Prop, Lock. & Drop It Travelers Championship

2021 Travelers Championship – Prop Lock & Drop It: Breaking Down This Week’s 4 Best Prop Bets

I’m not gonna lie guys, I’m still pretty beaten up about the “-5 Winning Score” prop not hitting at the US Open last week. I mean when Jon Rahm needed to go up and down from the bunker on 18 to move the winning total from -5 to -6, and chose to lay up conservatively away from the hole, I was counting my money. But it was still good for a nice Sunday sweat and I’ll take my lumps until I go for redemption again at The Open. That bad beat aside, we still had two winning props in last week’s article with Brooks > Bryson and the Kaymer & Perez top French/German duo bets. Looking to keep that momentum going this week at the Travelers, here’s a look at my favorite prop bets of the week!

Best Matchup Value (At + Odds)

Tony Finau (+102) > Patrick Reed (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed - Tony Finau and Patrick  Reed Photos - Zimbio

I love betting Patrick Reed, and I’ve backed him a ton over the last few weeks, but I see him as more or less of a toss up with Tony Finau at the Travelers. Reed does come here seemingly every year and has 3 T20s to his name, but a second shot birdie fest track just does not get me excited to play him. While distance is not a must here, we saw the advantage it gave Dustin Johnson when he won the Travelers last year, so as Finau comes into this week ranking 14th SG: OTT, we should expect him to get into position for plenty of birdie opportunities this week.

In the below chart, we have a side by side comparison of how Finau and Reed rank in every key stat category I entered into my model for this week. With the exception of Poa putting, the numbers are either even or skewed to Finau across the board. And even if the Poa numbers don’t look great for Finau, he did just gain 2.7 strokes on the greens last week at Torrey Pines, so how concerned should we really be at plus odds here?

Best T20 Value

Stewart Cink +350 (BetMGM)

Stewart Cink, who hoisted Claret Jug in 2009, WDs from British Open |  Golfweek

The spotlight star of the week is 3/3 on T20 finishes when he’s gained 1+ strokes off the tee in 2021, and each of those instances came on sub-7,200 yard courses, which is an encouraging omen as we waltz into the Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands should be a welcomed reprieve for Cink, whose last 4 starts since winning the RBC Heritage have come on 4 monsters in Quail Hollow, Kiawah Island, Muirfield Village, and Torrey Pines. While Cink has plenty of distance (25th in the field), his best results have come on shorter courses lately, where he’s been able to lean on his great iron play (#3 SG: APP) to attack pins from the fairway. Cink is seeking his 3rd win at the Travelers, and even before his 2021 career renaissance, he was still able to fire off a Runner Up finish to Bubba Watson in the doldrums of his 2018 season, so there’s plenty of upside for Cink in this spot.

Safest Prop (-120 or Better)

Harris English Top 40 (-120) (DK Sportsbook)

Positive COVID-19 test for English - Golf Australia Magazine

I will eventually forgive Harris English for his soul crushing collapse on the back nine Sunday at the Palmetto Championship, but even though he is objectively a perfect fit for what you need to compete at TPC River Highlands, I don’t have the stomach to sweat an outright on him again. I can however endorse a middling T40 effort from English, which will be safe even if he jettisons himself completely out of contention once again on Sunday.

English is a forgotten stud from the 2020 season, just starting to find his footing again over the last few weeks with three T15 finishes in his last 4 starts. He was the first round leader in his last appearance at a New England Birdie Fest, where he went on to finish Runner Up to a herculean Dustin Johnson at the 2020 Northern Trust at TPC Boston. The history at the Travelers Championship has been up and down, but the short game has always been there, ranking 4th SG: SG at the Travelers. He’s also gained strokes on Approach in three straight events, and while the OTT results have been inconsistent, being able to club down on a majority of holes off the tee should help English play from the fairway more often and set himself up for enough Birdie Opportunities to cruise inside the Top 40.

Best Random Prop

Top Australian Player: Matt Jones (+600) (William Hill)

We learned something new about Matt Jones on Sunday at the Honda

Once the hottest commodities on Tour in 2021, the decorated pack of Aussies have suddenly each hit a rough patch entering this week. Cam Smith has missed the cut in back to back events, Marc Leishman has not finished better than 57th in his last 3 starts, and Jason Day has hardly been playing since the birth of his newborn child, but has still MC’d in 3 of his last 4 events. Adam Scott had a decent T16 showing at the Memorial, but has still been searching for his Ball Striking to round into form and has never played at the Travelers dating back to 2012. So with not much reason to fear the other veteran Aussies of late, you have to feel better about Matt Jones’ prospects compared to the remaining Aussies, Lucas Herbert and Cameron Percy.

Jones has played sub-7,200 yard courses very well lately, ranking 3rd in the field in scoring on these tracks, aided by his win earlier this year at the Honda Classic. He also ranks 3rd in the field in P4 Scoring <450 yards, crucial for this week with so many holes concentrated in this range. At +600, this is no guarantee, but given all the inconsistency across the board from the Aussies lately, this is a pure value play for Jones’ upside.