Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the Travelers Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their golf betting odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
A loaded field follows the U.S. Open this week at TPC River Highlands -- a rare double feature in New England for the PGA Tour. The limited travel no doubt played a role in a few top players' decisions to stick around, and for the week following a major, the field is fairly lopsided. The top-7 names in odds markets are all inside the top 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings, along with 4 others in the top 21.
For more info on TPC River Highlands along with this week's key stats and Brandon Gdula's win simulations, check out his article.
At The Top
At a course that is one of the few still resistant to an overpowering driver, we can safely skip the top-two golfers in the world with the general caveat that while Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy can win anywhere, this is not the course to grab them at short odds.
They are clearly the top two players in terms of recent form and upside, and excluding them makes it difficult to justify any of the other options at the top of the board.
We'll leave a bullet or two in the chamber this week for now. That way, if Scheffler or McIlroy have a poor putting round and slide down the leaderboard early, we can get them at better odds.
Sungjae Im (+3000) - The PGA Tour's strokes gained: off the tee statistic is a murderers row of the biggest hitters in the world, and then nestled neatly in the "next group" for the third straight year is Sungjae. It's been an uncharacteristically light schedule for a PGA Tour ironman this season, but the results have been quite good without any weeks where he's truly contending.
He missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but before that, he was 10th at the Memorial, 15th at Colonial, 21st at the RBC Heritage, and 8th at The Masters. Sungjae has not had two poor weeks in a row all season, and a course that falls far more in line with his skill set than a USGA setup is a perfect spot for him to nab his second win of the season.
Mito Pereira (+4600) - You could forgive Pereira if he cratered after his PGA Championship collapse, but he bounced back with a 7th at the Charles Schwab Challenge and 13th at the Memorial before missing the cut at Brookline. Like Sungjae he was just outside the line at +4 after two days and had displayed great all-around form in the events prior. Pereira was either neutral or gained strokes off the tee, on approach, and around the green in five straight events and seven of his last nine before the U.S. Open. The putting has been inconsistent, but he's played well enough to win this year and hasn't yet.
Brendan Steele (+6500) - Steele is always on our radar at courses he favors, and his record at TPC River Highlands is one of his best. Since 2012, he has had just three missed cuts and seven top-25 finishes. One of those MCs came last year; he missed the cut on the number thanks to -5.8 strokes gained: putting over his first two rounds. His second round was one of the worst putting rounds of his career, according to stats from Fantasy National Golf Club, Steele had lost more than his 4.3 strokes putting in a single round just five times since 2011 -- and just once since August 2015.
He basically ran as bad on the greens as he has in a decade at a course where he usually plays well. Throw in consecutive top 10s in his last two events, and we have a recipe for a strong showing worthy of shots on a Top-10 Finish (+470) and a Top-30 Finish (+120).
Joel Dahmen (+7000) - Dahmen hung in there all week to tie his best major championship finish last week. He's an accurate ball-striker who should have a ton of confidence after holding a lead at the U.S. Open and very much looking the part. He's a much better fit at a course where distance is less of an asset. Every other golfer that finished in the top-10 last week had a longer average driving distance for the week. Dahmen has been quite consistent all season with just 3 missed cuts across 19 events. The approach play was what really carried him last week, ranking fourth in strokes gained: approach, according to stats from the USGA.
Matthew NeSmith (+16000) - NeSmith is a solid iron player who is a respectable 31st on Tour in strokes gained: approach this season. He has shown flashes this year, including the low round at the Valspar Championship when he fired a 61 on Friday en route to a career-best 3rd-place finish. His record at the Travelers is admittedly poor with consecutive missed cuts in his first two tries, but at a long number, he is worth a flyer capable of leading the field in approach in a given round, so we'll add a Leader After Round 1 (+8000) to close out our card.