Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Guide: Which Sleepers Can Upset the Odds?

Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Guide: Which Sleepers Can Upset the Odds? article feature image

Michael Madrid, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Si Woo Kim

  • Rory McIlroy (+700) is the betting favorite to win the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
  • The field features 12 of the top 20 players in the world, but Josh Perry has his eye on a few longshots with value.

After a wild week at the Honda Classic, the Florida swing continues at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

PGA National worked out pretty well from a betting perspective as Keith Mitchell cashed as a longshot for a few bettors out there at 220-1.

Mitchell was able to fend off Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler to pick up the one-shot victory. I added Mitchell to my card after the first round because he was second in the field in ball striking after a round of 68 and had an AM tee time the next day.

The bookmakers didn’t really adjust to him since all the big names in the field were also still playing well. Luckily, he was able to get hot Sunday afternoon and get the win.

I won’t include Mitchell’s  in the season total since it wasn’t part of this post last week, but we were able to add a small win from the preview piece thanks to Jim Furyk finishing inside the top 20 at +325.

The tour now heads to Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods will not be playing in this tournament — one which he has dominated in the past — due to a neck injury.

The good news is that the tournament still features 12 of the top 20 players in the world, so the field remains strong even without the eight-time champ.

The Course

Bay Hill is the longest track of the Florida swing, measuring 7,419 yards for a par 72. With the added length and extra par 5s, it benefits the bombers a little more than most Florida courses. Players still have to worry about water here, as it’s in play on about half the holes.

If the wind blows, this track can play pretty tough, but there a lot of birdies available on this course if you can dodge the trouble. Rory McIlroy was able to get to 18-under par to lift the trophy here in 2018.

The Field

Tiger opened at +1000 and was second in the odds, but his withdrawal shifted the numbers at the top of the board.

Rory McIlroy is +700 to defend his title, making him the favorite. Justin Rose (+1000), Brooks Koepka (+1200), Rickie Fowler (+1200), Jason Day (+1400) and Bryson DeChambeau (+1600) round out the top tier.

The Favorites

Outside of a two-year Matt Every run, the Arnold Palmer Invitational has produced strong winners. Tiger, Rory and Day have each claimed the title within the last six years.

Of the guys at the top, I’m most worried about Day and Rose wrecking the card. As mentioned, Day won here already and was in the top five his last two starts. Rose has a trio of top-three finishes at Bay Hill and already has a win this season.

But I’m having a hard time finding any real value here, so I’ll start in that next range of players.

The Mid-Tier

We’ll start out in this range with Hideki Matsuyama at +3000.

He’s been a regular on my card this season and likely will be for this season if the number remains in this range. He’s a great par-5 scorer and when he’s got the putter going at even an average level, he can win any tournament. He’s been in the top 20 his last four events. And even though he’s not had great results at Bay Hill, he does own a sixth-place finish at this course.

The other play in this range will be Si Woo Kim at +7500. Kim has finished inside the top 5 in his last two events. He also has struggled at this track, but Kim has shown the ability to pop up with a high finish on a variety of tracks.

Chesson Hadley has a pair of top-20 finishes in his last three starts. Credit: Brad Penner, USA Today Sports.


Matt Every proved that a guy can come out of nowhere and win this tournament not once, but twice.

I’ve got my eye on three players in this range, starting with Michael Thompson at +10050. Thompson is in the best form of his career with five straight finishes inside the top 16. Getting triple digits on that kind of form is rare regardless of the field strength.

Next, we’ll go with Kevin Kisner at +12050. He’s fallen off the radar but the shift back to Florida should be good for him. His best results come in the southeast US. He’s finished second here in the past and put together some solid results making 11 of his last 12 cuts.

Lastly, we’ll go back to Chesson Hadley at +17500. Hadley has a couple top 20s in his last three starts. He hit the approaches well last week, but still has some short game issues to clean up. If things can improve around the green, he has a chance for a good week here.

The Card

  • Hideki Matsuyama +3000 (1.1 units)
  • Si Woo Kim +7500/+1500 top 5 (.44/.44 units)
  • Michael Thompson +10050/+1600 top 5 (.33/.33 units)
  • Kevin Kisner +12050/+1800 top 5 (.28/.28 units)
  • Chesson Hadley +17500/+2500 top 5 (.19/.19 units)

Total Stake: 3.58 Units

Season: -4.3 Units

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