PGA Tour Betting Picks: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Golf Player Francesco Molinari - Arnold Palmer Invitational Logo

As the Florida Swing portion of the PGA Tour rolls on, the courses just keep getting more difficult. The betting, though, has improved!

We desperately needed some wins last week as we only had 2 in the previous 3 weeks.

  • Our first pick nearly won the Honda Classic. Tommy Fleetwood did choke in the final round shooting one over par while runner-up Mackenzie Hughes and winner Sungjae Im each shot 4 under for the round. We took him on a top ten bet, though, and it hit with ease. (+135) is much appreciated.
  • Next up, we picked Gary Woodland to snag a top twenty and he did so with ease with an 8th place finish and a (+120) payout.
  • Finally, Daniel Berger hit on a top twenty bet for (+125). The Florida-native actually finished tied for 4th after a very nice Sunday.

3/3 isn’t common for us but these were all plus money, so I’ll take it!

This week, the PGA Tour makes their yearly stopover at Bay Hill just outside of Orlando, Florida for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Ever since The King passed away in 2016, the emotions surrounding this tournament have been heightened and you won’t find many arguments against more prestige placed upon the Arny.

Last year’s winner, Francesco Molinari will, surprisingly, be sitting at (+500) to finish inside the top 20. Something is up there…

There’s plenty of the world’s best, though, in this week’s field. We will not be short on talent, though. I can promise you that.

Former winners Rory McIlroy, Marc Leishman, and Jason Day will all be in attendance in attempts to win once more at Bay Hill.

This is not an easy golf course. Bay Hill is regarded as one of the toughest on the Tour. It’s a classical design with deadly traps and hazards.

In 2015, the fairways were widened slightly and some of the trees cut back but if the wind is up and/or the course is playing dry, firm, and fast, you’re still likely gonna have a bad time.

As for which golfers we want to go within our betting spread this week, I like the guys who have done well here in the past. I like the golfers who play well in coastal conditions, even though this one will be played near Orlando.

The wind is expected to be a major issue along with the firmness of the Bermudagrass greens and fairways.

Scrambling will be very important as all of the roughs surrounding the hazards have been cut back so it will be that much easier for players’ shots to trickle into the water or sand.

In recent history, putting average has been huge for golfers here as well. Finesse, patience, and precision putting will all be paramount this week at Bay Hill.

BetOnline.AG has the odds for us this week. Let’s get to the betting odds and predictions for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Jason Day to Finish Inside the Top 20

Hey, this old mate came through for us the last time we picked him. I felt pretty good about it too because he was in a heck of a rut for over half a year.

Before Jason’s 16th place finish at Torrey Pines, we have to go back 7 months to find the last time the Aussie finished inside the top twenty in any tournament.

That is not on par, if you will, for the former world #1 ranked golfer.

He putts the ball very well. That will help him tremendously this weekend as many golfers will falter on these speedy tricky greens. He is also one of the best wind players in all of golf.

We took him at Torrey Pines because he had an excellent history there even though he was not playing in good nick.

Jason followed up that 16th place performance with a 4th place finish at Pebble Beach.

He has since only played in the Genesis Invitational where he did miss the cut but these courses aren’t very similar so I wouldn’t completely hold that against him.

He does have four straight top 23 finishes here including his big win in 2016.

I think Day is a steal at nearly 2 to 1 for a top twenty.

The Bet
Day Top 20
+175

Marc Leishman to Finish Inside the Top 20

Another former winner and fellow Aussie, Marc Leishman comes into this week’s showdown at Bay Hill somewhat struggling.

42nd and 43rd in his previous two outings isn’t a good look for the resident of Virginia Beach.

Prior to those two performances, though, Marc was able to secure a victory at Torrey Pines. This was a huge comeback win for Marc as he shot a final-round 7 under par to move ahead of both Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.

I really like Marc in the wind just like I do Jason Day. Both Australians are adept at playing in these nasty conditions.

Leishman will just have to exercise caution driving the ball as the fairways, although wider now, are projected to play very very fast.

Along with Day, Leishman also has four straight top 23 finishes although Marc’s are slightly more impressive.

1st, 7th, 17th, and 23rd are all solid finishes.

I don’t see why you wouldn’t throw Marc Leishman on your card now especially at 2 to 1 odds for a top twenty bet.

The Bet
Leishman Top 20
+200

Henrik Stenson to Finish Inside the Top 20

My main man Rik! Henrik Stenson is ANOTHER wind player who thrives on these coastal style golf courses. 2020 has been a very quiet year, though, for the 43-year-old Swede.

After winning the Hero World Challenge in December holding off the likes of Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods, and Justin Rose, Henry has only played in Dubai and Saudi where he wasn’t able to crack the top 30.

So, the Norse man struggled in the desert!

I have confidence he will be well-prepared this week and extremely focused on the task at hand.

Rik has never won here at Bay Hill. He sure has come close, though! 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd!

Throw in 15th, 17th, and 8th place finishes in all in the past 8 years and we have a man who consistently plays at a very high level on this high-level golf course.

Well, he’s been top 20 in 7 out of the previous 8 years.

I don’t see anything wrong with taking him to do it again.

The Bet
Stenson Top 20
+175

Bonus Betting Pick: Francesco Molinari

No, Franky has not been the same man or golfer since he blew the lead and his chance at a coveted green jacket at the 2019 Masters to the eventual winner, Tiger Woods.

He has sprinkled a few solid performances in there, though. 11th at The Open in July and 16th at the US Open. Other than that, though, it has not been pretty for the Italian superstar.

He did win this tournament last year and he’s sitting at 5 to 1 for a top twenty?!

The golf sportsbooks are well aware of his mental struggles but he has stepped it up in some tough spots so I expect at the very least, an inspired performance from Frank this week at Bay Hill.

It’s not only his 2019 performance at the Arnold that stands out to us.

Before that, he had 6 appearances here and these are the results: 34th, 5th, 17th, 9th, 7th, and 26th. Not too shabby. He took last week off and hopefully got hypnotized or something.

I wouldn’t put too much down on Molinari here but the value is there in the (+500) for a top twenty finish.

The Bet
Molinari Top 20
+500

In Conclusion

No Americans! Sorry, guys!

I love my country and all but the value we are getting with two former winners and one runner-up is just outstanding.

Certain golfers just play this course at a high level and there aren’t too many drop off performances or parody in their play over the years.

The Swede, Stenson, is 43 but absolutely smashes this course and has a win less than 100 days ago.

Jason Day is back!

The Aussie putting pro is a master of these greens and if his tee-to-green game is on point, watch out because we know the flat stick will be friendly.

His countryman Marc Leishman is another wind positive player like all of our selections.

I like all of our picks because these guys are vets.

72 holes on this course are enough to frustrate anyone but add in the very gusty conditions that are forecasted as well as fast firm fairways and greens and you have a true test of mental, physical, and emotional strength.

Tune in, turn up, and bet hard, guys!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.