Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds, Tips & Expert Predictions
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The Florida swing marches on with an annual favorite at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. Golf bettors have noticed a decline in field strength in recent years due to a few scheduling quirks, and we see it again this year with the API at Bay Hill sandwiched between a WGC event and the Players Championship.
Regardless, plenty of the big PGA Tour names are here and this course never fails to disappoint.
Rory McIlroy is the golf betting favorite at +850, having finished T-6 or better in four consecutive years including a victory in 2018. Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland are right behind him at +1200 while defending champ Tyrrell Hatton and Patrick Reed round out the top five at +1800.
2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Best Bets
|Sungjae Im over Billy Horschel||-125|
Bet it at DraftKings
|Matthew Fitzpatrick First-Round Leader||+3500|
Bet it at BetMGM
|Matthew NeSmith over Sebastian Munoz||-112|
Bet it at Unibet
|Hideki Matsuyama over Paul Casey||-115|
Bet it at PointsBet
|Luke List top-10 finish||+950 |
Bet it at FanDuel
Sungjae Im over Billy Horschel
Im has played this event twice, finishing T-3 in 2019 and solo third in 2020. He also clearly likes the Bermuda grass greens; he earned his first PGA Tour victory at the 2020 Honda Classic in Palm Beach, Florida. His prowess off the tee is no small reason for past Bay Hill success – this is a big ballpark with thick rough. Horschel is coming off a great showing at The Concession, where his creativity was on full display. But this is a different challenge this week and Horschel has never cracked the top-10 in eight prior Bay Hill starts. We like Im in this matchup at DraftKings.
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Matthew Fitzpatrick First-Round Leader +3500
It’s no surprise Fitzpatrick plays well here given his consistency tee-to-green. He’s highly accurate with the driver and HIS irons have been dialed in lately – Fitzpatrick is coming off a T-11 at The Concession and T-5 at the Genesis Invitational. He also won in Dubai last December to make it six international victories. He’s still waiting for the first PGA Tour win and we wouldn’t be surprised if it came this week. But we like the Round 1 odds a bit more at +3500 – Fitzpatrick’s average Round 1 Bay Hill score of 70.67 is more than two strokes lower than his Friday average of 72.83. We’re going with Fitzpatrick to top the leaderboard Thursday at BetMGM.
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Matthew NeSmith (-112) over Sebastian Munoz
NeSmith checks all the boxes this week, particularly with his excellent iron play. He’s on a nice run of three consecutive top-20 finishes and showed a lot of resolve to finish T-16 at Pebble Beach a few weeks ago despite an opening-round 74. We don’t dislike Munoz – NeSmith has simply been sharper throughout the bag in recent weeks. Both guys missed the cut here in their Bay Hill debuts a year ago, so course history is a wash. We’re taking NeSmith in this matchup at Unibet.
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Hideki Matsuyama (-115) over Paul Casey
Matsuyama has looked better on the greens in recent weeks and if that continues to be the case, look out. The putter is the only club that has held Matsuyama back throughout his career; his ballstriking is as sound as always this season. Casey has been in excellent form but has been on the shelf since Pebble Beach. Matsuyama appears to be heating up and we don’t want to miss the party. We like Matsuyama at PointsBet.
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Luke List Top-10 Finish (+950)
We’re finishing with a flyer on a guy who drives it extremely well each week. That helps explains List’s run of T-17, T-7 and T-10 finishes in three prior starts at Bay Hill. He recently snapped out of a serious funk of four consecutive missed cuts and has played well for more than a month. This week should bring out his A-game. We’re taking List for a top-10 finish at FanDuel.
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