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2022 PGA Tour Betting Preview: Arnold Palmer Invitational

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is sandwiched right in the middle of the PGA Tour’s Florida swing, this event draws some of the biggest names each season as is it an homage to one of the best players the game has ever known.
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2022 PGA Tour Betting Preview: Arnold Palmer Invitational

As the week gets started, the big news out of the event is that for the eighth straight week, Bryson DeChambeau, the defending champion here at Bay Hill, will not be partaking in a PGA Tour event due to injury. Already one of the sport’s biggest draws, DeChambeau has also been a talking point as a potential proponent of a Saudi Golf League, with rumors he could be the league’s premier talent acquisition. 

With DeChambeau now ruled out, Jon Rahm (+800), Rory McIlroy (+1000), and Viktor Hovland (+1400) lead the way at the top of the odds board as the week unfolds. As we see almost every week, however, there’s likely someone lurking with longer odds poised to take the trophy home come Sunday at Bay Hill.

Let’s take a closer look at who I suspect that might be.

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Past Winners of The Arnold Palmer Invitational

  • 2021: Bryson Dechambeau
  • 2020: Tyrell Hatton
  • 2019: Francesco Molinari
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Course Preview: Bay Hill Golf Course

Like we saw last week at PGA National, Bay Hill Golf Course will be one of the most difficult courses these guys see all season long, coming in at #4 on the toughest course list as far as Strokes Gained. At 7,466 yards, the par 72 plays longer than the average course on Tour, but the 84 total bunkers and 9 holes featuring water require more accuracy off the tee than distance. 

Also like last week, Bermuda is the greens of choice, which will play on the faster side of things with a stimp of 12.5. Bay Hill is also known for its long Par 3s, with four in total coming in at 231, 199, 215, and 221 yards, respectively. 

All in all, scoring will be as difficult as any non-major course this season, and with lengthy rough already being reported throughout the course, Bay Hill requires every player’s best who wants to stick around for the weekend festivities. 

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Relevant Betting Course Metrics

  • SG: Driving Accuracy
  • SG: Par 3s
  • SG: Approach the Green
  • Bermuda Greens

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Outright Picks

Will Zalatoris (+2700 on FanDuel Sportsbook) (Bet $100 to Win $2700)

With some of the longest Par 3s on Tour, it will be critical this week that guys don’t turn them into short Par 4s, as we’ve seen in the past with the three-year scoring average coming in at 3.15. Furthering this point, over the past eight years, all eight winners have finished the Par 3s under par for the week. 

Enter Will Zalatoris.

Through the Honda Classic, Zalatoris is averaging 2.91 on Par 3s this season, with a -10 scoring total good enough for T4 on Tour. He’s also #1 on Tour in SG: Approach the Green and #1 in SG: Tee-To-Green, and is quietly playing some of the best golf of anyone on Tour. 

Taking a look at his three events to start the calendar 2022 year, Zalatoris has a T6, 2, and T26, all while finishing just three rounds higher than 70. In his debut here at Bay Hill last season, Zalatoris finished the weekend -3, good enough for a solo 10 in one of the best fields of the non-major season. 

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And then there’s the off-the-course motivation. A Wake Forest alum, Zalatoris won the Arnold Palmer Scholarship while in school, only to win the Arnold Palmer Rookie of the Year Award last season, his first on Tour. 

Since opening at +3300, we’ve already seen this number come down sharply, with +2700 at FanDuel being the best available as of Monday.

With recent form amongst the best on Tour, a solid track record here at Bay Hill, and a win giving him the Arnold Palmer trifecta, I like for Zalatoris to be in contention on Sunday and in a position to bring home the $2.1 million top prize. And what better venue and event to bring home his very first PGA Tour victory than the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.


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