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Arnold Palmer Invitational Predictions: Burns to Light it Up

Written by: Dave Tindall
Updated March 6, 2024
8 min read
  • The tournament is a Signature Series event

  • The field will feature just 69 players

  • This is the second leg of the Florida Swing  

Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds

Odds from BetMGM Sportsbook. Use our BetMGM promo code WSNMGM - bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets.
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Scottie Scheffler+650
Rory McIlroy+900
Viktor Hovland+1400
Xander Schauffele+1400
Patrick Cantlay+1600
Jordan Spieth+1800
Collin Morikawa+2000
Ludvig Aberg+2000
Max Homa+2200
Sam Burns+2200

Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks and Predictions

Arnold Palmer Invitational 2024 Predictions

Arnold Palmer Invitational Profile

Arnold Palmer Invitational Intro

Arnold Palmer was a groundbreaking force on the PGA TOUR and his annual tournament at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Florida is one of the most anticipated.

The great man - a winner of seven Majors, including four Masters - passed away in 2016 but his legendary presence is everywhere.

That extends to the presentation ceremony when the winner receives a red cardigan in memory of the man they called ‘The King’.

Fittingly, this tournament has Signature Status in 2024 and that means a limited and elite field of just 69 players.

Americans have won the last three editions but prior to that, a trio of Europeans emerged triumphant from 2018-2020 (Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, and Tyrrell Hatton). 

Before that, a pair of Aussies (Jason Day and Marc Leishman) lifted the trophy.

Rory won with 18-under in 2018 but scoring has been much tougher since and three of the last four winners took victory with single digits under par.

From 2000 to 2013 Tiger Woods dominated this event, winning Arnie’s event eight times including four in a row.    

Last 5 Winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational

YearChampion, nationality and winning score
2023Kurt Kitayama (United States) -9 
2022Scottie Scheffler (United States) -5
2021Bryson DeChambeau (United States) -11
2020Tyrrell Hatton (England) -4
2019Francesco Molinari (Italy) -12

Course Notes

  • Bay Hill is a par 72 and measures 7,466 yards

  • The Dick Wilson/Joe Lee design features Bermuda grass on all fairways and greens

  • Water is in play on nine of the 18 holes

  • The 18-hole record of 62 is shared by three players including Adam Scott

  • Payne Stewart holds the 72-hole record at Bay Hill, 264 in 1987  

Favorites to Win the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Scottie Scheffler (+650) at BetMGM

Scheffler is building an elite record at Bay Hill. He was 15th on debut in 2020 and, after missing the event in 2021, returned the year after to shoot 5-under and edge out Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland and Billy Horschel by a shot. He made a strong defense last year, posting fourth. His finishes this year? 5-17-6-3-10 from five starts.

Rory McIlroy (+900) at BetMGM

It’s not quite at Tiger levels (well, that would be impossible) but Rory has a pretty stellar record at Bay Hill. He’s been outside the top 10 just once in the last seven years and that run includes a win in 2018 and second place last year. He’s been a little slow to come to the boil on the PGA TOUR this year with 66th at Pebble followed by 24th at Riviera and 21st at last week’s Cognizant Classic.     

Viktor Hovland (+750) at BetMGM

The Norwegian was the hottest player on the planet at the back end of 2023 but he’s relatively slow out of the starting gates in 2024. Hovland has yet to crack the top 15 in three events although there were some better signs when 19th at Riviera last time. He’s 5-for-5 at Bay Hill and has really stepped it up on his last two visits, finishing runner-up in 2022 and 10th last year.   

Back Burns

Unlike McIlroy and Hovland, Sam Burns has made a fast start to the new PGA TOUR season, connecting four top 10s after a modest week at The Sentry.

The man from Louisiana fired a Friday 61 en route to tied sixth at The American Express before adding 10th at Pebble Beach.

Burns put up his best display so far with third place in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and added another 10th at the Genesis Invitational.

On the stats, he’s doing just about everything right.

Top-ranked for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee in Phoenix, he was 4th in that category at Riviera where he was also 2nd for Scrambling.

It’s going well on the greens too with Burns ranking 7th, 9th, 12th, and 17th for SG: Putting in his latest four starts.

A five-time winner on the PGA TOUR since May 2021, Burns has claimed two of those titles in Florida and he’s very much at home on Bermuda grass.

At Bay Hill, he’s had some strong 18, 36, and 54-hole positions and took ninth two years ago.

Factor in current form, regional form, class, and an ability to get over the winning line, and Burns is a smart bet at 22/1 with BetMGM.

Scott Can Beat Matsuyama

This column continued its strong run of 72-hole match bets at PGA National last week as Shane Lowry finished fourth to easily get the better of Sungjae Im (missed cut).

This week’s bet also has an international flavor and the advice is to back Adam Scott to get the better of Hideki Matusyama.

The last time we saw Matsuyama, he was shooting a sensational Sunday 62 to win the Genesis Invitational.

But he’ll do well to get anywhere near that high and Bay Hill hasn’t been the best course for him.

The Japanese star has a solid record but it’s no more than that. He missed the cut last year and that was his seventh straight API appearance without a top 15.

Scott has twice finished third at Bay Hill and returns this year showing just the type of consistency you want from a match bet selection.

The Aussie has reeled off seven straight top 20s since November 2023 and five of those have doubled as top 10s.

Scott is the ‘dog here at +100 with bet365 but can defy that status.   

Day to Land Top 10

Another Aussie, Jason Day, carries our Top 10 money.

He won this event in 2016, was 10th last year, and returns to Bay Hill after posting sixth (Pebble) and ninth (Genesis) in two February starts.

Those converging trends make him a bet at +300 with DraftKings Sportsbook to crash the top 10 once more.  

How to Watch the Arnold Palmer Invitational

  • Tournament: Arnold Palmer Invitational

  • Location: Bay Hill, Orlando, FL

  • Date: Thursday, March 7 - Sunday, March 10

  • How to Watch: Thursday-Friday 2 pm-6 pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday 1 pm-3 pm (Golf Channel), 3 pm-6 pm (NBC). And all four days on Sky Sports.

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Dave Tindall

108 Articles

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.

Email: [email protected]

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