Following Jon Rahm’s epic win at the U.S. Open, next on the PGA Tour calendar is the 2021 Travelers Championship. Located in Cromwell, Conn., TPC River Highlands (par 70, 6,841 yards) has hosted this tournament since 1984, and Dustin Johnson is the defending champion. Johnson finished the week at 19-under par a year ago. Every week, I use Alex Baker’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings to help identify mispriced options in both the PGA DFS and golf betting market, and below are three expert PGA picks and odds this week for our Travelers Championship betting cards.
Expert PGA Picks & Odds This Week | Travelers Championship
Much like the standard rankings in golf, Awesemo has come up with the Unofficial World Golf Rankings, so we can use them in PGA DFS lineups or to find an edge on your PGA betting picks. At Awesemo, the metric is the number of strokes above or below how an average field in a PGA tournament performed. How to weigh these data points is essential, as people love to talk about short-form versus long-form. Only PGA Tour tournaments are considered right now, and golfers need a minimum of 20 rounds played. Players are not rewarded by more or fewer rounds in the time period.
Patrick Reed (+2500, William Hill)
Last week at the U.S. Open, Reed carded a 19th-place finish at the South Course, which is the sixth time in his last 10 starts that he has produced a top-20. He gained strokes on approach and tee-to-green at Torrey Pines and ranked eighth in the strokes gained on the par 4’s for the major. Reed now ranks fifth in strokes gained on par 4’s across his last 24 rounds. With TPC River Highlands being a par 70, meaning that there are 12 par 4’sand only two par 5’s, being efficient on the par 4’s is essential.
In fact, every golfer to secure the big check at the Travelers Championship since 2014 has led the field in strokes gained on the par 4’s at Cromwell. If his excellent work on par 4’s can continue this week, Reed should be in the hunt for his second win of this season this Sunday. In his last five starts at the Travelers Championship, Reed owns two finishes of 11th or better.
Brian Harman (+2800, PointBet)
Harman is a top-30 player in the world right now, according to Awesemo’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings, and he heads to Connecticut this week in very promising form. After posting a T19 finish at the US Open this past week, Harman has six top-20s in his past seven starts. At the South Course, he amassed 6.5 strokes gained tee-to-green, setting a new season-high for the stat.
Furthermore, Harman ranks fifth in strokes gained on par 4’s that range from 400-450 yards over his past 24 rounds. Given that eight of the 12 par 4’s at TPC River Highlands fall in this range, this is a very encouraging sign for Harman at this venue that he loves. The lefty has three finishes of eighth or better on his course resume at this par 70 and ranks sixth in total strokes gained when comparing all of these golfer’s histories in Connecticut. I like his PGA odds this week at +2800 and will have him on some of my betting cards.
Brendan Steele (+400 for a Top-20, BetRivers)
Steele failed to make the cut at the U.S. Open, but this was his first missed weekend since the start of the new year. He had successfully proceeded through the cut in his previous 12 starts, with four top-20s coming over this span.
Despite being sent home early from last week’s major, Steele still gained strokes with his irons at the South Course, which is the third time he has accomplished this in his past four events. But, most importantly, Steele brings an outstanding track record at TPC River Highlands. Six of the 10 times he has teed it up in Cromwell, Steele has recorded a top-20, and he currently ranks 13 spots higher on Awesemo’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings than his standard ranking. He seems like a decent PGA pick this week to finish inside the top 20.
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