2023 Travelers Championship Odds, Picks: Bet Patrick Cantlay, Denny McCarthy & Russell Henley
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images. Pictured: Denny McCarthy.
Click arrow to expand the Travelers Championship odds via bet365
|Si Woo Kim||+4500|
|Min Woo Lee||+7500|
|Erik van Rooyen||+75000|
|Paul Haley II||+200000|
Brooks Koepka was in a particularly jovial mood during his Tuesday press conference in advance of last week’s U.S. Open, which might explain why he closed the interview session with a wry smile before offering, “See you guys at the Travelers [Championship] next week.”
Spoiler alert: We will not see Koepka at the Travelers.
Despite the recent "don’t-call-it-a-merger" between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the game’s top level will maintain its status quo for at least the remainder of the current season, which means no LIV players amongst the competitors for this week’s annual Connecticut-based tourney — but as a designated event, there are still plenty of big names.
I’d love to write more about what was my hometown event for a long time — the one with the friendliest and most helpful staff, from top to bottom, of all the great events on the PGA Tour calendar — but fresh off the U.S. Open and a cross-country red-eye flight and an impending member-guest this week, and, well, how many more excuses do I need for a shortened intro?
Without further ado, let’s get right to the picks for the 2023 Travelers Championship.
Outright Winner (Short odds)
One player to win the tournament
Patrick Cantlay (+1200)
Way back in 2011, a 19-year-old Patrick Cantlay nearly holed out for eagle on the ninth hole at TPC River Highlands to close out his second round, which would’ve cemented the most improbable, unpredictable 59 in PGA Tour history. Instead, he tapped in for a 60 and signified that he’d be a player to watch for in the future — even if that future would take a few more years than we would’ve expected.
He’s now one of the game’s top players, a threat to win on any given week, even if he hasn’t since last summer’s BMW Championship.
At the Travelers, Cantlay owns one of the more statistically implausible records around, posting five consecutive top 15s while never finishing inside the top 10.
It’s about time for him to win, as he’s certainly performed well enough to claim a title this year. Now with Connecticut’s own Joe LaCava on the bag, this one could mean a little bit more — to both of 'em.
Outright Winner (Long odds)
One player to win the tournament
Denny McCarthy (+8000)
If you thought the first two rounds of the U.S. Open were a birdie-fest, just wait until this week, as four of the last five winners have reached 17-under or better.
Just three weeks ago, Denny McCarthy showed us what he can do when his putter gets hot, as he played 27 holes without a bogey at Muirfield Village over the weekend, only to make one on his final hole of regulation and eventually lose in a playoff to Viktor Hovland.
While he doesn’t have much course history to speak of, McCarthy often thrives on shorter Northeast courses, so don’t be surprised if he battles back from that Memorial Tournament disappointment with a first career win.
Potential selections for one-and-done pools
Scottie Scheffler (+800)
This is the part of the preview where I’ll remind you that the winner of this week’s designated event will receive $3.6 million – the same first-place prize at the U.S. Open.
From what I’ve seen in OADs so far this year, poolsters have had a difficult time adjusting to the brave new world of professional golf, where the purse for a tourney like the Travelers Championship is commensurate with that of a major. Sure, the best players want their games to peak for the big ones, but if your pool uses straight cash (homie) as the sole determining factor in the standings, then picking a winner this week is no less valuable than picking one last week.
Enter Scottie Scheffler, who continues to perform at a historically elite level from tee to green. I get that many of you either used him at a major or are saving him for the last one (or a FedEx Cup playoff event), but I love using him this week, where you can potentially pounce on some lower ownership.
He’s trending in the right direction to pick up his next victory. While I don’t want to back him as a favorite at his opening price, this one seems to make a ton of sense.
Rory McIlroy (+1000)
Same story here, as McIlroy is an obvious high-ceiling, low-owned OAD play.
I remember the first time he played this event, back in 2017. A final-round 64 left him in a share of 17th place and afterward he spoke about how much he’d enjoyed himself, saying something to the effect of, “I’ll definitely come back here.”
I followed by saying we’d hold him to that statement and he reiterated that it would happen. He’s kept his word, playing three of the last five years, again finishing outside the top 10, though inside the top 20 each time.
Sahith Theegala (+6000)
I expect this to be a popular play for OADs this week, as Sahith Theegala shoulda/coulda/woulda won this title a year ago, only to fail to extricate himself from trouble on the final hole and lose to Xander Schauffele.
Look, I’ve already crept too far into "Boy Who Cried Wolf" territory when it comes to Theegala, as I’ve been preaching about his impending excellence for a while now. Consider this more of a suggestion than a backing, but if you’re looking to get a little different from the masses, you might want to stay away.
Davis Riley (+12500)
Man, I don’t even know what to make of Davis Riley’s game these days.
He won the Zurich Classic alongside Nick Hardy (whom I’ll list below), then went into an immediate tailspin, with four missed cuts and a T-54 in his five starts since.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re trying to play catch-up and need a potentially high-ceiling play without risk of the low floor, I suppose he’s worth a try at a place where he opened with three sub-70 scores last year.
One player to finish in the top five
Harris English (+1400 for top-five finish)
As I was preparing to interview Harris English for the U.S. Open Radio broadcast after the second round last week, his manager, Jeremy Elliott, sidled up to me and suggested something to the effect of, “You should ask him about this golf course. It’s one of his favorite in the world.” To which I replied, “Thanks, that’s great information. But I can’t help but feel like this would’ve been even better information on, say, Tuesday.”
He laughed, knowing exactly what I was getting at. That said, I can’t imagine TPC River Highlands is too far down the list for English, who two years ago won this tournament in one of the most memorable playoffs we’ve ever witnessed, outlasting Kramer Hickok in eight holes.
I’d usually stay away from most non-superstars after a major contention, but I feel like English is still in full comeback mode and has the ability to step on the gas pedal, even after a taxing week.
One player to finish in the top 10
Russell Henley (+450 for top-10 finish)
As usual, the ball-striking stats are through the roof for Russell Henley, while the putter has been cooperating lately, too. He remains one of the more underrated players around – and if you need proof of that assertion, then ask yourself whether you knew he owned six top 20s in his last seven events going into last week.
I’m a massive fan of Henley’s upside on any given week, as he owns a regularly high floor and a ceiling that’s just waiting to be reached again.
One player to finish in the top 20
Justin Suh (+500 for top-20 finish)
In recent weeks and months, I’ve become a massive fan of Justin Suh’s game. He’s now showed up and showed out for the past two majors – at least for a few rounds.
Making up for lost ground after a few years of injuries after turning professional, Suh has a game that is going to render him a high-floor money-maker for the next decade.
Another guy who does most of his damage with the flatstick, I like him to roll in plenty of birdie putts this week.
One player to finish in the top 30
Nick Hardy (+350 for top-30 finish)
Entering the year, Nick Hardy was one of the players I thought would take a big step in his career – and he’s done exactly that, winning for the first time on the PGA Tour, though with help from partner Davis Riley at the Zurich Classic.
Like Riley, he’s struggled ever since, though appeared to take some nice steps forward last week. Last year’s T-8 result here should have us optimistic that with another year of experience, Hardy can easily cash more conservative props.
One player to finish in the top 40
Ben James (+475 for top-40 finish)
Andy Bessette and Nathan Grube and all of the great – and I mean, great – people who run the Travelers Championship each year have a long tradition of offering exemptions to either newly minted professionals or elite-level amateurs, exemptions which are often rewarded with loyalty from those players once they hit the big time.
James is a native of Connecticut and so this offer makes a lot of sense, though it’s hardly born from some sense of duty. The rising sophomore at the University of Virginia earned first-team All-America honors and his last nine individual results read: 6th-Win-3rd-Win-4th-40th-Win-2nd-4th, as he’s risen to fourth in the WAGR.
Remember the name; this kid has a ton of game. Here’s saying he follows in the footsteps of Patrick Cantlay, Michael Thorbjornsen and other amateurs who have played well here over the years.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups
Note: As of Monday afternoon, Spieth is not in the field at this week's Travelers Championship.
You’ll hear this one a lot, especially if Jordan Spieth finds his way onto the Travelers leaderboard: The last time he missed the cut at a major championship, he won the very next week.
That was at last year’s Masters/RBC Heritage, and there were fewer signs then that he was on the verge of success than there are now.
It was an utterly discouraging performance for Spieth at LACC, as he posted rounds of 72-71 and missed a handful of makable putts, but he can certainly turn things around. Oh, by the way, he was coming straight off a disappointing U.S. Open performance (T-35 at Erin Hills) when he won here in 2017.
A medium-priced option for DFS lineups
Much like the aforementioned Russell Henley, Patrick Rodgers is a guy who’s played better than most non-bettors probably realize.
While he’s still searching for his first career victory, Rodgers is starting to inch closer, with three top 20s in his last eight starts. A share of third place back in 2016 suggests that he can find something here and continue that solid run of play.
A lower-priced option for DFS lineups
After starting to work with a new swing instructor and gaining some much-needed yardage, Mark Hubbard is beginning to see the fruits of his labor pay off, posting two top 10s in his last three starts.
While I’m writing this preview before DFS prices have been released, I’m guessing he won’t subsequently be priced up too much in this designated field. Hubbard has made the cut in all five previous appearances at this event.
One player to post the low round Thursday
Ben Martin (+12000 for FRL)
I usually enjoy taking a shot on an FRL play with longer odds, but even I’ll admit this one feels a bit ambitious.
That said, first-round leaders/co-leaders here over the past four years have included J.T. Poston, Kramer Hickok, Satoshi Kodaira, Mackenzie Hughes (twice), Ryan Armour, Bronson Burgoon and Zack Sucher, so there’s some rationale behind backing a longshot.
While I like Ben Martin, his through-the-roof tee-to-green numbers have cooled off in the past month or two, and he’s also facing a much tougher field than he did in some of his better results. He does, however, have two 65s in six career rounds at TPC River Highlands, so there’s a small sample size which shows he can go low here.
One player who should beat comparable players
Eric Cole (+12500)
I’m admittedly playing some of my greatest hits from the mixtape in this preview, going back to some of the usual names that I’ve targeted over the past few months.
Eric Cole is a guy who, if he played a different sport, would be considered a “gamer” or the type of competitor who “has a non-stop motor.”
Those are some obvious cliches, but they aren’t non-deserving, as it feels like the 34-year-old rookie is trying to make up for lost time this year. With six made cuts in his last eight starts, he owns a high floor and should keep stepping on the proverbial gas pedal.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value
Rickie Fowler (+3300), Stephan Jaeger (+15000), Andrew Putnam (+15000), Adam Schenk (+17500), Beau Hossler (+17500), Brandon Wu (+15000), David Lipsky (+50000), Aaron Rai (+15000), Ben Griffin (+25000), Matthew NeSmith (+30000)