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Handicapping

Travelers Championship Picks

Travelers Championship Predictions
Dates: Aug 4-7, 2016
Course: TPC River Highlands Ė Cromwell, CT
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Betting Handicapper, Predictem.com

You hear the term ďdog days of summerĒ tossed around by folks talking about baseball but that term also applies pretty well to the PGA Tour. The portion of the schedule that features both Opens and the PGA Championship is so full of travel and drama that there is an inevitable lull between now and the start of the FedExCup Playoffs. The Olympics join the summer schedule this year as a point of interest but most of the August slate is full of what most consider second-rate events. The Travelers Championship kicks off the final three non-playoff events and while you wonít see many of the Tour elite playing this week, donít think there is nothing to play for. There are players that need some good finishes in the coming weeks to even make it in to the playoff field and others that want to improve their point total and chances to make it to the Tour Championship. The Ryder Cup selection process is still a big motivator for some and there are plenty of youngsters and vets that use this time of year to salt away their exempt status for 2017. Bubba Watson highlights the attendees this week as the defending champion and he is playing this week even though it will cause him to miss the opening ceremonies in Rio. Watson has won twice here so maybe that was an easy decision, but he deserves some credit for honoring a Tour partner over a personal interest.

The Travelers, formerly the Greater Hartford Open, has been part of the PGA landscape since 1952. Names like Palmer and Snead won here in the early years with Nick Price and Phil Mickelson carrying on the top-notch tradition. The event hasnít just been kind to the big names however and journeymen like Ken Duke and Kevin Streelman have won the Travelers in recent years. The TPC River Highlands course has been tailored and re-tailored over the years to provide a championship-level test. The 6,840 yard, par-70 layout has provided some great theater over the years with six playoff finishes in the last dozen years and an amazing ten come-from-behind wins over that same stretch. Just about anyone can win here if they are on top of their game. The 2010 edition, the first PGA Tour win by Bubba, had Watson in a playoff with Corey Pavin. Any course that can pair one of the longest players in history next to one of the shortest has to be looked at as the definition of fair. Part of that fairness is simply in the design as the scoring holes can be attack with raw power or an accuracy-heavy approach. There is no one way to get around the Highlands so if you can control the ball and roll a few birdies in, you will have a great day.

Each week, we take a look at Bovada Sportsbook and highlight the best bets. Even though there are many ways to conquer this course, I am sticking with the big hitters this week as the roughs at River Highlands can be played from, limiting the need to be in the fairway all the time. Here are our picks to win the 2016 Travelers Championship.

Brooks Koepka (16 to 1 to win)
Bubba is the easy favorite here so if you want to bet him, go ahead, no need for me to spell it out. Iím taking Koepka as he has so many of the same strengths as Watson but comes with a much higher potential pay-off. Koepka is fresh off a T4 at the PGA Championship and has not been worse than T13 in any of his last five events. He shook off a bum ankle that caused him to WD a couple of weeks ago so Iím not worried about his health overall. Brooks is 16th in driving distance, 37th in greens hit and 22nd in strokes gained-putting. That all adds up to top-10 ranks in both birdie and scoring average and he should contend again if he brings his game from last week.

J.B. Holmes (33 to 1)
Holmes was a trendy sleeper at the PGA but that went out the window after an opening round 75. He carded a respectable 69 on day two but could not make the cut and did not get a chance to face Baltusrol under the prime scoring conditions that came after the rain. A couple of extra days off should do him well and he should be able to shake off that missed cut and get back to the place that had him finishing in the top-5 at both the Memorial and British Open. There are some that are longer than Holmes on measured drives but J.B. owns the distance crown when all drives are taken into consideration. He averages 308 yards per drive and that has him plenty close to the green on most holes. Holmes can fire away at that close range and that is a big reason why he is 5th in birdie average. He can get derailed by mistakes but when he is on, he is contending.

Gary Woodland (45 to 1)
Woodland is much the same kind of player that Homes is. Heís top-30 in greens hit after hitting what are usually massive drives and he scores well as a result. Woodland is a bit more consistent and avoids the mistakes for the most part but his putter is average at best and that keeps his scoring average from being elite on Tour. Still, he is going to dominate this course off the tee and he is on a good run with three top-12 finishes in the last seven weeks. Any uptick in production on the greens will be meaningful in his chances to win and I expect him to see plenty of birdie chances through the week.

Charley Hoffman (50 to 1)
Hoffman has been great at cashing checks this season by making 17-of-21 cuts but his only top-10 came by way of his victory at the Valero Texas Open. That is a lot of also-ran finishes but Charley proved he can win and he has sprouted up here and there with good individual rounds since. He has lacked the four day consistency to put together another contending run but I think this course suits him and he is up against a weaker field. He has a very solid scoring average when you take into account he is 124th in birdie average. Keeping mistakes off the card is just as important as birdie runs and there are just enough trouble spots at River Highlands to give Hoffman a leg up with his straightforward approach. He is long enough to take advantage of the obvious scoring chances and a good week on the greens will put him in that middle teens under-par range that often wins here.

Ryan Moore (55 to 1)
Moore is my one pick that isnít going to dominate this course with his length. Ryan is an accurate driver of the ball and will take on the TPC with measured shots and his putter. He has done well in years past and Iím sure heís looking forward to shake off a recent stretch that has seen him finishing well back of the leaders. Moore is a good short approach player and hits a fair amount of shots close to the hole. That is great in terms of making birdies but his putter has been equally effective at saving pars. He is 31st or better in strokes gained-putting, total putting and putting average for greens hit in regulation. It is safe to say that he will find a way to score if his tee-to-green game is sharp. Another great place to bet on golf tournaments is 5Dimes They have one of the largest selection of golf prop bets on the web and offer the best pricing as well! Plus, you can lay -105 odds on hoops/football instead of the more -110 option that "other" books offer!

Good luck and good golf!

2016 Travelers Championship Betting Odds

Bubba Watson +275
Branden Grace +300
Brooks Koepka +300
Whee Kim +5000
Matt Kuchar +400
Patrick Reed +400
Zach Johnson +400
Jon Rahm +500
Paul Casey +450
J.B. Holmes +650
Jim Furyk +650
Louis Oosthuizen +650
Webb Simpson +650
Brendan Steele +800
Daniel Berger +800
Gary Woodland +800
Daniel Summerhays +1200
Francesco Molinari +750
Marc Leishman +750
Russell Knox +750
Charley Hoffman +900
Padraig Harrington +1200
Ryan Moore +800
Brian Harman +1000
Kevin Chappell +900
Tony Finau +1000
Justin Thomas +1000
Keegan Bradley +1000
Kevin Streelman +1200
Soren Kjeldsen +1200
Shane Lowry +1100
Aaron Baddeley +1400
Martin Laird +1200
Colt Knost +1600
Luke Donald +1400
Kyle Reifers +1800
Boo Weekley +1600
Bryson DeChambeau +1600
Chad Campbell +1800
Russell Henley +1400
Chez Reavie +1600
Billy Hurley III +2500
Freddie Jacobson +1800
Retief Goosen +1800
Chris Stroud +2000
Hudson Swafford +2000
Michael Thompson +2200
Jamie Lovemark +2500
Ricky Barnes +1800
Patton Kizzire +3000
Jason Kokrak +2200
Steve Wheatcroft +1800
Luke List +2800
Bud Cauley +2000
Adam Hadwin +2800
Jamie Donaldson +2200
Alex Cejka +2500
James Hahn +3300
John Senden +2000
Ben Crane +2500
Bryce Molder +2200
Robert Garrigus +2000
Si Woo Kim +2000
Ernie Els +3300
Jon Curran +2800
David Toms +2200
Lucas Glover +3300
Smylie Kaufman +2500
Spencer Levin +3000
Ben Martin +2500
Matt Jones +2500
Patrick Rodgers +2500
Geoff Ogilvy +3000
Sam Saunders +3000
Seung-Yul Noh +3300
Jerry Kelly +3500
Sean O'Hair +3300
Michael Kim +3300
Camilo Villegas +4000
Ken Duke +3500
Brendon De Jonge +3300
Vaughn Taylor +4000
Vijay Singh +3300
Robby Shelton +4000
Derek Fathauer +3300
Stuart Appleby +4000
Troy Merritt +3300
Blayne Barber +4000
Chesson Hadley +4000
Mark Wilson +3300
Jonas Blixt +4000
George McNeill +6600
Thomas Aiken +3300
Morgan Hoffmann +3500
Hunter Mahan +3500
Shawn Stefani +4000
Johnson Wagner +4000
Will MacKenzie +5000
Angel Cabrera +4000
Greg Chalmers +5000
Andres Gonzales +4000
Luke Guthrie +5000
Cameron Percy +5000
Kelly Kraft +5000
Nick Taylor +4000
Brian Stuard +4000
Scott Brown +5000
Brett Stegmaier +6000
Scott Stallings +5000
Brian Gay +6000
Tim Wilkinson +5000
Chad Collins +6000
Tom Hoge +5000
Henrik Norlander +6000
Wes Roach +4000
J. J Henry +8000
Jordan Niebrugge +4500
John Huh +5000
Steve Marino +6000
Bronson Burgoon +6600
Kyle Stanley +5500
Scott Pinckney +5000
Lee McCoy +6600
Ted Potter Jr. +5000
Martin Piller +8000
Tyler Aldridge +5000
Justin Leonard +6000
Zac Blair +6600
Andrew Landry +6000
Tyrone Van Aswegen +6600
Miguel Angel Carballo +6000
Rob Oppenheim +6600
Rory Sabbatini +8000
Jason Gore +8000
Erik Compton +6600
Sung Kang +6600
Andrew Loupe +8000
D H Lee +8000
Carlos Ortiz +8000
Greg Owen +8000
Hiroshi Iwata +8000
Brendon Todd +8000
Abraham Ancer +10000
Adam Rainaud +20000
Darron Stiles +8000
Derek Ernst +8000
Derek Gillespie +15000
Dawie Van Der Walt +10000
Dicky Pride +12500
Peter Malnati +8000
Heath Slocum +10000
Steven Bowditch +8000
Robert Allenby +15000
Tim Petrovic +15000

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