Sobel and Sleeze: Our Favorite Travelers Championship Matchup Props
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marc Leishman
Two members of the The Action Network Golf Podcast, Jason Sobel and Drew Stoltz (“Sleeze”), every week dive into all of the available player props and give their favorite values. The PGA Tour has moved to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship, and our golf experts have identified some head-to-head matchups to target.
Marc Leishman (+130) over Paul Casey
Leishman continues to be one of my favorite head-to-head players, as I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He has made 14-of-16 cuts this season, along with six top 10s. He ranks among the best ball-strikers in the world and should be able to give himself a ton of great looks this week at TPC River Highlands. Casey has been playing very solid golf of late, with two top 10s in his last five starts, along with a 16th-place finish last week at the U.S. Open. The reason for this pick is the moneyline: In my opinion, this should be closer to a pick ’em. When you give Leishman a line like +130 on a golf course where he has won in the past, I will take that bet.
Justin Thomas (-130) over Rory McIlroy
Rory continues to be a bit of a mystery this season. We have seen flashes of great play, like his win at Bay Hill, and we have seen him really struggle as he did last week at Shinnecock. His putting woes are the one thing that seems to be fairly constant. Both of these players are elite drivers of the ball, but Thomas has the upper hand when it comes to iron play. JT currently ranks first in Greens in Regulation on the PGA Tour compared to 64th for Rory. And while neither player ranks very high in Strokes Gained: Putting, I have much more faith in Thomas’ putting currently than I do in McIlroy’s. Combine Rory’s recent form with Thomas’ iron play advantage, and I’ll take Thomas in this matchup.
Webb Simpson (+110) over Paul Casey
It may seem like I’m shorting Casey this week, but these plays are based on the moneyline both Webb and Leishman are getting against him. Webb has been super-hot of late, finishing in the top 10 in three of his last five starts, including the boat-race victory at The Players. He is coming off a top 10 at the U.S. Open last week and seems to be striking the ball better than he has at any point in his career. His putting has drastically improved over the last couple months as well, which is the other reason you are seeing him near the top of every leaderboard for the past month and a half. I like riding the hot hand in Webb especially when he is getting underdog odds.
Justin Thomas (-125) and Rory McIlroy (-115) over Brooks Koepka
Let’s see: Koepka bailed from the Wednesday pro-am, meaning he won’t see the course before the opening round; he just spent three days celebrating his U.S. Open win; and he actually sings, “I love beer” in a Michelob Ultra commercial. There are a lot of guys I’d take over Koepka this week, and JT and Rory certainly top the list.
Jamie Lovemark (-125) over Pat Perez
I just might’ve heard that Lovemark happened to shoot 10-under in a casual round at Winged Foot this past weekend. I can’t reveal my source, but that’s a pretty good score — and 10-under there should mean something pretty good here at TPC River Highlands.
Chesson Hadley (-155) over Graeme McDowell
If you had suggested this number for Hadley over GMac in any of the last few years, you would’ve been laughed out of the room. But he’s the favorite in this matchup and for good reason. I like Hadley to keep up his strong brand of ball-striking this week.
C.T. Pan (-110) over J.B. Holmes
There aren’t many courses on which you’d take the light-hitting Pan over the long-hitting Holmes, but this is one of them. Pan finished T-8 at this tournament last year, so don’t be surprised if he matches that result this week, too.
Marc Leishman (+110) over Webb Simpson
A former champion of this event, Leishman is going to win again somewhere, very soon. Meanwhile, Simpson is still riding high after his Players Championship win and owns a strong record at this event, but I’m fading the favorite here.
Odds via sportsbook.ag