Betting Analysis

Travelers Championship picks 2024: It just feels like it's time for Ludvig Aberg

June 18, 2024
PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 16: Ludvig Aberg of Sweden plays his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the 2024 U.S. Open Championship on the No.2 Course at The Pinehurst Resort on June 16, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

As hard as it is to get back up for a signature event after that U.S. Open finish, we simply must continue on. The 2023-'24 PGA Tour schedule remains as aggressive as ever, but as gamblers we will never shy away from more action. 

Other than no Rory McIlroy, who bowed out, understandably, on Monday, we will see many of the same characters at TPC River Highlands as we did at Pinehurst No. 2, minus Bryson DeChambeau and the rest of the LIV gang. Can Scottie Scheffler quickly return to form? Will Xander Schauffele continue to challenge him? Is Patrick Cantlay ready to win again? We'll find out at one of the many Pete Dye gems in this fine country of ours. 

Our betting panel is comprised of a caddie reporting anonymously from the grounds of TPC River Highlands, Pat Mayo of Underdog/Mayo Media Network, Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel, Andy Lack of, your two authors and Keith Stewart, the CEO of Read The Line. Stewart, our newest member of the panel, is our new betting content partner as well.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2024 Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship picks 2024: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Xander Schauffele (+750, FanDuel) — Xander’s ready to rattle off a few more wins the rest of the year, and I like the fact he wasn’t ever really contending to win at Pinehurst. He should be more mentally rested than some of the other elites, and he’s a past champ here.

Pat Mayo, Underdog/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Xander Schauffele (+750, FanDuel) — Xander had less than his best stuff at Pinehurst and still managed a top 10. He was second to only Finau in approach, gaining over seven strokes vs the field for the third time in four starts. If he can replicate that performance and get his driving and putting back up to normal levels, Xander is going to get another Travelers Championship.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Viktor Hovland (18-1, FanDuel) — Hovland’s around-the-green play was dreadful last week at the U.S. Open, but it’s not a vital stat for this week, and that makes me optimistic for a bounce-back performance for Hovland, who has played well here tee-to-green overall. He also putts pretty well on bentgrass.

Keith Stewart, Read The Line: Ludvig Aberg (14-1, FanDuel) — It must be “The Kid” this week. I remember being on site at the RSM Classic back in November. Following a successful stint on the winning European Ryder Cup team, Ludvig Åberg closed out the final 36 holes at Sea Island with a 122 total (61-61). Åberg did it with his driver, wedge, and putter. That’s exactly what he will need to go low at TPC River Highlands. An incredible iron player from all distances, Ludvig’s wedge game is top five in the field. His age will be enough to combat any fatigue from the two long weeks leading up. In his last five starts, Åberg has gained eight(!) shots on the field (on average). The form, his skill set and a tired field are all a perfect match for youth to be served at the Travelers.

Our favorite value plays and fades for the 2024 Travelers Championship

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Patrick Cantlay (20-1, FanDuel) — Cantlay’s ball-striking was elite at Pinehurst—ranking third in the field in strokes gained/approach, gaining more than 1.5 strokes per round, per datagolf. It’s three straight weeks of being positive with his irons, and he comes to a course where he’s at home, enjoying the second-best course history out of players in this field, per Cantlay’s due for a win, and what better place than at a venue with such meaning to him—and his caddie Joe LaCava, who happens to be from this part of Connecticut.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest senior writer: Sahith Theegala (33-1, FanDuel) — Theegala was a popular pick last week so, by not winning, he “burned” a lot of folks by opening with a 77 and not even coming close to winning. That doesn’t tell the whole story, though. After starting his week seven over through six holes, Theegala played the remaining 66 holes in even par, gritting and grinding his way around Pinehurst No. 2 and finishing T-32 when he could have very easily bowed out early. Couple that with his top-15 finish a week earlier at the Memorial, and it’s clear he’s coming in with some solid form. And now we are getting him at a way better number than we should be at a course he should have won at two years ago. Sign me up.

Andy Lack, Run Pure Sports and Inside Golf podcast: Ludvig Aberg (14-1, FanDuel) — It just feels like time for Ludvig Aberg, who boasts a surprisingly strong resume on shorter, positional golf courses. Aberg has contended this year at Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass and Harbour Town, all shorter Signature Event venues. Aberg was one of the best tee-to-green players in the field at Pinehurst, and he was solely tripped up by the challenging green complexes. Fortunately, he will not have to worry about severe runoff areas at TPC River Highlands, and he can let his ball-striking do the talking.

Past results: The boys another bagged a major (!), and once again it was our anonymous caddie and Christopher Powers who cashed in. CP and our caddie have both hit the last two majors, Xander Schauffele at the PGA Championship (14-1) and Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open (20-1). Our caddie now has four winners on the year, which leads the way. Pat Mayo has two while Stephen Hennessey has one (Akshay Bhatia at the Valero, 65-1).

Travelers Championship picks 2024: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Si Woo Kim (60-1, FanDuel) — The ball-striking's been good all year, and his short game can really help him get around this place. This number’s probably too long for someone with his talent at this type of course.

Mayo: Tom Hoge (120-1, FanDuel) — The approach play has started to tank over the past month, but if there’s ever a place to get it back, it’s with the generous pins at TPC River Highlands. Additionally, Hoge’s one critical flaw — chipping — should be quite mitigated at a course where the field hits almost 70 percent of greens in regulation.

Gdula: Sepp Straka (45-1, FanDuel) — Straka checks the boxes this week. He’s super accurate off the tee, he has above-average irons and he is due for big-time putting regression based on his distance splits. He’s also good at putting on bentgrass.

Stewart: Tom Kim (40-1, DraftKings) — Only a few players have finished top 30 in all three major championships this year, Tom Kim is one of them. The talented young South Korean can really score. He’s proved it with three wins and now success in big events. His win at Sedgefield is a great comp for competing at Travelers. The secret to Kim’s continued consistency is ball-striking. He gains an average of four strokes off-the-tee and on approach combined per start. All it will take is an above average performance with the putter at the Travelers.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Tom Kim (40-1, DraftKings) — This number’s been cut since earlier in the week—he was over 60-1 on Monday before Rory McIlroy’s WD. I still include him here because it’s a great course for him, being a short, sub-6,900-yard layout and requiring precision off the tee and into these greens. The ball-striking is back, and we know he likes TPC layouts, having won twice at TPC Summerlin.

Powers, Golf Digest: Akshay Bhatia (80-1, BetMGM) — Bhatia went into a post-victory slump after Valero but has quietly bounced back the last two weeks with consecutive top 25s. In each of those starts, he’s gained over four strokes tee-to-green. He’s never played TPC River Highlands before but that doesn’t concern me when betting on a young pup with a high ceiling.

Lack: Sepp Straka (45-1, FanDuel) — Similar to Aberg, the only thing holding back Sepp Straka from a strong finish at the U.S. Open was his short game, which I do not believe will play a major role at TPC River Highlands. Straka always seems to play well on shorter golf courses that emphasize accuracy off the tee and wedge play, and high-end finishes at Harbour Town and TPC Sawgrass, as well as a victory at TPC Deere Run, provide indication of his comfortability on this style of golf course.

Travelers Championship picks 2024: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Russell Henley (25-1, BetRivers) — Henley’s playing great, but he’s not in the same conversation as the other players around his odds. I don’t care what the stats say.

Mayo: Russell Henley (25-1, BetRivers) — I like Henley enough, but this number is ludicrous compared to some of the names behind him.

Gdula: Ludvig Aberg (14-1, FanDuel) — Of the big four this week (Scheffler, Xander, Morikawa and Aberg), I’m least likely to get to Aberg, whose odds dropped a lot since the start of the week and after Rory McIlroy’s withdrawal. Love the player. Don’t love the number.

Stewart: Hideki Matsuyama (22-1, DraftKings) — Hideki Matsuyama has played the difficult courses great this year. The reason why is his around-the-green acumen. Matsuyama has the best short game on tour. On easier courses where short game prowess does not help you separate, he has finished middle of the pack. If Hideki needs his short game at TPC River Highlands, he’ll get lapped by the birdie-makers. Take a break from Matsuyama this week as his short game superpower will be muted by design.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Viktor Hovland (14-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Hovland’s on his way back to finding consistency—missing the cut at the U.S. Open after impressing after two rounds at the Memorial then faltering, then nearly winning the PGA Championship. I hope he continues to build on the past month, but I’m not willing to bet him at this short of a number.

Powers, Golf Digest: Russell Henley (25-1, BetRivers) — Kudos to Henley for having a hand in cashing the Double Hammer bet from our friend David Gordon of ESPN fame. But this price is a serious overreaction to his top 10 at Pinehurst.

Lack: Sam Burns (22-1, BetRivers) — This number is just too much of an overreaction to a strong performance at the U.S. Open. Sam Burns is still an incredibly shaky iron player, and he has lost over a stroke on approach in back-to-back starts. While Burns could rely on his elite scrambling and Bermuda putting to hang around at Pinehurst, he will be forced to lean far more on his short iron play to generate opportunities scoring opportunities at TPC River Highlands, a course he’s only experienced middling success at.

Travelers Championship picks 2024: Matchups

Caddie: Justin Thomas (-120) over Matt Fitzpatrick (DraftKings) — Fitzpatrick’s history is awful here, and even when he was down last year, Thomas finished ninth here. JT’s been way more consistent than Fitz this year, so you have to like this matchup.

Mayo: Brian Harman (+105) over Russell Henley (Bet365) — Henley is riding a popularity wave after his final round at the U.S. Open. Just remember, the Travelers Championship IS the Brian Harman open. He’s finished worse than T-8 just once in the past six years.

Gdula: Brian Harman (+100) over Sahith Theegala (FanDuel) — Harman excels at this course and is a great course fit, so that tracks. Theegala has flashed here and nearly won, but the edge still belongs to Harman, who is better long-term, as well.

Stewart: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-110) over J.T. Poston (DraftKings) — Be careful modeling certain players this week. J.T. Poston has six starts at the Travelers with five missed cuts. The usually reliable short-course killer does not have a good history here. Christiaan Bezuidenhout, meanwhile, has gained an average of five strokes total on the field over his last five tournaments. His iron play and putter have led the way on this run. Those two skills are the perfect complement for a contending week in Connecticut.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Brian Harman (+100) over Sahith Theegala (FanDuel) — Following Gdula on this one—Harman’s got the best course history here and coming off a solid T-21 at Pinehurst. Theegala can get in trouble with these tighter fairways and seems to just be a bit off from the peak-Theegala we’ve seen earlier this season.

Powers, Golf Digest: Max Homa (-110) over Denny McCarthy (DraftKings) — Homa was going on nicely before getting Pinehurst’d on Friday last week. Before that, he had turned a corner with the irons. His history is horrific at Travelers but now he’s got some motivation to bounce back. McCarthy, meanwhile, is relying solely on his putter of late (shocker), and hasn’t gained strokes on approach since his crushing playoff loss at the Valero.

Lack: Corey Conners (-120) over Sam Burns (DraftKings) — Corey Conners has quietly developed into a top-five approach player on tour this season, and his short game and putter appears dramatically improved as well. I was incredibly impressed with Conners expertise on and around the greens at Pinehurst, and he is a far superior short iron player to Burns now as well.

Matchup Results from the U.S. Open: Lack: 1 for 1 (Matsuyama (-150) over Smith); Powers: 1 for 1 (DeChambeau (+100) over Aberg); (Hennessey: 1 for 1 (M.W. Lee (+100) over Im); Stewart: 1 for 1 (T. Kim (-125) over Spieth); Mayo: 0 for 1; Caddie: 0 for 1; Gdula: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Lack 16-7-1 (up 7.08 units); Mayo: 14-9-1 (up 4.56 units); Caddie: 14-9-0 (up 3.22 units); Powers: 12-9-2 (up 2.82 units); Gdula: 12-10-2 (up 0.44 units); Hennessey: 11-9-4 (up 0.76 units); Stewart: 11-12-1 (down 2.12 units)

Travelers Championship picks 2024: Top 10s

Caddie: Matthieu Pavon (+750, DraftKings) — Don’t these oddsmakers realize he played in the final group on Sunday, and held his own, too? Throw the Frenchman some respect!

Mayo: Tom Kim (+300, BetMGM) — The approach play is ascending back to elite levels, he just needs that outlier putting week we get from him every few starts. And even if the putter doesn’t reach FIRE levels, simply a good week should have Kim inside the top 10.

Gdula: Corey Conners (+280, FanDuel) — Conners is lights out from 100 to 175, which is a key range this week at the short TPC River Highlands. He’s also an accurate driver and a player who benefits from a de-emphasis on around-the-green play.

Stewart: Sam Burns (+260, Bet365) — Sam Burns played his first six holes at Pinehurst No. 2 in six over par. He finished the week even par and tied ninth. In Sam’s last five starts, he has four top-15 finishes. Like the stretch he had earlier in the season, when Burns gains with the driver he goes off. The birdie-or-better percentage machine can score with the best of them. I love the form and aggressive nature of his game coming into a week where he has tons of momentum.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Akshay Bhatia (+550, Bet365) — CP is on him to win, and I’ve followed suit. Bhatia’s full game was on display at Pinehurst No. 2. The wide corridors at TPC River Highlands should allow him to shape the shots how he likes to. And his improved short game will bail him out when he misses greens. I like his chances to contend here.

Powers, Golf Digest: Justin Thomas (+330, DraftKings) — In the worst rut of his career last summer, Thomas still managed a top 10 at this golf course. Coming off his fifth missed cut in his last seven majors, I’m betting on him to respond in a big way this week.

Lack: Patrick Cantlay (+190, DraftKings) — Patrick Cantlay is heating up at just the right time. Coming off his best career major finish, Cantlay now returns to one of his most comfortable spots on tour, where he has recorded seven top-25 finishes in nine appearances, including a fourth last year. Cantlay gained over a stroke in all four major categories at Pinehurst, and possesses one of the best resumes on shorter, positional Pete Dye courses in this entire field.

Top-10 results from the U.S. Open: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Xander Schauffele +110); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Hennessey: 7 for 24 (up 52.35 units); Gdula: 5 for 24 (up 0.1 units); Caddie: 5 for 23 (down 1.05 units); Mayo: 4 for 24 (down 3 units); Lack: 4 for 24 (down 9.45 units); Stewart: 4 for 24 (down 10.82 units); Powers: 3 for 24 (down 13.4 units)

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME. 

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for numberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13. 

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor for 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 Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also the head of golf content for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports