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Tom Jacobs makes his three picks at 40-1 and bigger for the 2024 Travelers Championship.
ANALYSIS

2024 Travelers Championship Sleepers and Value Picks: Bet on Conners, Kim at TPC River Highlands

It is hard to pick yourself up after a major like last week, where a dramatic final round saw Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau go head-to-head, with the latter coming out on top in the end.

Such is the scheduling right now, we have gone from a signature event to a major, to another signature event in a three-week span, and this can't be ideal for the elite players on the PGA Tour. For some, momentum is a great thing, for players like Rory McIlroy who looked completely broken after losing yesterday, and Scottie Scheffler who finally struggled - a week off would likely be preferred.

This does however present an opportunity in my opinion, for a mid-range player to come through the pack here at the Travelers Championship, where they can win a boatload of cash and climb the OWGR.

If you are willing to take on the very top of the board, with Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Ludvig Aberg all in the field this week, then you should find plenty of value down the board.

Let's get into the latest odds, trends, and the picks at 40-1 and bigger for the Travelers Championship this week, as we look for our favorite value plays.

Before we get into the Sleepers and Value Picks for the Travelers Championship, check out the new FanDuel Sportsbook promotion, where new users can claim an epic bonus betting on golf this week. With the FanDuel promo code, you will bet $5, win $200 if your first bet wins. Bet on one of these picks below, and get an additional $200 if your wager wins. This promo is perfect for those looking to bet on Scottie Scheffler at Pinehurst this week, as you secure a huge bonus if he wins.

What Skill Set is Required to Win The 2024 Travelers Championship?

There are plenty of low scores at the Travelers Championship, so birdies will be the order of the day, with five of the last six winners getting to -17 or better the year they won. Keegan Bradley broke the tournament record last year, shooting -23 to win by three. Kenny Perry previously got to -22. So low scoring is required, but how is that achieved at TPC River Highlands? Let's take a look.

Bentgrass/Poa Putting- Putting is always going to be important when it comes to these low-scoring events. Bradley led the field in SG Putting last year and of the last five winners only Harris English (18th) ranked outside the top 10 the week they won in that category. Kramer Hickok, who English beat in a playoff ranked 2nd for SG Putting.

Par 4 Scoring - You can go low on the Par 4s here at TPC River Highlands, and that has been the path to success in recent years. Chez Reavie (2019), Dustin Johnson (2020), Xander Schauffele (2022), and Keegan Bradley (2023) all led the field in Par 4 Scoring the week they won here. Harris English is again the trend-buster and he ranked 6th in Par 4 Scoring shooting -7 on the week. Hickok, who he beat in the playoff ranked 1st.

Do Sleepers and Value Picks Win the Travelers Championship?

Below are the odds for every winner of the Travelers Championship since 2014

2023 - Keegan Bradley +9000

2022 - Xander Schauffele +2000

2021 - Harris English +3500

2020 - Dustin Johnson +2000

2019 - Chez Reavie +7000

2018 - Bubba Watson +3300

2017 - Jordan Spieth +1000

2016 - Russell Knox +5000

2015 - Bubba Watson +1400

2014 - Kevin Streelman +15000

Big-priced winners have prevailed here over the years, but we do get plenty of winners who are shorter than 40-1, so it's a big mix here. I am still confident enough that we can pick a winner here who's further down the odds board.

Travelers Championship Betting Trends, Correlating Courses

The Travelers Championship has been around for years, so we have plenty of data to lean on. Let's look at the last 12 years to see if there is any correlation between winners through this time period.

Previous Win Important - In back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013, Marc Leishman and Ken Duke won their first PGA Tour events here, but both had already won on the now Korn Ferry Tour before winning here. The other 10 winners here since 2012 had already won on the PGA Tour.

Course Start a Big Plus - 11 of the last 12 winners here had played TPC River Highlands before, with Jordan Spieth in 2017 the only exception. 5 of the last 12 winners here had already posted a top 10 on the course as well.

U.S Open Form Worth Examination: While the popular line is that it is better to have either missed the cut or been out of contention the week before, both Chez Reavie (2019) and Harris English (2021) had finished 3rd at the U.S. Open the week before winning here. Neither were under the pressures of trying to win as they were off the pace and instead carried a strong final round into this week. Xander Schauffele had also finished 14th at the U.S. Open the week before winning here, so I like those who played well at low-stress levels last week.

Correlating Course: Waialae Country Club

You might struggle to imagine a link between the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, but there has been plenty of correlation in the leaderboards. Just examining those that have finished 1st or 2nd here in recent years threw up plenty of instances of Sony Open success. It makes enough sense when you consider both are short courses and present plenty of opportunities for birdies. Here are some examples of the crossover.

Recent Winners at the Travelers

  • (2016) Russell Knox - Won here - 7th, 10th, 11th, 13th Sony Open
  • (2017) Jordan Spieth - Won here - 3rd Sony Open
  • (2018) Bubba Watson - Won here - 4th Sony Open
  • (2019) Chez Reavie - Won here - 3rd and 8th Sony Open
  • (2020) Dustin Johnson - Won here - 10th Sony Open
  • (2021) Harris English - Won here - 3rd, 4th, 10th Sony Open
  • (2022) Xander Schauffele - Won here, No major form at the Sony Open
  • (2023) Keegan Bradley - Won here - 2nd and three more top 13s at the Sony Open

Strong Performers and Runners Up at the Travelers

  • Zac Blair - Finished 2nd here - 3rd and 6th Sony Open
  • Brian Harman - 2nd, 3rd, and three more top 10s here - 4th Sony Open
  • J.T. Poston - 2nd here - 6th Sony Open
  • Kramer Hickok - 2nd here, standout performance on tour - Two top 20s at Sony among his best finishes on Tour
  • Daniel Berger 2nd here - 7th Sony Open
  • Jerry Kelly 2nd here - 1st Sony Open
  • K.J. Choi - Won both
  • Marc Leishman - Win here - 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th Sony Open
  • Chris Stroud - 2nd here - 13th Sony
  • Charley Hoffman - 2nd here - 14th Sony (an event he didn't play often)
  • John Rollins 2nd here - 8th and 10th Sony Open
  • David Toms 2nd at both
  • Russell Henley winner at the Sony Open - 6th and 11th Travelers

Sleepers and Value Picks for the 2024 Travelers Championship

I will preface this list by saying I feel very strongly about Patrick Cantlay's winning chances this week. I was very keen on Bryson last week and he doesn't make these articles because he's not 40-1 and bigger, so I want to make it clear that this week I like Cantlay at +2200.

Here are my picks at +4000 and bigger.

Corey Conners +4000 (FanDuel)

There is an obvious concern that Corey Conners won't take it deep enough to win here if it gets to -20 or deeper, but I have been encouraged by his putting of late.

Conners has ranked 7th and 20th at the RBC Canadian Open and the U.S. Open respectively in SG Putting over the last three weeks, and a week like that with the flatstick should see him contend.

Last year Conners finished T9 here despite losing strokes on the greens, and after opening with a round of 67, he shot 65-65-66 over the last three days. He grew in confidence as the week went on and putted really nicely on Saturday last year, so I am hoping his newfound form on the greens can continue this week. If it does, I really do see him competing for a third PGA Tour title.

3rd, 11th, and 12th place finishes at the Sony Open have boosted my confidence levels slightly because if there is anything in that link, he has clearly succeeded on that layout.

Conners has now gained strokes on Approach in every event since the 2023 Open Championship, so we are coming up for a year since he last lost strokes in that category. He has improved drastically around the greens over the past three weeks and spiked with the putter twice, so there is reason for optimism.

Brian Harman +4500 (BetRivers)

Brian Harman seems to be plodding along in 2024, with his T2 finish at the Players Championship and outlier in his form right now. The good news, it has been plenty solid enough to suggest he can flash in the right spot, and that is exactly what TPC River Highlands is.

In 12 starts here, Harman has finished inside the top 8 six times, giving him a 50% strike rate when it comes to top 10s at this golf course. That is an extraordinary feat in his own right, and he now returns here as a major champion.

His T2 finish here 12 months ago was a big reason why I liked him for the Open Championship a few starts later, as I thought he was being overlooked. It is not quite the same again this week, as he's in the right part of the odds board, but his course form is just too hard to ignore.

Never outside the top 8 here over the past three years, Harman is playing well enough to come back to a course he enjoys and succeed, certainly, if he brings his iron play over from Colonial and the PGA Championship, where he was top 10 in Approach in both weeks. His form in that category has dipped over the past couple of weeks, but I can see him putting that right on a course he loves, and the putter cooperated last week at the U.S. Open, which is a good sign.

You just have to look at his play here over the years to see why he's a play for me at +4500.

Tom Kim +5500 (bet365)

I have been on Tom Kim multiple times recently and was impressed again last week when betting on him at the U.S. Open. He couldn't quite keep it together all week, but he impressed once again.

It was Kim's best approach week since Augusta last week at Pinehurst, and it was the fifth straight week he had gained off the tee, so the ball striking is back for Kim. 10th on Approach and 22nd in Tee to Green, let down by his around-the-green game last week, Kim is now in great shape to perform at a far more suitable course.

Kim has shown a liking for this type of low-scoring event already, winning both the Wyndham Championship and the Shriners (twice), and he looked good here for the most part last year as well.

On paper, a 38th-place finish last year would hardly inspire confidence, but Kim shot a second-round 64 and a final-round 65 here at TPC River Highlands last year and was let down by an opening 69 and a 3rd round 72. The 72 on Saturday was concerning, but he should have enough fond memories from the course last year and can couple that with a return to form, to succeed this week.

24th at Colonial, 4th in Canada, and 26th last week, Kim is evidently playing well enough to get back in contention here at River Highlands.

Keegan Bradley +5500 (FanDuel)

Keegan is probably 10 points bigger than he should be this week because he is the defending champion. I do understand and appreciate it is hard to defend a title, but I think Keegan is the type that could do it.

Bradley loves this event, we all saw as much last year, and with 1st, 2nd, and 8th place finishes here since 2017, there is substance to his joy here as well. It makes sense as Bradley can get hot with his approach play and putting at any given time, especially on a course he likes, and this has been one of those.

Generally speaking, Bradley has come into this event in average to poor form, and that was the case last year when he missed the cut at the U.S. Open the week before and finished no better than T29 in the four events before that either. He had however won the ZOZO at the end of 2022, finished 2nd at the Farmers and 10th at Bay Hill. Looking at his form now, we have the 2nd at the Sony Open where he lost in a playoff, the 11th at Pebble Beach, and a 2nd three starts ago again at Colonial - it feels like a similar build-up.

Bradley hit his irons well enough again last week and gained on the greens, two things that are a huge plus as he returns to a curse he loves this week. His putting in general has been good over the last month or so as well, which is pleasing.

His form at the Sony Open is obviously a bonus for me too.

Article Author

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Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!

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