2021 Travelers Championship Betting Guide: These 5 Have Value at TPC River Highlands
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Harris English.
Nothing good to report from the U.S. Open. Outrights were bad. Props were bad. Matchups were bad. All in all, a fun week, though.
Jon Rahm took it down as we all saw, so that’s easy enough to move past. I’m not betting a +1000 favorite in a major.
So now, attention turns to the Travelers Championship, all the way across the country from Torrey Pines at TPC River Highlands.
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 have 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.
Dustin Johnson bucked that trend a year ago, following the Bubba path of an elite bomber claiming the crown. But right behind him was the aforementioned Streelman, Mackenzie Hughes, Kevin Na and Ryan Armour, none of whom are known for their distance.
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. Jim Furyk owns the only 58 in PGA TOUR history here when he shot it in 2016.
Bryson DeChambeau opens at a slight favorite (+1200) over reigning champion Dustin Johnson (+1300) at DraftKings. DeChambeau has finished inside the top 10 here in three straight weeks, but this could easily be a letdown spot for him after the way he crumbled to close out the U.S. Open. DJ , meanwhile, has started to find his game again with top 20s the last two weeks.
Next up at +1600 is Patrick Cantlay, who has played fine at the Travelers, finishing inside the top 15 in each of the past three years, but hasn’t truly contended.
Paul Casey and Brooks Koepka are next at +1800. Casey has a great track record with four top-five finishes here, including a playoff loss to Bubba Watson. Koepka, meanwhile, will be a pass for me at an event like this. The last time he survived a 36-hole cut in a regular event was the Genesis back in February. He’s 0-for-3 since then.
In the 2000s, we find Brian Harman at +2000, followed by Patrick Reed (+2200), Scottie Scheffler (+2500) and Abraham Ancer and Tony Finau at +2800.
Outside of Reed, this group has notably had a tough time closing when getting into contention, so it’s tough to really play any of them at these numbers.
I’ll open here with Harris English at +5000 on DraftKings. He was third at the U.S. Open last week and in contention late at the Palmetto Championship, so the game is where it needs to be. English doesn’t have great results here, but he was seventh here in 2014 when he opened 66-64. So if the game is right, he can find his way around here.
I’ll go to Aaron Wise here at +8500 on FanDuel. He’s starting to find some good form with three top-20s in his last four starts. In those events, the ball striking has been solid. The short game had been inconsistent for Wise in the early part of the year, but that seems to be turning around as well.
I’ll pepper the board down here with a few guys.
We’ll go to Will Gordon at 250/1 on DraftKings. Gordon was third here a year ago and has started playing some good golf recently, fresh off finishing 14th at the Palmetto Championship where he gained 11 strokes ball striking.
I’ll also take a stab on another youngster in Austin Eckroat at 310/1 on FanDuel. Eckroat is a recent PGA TOUR U grad who finished seventh and 13th in his first two Korn Ferry starts. He was also 12th at Mayakoba in one of his two starts on the PGA Tour this season. Eckroat is probably more of a top-20 play now, but I’d expect him to be on the TOUR next season. He’s got more than enough game to get through the Korn Ferry Finals in a few months and move forward.
We’ll also take another chance on Satoshi Kodaira at 400/1 on DraftKings. He’s been inside the top 20 for three straight events, so the game is fine. The former RBC Heritage winner should be a good fit here, as well. Stewart Cink, who won the Heritage three times, has two wins here, and Furyk, who shot the 58 on this course, is another former Heritage champ.
It’s a pretty light card overall. We don’t know the effect the U.S. Open hangover may have on some of the top guys, so we’ll just keep our eyes peeled for a live add or two after the first couple rounds and see how the week plays out.
The Travelers card
- Harris English +5000 (.66 units)
- Aaron Wise +8500 (.39 units)
- Will Gordon +25000 (.13 units)
- Austin Eckroat +31000 (.11 units)
- Satoshi Kodaira +40000 (.08 units)
Total Stake: 1.37 units