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Brian Kirschner previews the upcoming Arnold Palmer Invitational and makes predictions and picks. The PGA expert also gives his perspective on the odds board and the two golfers he's targeting. Let's get into it!

Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks and Predictions: Look for Jason Day and Sam Burns to Find Success

The PGA Tour is headed to Orlando, Florida, for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This week will mark the fourth designated event of the 2023 PGA Tour Season. As we have seen before, this means increased purses, all the elite talent teeing it up, and a top golfer lifting the trophy on Sunday.

The second week of the Florida swing takes place at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge; this is a course that has produced some of the highest non-major winning scores over the past decade. With thick rough, lighting-fast Bermuda greens, exposure to the wind, and treacherous par 3’s and 4’s, it is no surprise that the average winning score over the past 6 years is -10. Even more impressive, twice in the past three years, the winning score was -5 and -4. If the winds are up, which they look to be, you can expect major conditions this week.

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Arnold Palmer Invitational Time and Where to Watch

  • Date - Thursday, March 2nd - Sunday, March 5th, 2023
  • Opening Tee Time - 7:00 a.m. ET - 2 p.m. ET
  • Where - Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida
  • Where to Watch - ESPN+, Golf Channel, NBC

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Arnold Palmer Invitational Prediction

As stated before, with API’s designated status, we are seeing the world’s best tee it up. We have 44 of the top 50 golfers in the OWGR in the field this week. This means the ongoing battle for the world's #1 spot between Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, and Rory Mcllroy will continue this week.

These three, who are emerging as being in a league of their own, all have extremely compelling cases as to why they will be holding the trophy come Sunday. Scottie is the defending champion, Rory won this event in 2018 and was a first-round leader here last year, and Rahm excels in difficult conditions and seems to win every week. Any golfer that is able to take these three down is certainly going to be a worthy champion.

As for the course, Bay Hill is a 7,400-yard par 72 with thick rough, and lightning-fast Bermuda grass greens. With lengthy par 3’s that measure on average 210 yards. These par 3s mixed with the four par 5’s means golfers will be hitting a high plurality of iron shots from 200+. Identifying the best long-iron players that can avoid bogeys will be vital for success.

Here are the key stats I am looking for:

  • SG: OTT
  • SG: APP
  • Proximity 200+
  • SG: Short Game
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda)
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Course History at API
  • Par 5 Scoring

Overall, I am looking for elite drivers of the ball that have shown continued success on these fast Bermuda grass greens. A history of contending in difficult conditions and prior success at API are certain traits I am looking for in my golfers this week.

Outrights Selections for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Jason Day (+3300) Bet $100 to collect $3400. BetRivers has the best odds, click here

A golfer I am targeting in the outright market this week is the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational Champion, Jason Day. If you have been following the PGA Tour this season, you are certainly aware of the resurgent season for the former #1 golfer in the world.

Since the start of 2023, Jason Day has finished 17th, 7th, 5th, and 9th. These results are good enough to have him ranked 4th in Total Strokes Gained in this field over the past 24 rounds. Given his price of +3300 think there is undoubtedly some value on the Australian this week. Day was a prolific winner of the PGA Tour, and I don't think anyone would be surprised to see him back to his winning ways.

Jason Day’s results have been anchored by strong OTT play and a scorching hot putter. I am also extremely happy about the fact that he has made the cut in all four appearances here since his win in 2016, when he was in way worse form. Over the past 24 rounds, Day ranks 9th in SG: OTT, 5th in SG: Short game, and 1st in SG: Putting.

With heavy winds in the forecast, having an excellent short game is going to be vital for success. Of all the aspects of his game that are trending right now, the revitalization of his short game is certainly the most promising.

Given how he has been playing, I seriously think he is trending toward a win this season. We have seen many golfers this season break winless droughts, and I believe Jason Day is next on the list. Back Jason Day at +3300 this week.

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Sam Burns (+5000) Bet $100 to collect $3400. BetRivers has the best odds, click here

I am more than willing to back Sam Burns at +5000 in this field. This four-time PGA Tour winner has drifted too far in the odds board for me to pass up. Sam Burns, who is already a 2-time winner in Florida, has shown some success at this course which is proven to be a great indicator for success.

Burns was able to finish T9 last year at API, gaining 3.7 strokes on approach and a staggering six strokes on the greens. Last year was also not the first time he spiked with the putter on these Bermuda grass greens. Burns was able to gain 4.6 strokes and 7.2 strokes, putting at the 2019 and 2020 editions of the API.

I am more than willing to overlook his missed cut at the Genesis in his last start. Before that, Burns had a great showing at the WMPO, finishing in 6th place and gaining strokes in all major categories. Prior to that, an 11th-place finish at the American Express shows that Sam's current form has not fallen off as far as the odds reflect.

Sam has garnered the nickname “Bermuda Burns,” and there is certainly data to back up this name. Over the past 50 rounds, Sam Burns ranks first in SG: Putting on Bermuda. We have also seen Sam Burns win in difficult conditions, as he was a winner less than a year ago at the Charles Schwab at -9. I am confident we will see a great showing from Sam Burns in the sunshine state this week.

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Article Author


Brian Kirschner is the host of the Tap in Birdie Podcast and is a golf betting content creator from Long Island. Every week Brian has prominent guests in the industry come on his podcast and break down the upcoming PGA Tour event from a betting/DFS perspective. Brian loves nothing more than sweating first round leader and outrights bets.

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