2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Advice: Buys & Fades Using Strokes Gained Data
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy
The Concession Golf Club lived up to everything we could have asked for at the WGC-Workday Championship as it challenged the best players in the world around every turn. In the end, Collin Morikawa took home the hardware with an impressive three-shot victory, which will jump him to fourth in the Official World Golf Rankings.
The team at GolfBet had a great week as we jumped on Morikawa early and often, as well as targeting Viktor Hovland’s high finish. We will look to keep the hot streak rolling this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
There was always going to be a tournament to take a hit from the new schedule and COVID issues, unfortunately it appears to be the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Last week, 47 of the top-50 players in the world played in the first WGC of 2021, but only a few will tee it up this week.
It’s too bad that the schedule has squeezed this event out for some of the better players, but it’s certainly understandable between a WGC and THE PLAYERS. Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed will be the only Top-10 players to tee it up at Bay Hill with Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland as the other two other headliners.
We will have some solid data to lean on from The Concession for these guys and a few more, to see who is coming into the API playing good golf.
3 Buys for the Arnold Palmer Invitational
It’s impossible to start this section with any player other than Viktor Hovland. The young Norwegian has been playing fantastic golf dating back to the fall when he secured his second career victory on TOUR.
He would finish the WGC-Workday as the clear second-best player in the field based on finishing position, but also in strokes gained. Hovland gained 11.4 strokes on the elite WGC field tee-to-green, including 13.5 strokes gained ball-striking. He was second in the field tee-to-green, second off the tee, and third on approach.
There is no doubt he has all aspects of his game in form heading to Bay Hill, but the bookmakers have taken notice too with DraftKings listing him with the second-lowest odds in the field at +1100.
You can’t talk about the Arnold Palmer Invitational without mentioning Rory McIlroy shortly thereafter. He has simply dominated at this event, with a win and three other Top-6 finishes in his last four appearances.
Rory will come into the week after a solid bounce-back effort following his missed cut at Riviera. He gained strokes on the WGC field in every category at The Concession, including 8 strokes gained tee-to-green. He was simply great in every aspect of his game and was even able to break par on Sunday, which may be a step in the right direction for his final round struggles. Rory would close the week in a tie for 6th, and will now head to Bay Hill with the lowest odds in the field.
There were clearly a lot of things out of sync in Bryson DeChambeau‘s game two weeks ago when he missed the cut at Riviera. He carried some of those issues with him to The Concession where he started with a 5-over 77, but he would quickly find something going into Friday’s round. Despite the ugly opening 18, Bryson would fire an 8-under 64 in the second round, before finishing with a 3-under Sunday round to tie for 22nd.
Bryson may be the biggest beneficiary of four guaranteed rounds last week as he was clearly able to get things going in the right direction. He never could fully make up the strokes he lost from the first round, but the 3.14 strokes he gained tee-to-green with more than five strokes gained ball-striking on Sunday are a great sign for the reigning U.S. Open Champion.
He now heads to Bay Hill where he has two top five finishes and a great chance to put himself in contention again.