Our 4 Favorite Outright Bets for the 2020 Travelers Championship
Cliff Hawkins, Getty Images. Pictured: Marc Leishman
- Our staff reveals their four favorite outright bets for the 2020 Travelers Championship, which begins on Thursday at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.
- Find out why they like Bryson DeChambeau (+1250), Bubba Watson (+3500), Collin Morikawa (+4000) and Marc Leishman (+5500).
The PGA TOUR couldn’t have asked for a better restart to the 2019-20 season. Both The Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Heritage gave us riveting Sunday leaderboards and a pair of dramatic finishes that bettors won’t soon forget.
Judging by how loaded the field is and how well some of the game’s biggest stars are playing at the moment, this week’s Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands has just as much promise as the previous two events.
Here are our favorite outright bets for the 2020 Travelers Championship:
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- Win $100 if Bryson DeChambeau makes just ONE birdie all week
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Bryson DeChambeau (+1250, $10 bet wins $125)
The biggest – pun intended – talk in golf over the past few weeks has been Bryson’s beefiness, as he bulked up another 20-25 pounds during the break. The most impressive part of this, though, isn’t the new physique or the ungodly driving distances.
It’s the fact that he’s contended for titles during the past two weeks on courses which neutralize his entire advantage, finishing T-3 and T-8. After the latter of those results, he said, “If you want to be the No. 1 player in the world, you’ve got to learn how to adapt and I think that’s what I’m starting to learn.”
Granted, TPC River Highlands isn’t exactly a 7,800-yard behemoth, but at times he’ll finally be able to “Unleash the Kraken” as he says, using his increased swing speed to his advantage.
As I’ve said multiple times recently, I’m expecting a monster second half of the year for DeChambeau and I believe it will start this week at a venue where he owns top-10 results in each of the past two years.
You’re certainly paying a steep price for DeChambeau but at 12-1 or better I think it’s a fine bet.
Marc Leishman (+5500)
I’m going with the same logic that led me to Webb Simpson last week at the RBC Heritage.
Marc Leishman was solid with the approach at Colonial, but he struggled with the short game. We saw a similar performance from him early in the year at the Sony and he bounced back to win at Torrey Pines at similar odds in a strong field.
He’s also won here in the past, so he should have a decent level of comfort if he can work his way into contention.
I wouldn’t dip too far below this number on Leishman, who I don’t expect will be all that popular this week.
Collin Morikawa (+4000)
I do think this is The Bryson Week ™, but alas he’s down to just +1250, which is a steep price to pay for anyone these days given how loaded PGA TOUR fields are. Still, for what it’s worth, he’s the top golfer in my model to win even though he’s behind JT and Rory most places.
But let’s go down the board and play the market. Two weeks ago, Collin Morikawa was 40-50/1, made a playoff against Daniel Berger and was a three-foot brutal putt away from forcing another hole and potentially winning the darn thing. He showed why he’s such an exciting golfer: That swing is just so beautiful; he seemingly never misses on his irons.
As a result, he dipped to like 20-1 last week at Harbour Town, and after a mediocre showing he’s back down in the 40-range this week, although nothing at all has changed.
And honestly, TPC River Highlands fits him better than Harbour Town, which honestly kind of played as a joke. With no wind and rain overnight softening it, it obviously played incredibly easy and let everyone go low.
River Highlands is scorable, but I do think ball-striking will be harder to come by and thus emphasize Morikawa’s strengths.
Further, putting is likely to be more random this week, and that’s his problem in his game. If you’re giving me one of the best ball-strikers in the world on a course that minimizes his weaknesses at 40/1?
Yeah, I’ll go back to the well, as uninspiring as that may be.
Bubba Watson (+3500)
I first want to say that I’m joining Mr. Sobel and taking Bryson DeChambeau any way I can get him this week. Driving distance, both long and short-term, are predictive factors at TPC River Highlands, along with course birdies.
Combine those stats with course history and DeChambeau checks all the boxes.
Another golfer that hits all those notes is three-time winner Bubba Watson.
As Sobel mentioned on The Action Network Podcast, Watson’s right-to-left game is key at TPC River Highlands. Not only has Watson won this event outright twice since 2015, but he’s in great form after playing two courses that do not fit his game.
Bubba is a bomber and if you blend that with his recent Strokes Gained: Approach numbers, he stands to be a big factor this weekend.