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2023 Travelers Championship Betting Preview

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Betting in golf is its own animal, its own test week in a week out. In no other sport do we have to evaluate how well a player fits the environment (course, field, court, etc.) in addition to how good he simply is. We are also typically working with longer odds — at least I am since I focus primarily on the outright market:

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My process always begins with an evaluation of the course and what skills are most likely to translate into success, so let’s start there.

Course Fit Model

First, a brief summary of the Course Fit Model for the Travelers Championship, from my Course Fit article:

“Every week, there’s a mad dash across the industry to try to figure out who best fits the course – you’ll hear everything from course history citations to quotes like “It’s a bomber’s paradise.” But what if we could actually mathematically measure which players are the best fits? We can.”

In other words, there’s no need for speculation of which skills will translate into success at a given course when we can measure it directly.

TPC River Highlands is both a strong model and a unique one, giving us quite the edge this week. You will have to read the course fit article for more detail.

Lastly, before we get started, it’s once again worth noting that we have completely redone our PGA Betting Model. We simulate the event 10,000 times based on my expected strokes gained projections and our variance estimates for each player, then blend the results with my generic win rate and top 10 rate models. This article will focus on the outright market, but there’s money to be made elsewhere through the model.

Outright Odds

Here’s what the top of the board looks like on DraftKings Sportsbook:

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One of the coolest findings of our simulations is the fact that win probabilities across the board are lower this week than at last week’s U.S. Open. The elevated event’s field is even stronger than that of a major championship — pretty cool stuff.

Odds Shopping

As is always the case, the low hanging fruit of the PGA betting world is odds shopping through the use of our prop shop. The differences in odds from one book to the next are often larger in PGA than you’ll ever see in leagues like the NBA or NFL. Simply shopping for the best odds can turn a losing bettor into a profitable bettor in PGA. This week, I have my eyes on:

Keegan Bradley

Best available: 100-1 (at FanDuel and PointsBet)
Worst available: 66-1

I always love to provide this type of context:

Imagine if one book was offering +110 for your favorite baseball team to win, while another was offering +167. That’s how severe this difference of 100-1 and 66-1 is!

Bradley doesn’t shine from a course fit perspective, but he doesn’t have to. His volatility is so high that he merely has to be competitive from an expectation standpoint to shine in the simulations. He wins 1.9% of the time in our 10000 simulations, regressed down to a 1.3% win probability when blended with my generic win rate model. At 100-1, his implied win probability is .99%. At 66-1, it’s 1.49%. Odds shopping is the difference between Keegan being a horrible bet and a terrific one.

You can find the rest of my bets in our PGA Pick tracker, as well as our Discord.

As I said, I recommend using the Betting Model and the prop shop if you’re interested in betting other markets like top 10 odds or missed cut parlays. Additionally, our PGA product on both FTNBets and FTNDaily is reaching new heights each week, so it’s time to join either (or both!) for 20% off with promo code PRO. The sites are revamped and redesigned, and they are spectacular. The team crushed it.

 
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