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2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds & Picks: Viktor Hovland Among 4 Strong Fits at Bay Hill

2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds & Picks: Viktor Hovland Among 4 Strong Fits at Bay Hill article feature image
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Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland

  • The PGA TOUR has a star-studded field this week at Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
  • Four of the top six players in the world are in the field, headlined by world No. 1 Jon Rahm.
  • Matt Vincenzi breaks down four players whose games fit Bay Hill well and provide value for bettors below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds via Caesars

2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds

Golfer Odds
Jon Rahm +850
Rory McIlroy +1200
Viktor Hovland +1600
Scottie Scheffler +1800
Hideki Matsuyama +2500
Sungjae Im +2600
Will Zalatoris +2800
Matt Fitzpatrick +3000
Marc Leishman +3000
Paul Casey +3300
Keith Mitchell +3300
Tyrrell Hatton +3500
Adam Scott +3500
Jason Kokrak +4000
Billy Horschel +4000
Sam Burns +4000
Max Homa +4000
Justin Rose +4500
Sergio Garcia +5000
Tommy Fleetwood +5000
Talor Gooch +5000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5000
Gary Woodland +5000
Maverick McNealy +5000
Russell Henley +5000
Jason Day +5500
Cameron Tringale +5500
Keegan Bradley +6000
Corey Conners +6000
Chris Kirk +6600
Luke List +6600
Cameron Young +6600
Seamus Power +6600
Erik van Rooyen +7000
Lanto Griffin +7000
Tom Hoge +8000
Carlos Ortiz +8000
Kevin Na +8000
Thomas Pieters +8000
Si Woo Kim +8000
Sebastian Munoz +8000
Sepp Straka +8000
Ian Poulter +10000
Lucas Glover +10000
Patrick Reed +10000
Matthew Wolff +10000
Kevin Kisner +10000
Sahith Theegala +10000
Lee Westwood +10000
K.H. Lee +10000
Matt Jones +10000
Troy Merritt +12500
Sam Ryder +12500
Danny Willett +12500
Kevin Streelman +12500
Andrew Putnam +12500
Rickie Fowler +12500
Denny McCarthy +12500
Brendon Todd +12500
Taylor Moore +12500
Garrick Higgo +12500
Martin Laird +12500
Aaron Wise +12500
Adam Svensson +12500
Aaron Rai +15000
J.J. Spaun +15000
Takumi Kanaya +15000
Taylor Pendrith +15000
Chez Reavie +15000
Lee Hodges +15000
Cam Davis +15000
Patton Kizzire +15000
Dylan Frittelli +15000
Patrick Rodgers +15000
Lucas Herbert +15000
Charles Howell +15000
Alex Smalley +15000
Nicolai Hojgaard +15000
Nick Taylor +15000
Beau Hossler +15000
Pat Perez +17500
Danny Lee +20000
Brendan Steele +20000
Hudson Swafford +20000
Cameron Champ +20000
Sean O’Hair +20000
Doug Ghim +20000
Min Woo Lee +20000
Michael Thompson +20000
Henrik Stenson +20000
Zach Johnson +20000
Matt Wallace +20000
Branden Grace +20000
Scott Stallings +20000
Brandt Snedeker +20000
Greyson Sigg +25000
Vincent Whaley +25000
Rory Sabbatini +25000
Trey Mullinax +25000
Padraig Harrington +25000
Stephan Jaeger +25000
Hayden Buckley +25000
Davis Riley +25000
Graeme McDowell +30000
Nick Watney +30000
Peter Malnati +30000
Adam Long +30000
Henrik Norlander +30000
Charl Schwartzel +30000
Scott Piercy +30000
Adam Schenk +30000
Kevin Tway +40000
Davis Thompson +40000
Jonathan Byrd +50000
James Piot +50000
John Pak +50000
Anirban Lahiri +50000
Sam Bennett +50000
Paul Barjon +50000
Greg Koch +100000

The PGA TOUR continues its Florida Swing at Bay Hill Club & Lodge to play the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational this week. The event has been a mainstay on TOUR, appearing on the schedule every year since 1979.

Bay Hill Club & Lodge is a par 72 measuring 7,454 yards and features Bermuda-grass greens. Prior to last year, the previous five editions of the Arnold Palmer Invitational yielded international champions. Bay Hill can play extremely difficult if the wind picks up, but the course certainly has teeth whether there is wind or not.

There are 120 golfers for an event that usually attracts a very strong field, but with The PLAYERS Championship next week, a few top players have chosen to sit this one out. Even so, the field will still feature some of the world’s best such as Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Sungjae Im, Matt Fitzpatrick, Scottie Scheffler, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood.

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Past Winners at Bay Hill

  • 2021: Bryson DeChambeau (-11)
  • 2020: Tyrrell Hatton (-4)
  • 2019: Francesco Molinari (-12)
  • 2018: Rory McIlroy (-18)
  • 2017: Marc Leishman (-11)
  • 2016: Jason Day (-17)

5 Key Stats For Bay Hill

Let’s take a look at five metrics key for Bay Hill to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

Approach is often the most important statistic, and this week will be no different. This is a difficult golf course and players will be penalized for missing greens in regulation.

Total SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Will Zalatoris (+24.8) (+2500)
  2. Viktor Hovland (+22.0) (+1800)
  3. Tom Hoge (+22.0) (+10000)
  4. Paul Casey (+21.3) (+4000)
  5. Hudson Swafford (+18.7) (+25000)

2. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

To compete at Bay Hill, golfers will need an excellent performance off the tee. Distance is important due to the length of the course and its layout, but accuracy is just as important.

We have seen recent events in which golfers can get away with bad tee shots, but Bay Hill isn’t one of those courses. The rough is extremely thick and penal, so saving par after a poor tee shot isn’t likely.

SG: OTT Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jon Rahm (+26.8) (+750)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+19.2) (+1000)
  3. Cameron Young (+19.1) (+9000)
  4. Keith Mitchell (+18.9) (+4500)
  5. Sergio Garcia (+17.6) (+5000)

3. Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda and Lightning)

A major reason Bay Hill plays as one of the most difficult courses on TOUR is the incredibly fast greens. The Bermuda putting surfaces have played “lightning” fast in every round since 2017.

SG: Putting (Bermuda and Lightning) over past 24 rounds:

  1. Zach Johnson (+26.7) (+25000)
  2. Denny McCarthy (+24.0) (+13000)
  3. Brendon Todd (+22.9) (+15000)
  4. Beau Hossler (+21.6) (+20000)
  5. Christian Bezuidenhout (+19.6) (+5000)
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4. Strokes Gained: Ball-striking

While ball-striking is in part off the tee and approach, I want the total tee to green package built into the model this week as it will take a well-rounded effort from tee to green to get it done at Bay Hill.

SG: BS Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jon Rahm (+41.2) (+750)
  2. Will Zalatoris (+34.9) (+2800)
  3. Luke List (+33.9) (+7000)
  4. Viktor Hovland (+32.8) (+1800)
  5. Paul Casey (+25.6) (+4000)

5. Strokes Gained: Par 5

With four par 5’s on the course, it will be important to take advantage of these holes. While I don’t expect the winning score to be quite as uninspiring as last year, it certainly won’t be a birdie fest.

Whoever takes best advantage of the score-able par 5’s may have the best shot to win.

SG: Par 5 Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Matt Fitzpatrick (+19.5) (+2200)
  2. Aaron Rai (+16.7) (+25000)
  3. Seamus Power (+14.3) (+6000)
  4. Max Homa (+13.4) (+4500)
  5. Hideki Matsuyama (+13.0) (+2500)


Arnold Palmer Invitational Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories discussed above — SG: Approach (27%), SG: Off the Tee (23%), SG: Putting Bermudagrass/Lightning (18 %), SG: Ball-striking (17%) and SG: Par 5 (15%).

  1. Jon Rahm (+750)
  2. Sungjae Im (+2200)
  3. Matt Fitzpatrick (+2200)
  4. Russell Henley (+4000)
  5. Luke List (+7000)
  6. Lanto Griffin (+7500)
  7. Seamus Power (+6000)
  8. Marc Leishman (+2800)
  9. Viktor Hovland (+1800)
  10. Will Zalatoris (+2800)

2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks

Viktor Hovland (+1800) at DraftKings

Hovland comes into the week with scorching hot irons, which is the most important aspect of taming Bay Hill. In his most recent start at Riviera, the 24-year-old gained 6.1 strokes on approach. The dialed-in performance trailed only Tony Finau and winner Joaquin Niemann in the category, leading Hovland to a fourth-place finish. 

Last season, Hovland was also very good at Riviera. He gained 4.1 strokes on approach (fifth-place finish) and rode his hot form into the following week. His next start came at WGC Concession, where finished in second and gained 8.7 strokes on approach, a career best. Hovland now heads to Florida once again after a strong showing at Riviera and I expect another ceiling performance.

The No. 4 ranked golfer in the world recently won the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World TOUR (January 2022). Despite the worldwide success, Hovland is still in search of a signature win on the PGA TOUR. Bay Hill would be a logical spot for that to happen. 

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Matt Fitzpatrick (+3000) at bet365

It’s no secret Fitzpatrick absolutely loves Bay Hill. Fitz has finished in the top 10 in his past three starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with his best finish (second) coming in 2019.

While he clearly has the course history on his side, the Englishman also rates out perfectly for Bay Hill. In the field, Fitzpatrick ranks first in par 5 scoring, sixth in Strokes Gained: Putting on lightning-fast bermudagrass greens, and 12th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. With a game that was built for this course, it’s no surprise that he has excelled here throughout his career.

The 27-year-old gained 4.2 strokes on approach in his most recent start at the WM Phoenix Open and 7.2 strokes from tee to green. His game is rounding into form at the proper time to finally get his first PGA TOUR victory.

2021 bermuda championship-odds-picks-first round leader-preview
Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Fitzpatrick

Paul Casey (+4000) at DraftKings

Among Casey’s three PGA TOUR victories, two have come in the state of Florida at the 2018 and 2019 Valspar Championships. Like Copperhead, Bay Hill is a great course fit for Casey, considering the difficult conditions and the potentially higher-than-normal winning score. 

Looking at the history of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the first things that are worthy of mentioning is the amount of elite European players who have had success at Bay Hill. Prior to Bryson Dechambeau’s dominant victory last season, the past three winners were Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Tyrrell Hatton. Casey is a European of a similar mold who has tons of Ryder Cup experience (like the other three) and excels in difficult conditions. 

In addition to the ideal course fit, the 44-year-old is playing some excellent golf. At the Genesis Invitational, Casey gained 5.6 strokes on approach and finished in 15th. With four par 3s on the course of 200+ yards, Casey should have an advantage as he gains an average of 2.4 strokes on the field per event on par 3s of that length. 

With two top-10 finishes in his past three tries at Bay Hill, Casey has proven he has what it takes to contend at the course. 

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Danny Willett (+20000) at DraftKings

Willett offers pure win equity. You won’t find many golfers in their mid 30s with nine professional wins in the triple-digits on the oddsboard for this week, but that’s where we find Willett.

Considering he has won as recently as October (Alfred Dunhill Links Championship) in a relatively strong field, it is safe to say that his game is in fine shape. He emphasized that last week at the Honda Classic, despite not finishing very high on the leaderboard. He was solid across the board statistically and gained 5.6 strokes from tee to green on the week.

Willett’s troubles came with the putter, where he lost an abysmal 4.4 strokes. He has shown he is capable of handling firm and fast greens in the past, as he has won The Masters at Augusta National. Although the surface is different, the speed of the greens at Bay Hill is one of the few that can rival Augusta.

Willett has some solid course history, with finishes of 18th and 31 in his past two trips to Bay Hill. If it plays difficult this week, the 34-year-old Englishman has the grinder’s mentality to contend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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