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Travelers Championship Presents Loaded Field For Golf Bettors

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When a PGA event has several legitimate contenders, golf bettors have two ways to approach the situation. Those are to either punt picking a winner altogether or back a dark horse.

During this weekend’s Travelers Championship, legal sports betting apps present opportunities to do both. DraftKings is among those sportsbooks that have markets live for the tournament at TPC River Highlands.

Travelers Championship is anything but lonely at the top

Heading into Thursday’s qualifying rounds, it’s hard to distinguish a clear favorite.

Patrick Cantlay will hit the links this weekend for the first time since the midseason break. He currently sits in sixth place in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.

Past winners Chez Reavie (2019) and Bubba Watson (2018, 2015, and 2010) will also figure in heavily. There is some recent bad news on the COVID-19 front with the PGA.

Bettors should note that Charles Schwab Challenge winner Daniel Berger withdrew Sunday night despite tying for third at the RBC Heritage. Brooks Koepka also pulled out because his caddy tested positive for coronavirus.

Despite Berger’s withdrawal, sportsbooks are still hesitating to commit to a favorite in Cromwell, CT, this weekend. DraftKings has Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Bryson DeChambeau all within 50 points of each other to win.

Other sportsbooks, like BetMGM in New Jersey, have those three golfers as co-favorites at +1,200. Webb Simpson, the winner of last weekend’s RBC Heritage, is +1,800 to win at DraftKings.

Handicapping this small course (only 6,841 yards) seems to favor some entrants with longer odds.

For example, Paul Casey has the highest strokes gained per round out of all competitors who have played at least five rounds at TPC River Highlands in their careers.

Casey also has three top-five finishes and was the runner-up to Watson in 2015. Despite that resume on the course, Casey is +4,500 to win at DraftKings. That could be largely due to the fact that, like Cantlay, this will be his first action in months.

The line on Casey finishing in the top 20 is a much shorter +175 at DraftKings, however. That may represent a much safer bet for those who prioritize recent form on a course highly.

While many sports betting apps present markets for the Travelers Championship, DraftKings is most accessible for Massachusetts bettors. It’s merely a trip across a state line away.

Cross the line to get the lines

Although sports betting unfortunately remains illegal in MA, MA residents can cross the border into New Hampshire and legally place wagers on the DraftKings mobile app there. This weekend may be the perfect time to do so.

DraftKings has matchup moneylines, finishing position pools and several different types of prop bets. These include props on specific golfers, nationality, the entire tournament, and for the adventurous, hole-in-one props as well.

For example, if you’re inclined to believe it will take a three-man playoff to determine this event, DraftKings will take that bet. Should you end up being right, you’d enjoy a +1,600 payout.

DraftKings offers markets on individual competitors’ scores as well. The odds on Dustin Johnson scoring a 66 or lower in the first round are +145, for example.

If your handicapping models tell you that Justin Rose will finish the highest among all English players, you could take him +225 in a market for that distinction. A bet on anyone to snag a hole-in-one during the third round currently pays out +350.

A short trip to the Granite State could be worth the investment this weekend. There may not be a clear favorite to add to his PGA win total right now but that just means there are great opportunities to bet on the Travelers Championship in other ways.

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Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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