- The Arnold Palmer Invitational tees off Thursday, March 5th from Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida
- Tournament favorite Rory McIlroy is heavily favored to grab the first round lead
- See the best bets for matchup plays and Top 10’s for the weekend
A deep field descends on Bay Hill Club and Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational with five of the top ten players in the world teeing it up. Rory McIlroy is the runaway favorite to win the event, followed by Tommy Fleetwood and Bryson DeChambeau.
While we have you covered on who are the best value picks to win the tournament, who stands a strong chance to be the first round leader, who might finish in the top ten and what’s a good head-to-head matchup to bet on this week?
2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Leader Odds
Odds taken March 3rd
It being mainly sunny with a mix of clouds, those teeing off in the morning will have an advantage due to the wind forecast.
Not only will the greens be in pristine shape and won’t be bumpy in the AM, but early morning winds will only be minuscule at 6 miles per hour. That number raises to 16 miles per hour by noon, towards the end of when the morning wave will finish. Those teeing off in the afternoon will face stiffer winds that are expected to reach 20 miles per hour for the duration of their round.
Bryson DeChambeau a Good Play
Coming off a crushing runner-up finish to Patrick Reed at the WGC-Mexico Championship will provide all the necessary fuel needed for Bryson DeChambeau to grab the first round lead, despite his late tee time (+2800 odds).
The mad scientist has been clicking of late, with three top eight finishes in his last four starts, and he has finished second at this very tournament in 2018.
So much to take away from this week. Thank you to the fans in Mexico, the Salinas Family, #CDMX and the Azteca Group for their hospitality. Hat’s off to @preedgolf on a solid end to a great round. Just wish I had that putt on 17 to make it interesting! Congrats 👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/ZLjVOMd0tN
— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) February 24, 2020
In addition, DeChambeau is tied for third in first-round scoring this season (68.00), with a 66, four rounds of 68 and one round of 70 in his six starts this season.
You’d be hard pressed to find a player in better form that presents this type of value, with success on the course, a strong first round player, and nearly a victory in his last event. The only player that fits that criteria better is favorite Rory McIlroy, who won at Bay Hill over DeChambeau in 2018 and is second in first round scoring. The caveat is his odds are sliced down by more than half, at +1200.
Pick: Bryson DeChambeau (+2800)
2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Leader Best Value Picks
- Henrik Stenson (+4000): Five top-8 finishes in last seven attempts at this tournament. Won the Hero World Challenge in December. Teeing it up at 7:20am with the easier wind.
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (+5000): Led this tournament last year after 54 holes, before finishing runner-up to a furious rally by Francesco Molinari. Just two missed cuts in last two years around the world with early morning tee time.
- Nick Taylor (+8000): Deep dive with big upside. Has led after the first day twice this season, best on tour. Did so at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last month en route to wire-to-wire victory, and at Shriners Hospitals For Children Open. Seventh in first round scoring this season.
Patrick Reed vs Brooks Koepka Arnold Palmer Invitational Matchup Odds
|Patrick Reed||-1.5 (+115)||-115|
|Brooks Koepka||+1.5 (-150)||-105|
Like last week, when we suggested betting against Brooks Koepka, it’s always a dangerous game. However, he still appears to not be 100% following a knee injury – while Patrick Reed is coming off a win in his last event at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka’s Last Six Tournaments
|WIN||WGC-Mexico Championship/Honda Classic||CUT|
|T-6th||Farmers Insurance Open/Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship||T-34th|
|CUT||Sony Open/CJ Cup at Nine Bridges||Withdrew|
|T-2nd||Sentry Tournament of Champions/Shriners Hospital for Children Open||CUT|
In four career starts at this event, Koepka has completed the tournament just once (two missed cuts, a WD, and a T-26th) while Reed has a T-7th in 2018.
Reed has had better upside lately, with a win, second, and sixth in his last six events, with Koepka nowhere near as strong.
Pick: Patrick Reed -1.5 strokes (+115) and Moneyline (-115)
Max Homa Finishing Odds at 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational
|Top 5 Odds||Top 10 Odds||Top 20 Odds|
2019 Wells Fargo Champion Max Homa, a social media superstar, has been letting his clubs do the talking in his last four tournaments. He’s posted T-5th, T-6th, T-9th and T-14th finishes in those four times teeing it up.
Whether you’re feeling greedy and going for those juicy +1600 odds or want to play it a bit safer for a Top 10, Homa is a good under-the-radar selection to make this week for a guy who has just one missed cut in his last 16 events.
Pick: Max Homa for Top 10 (+750) and Top 20 (+350)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.