Golf Betting Tips and Picks
The PGA Tour remains in Florida again this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event that dates back to 1966. We have 120 solid golfers in action this week, and the top 65 players plus ties after round 2 will move on to the weekend rounds.
There’s $20M to be won this week – this is the third time in the last four weeks we have seen this whopping purse, the winner takes home $3.6M and also banks 550 FedEx Cup points. Bay Hill Club and Lodge is 7,466 yards in length, is a par 72, and the sizable greens are Bermudagrass. The average winning score at this tournament over the last ten years is -12.3, so the course consistently presents challenges. The -20 record came here in 1987 when Payne Stewart topped David Frost by 3 strokes. Place bets on strong approach players this week, those who are solid from the tee blocks, hit a long ball, sound from tee to green, and can really putt well on Bermudagrass.
Three questions that are relevant to the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week:
- Strokes gained: approach has proved to be the most important stat here, so which 10 players have been the best in this stat category over their last 24 rounds? Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Tom Hoge, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, and Alex Smalley.
- Which 10 players gained the most strokes total (minimum 8 rounds) at this event since 2018? Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Chris Kirk, Sungjae Im, Matt Fitzpatrick, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Tyrrell Hatton, Max Homa, Charley Hoffman, and Emiliano Grillo.
- What’s my top bet for the week (the goal is to at least double the bet)? This is a really tough one for me this week, but I’m going with Scottie Scheffler to finish inside the top 10 at +105.
Below you will find players that I will bet, might bet, and five random bets that interest me. The odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook and are outright numbers. My betting strategy is to hedge quite a bit so my upside isn’t huge but neither is my downside, and I’m profitable or break even in roughly 70% of the weeks I’m active.
5 Players That I’m Absolutely Betting
Jon Rahm (+650) – The world’s top-ranked player has been absolutely remarkable lately with three wins over his last five PGA Tour starts and has seven straight top 8’s. Everything is working for Rahm right now and it’s easy for me to endorse betting him to win this week, to finish top 5, and top 10.
Scottie Scheffler (+900) – Here’s another player who has been humming along extremely well lately with a win two starts ago in Arizona and top 12’s across his last seven appearances. He won here last year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him defend his honor given his talent, calm demeanor, and his compete level. I’m betting him the exact same way as Rahm above.
Rory McIlroy (+900) – McIlroy is in the same class as the two above but his putter has let him down over his last two starts. He has two wins over his last four starts and has been incredible at this venue including winning it all in 2018. I’m betting him the same way as Scheffler and Rahm above – call me a broken record but I just think one of these three supreme players wins this week and I can’t decide which one.
Max Homa (+2200) – How can you not bet Homa this week as he has finished inside the top 3 over his last four tournaments played and won the Farmers Insurance Open just a month ago. He has three top 25’s here including finishing T10 two years ago. I’m not going to bet him to win this week, but I’m on top of his top 10 and top 20.
Collin Morikawa (+2000) – Morikawa has four top 6’s over his last five starts and he seems hungry to win again – sooner rather than later. He had a top 10 here last year thanks to unreal ball striking gaining 14.55 strokes in the stat category and had his chipping and putting been better, he could have easily contended. I’m considering betting him to win this week and will most certainly take on his top 10 and don’t mind his -115 top 20 wager either.
5 Players That I Might Bet
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+18000) – He has been quite good at this event with three top 20’s over the last three years in his only looks at Bay Hill. He hasn’t been as good recently but did have a T11 four starts ago at The American Express in a solid field, so there’s reason for optimism. I’m not sure if I’ll venture into top 20 territory with Bez this week, but I’m certainly game for his top 40 +135 payout.
Chris Kirk (+8000) – I was so happy to see Kirk win in a playoff last week, and he now has three top 3’s over his last four starts, so he’s officially on fire. His play at this course has been rather impressive going T5-T8-T15-13th since 2018 and has pretty much-gained strokes across the board in those four appearances. It will be interesting to see how he responds after last week’s victory, but I’m probably down for betting Chris to finish top 40 and top 20.
Tony Finau (+2000) – He hasn’t been a rockstar at this tournament but it’s hard to ignore his win seven starts ago in Houston, four top 9’s over his last seven starts and finishing no worse than T20 during that stretch. I believe I’ll likely wager Finau to finish top 20 this week and could take a stab at his top 10 – but I’m a bit reluctant to go that far given his best finish here in four starts was a T28 in 2017. Mind you, he hasn’t played here since 2020 and his golf game has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
Will Zalatoris (+2200) – Will-Z won the first leg of the playoffs last season thanks to world-class ball striking, and he’s coming off a 4th at The Genesis Invitational by playing so solid throughout his bag. He had a top 10 here two years ago in his rookie appearance, and something tells me he may finish around the same this week also. I could bet him to finish top 10 this week but will more than likely take on a top 20 wager at +100.
Viktor Hovland (+2800) – I’m consistently on Hovland because he’s a good ball striker and can pop with his wedges and putter. He won five starts ago and has eight top 21’s over his last nine starts, and that’s with just an average putter in hand. He finished co-runner-up here a year ago and was dynamite with his ball striking gaining 9.18 strokes to the field and gained strokes in all of the major stat categories. I’m likely in on his top 20 bet this week and will consider wagering him to finish inside the top 10.
5 Other Interesting Bets
Tournament Matchup – Chris Kirk over Tom Hoge (-120) – He was blazing last week, has been so solid lately, and airtight at this venue as well – I really like this bet.
To Make the Cut Parlay – Cantlay, Spieth, Fowler, and Scott (+185) – These guys have been consistently playing weekend golf throughout their careers, and I think all four will be around for rounds 3 and 4 this week.
Top 20 Finish Parlay – Rahm, Cantlay, and Hatton (+770) – All three of these golfers regularly finish in the top 20, especially Rahm and Cantlay, and Hatton has two top 2’s here over the last three years including winning three years ago and just missed out on a top 20 in 2021 finishing T21.
Top 40 Finish – Min Woo Lee (+125) – He’s such an outstanding approach player (on the DP World Tour and soon on the PGA Tour) and that’s exactly what this course requires for success. I think Lee will finish inside the top 40 to more than double your money.
Winning Margin – 1 Stroke Exactly (+225), 2 Strokes Exactly (+350), and 3 Strokes Exactly (+600) – Over the last three years, the winner here has won by a single stroke and it has happened seven times in the last nine years, the other two years – you guessed it, the winner won by two strokes (2019) and three strokes (2018). Bet more on the 1-stroke victory and hedge with smaller bets on 2 and 3 strokes if you’d like.
Be sure to do lots of research and due diligence on each player before parting with your hard-earned money, and all the best in having a profitable week!
Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience – including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings – specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.