3 Free Bets for the 2024 Travelers


Pinehurst pleased the purists last week at the U.S. Open, but now it’s time for a more relaxing test at the Travelers Championship.

Returning to host the event is TPC River Highlands. Let’s jump right in to talk about the course. 

Course Fit

The host venue this week is TPC River Highlands, a Pete Dye design from the 1980s. 

As one of the shorter courses on Tour, the score reads just 6,835 yards as a Par 70 layout. 

Right away with that information, we want to look into short course performance as our first split stat. 

Off the tee, golfers are coaxed into clubbing down on quite a few holes. It becomes a position-based golf course from there with roughly 70% of the approach shots coming from inside of 175 yards. 

Rory McIlroy compared it to a tight, Hong Kong layout saying, “It’s a Par-70, same sort of thing, quite short, you feel like you have a wedge in your hand every hole. But if you don’t hit it in the fairways and don’t put yourself in position, it can be a little tricky.” The second part of that statement is worth mentioning since TPC River Highlands sports one of the higher penalties for missing the fairway. That is the second split we can attack. 

McIlroy also said that technology has passed this course by, and the crew at the course took some of that into mind when they updated about a third of the holes since last year. There is a chance the course has a bit more teeth in 2024, but long-term trends show a 20% birdie or better rate compared to just 16% bogey or worse. That puts it on the easy side of the spectrum, especially for a Par-70 track. 

Lastly, we can look at the turf, and with this being in the Northeast, it’s no surprise to find bent-poa grass all around the property. 

So now we have four split stats to consider in our course fit analysis. We are referencing short course performance, past results on bent-poa greens, performance on easy courses as well as performance on courses that heavily penalize a missed fairway. If we weigh all of those split stats, here are the names who show the biggest increase in performance over their baseline. 

  • J.T. Poston
  • Eric Cole
  • Emiliano Grillo
  • Brian Harman
  • Cam Davis
  • Justin Rose
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Davis Riley
  • Russell Henley
  • Tom Kim

None of these names would be considered big bombers, and nearly all of them excel in the iron department. It’s hard to separate with your wedges consistently on Tour, but great mid-iron performers are rewarded here at TPC River Highlands. 

Head over to the Split Stats page to see who the top performers are in these split stat categories.

Outright Odds

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

Cantlay likely would have been near the bottom of this list had he done anything but contend last week at Pinehurst. But now he has some momentum, and when you combine that with course history, he pops back to the sixth-highest odds on the board. He’s a key player we’ll need to decide this week on whether we want to ride that momentum or back off based on his 2024 overall trend. 

Travelers Championship Free Bets

Patrick Cantlay to Win (18-1 each way, 6 spots)

I said Cantlay was a name we’d have to ponder this week, and right away I’ve pondered and decided to opt for long-term skill instead of leaning solely on his ho-hum 2024 results. 

Over a two-year period, Cantlay has posted top 5s in 37% of events with similar splits to TPC River Highlands, which is second in the field behind only Scottie Scheffler (46%). Those aren’t his true odds, but based on those splits alone, his top-5 price here would be +170, but with this each-way we are getting +360 for a top-6 output. 

Adding to his appeal, he has top 15s in six straight visits to TPC River Highlands. 

J.T. Poston Top 10 Finish +550

As Alex pointed out in this For The Numbers tweet, distance is much less predictive at TPC River Highlands relative to the average Tour stop.

That’s good new for Poston who does everything better than Tour average, other than hitting it a long ways. Poston has five missed cuts in six tries at the course but landed a runner-up finish in the other (2022). 

He’s 16th in the field in one-year baseline performance but 33rd in top-10 odds. 

His most recent top 10 came at Harbour Town, one of the courses we identified as a correlated track, being another short Pete Dye design with less emphasis on power. 

Brian Harman Top 20 Finish +120

We don’t need correlation with our bets, but this stat profile correlation was too identical for me not to share. I talked about Poston doing everything well other than power, and that’s exactly what Harman does also. 

Harman leads the field in strokes gained total at TPC River Highlands over the last five years. Similar to Cantlay and Poston, he also finished strong at the RBC Heritage this year. 

Keep an eye on the PGA bet tracker for more plays. Hop in the Discord to get those bet alerts. 

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