2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational Round 3 Odds, Picks: Matt Fitzpatrick, Max Homa Set for Moving Day

2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational Round 3 Odds, Picks: Matt Fitzpatrick, Max Homa Set for Moving Day article feature image

Pictured: Matt Fitzpatrick. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

It seemed like things were set up for another Jon Rahm victory as he took the first-round lead and was headed toward the more favorable morning conditions Friday. However, he proved to be a mere mortal as he fired a 3-over 75, dropping outside the top 10 and opening the door for the rest of the field.

Kurt Kitayama took advantage in the second round and carries a two-shot lead into the weekend. Jordan Spieth is closest in pursuit at 7-under, but the field stacks up behind him with several top players lurking within a handful of shots before moving day.

Once again, the winds are expected to be a story on Saturday and I don't think we will see the set up play as easy as it did Friday. The course should be a little softer for the morning wave, possibly allowing someone to jump up the leaderboard. However, the winds will be fairly steady throughout the day.

I'll be looking for some elite value heading into Round 3 as the players get set to position themselves for Sunday's final round.

Strokes Gained Explanation

Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer has truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.

Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.

Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.

In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:

  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)

In general, SG: Ball Striking and SG: Tee-to-Green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.

You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but are just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.

3 Golfers to Buy in Round 3

Matt Fitzpatrick checks in as my favorite buy heading into the weekend at Bay Hill. We are getting a touch of value on the Englishman at +1400 across most books. DataGolf gives him a 7.4% win probability, which is closer to the +1250 range.

The value helps, but what sticks out to me is his play tee-to-green Friday. He gained more than four shots on this elite filed and it was really all with his ball striking as he actually lost nearly a half shot around the greens.

We are finally seeing Fitzpatrick turn the corner with his game after he struggled with a neck injury early in the year, and it's coming at the exact right time on a course he knows well. He has four consecutive top-10 finishes at this course and while he's T5 heading into the weekend, he still hasn't putted well yet this week.

Fitzpatrick has lost 1.49 strokes to the field on the greens through the first two rounds, but in six of his past seven trips to Bay Hill he gained more than three shots putting. The hot flat stick will be coming over the weekend and if the ball striking continues, he'll be there with a chance to win Sunday.

I will be happy to keep riding the Max Homa train until he lets me down. He hasn't been able to get much going on the scoring front, but there are no signs of his game slowing. He was the best player in the field on approach Friday, but was simply unable to capitalize on that play.

Homa is a player with both the skillset to get back in the mix in a tournament like this and the ability to close out wins when he gets in the hunt. I'll stick with him for the opportunity to put his name in the mix going into Sunday, and if he does, I'll really like my chances at +2800.

We hit a long shot going into the weekend at this tournament, but this is a different proposition with the list of names at the top of the leaderboard. I'm going to stop in the Homa and Cameron Young range on the odds board and look for some placement opportunities in Round 3.

There aren't much in the way of odds out right now, but my target would be on Sungjae Im. He's T20 and really played well in his second round. He gained strokes on the field in all three metrics tee-to-green and was positive with his ball striking for a second consecutive round.

I usually like to buy Im when he is showing form as he tends to struggle to find it when it's lost, but he has been hitting the ball well throughout the start of 2023. He's another player with som top finishes at Bay Hill and I expect he will be ready to climb to another strong finish this weekend.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players Through Round 2 (Average Per Round)

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