longshots
Max Homa is coming off a third-place finish at the 3M Open. Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
- Josh Perry previews the 2020 Travelers Championship, featuring his favorite betting picks for TPC River Highlands.
- Find out why Perry likes longshots Max Homa (+15000) and Doc Redman (+30000) as outright bets.
Webb Simpson got hot with the putter at the right time for us at Harbour Town and his victory served as a good reminder that not all missed cuts are created equal.
For the second week in a row Simpson was a popular outright pick and he carried plenty of ownership in DFS, so enough people knew that one bad round of golf after a three-month layoff shouldn’t make you want to abandon ship.
We now turn our attention north for the Travelers, which features another elite field that includes 15 of the top-20 players in the world, including each of the top seven.
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TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses on the PGA TOUR, measuring a little under 6,900 yards for a par 70. Over the past decade, it’s been the shorter hitters who’ve been able to take advantage.
Outside of Bubba Watson, who has won three times here, it’s been guys like Jordan Spieth, Chez Reavie, Kevin Streelman and Ken Duke lifting the trophy on Sunday.
We’ll see if having more talented, longer hitters in this field this week changes the trend, but traditionally that hasn’t been the case.
There are a few water hazards that come into play, but this course is pretty easy for these guys and the winning score usually ends up in the high teens. Very low numbers are in play at TPC River Highlands if the wind dies down. Just ask Jim Furyk, who shot the only 58 in PGA TOUR history here in 2016.
Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy are basically co-favorites this week, opening in the +1200 ($10 bet wins $120) range around the market. Of those three, I’d lean more toward Thomas here since he’s the better short-iron player.
That being said, I am not looking to back anyone in this range but will keep my eye on JT’s odds after the show gets started. If he starts a little slow and drifts into the 20’s he may be worth a live-bet.
Webb Simpson and Jon Rahm are next in line and check in at +1800. This is another course that should fit Webb’s eye, although his results haven’t been as good here as Colonial or Harbour Town. Rahm is still looking for a top-20 finish here after missing out in his first two starts.
Things get quite interesting around the 20-1 mark. Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose can all be found here.
Brooks, Xander and Rose have all had chances over the past two Sundays, though none of them have ever really played great at TPC River Highlands. However, course history will be a little more difficult to rely on this week as this event usually comes the week after the U.S. Open and if the top players show up, they’re usually a little drained from that grind. That shouldn’t be the case this week.
Out of this group, Brooks and Xander are of the most interest to me. Koepka is getting better with each round and he appears to be focused in these tournaments.
Schauffele had a close call two weeks ago and opened a little flat at Heritage. But he closed with a 67 and played well here a few years ago.
Bubba Watson and Patrick Cantlay are the last two names in this range. As a three-time champ, Watson’s odds crashed this week even though he finished well off the pace at Harbour Town. Bookmakers are well aware that Watson tends to play well at the same courses each year.
This will be Cantlay’s first start since play resumed and I’m going to continue to cross off guys in this spot, though that almost bit me with Tyrrell Hatton last week.
I don’t like playing that guessing game when we’re trying to pick a winner and his +2800 odds are basically inline with where he’d normally be priced, so I’m not getting any added incentive to play him off a layoff.
It feels like one of those weeks where one of the favorites takes it’s down, so I’ll be pretty light and leave some room in the budget to add someone off a slow start.
In the meantime though, I’ll start this range with Marc Leishman at +6000. Leishman had a similar week to Webb at the Charles Schwab Challenge. The Aussie missed the cut but his irons were in good shape. The problem was that he lost nearly five strokes with his short game.
Leishman didn’t play last week, so I think he’s a bit “out of sight, out of mind” for a lot of bettors but he’s won here before and has finished inside the top-25 in five of his last eight starts at TPC River Highlands.
We’re still kind of guessing a bit with Leishman at this point since he’s only played two rounds, so I wouldn’t dip too much below 60-1 for him. You may even be able to wait it out and find something bigger since I don’t he’ll be on many people’s radar.
With the talent at the top, these will probably serve better as top-20 bets, but there are a couple names in this range I like.
Up first is Max Homa at +15000. Max is obviously a GolfTwitter darling, but his game is also trending in the right direction. He finished sixth at Harbour Town in Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking but he lost nearly 6.5 strokes with his short game.
Homa has been in good form for over a year now and he showed he can win a good field at Quail Hollow.
Next, I’ll take a shot with Joseph Bramlett (+21000), who put together two top-three finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour the last couple weeks. The KFT form didn’t carry over for Luke List last week but Bramlett’s game has been in better shape than List’s this season and a top-20 finish isn’t out of the question for him.
I’ll finish off the card with Doc Redman (+30000).
I mentioned Homa’s ball-striking as a positive sign but Doc’s was even better than Max’s. He finished fourth in the category last week but lost a little over four strokes with his short game at Harbour Town.
Again it’s probably best to play these guys as top-20 bets but make sure to shop around for the best price for these types of players as the numbers can fluctuate quite a bit when you get down to this part of the board.
And as I’ve mentioned a couple times, I’ll be on lookout for live plays a little more than usual this week.
I like to keep the total stake between three and four units for outrights, so I’ll still have about two-thirds of my bankroll for this tournament left in case a price pops up on a bigger name after the tournament starts.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @joshuaperry22, where I’ll post all of my live bets.
The Travelers Card
- Marc Leishman +6000 (.55 units)
- Max Homa +15000 (.22 units)
- Joseph Bramlett +21000 (.16 units)
- Doc Redman +30000 (.11 units)
Total stake: 1.15 units