The folks at this week’s PGA Tour stop, the Travelers Championship, know they always have their work cut out for them.
After all, the tournament has been played following the US Open since 2007. That has wreaked havoc with the field at times as the big names have a habit of taking the week off after a major just because they can.
Well, that has changed in 2023, as you can tell when scanning Travelers Championship odds.
This year’s tournament has been moved into the “designated event” status meaning there’s a $20 million purse at stake. That’s up–way, way up–from 2022’s $8.3 million.
That turns a tournament from “not a big deal” on the schedule to a “must-play” event. The reason for that is Tour players are allowed to skip just one of these events throughout the year for any reason.
The bottom line: A bigger purse means a star-studded field.
Last year’s winner, Xander Schauffele, pocketed almost $1.5 million. This year, the winner will earn $3.6 million.
Hence the elevated field that features 38 of the top 50 players in the world rankings including the top eight. The tournament will definitely be a long trek for players who teed it up last week at the US Open in Los Angeles.
This week’s Travelers Championship will be played at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
Add up the mileage and it’s almost 2,900 miles. These guys won’t be fighting over aisle or window seats on commercial flights, but the travel time and time changes will certainly take its toll early in the tournament.
Who adjusts the quickest and the best? Let’s see if we can narrow down the top choices.
Season’s Last Major: Open Championship Odds 2023 & Futures Betting Guide
Odds to Win Travelers Championship
We list odds from DraftKings, but shop around at other top-rated sportsbooks to find the best prices on your plays.
‘X’ Marks The Spot Again
We’re not getting off the bandwagon when it comes to players repeating as champions. It’s just paid off too well for us.
With a high-octane field teeing it up, there’s no doubt winning here just got a little tougher. But Xander Schauffele, at +1200, didn’t have any problems in 2022 as he won by two strokes.
He’s 16-for-16 in cuts made in this wraparound season with a runnerup finish and eight top-10s. He also was T-10 in last week’s US Open after opening the tournament with an eight-under-par 62.
He tied Rickie Fowler for the lead and it was the lowest score in US Open history. To say he’s playing well would be an understatement despite a slight falloff over the weekend.
Add in the fact he’s the defending champ and coming in off the solid showing at the US Open, and we’re betting he’s in the picture come Sunday afternoon.
One other thing to note: He started off this tournament last year with rounds of 63 and 63. If he gets off to that type of start this year, good luck trying to run him down.
Scheffler Favored but Under the Radar
We guess it’s up to us to keep shouting the virtues of Scottie Scheffler.
He certainly won’t do it himself.
Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer, is +600 this week and the favorite. It’s hard to bet him when the odds are that low, but it’s also hard not to bet him any time he’s in the field.
He wound up solo third last week at the US Open, and that gave him 17 made cuts in 17 events. He’s also got 12 finishes in the top 10 with two victories.
And he’s not playing his best golf — not by a longshot. In one of his runnerup finishes, he was almost dead-last in the field in putting and still only lost by a stroke.
Last week at the US Open, he again struggled with his putting (and a new putter), and was 45th in the field out of the 65 players that made the cut.
Since his first victory in his career–the 2021 WM Phoenix Open–he’s added five victories to his resume to go along with 18 other top-10 finishes in 41 events.
If you want to ponder one other impressive stat, here you go: In those 41 events, he’s recorded 33 top-25 finishes.
Face it, the guy is always right there. If he gets his putting back in top form, he’s going to be in the winner’s circle numerous times.
Looking Down the Oddsboard
We’re going to take a look at Harris English at +6000 this week—and that’s down (or up depending on your point of view) from his starting point of +4500.
Now, before you think we’ve gone off the deep end, hear us out. English was T-19 here last year. His final round, a one-over-par 73, cost him a top-10 or top-five finish.
That’s the bad news. The good news is he won this tournament in 2021. He beat Kramer Hickok in a memorable eight-hole playoff to post his fourth career victory.
He’s coming into this week off an impressive T-8 at last week’s US Open, so it appears the game is back in a good place. He fought his way to a final-round two-over-par 72 despite a double bogey and four bogeys.
We look for him to shake off the final-round struggles and be in the picture.
Around the Prop Scene
Rickie Fowler was the talk of the US Open in the first two rounds last week and wound up with a T-5 finish.
We last picked him to finish in the top 10 at the Memorial — and he cashed for us. We’re staying on that bandwagon, and at +350 it’s still a solid bet.
One other bet to look at is the tournament going to a playoff. We’re going to add in a little twist in one of the props we found.
There’s a bet the tournament will go to a playoff coupled with there being a hole-in-one. That comes in at +600.
The playoff part happened two years ago with English, and four of the last 10 tournaments have gone to extra holes. Adding in the ace part to the bet gives us a whole lot more bang for our buck.