One of the world’s greatest ever golfers has been honored with a tournament in his name and it’s one of the most prestigious on Tour. The Arnold Palmer Invitational can trace its history back to 1966 but it’s been especially poignant since the great man’s passing in 2016.
As an invitational event, the best players are asked to take part and, while not everyone responds positively, there is always a strong field.
Last time out at the WGC Workday Championship, we landed two of our three top 10 finish tips as both Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed returned single digit finishes. It was a productive four days but it would be nice to claim an outright winner so let’s see what the main stateside sportsbooks make of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Rory McIlroy is a former winner of this tournament and the Northern Irishman starts as favorite in 2021 at best industry odds of 9/1. Rory won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by three strokes three years ago and that success was one of four top six finishes in this event since 2017.
McIlroy is in good touch after a tie for sixth on Sunday and there will be plenty of interest at those odds. Behind the market leader is Bryson DeChambeau who was the runner up when Rory won here in 2018. The Scientist finished fourth in this tournament a year ago and the Bay Hill course suits his long straight hitting.
DeChambeau is quoted at 12/1 in places and you can also find the same odds next to the name of Viktor Hovland. Unlike his competitors at the top of the betting, Hovland doesn’t have any success in this event but he does have consistent form with six top six finishes in his last seven starts.
Just behind those favorites this week is the defending champion Tyrrell Hatton. The Englishman won by a single stroke from Marc Leishman twelve months ago and he is on offer at a general 16/1 for a successful defense. Hatton has enjoyed some success on both main tours but his immediate form isn’t quite so impressive.
Moving through the list, Patrick Reed, Sungjae Im and Matthew Fitzpatrick can all be found at 20/1 in places. Of the three, England’s Fitzpatrick has shown consistency stateside and he was a solo runner up to Francesco Molinari here in 2019. Im also has a good record plus some strong, relevant stats this season. Reed can never be ignored and, as the second placed man in the Power Rankings, he looks a value pick this week.
Also in this section of the Arnold Palmer tournament betting market are Paul Casey at 28/1, Hideki Matsuyama at 28/1 and Jordan Spieth at 30/1. Both Spieth and Matsuyama are showing glimpses of their best form while Casey is as consistent as ever and will be one of our top ten picks.
There should be some value in the outside bunch this week and the longshots are headed by the 2019 winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Francesco Molinari is available at a best of 33/1 and he is also just starting to show some flashes of his best golf.
Other interesting names in this section include Louis Oosthuizen at 35/1, Sam Burns at 40/1, Will Zalatoris at 40/1, Marc Leishman at 50/1 and Harris English at 55/1. In terms of tournament record, Leishman is the standout name from that list with a win in 2017 followed by a runners up slot last year. Add in a third place in 2011 and the Australian is second in the all-time earners list for this event.
Our Preview’s Arnold Palmer Predictions & Picks Conclusion with Course & Betting Trends
The course at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge has been home to the Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1979. It is a par 72 with some good length at 7,454 yards and it will generally reward long, straight hitting. Greens are wide but the potential for windy conditions often makes Greens in Regulation a key stat.
In 2020, Champion Tyrrell Hatton also returned good numbers for Proximity, Strokes Gained: Putting, Par 3 scoring and bogey avoidance. Whatever the conditions, those greens measure up to 13.5 on the Stimpmeter so form with the flatstick will be vital.
No American has won this tournament since Matt Every in 2015 and that is an unusual trend by today’s standards. In date order from 2016, the last five champions are Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Tyrrell Hatton. All trends are meant to be broken but that’s certainly worth keeping in mind.
USA Betting is going against that indicator by picking Patrick Reed as our 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Champion. We know that the form is in place but Reed also has strong stats on Tour this season. He is currently second in Strokes Gained: Putting, while other all-round numbers seem to make him a solid selection.
Patrick Reed for the win is our main tip while the top ten picks will look to add to a profitable four days at Bay Hill. So these are the advised Arnold Palmer predictions for this preview:
- Patrick Reed to win @ best odds of +2200 with BetOnline.
- Reed (+190), Paul Casey (+260), Jordan Spieth (+260) and Harris English (+475) for top 10 finishes. All those odds are with Bovada, the first to offer odds. BetOnline & Intertops will publish top 10 betting shortly.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.