Read The Line

The classic golf betting debate: What matters more, recent form or course fit?

Editor's Note: This article is published in partnership with Read The Line, a Golf Digest content partner.

June 19, 2024

Michael Reaves

Hitting balls side by side were Harris English (90-1) and J.T. Poston (80-1) on Wednesday morning prior to the start of the Travelers Championship. Two players the average fan could get easily confused if they only saw them play once or twice. Tall and lean, both Sea Island residents, each has a putting stroke envied by everyone on the PGA Tour. The argument begins when golf betting pundits and punters start to model out TPC River Highlands, a short, target-oriented exam testing the scoring irons and flatstick.

When those strokes gained surveys return a report, both English and Poston are going to deliver similar standings. As we engage filters on that Travelers research, we will add parameters such as short course fit, course history, delivering on Pete Dye designs, and recent strokes gained success. Poston has been a ball-striking success on positional courses in 2024. He finished 12th at the Charles Schwab, fifth at the RBC Heritage and sixth at the Sony Open. English has struggled this year across the board. His 10th place at the Sony Open was his second-best result of the year. Yet, English and Poston come together heading into the Travelers.

Poston is appearing on your screen due to form, and English due to history. Poston has played in six Travelers and only made the cut once! Harris, on the other hand, has won here (2021) and owns four top 25s at TPC River Highlands. How about last week? The Postman finished 30th at the US Open and Harris 41st—a similarly successful week by professional standards as the U.S. Open is the toughest cut to navigate in professional golf.

Who should we bet at the Travelers?

I’m taking Harris English in this case (Top 10 +550, Top 20 +225) over JT Poston (Top 10 +550, Top 20 +188) on my placement card. If two players are even remotely close in form coming in, I’ll take the course horse 90 times out of 100. Golfers are funny, something about TPC River Highlands must not look right to JT. Whereas Harris has won here. If you can find a matchup pitting them together, take it. And as you approach your weekend wagers and live H2Hs, use this mindset and I’m sure those tickets you take back to the window will turn into cash.

Watch the below video for our favorite bets and players we're fading for the 2024 Travelers Championship:

Looking for more insider golf betting knowledge, subscribe to Read The Line.

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor and content partner with Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA Tour. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on SportsGrid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.