2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds: McIlroy, Hovland and DeChambeau the Favorites at Bay Hill
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland
The Florida Swing continues this week as the PGA TOUR heads to Bay Hill for the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Although the field is a bit weaker compared to the what we saw the last two weeks, there is still plenty of starpower at the top of the board.
Oddsmakers have installed Rory McIlroy as the favorite at +900. Now going on almost 15 months since his last win, we’ve seen Rory at nearly double these odds recently. That said, McIlroy finished T6 at last week’s WGC-Workday Championship so there’s no real concerns about his form and he’s a former winner here, so it’s no shock that he’s at the top of the board.
Perhaps most encouraging about McIlroy’s performance at the WGC is that it came after he missed the cut at The Genesis two weeks ago. That was his first MC since the 2019 Open Championship, a streak that spanned 30 events.
There’s a case to be made that Viktor Hovland is in the best form of anyone on TOUR at the moment. Hovland hasn’t won in 2021 (though he did win at Mayakoba in December), but he’s contended in nearly every event he’s played since then, including last week’s WGC-Workday where he finished T2 behind Morikawa. It was Hovland’s second T2 and fourth top-six finish in his last four starts, so yeah he deserves to be the second-choice in this field.
Bryson DeChambeau was a bit of an unmade bed at The Concession. On the surface it looks like Bryson quietly finished T22 at 6-under, but he really took a bizarre route to get there. DeChambeau opened with a 77 then was 13 shots better in Round 2. It will be interesting to keep an eye on DeChambeau’s odds at THE PLAYERS and The Masters. If Bryson continues to play unremarkable golf, we could see him drift in these elite fields.
Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton (+1800) and Patrick Reed (+1800) round out the top-5.
Beyond the Top 5
International players have won each of the last five Arnold Palmer Invitationals, so it’s not surprising that eight of the top-10 players on the oddsboard hail from overseas. Included on that list are five players between +2500 and +2800:
- Sungjae Im (+2500)
- Paul Casey (+2500)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2500)
- Louis Oosthuizen (+2500)
- Hideki Matsuyama (+2800)
Matsuyama is probably the most interesting case of that quintet. A sluggish start to 2021 saw the 29-year-old’s odds plummet towards +6000 for the WGC-Workday. Matsuyama responded with a T15 at The Concession, though he didn’t strike the ball particularly well, so who knows which way Hideki goes at Bay Hill.
Billy Horschel caught some longshot love last week and nearly paid it off. Unfortunately, Morikawa was too good for the Florida Gator, so all those 100/1 tickets on “Bermuda Billy” are now nothing more than just story-fodder. Anyways, Horschel is down to +3000 for the API.
Jordan Spieth didn’t make the field for the WGC-Workday but bettors won’t forget that the three-time Major champion flashed some vintage form over the past few weeks. Spieth has finished T4-T3-T15 in his last three starts and joins Horschel at +3000.
Two more recent winners, Francesco Molinari and Jason Day, are next up at +3500 along with Jason Kokrak, who is coming off a top-10 finish at The Concession. Molinari seems to be trending in the right direction after a peculiar 2020, while Day has popped up here and there but has yet to put things completely together.
Tommy Fleetwood (+4500), Sam Burns (+4500) and Will Zalatoris (+5000) are the only other golfers at 50/1 or shorter at the time of writing.
While this field does have some starpower at the top, it is definitely more open compared to the last two events. That should allow for more shopping down the board and there are a few intriguing names as you scroll into the deep waters.
No matter the tournament, Corey Conners (+9000) will get some play when he’s listed at this kind of number. The Canadian is a ball-striking crackerjack who struggles near the flag, so if you catch him on a week where he and his putter are in sync, you could get paid off handsomely. Speaking of ball-striking kings who can’t putt, Byeong-hun An is +11000.
After a terrific start to the year that saw him capture a title at The American Express, Si Woo Kim has floated into the abyss a bit and now sits at +11000. Kim has had some success in Florida in the past, so don’t be surprised if you see his name get bandied about as a potential sleeper over the next few days.
Shane Lowry (+11000) didn’t really impress at the WGC-Workday but he was offered at basically the same price in that elite field as he is in this one, so he may be worth consideration if you can stand the ups and downs that come with a bet on the affable Irishman.
2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds
Odds via DraftKings and current as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday.
|Si Woo Kim||+11000|
|Charles Howell III||+17500|
|Harold Varner III||+17500|
|Erik Van Rooyen||+17500|