Arnold Palmer Invitational Predictions, Betting Odds & Top Picks
- Arnie’s tournament is the second leg of this year’s Florida Swing
- The last six winners of the event are in the field at Bay Hill
- Europeans have a good record and Rory McIlroy is the clear betting favorite
Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds
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Arnold Palmer Invitational Predictions & Picks
Repeat winners have been common at Bay Hill and Tyrrell Hatton has successfully defended on the European Tour. Back him for the win +1800 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Francesco Molinari has three top 10s in four 2021 events and carries an elite course record at Bay Hill. He can beat Hideki Matsuyama over 72 holes -110 at bet365.
Rickie Fowler has three top 20s in his last four Bay Hill starts and posted T20 at Riviera last time. The Florida-based ace can make the top 20 at +300 DraftKings Sportsbook.
Tyrrell Hatton to win +1800 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Francesco Molinari to beat Hideki Matsuyama in a 72-hole match -110 at bet365
Rickie Fowler to land a top 20 at +300 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Arnold Palmer Invitational
|Arnold Palmer Invitational Information|
|What||Arnold Palmer Invitational|
|Where||Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, FL|
|When||Thursday, March 4 – Sunday, March 7|
|How to Watch||Thursday 2pm-6pm ET (Golf Channel), Friday 2pm-6pm (Golf Channel), Saturday 12.30pm-2.30pm (Golf Channel), 2.30pm-6pm (NBC). Sunday 12.30pm-2.30pm (Golf Channel), 2.30pm-6pm (NBC). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
Arnold Palmer Invitational Profile
The tournament named after ‘The King’ has always attracted quality fields. Tiger Woods has an astonishing eight wins to his name at Bay Hill and plenty more of the game’s top stars have triumphed at Arnie’s place. As usual, a top-class field takes part although some of the leading lights sit this one out as they try and keep something in the tank for next week’s PLAYERS Championship.
While Tiger has a magnificent record at the Florida track, the only other American winner in the last 15 years is Matt Every, who won back-to-back in 2014-2015. Europeans have hoisted the silverware in the last three editions and that trio of winners – Rory McIlroy (2018), Francesco Molinari (2019), and Tyrrell Hatton (2020) – are all in the field again this week.
Rory, who has a four-year course form of 4-1-6-5, is the betting favorite while another European star, in-form Viktor Hovland, is ranked second-best alongside Bryson DeChambeau.
Hovland makes his debut but DeChambeau was fourth last year and runner-up in 2018.
The test can vary depending on the wind. It blew last year and Hatton took the victory with just 4-under while McIlroy fired 18-under to win two years earlier.
Bay Hill is a par 72 featuring Bermuda greens on the large side. The Par 5s offer scoring opportunities but the four testing Par 3s ask players to show their mettle as three are over 200 yards. This event was the last to be completed before the pandemic that led to a three-month showdown in March 2020.
Hatton Can Repeat
Tiger Woods once won this event four times in a row (2003-2006). He also took back-to-back titles in 2008-2009 and 2012-2013. The great man isn’t alone though. Loren Roberts won in consecutive years in the mid-90s and, as mentioned, so did Every in the last decade. In other words, this event throws up an unusual amount of successful title defenses. And, if that’s the case, it bodes well for 2020 winner Tyrrell Hatton.
Beyond trying to cash in on what some may see as a quirk, there are firmer grounds for backing Hatton. For starters, he’s already defended on the European Tour, winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland in 2016 and 2017.
Secondly, along with the win, Hatton was fourth on his debut at Bay Hill in 2017 so deserves to be classed as a course horse.
Finally, there’s the little matter of him being World No.6. He’s already a winner in 2021 having captured the Abu Dhabi Championship in late January while he had strong SG: Approach and SG: Putting figures in last week’s WGC-Workday Championship.
Hatton had to settle for T22 at The Concession but he was solid on the weekend and, as opposed to last week when he and most of the field were seeing the course for the first time, he knows the lay of the land at Bay Hill.
Take him at +1800 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Molinari Can Outscore Matsuyama
Francesco Molinari is now based in the United States after moving to California at the end of last year. And a settled life of the course is leading to a major return to form for the Italian, who won three times on the PGA Tour across 2018 and 2019. That included the 2018 Open Championship and this event two years ago when he shot 12-under to beat Matthew Fitzpatrick by two.
It was no surprise that Bay Hill should be the scene of a win. Molinari already ranked it as one of his favorite American layouts and, prior to that victory, he carried course form of 26-7-9-17-5-34. To sum up, that’s four top 10s in seven visits, including a win.
As for the current form, he’s in excellent shape too. A tied eighth in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera two weeks ago gave him a third top 10 in four starts in 2021. He’s pitted in a 72-hole match bet against Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese is a fine player of course but he can’t match Molinari for either course or current form.
Matsuyama has yet to have a top 10 in his last seven starts and hasn’t made the top 30 in any of the last four renewals at Bay Hill.
His putter remains cold – Matsuyama ranks 177th in Strokes Gained: Putting – so it’s Molinai who holds the aces.
Take Molinari to beat Matsuyama over 72 holes at -110 with bet365.
Fowler To Land In Top 20
Rickie Fowler is taking time to turn his game around but there are some positive signs starting to appear. The last time we saw the Californian, he posted tied 20th in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, finishing his week with a 67. The putter looked back to its previous impressive levels and he drove the ball much better
Now he gets the chance to build more momentum at one of his favorite tracks. Fowler was third at Bay Hill in 2013 and his last four finishes at the Orlando par 72 show T18, T40, T14, and T12. Given all that, the ideal market to play him in right now is the top 20.
Fowler has plenty of incentive as he looks to fight his way back into the world’s top 50. He’s currently 65th but needs to advance 15 spots to book a place in next month’s Masters at Augusta National.
Taking Fowler for a top 20 at a generous +300 with DraftKings Sportsbook looks good business.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
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