Arnold Palmer Invitational Expert Picks and Prop Bets: Top 40 Picks
Arnold Palmer Invitational Expert Picks and Prop Bets: Top 40 Picks
The Honda Classic proved a tough hunting ground for me last week. Lightning didn't strike twice for young Andrew Kozan, who couldn't make the most of his second sponsored exemption. Blixt simply didn't show up. Sam Stevens had a poor start but rallied back with a round of 69 which included five birdies. Unfortunately, he also made a couple of costly double bogeys, which resulted in him missing the cut by two shots. Fancied he'd of pushed on if he got through the cutline; I guess we'll never know.
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We are staying in Florida this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It's the fourth elevated event of the season, so the field is stacked full of the best players in the world. Bay Hill always provides a tough test. Expect the scoring to be similar to what we see at the majors. This is the type of course and event that warrants a top field. It's never been this strong before, with players like Cantlay, Finau, Morikawa, Schauffele & Thomas all giving it a miss the last couple of years.
It's extremely important to score well on the par 5s to have any success here. The wind looks as though it will play its part this week, as it has done over the years. Friday, in particular, looks pretty horrific all day but especially bad in the afternoon. It might result in a draw bias, although I've had my fingers burnt to try to second-guess the weather over the years. Below I've identified a couple of players that I'm excited to chance in the top 40 markets and a top nationality selection.
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
Click here for Arnold Palmer Invitational oddds
Arnold Palmer Invitational Prediction
Tommy Fleetwood Top English Player (+550) Bet $100 to collect $650. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
Tommy Fleetwood ticks a lot of boxes for me this week, and I was certainly impressed with his performance last time out at the Genesis Invitational. Fleetwood finished a respectable T20th, which was his best effort at Riviera Country Club so far. Riviera is a tough course, and not the easiest to score at, so his T20 finish definitely caught the eye. Add in the fact that this was just his second start on the PGA Tour this season, and the first at the WM Phoenix Open resulted in a missed cut, and it becomes even more impressive.
He hit the ball well, tee to green, only losing strokes slightly off the tee. He now returns to Bay Hill, a course that has been kind but cruel to him over the years. Tommy has played at this event six times, missing the cut only once. His best finish of 3rd came in 2019, where he led at the halfway point. He's been in contention twice at Bay Hill, with a costly round on Saturday or Sunday costing him his chances.
Looking at his past interviews, it's clearly a course that suits his eye and feels comfortable playing on. He also has a close friend that lives on the course, which gives him some familiar surroundings. The wind will play havoc this week, which will play into Tommy's hands. Hailing from Southport, he has an excellent pedigree in the wind and has a reputation for showing up in tough scoring conditions.
Tommy does have some stiff competition in this market. Tyrrell Hatton stands out as the biggest threat, as he has won at Bay Hill in the past and has an excellent record here. He's also been playing well recently, with a sixth-place finish at Phoenix Open. He continued to hit the ball well at Riviera despite only finishing 40th. The conditions forecasted for this week will no doubt suit him. Having said all of that, I don't believe there is much between them, and I can't help but feel Tommy is trending toward a big performance. Hatton is, without a doubt, the player I'm fearing the most.
Fitzpatrick is another player with a fantastic record here, runner-up in 2019, and has finished inside the top 10 in his last three starts at Bay Hill. Although, he's definitely going through a tough time at the moment. Since Matt injured his neck, he has yet to play anywhere near close to the level we saw last year. Matt has lost on approach in each of his starts in 2023 and he withdrew from Monday's Seminole pro-member event, which could suggest he's not over his injury woes.
Recent winner Justin Rose could be a danger. He has come close to winning at Bay Hill on three occasions but has missed the cut on his last three visits. Difficult to know what to expect from him. Danny Willett has made his last three cuts and looks to be playing a little better. Aaron Rai will love the conditions but has struggled for consistency. They all offer up a threat of some kind, but Tommy makes the most sense and represents the best value in this market. He also goes out in the morning on Friday, which should see him get the better of the conditions.
Davis Riley Top 40 (+250) Bet $100 to collect $350. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
Davis Riley was the talk of the town at one point last year. He picked up some great results and nearly grabbed his first win at the Valspar Championship; unfortunately, he just missed out in a playoff to Sam Burns. After a run of three consecutive missed cuts, Davis got his year up and running last week at the Honda Classic, finishing 29th. He hit the ball superbly, ranking 18th tee to green and 7th in ballstriking. It's the kind of ballstriking display we all became familiar with seeing last year.
Davis has proved he can mix it with the top players in tough scoring conditions after finishing T13th at the US PGA and T31st at the US Open. With this event expected to play close to a major championship, I'm expecting to see him rise to the occasion once again. Davis made his debut here last year and opened up with a solid round of 70, only to follow that up with a round of 80 to comfortably miss the cut. That round of 70 does offer up some encouragement, as does his record in Florida and on bermudagrass greens. He's become a bit of a forgotten player recently, but that performance at the Honda Classic might signify he's close to a return to form. Davis also got the earliest Friday tee time, so if the weather report is correct, he should get the best of the conditions.
Ludvig Aberg Top 40 (+330) Bet $100 to collect $430. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
Ludvig Aberg is a name everyone should get familiar with, as I'm confident he's going straight to the top. The No. two ranked amateur has two sponsor invitations on the PGA Tour coming up; the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Valspar Championship. It will be his fourth start on the PGA Tour; he's missed two cuts and finished T51st at the Bermuda Championship.
It wasn't long ago Ludvig opened up with a round of 65 to lead the Dubai Desert Classic. The occasion got to him in the end, but it's a small taste of what he's capable of achieving, and I'm sure it was a valuable learning experience. Last week, Ludvig won 'The Prestige' event for the third year in a row at PGA West in terrible, windy conditions. It's not too dissimilar to what we're expecting to see this week. It isn't a surprise in the slightest that he's a top wind player, having grown up in Sweden and gone to college in Texas. I mean, you almost have to be with that pedigree! He does have some history at Bay Hill.
Ludvig played in the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2020 and clearly took a liking to the course, as he finished top point scorer. He'll be relishing another opportunity this week to test himself against the best in the game. I've been a long-term follower since he won the Katrineholm Open for me at 400/1. It will be a tough ask in this level of the field to finish inside the top 40, but he's got an incredibly high ceiling, and I'm a firm believer in his talent. He knows the course and the conditions will suit him; he's got to be chanced.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks
- Tommy Fleetwood Top English Player (+550) Bet $100 to collect $650. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
- Davis Riley Top 40 (+250) Bet $100 to collect $350. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
- Ludvig Aberg Top 40 (+330) Bet $100 to collect $430. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
Bradley Todd is best known for his knowledge of golf on a global scale. He shares his bets across all the tours on his Patreon and has turned a profit of 700+ points for the last three years. He can also be found weekly on the Lost Fore Words podcast contributing his thoughts of the upcoming PGA/DPWT events.