Betting news, trends, odds and predictions for from various handicappers and websites for Wednesday 6/24/20
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By Matt Blunt
PGA Tour Betting Resources Travelers Championship
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020 to Sunday, June 28, 2020
Venue: TPC River Highlands
Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
Par-Yardage: 70, 6,840 yards
TV: Golf Channel, CBS
Vegas Expert Picks
It's been a fantastic return to play for the PGA Tour, as two straight weeks of drama-filled Sundays in events that came down to the final few holes to be decided couldn't have turned out better for the PGA. They know they've got plenty more casual eyes on them right now as one of the only games in town, and they haven't disappointed from a entertainment and drama perspective.
This week the Tour heads to TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championship, another event that has a history of tight finishes. That hasn't been the case the past two seasons with three and four-shot wins respectively, but prior to that there were eight straight years where the winner was decided by a single stroke or in a playoff.
So can we get on the right side of the finishing drama this week?
Experienced golf bettors already know this, but TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses these guys play on Tour each year, and a sub-7,000 yard scorecard shows that. It's a track that provides little resistance outside of being a tight course, but even that becomes moot at times for some who will simply bomb it over all the trouble and take their chances with a pitch/chip/wedge shot from the rough somewhere. Wind can be another course defense here and it will be behind some big numbers out on scorecards this week, but for the majority of the field, this venue is all about having your wedges/short irons dialed in and then hitting putts afterwards.
Travelers Championship Odds to Win
Justin Thomas: +1000
Rory McIlroy: +1100
Webb Simpson: +1800
Brooks Koepka: +2000
Jon Rahm: +2000
Dustin Johnson: +2200
Patrick Cantlay: +2200
Justin Rose: +2700
Xander Schauffele: +2700
(Odds Subject to Change)
Wedge-fest events can be tough to really get behind because there is little margin for error, and even fewer opportunities to make up significant ground if needed. So the golfers a bettors lands on backing better have their approach game in tip-top shape no matter what, and probably can't afford a round anywhere around par early on.
The good news in that regard is that this is another tournament that's getting a much stronger field on average then anywhere near it would use to get. This was a tournament that was held the week after the US Open the past few years, so field strength was basically non-existent.
This year, the top of the odds list includes the names of Justin Thomas (+1100), Rory McIlroy (+1200), Bryson Dechambeau (+1400), Webb Simpson (+1800), Jon Rahm (+1800) and Brooks Koepka (+2200) all priced below 25-1 to win this event. And then for those course history aficionados, there is three-time winner at TPC River Highlands Bubba Watson lurking just outside that group at +3500.
With the strength of the field increased exponentially this year, I'm not entirely sure fantastic course history here will make a big enough different in the end to make it something that a bettor should heavily weigh. Knowing the venue and having past success here is always a great thing, especially as support, but the level of competition this event typically sees has jumped quite a bit, and for a tournament that's not seen a winner with worse then defending champion Chez Reavie's +7000 odds in the past five years, sticking at or near the top of the odds board is the general strategy I've employed this week.
Golfers to Watch - PGA
Top Picks and Predictions
Contender to Back
Bryson Dechambeau +1400
Even with this event being post-US Open the last few years, Dechambeau has made a point to show up and attempt to be playing his best. In his four trips here, he's never finished worse then 47th, and he's been in the Top 10 the past two years. It's a track he obviously likes, and with him being 7th in the field last week in Strokes Gained: Approach +1.47 – one spot better then eventual winner Webb Simpson – and't that's after he put up a +1.19 number in that category at the Charles Schwab two weeks ago.
There is no denying that his golf game is in great shape right now, and as long as his body can hold up with all that extra weight for the third week in a row – and the first time on Tour with all the traveling etc – then another good week, potentially winning week could be in store for Dechambeau.
Xander Schauffele +2500
Flouting the unwritten rules on the whole “mid-range” concept here as I generally consider anyone under +3000 to be in the favorite category. But with the deep field here this week and the handful of recent winners coming from guys priced at 70-1 or better, going with two names near the top appears to be the better option.
Schauffele had a down week last week after coughing up his chance to win the Charles Schwab the week prior, finishing with negatives nearly across the board in the Strokes Gained fields. Given how the Charles Schwab ended for him with him missing a three-footer to stay in the hunt, that type of down week was to be expected.
But a new week brings new life to a competitor like Xander, and he would probably like a bit of redemption for missing the cut here in his last appearance back in 2018. His appearance in 2017 did finish with a 14th, so no need to dwell on the 2018 MC at TPC River Highlands, especially when the last four winners of this event either missed the cut or did not play this event the year prior.
Schauffele does sit 12th on Tour this year in Strokes Gained: Off the tee, and 23rd in SG: Approach, so it's not like last week's lackluster outing can be taken as a sign of a downturn to come. Driving accuracy isn't exactly his forte, but that might not mean much if Schauffele decides to take the ultra-aggressive approach and bomb over all the trouble he can. After all, the driving accuracy may not be all that great (61.47%), but he ranks 4th on Tour in GIR percentage at 73.1%, so it's not like approach shots from the rough really phase him.
Hopefully the down week at RBC Heritage and all the other big names involved makes Schauffele more of an afterthought in the market at this range, and if he can square things up with the flatstick on the greens, his first win since the season restarted will be coming awfully soon.
Long Shot Pick
JT Poston +7000
For those that have no problem taking the huge longshots, I'll throw out the name of Kevin Tway (+40000) as he was close to making this spot in the end. It was the fact that all the recent winners have come from much higher up on the odds board that ultimately got him cut from the list, but putting Tway in Top 20's, 30's, and 40's wagers is something to do for sure.
Tway has averaged +1.44 Strokes Gained per tournament here over his last 18 rounds (finished 6th in 2018 and 5th in 2019) – which is good for 11th best in this year's field (Dechambeau is 5th). That course history combined with his longshot odds everywhere makes Tway a very intriguing name to consider in some fashion.
Getting back to the selection though, here we've got JT Poston at 70-1, and there is plenty to like about his game right now.
For one, since the restart of the Tour, there have been only three guys to have a Top 10 finish in both events so far: Justin Thomas, Bryson Dechambeau, and JT Poston.
That's quite the company to be in considering the other two golfers are two of the three favorites this week and Poston's sitting back at 70-1. But he was the only player to finish in the Top 10 at the RBC Heritage and finish with a negative in Strokes Gained: Approach. That's not exactly ideal for what TPC River Highlands brings as a challenge, but with everything else in Poston's game super sharp, all it takes is a few wedge shots in a row on a short course to get that approach/iron game back into the groove. And Poston will have plenty of opportunities to do just that this week.
And while the argument may show up that his price may be a shade overvalued because of his hot play since the restart, he was +6600 most places last week, which is relatively no change. Obviously the strength of the field at the top plays a part in that, but Poston's game is too sharp right now to ignore at anything over 60-1.
72 Hole Matchup to Take
Xander Schauffele (-120) over Patrick Cantlay
Came up just short with Dustin Johnson last week against Brooks Koepka, and this week it's another guy who I've backed outright that I'm jumping on in head-to-head play.
Schauffele's virtues need no repeating, as I like his chances to beat everyone in the field, not just Patrick Cantlay. And even with consecutive 15th place finishes here the last two years for Cantlay, with this being his first event since the restart, there could be so many more factors that he has to deal with off the course that make me confident in fading him this week.
Rust is the most obvious issue Cantlay may have to deal with having not played competitive golf for so long, and even though it hasn't been the biggest issue for most through two weeks so far, it's still going to be a new experience for Cantaly to figure out.
Then there is all the safety precautions, testing, lack of crowd noise etc, that have the potential to spook anyone from playing their best game. If Cantlay falls victim to any of this, Schauffele likely leaves him far in the dust in this event.
And yet, even if Cantlay avoids all of those potential pitfalls and is playing some great golf, having Schauffele
Recent Winners (Odds to Win)
2019 - Chez Reavie 50/1
2018 - Bubba Watson 25/1
2017 - Jordan Spieth 9/1
2016 - Russell Knox 410/1
2015 - Bubba Watson 12/1
How to Bet on Golf
Golf betting has gained much more exposure and interest in the past few years, and with plenty of plus-money prices littered throughout the various forms of golf wagers, the chance for bigger scores is part of the reason behind that increased popularity.
2020 Golf Betting Schedule
Sportsbooks ensure that there are no shortage of wagering options on golf tournaments every week, and it isn't all about picking the winner. Grabbing the outright winner of a golf tournament is the best way to get that 'big score' but it's also the hardest wager to cash. After all, a typical professional golf tournament has a field of 140+ different players to consider.
Understanding Golf Odds and Bets
Most golf odds are listed in the fractional format – 10/1 on Dustin Johnson for example – and in that particular case you would multiply the amount bet by that first number to project your winnings. So a $100 bet on DJ to win that particular event would win you $1000.
If you are more comfortable with the American version of odds listings that you typically see across the other major North American sports – ie +1000 – these numbers are easily convertible. Online and app based books may already have that option built in, but the easiest way to do it yourself is to add two zeros to the first number in the fraction. So a 10/1 price on DJ converts to +1000 in that format.
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