Golf

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Betting Picks, Win Simulations, Course History, and Key Stats

Brandon Gdula
Brandon Gdula@gdula13
Arnold Palmer Invitational: Betting Picks, Win Simulations, Course History, and Key Stats

We've got a signature event on tap this week at Bay Hill Club & Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.

Though it's a signature event with 69 golfers, there is a cut (top 50 plus ties -- plus any golfers within 10 shots of the lead) after 36 holes.

That means that we really can't afford to have golfers miss the cut for daily fantasy purposes but also that we have a ton of big names teeing it up -- which matters a lot for outright win purposes.

Here's all you need to know for this week.

Bay Hill Club & Lodge Course Info

All course data from GCSAA unless otherwise noted.

  • Par: 72
  • Distance: 7,466 yards (about 70 yards longer than the average par 72)
  • Average Fairway Width: 34.6 yards (52nd of 86 courses)
  • Average Green Size: 7,500 square feet (large)
  • Green Type: Bermuda
  • Stimpmeter: 12
  • Recent Winning Scores: -9, -5, -11, -4, -12
  • Recent Cut Lines: +4, +3, +2, +3, +1

Bay Hill Club & Lodge Course Key Stats

The par 72 means par 5 scoring is a key stat this week, but it really comes down to iron play (strokes gained: approach).

Datagolf lists Bay Hill as the 12th-toughest course on the PGA Tour to gain greens in regulation, so there's just an added emphasis on ball-striking.

Both distance and accuracy can matter here, so some form of off-the-tee play is crucial.

With how tough the course tends to play and how good the field is, it's a good week for all-around golfers.

Best Golfers at Bay Hill Club & Lodge

These golfers have the best strokes gained numbers in recent years at this course.

Golfer
FanDuel Salary
Course SG:T/Rd
Course SG:T
Starts
Wins
Top-10s
Top 25s
Missed Cuts
Rory McIlroy$12,1002.1843.6950450
Matt Fitzpatrick$10,4002.1342.6950450
Sungjae Im$9,3001.8837.6950250
Scottie Scheffler$12,4002.4329.2131230
Chris Kirk$9,6001.7628.0940230
Keegan Bradley$9,5001.2825.6950230
Max Homa$10,6001.5324.4040140
View Full Table

Arnold Palmer Invitational Win Simulations

Here's what my model -- based on long-term scoring trends, recency adjustments, and field-strength weighting -- has to say about this week's event.

Golfer
FanDuel Salary
Win%
Top-10%
Top-20%
Made Cut%
Scottie Scheffler$12,40011.68%52.57%72.54%94.60%
Rory McIlroy$12,1007.41%42.04%62.98%92.28%
Xander Schauffele$11,8005.19%35.48%57.05%90.50%
Viktor Hovland$11,9004.13%31.84%52.65%89.26%
Patrick Cantlay$11,5003.43%28.63%49.24%88.05%
Ludvig Aberg$11,3002.72%24.92%44.56%86.18%
Jordan Spieth$11,1002.71%23.91%43.68%85.62%
View Full Table

Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Picks to Target

These picks stand out relative to their FanDuel Sportsbook golf betting odds based on my win simulation model and/or my overall stats model, which accounts for the most important stats for this week's event. All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds unless otherwise noted.

Collin Morikawa

To Win (+2500)

Morikawa's putting is one thing that I try to track closely, and while it's still a bit problematic from 5 to 15 feet, he is top-40 on Tour this year in putting from within 10 feet. That's a crucial stat for putting regression.

Morikawa also is striping the ball with his irons as usual, and while he's always more accurate than he his long off the tee, he has had flashes of added distance versus fields faced lately. He enters with three top-20 finishes in four starts in 2024.

He also has finished T64, T9, and MC at this event while never putting well. The ball-striking when he finished T9 was great, so that's what we can hope for again this week.

Justin Thomas

To Win (+3000)

To Finish Top 10 (+260)

Thomas flew under the radar for me a bit this week, but after a T12 in August at the Wyndham Championship, Thomas didn't tee it up again until September when he recorded a solo 5th at the Fortinet. Then he was off until November for the Nedbank Golf Challenge (solo 4th).

Since the start of November, Thomas is second in the field in true strokes gained per round behind only Scottie Scheffler and is gaining distance again. A missed cut at the Cognizant Classic has his win odds longer than they should be.

Byeong Hun An

To Win (+4500)

To Finish Top 20 (+140)

Another week, another Ben An case to be made.

An is gaining strokes with his approach play again, and that's partly what makes him so interesting historically. He just had putting issues.

This year, though, he's within a percentage point of the PGA Tour average in putting conversion from within 10 feet.

An has four top-25 finishes in six starts in 2024 and has two top-15s at Bay Hill over the past five years, as well.

Tom Kim

To Win (+6000)

To Finish Top 20 (+160)

Tom Kim's profile tends to align well with Collin Morikawa's, and any time I like Morikawa, I tend to like Kim. That's the case this week.

Kim's irons are generally on right now, though he did struggle in that department at the Cognizant Classic this past week. But he also used good ball-striking to finish T24 at The Genesis Invitational and T17 at the WM Phoenix Open since the start of February.

He finished T34 at Bay Hill last year while ranking 21st in ball-striking but 48th or worse in both of the short-game stats.

J.T. Poston

To Finish Top 10 (+600)

To Finish Top 20 (+230)

Poston's great start to 2024 cooled off last week at the Cognizant Classic when the irons and wedges went dead, but he made the cut and finished solo 66th there.

This came off the heels of a T10 at The Genesis Invitational, and over the past 50 rounds, Poston ranks 14th in strokes gained: approach and 3rd in strokes gained: putting among this loaded field.

Viktor Hovland

Top Nordic Golfer (+130)

This market pits Viktor Hovland against Ludvig Aberg (+140), Nicolai Hojgaard (+500), and Sami Valimaki (+1000).

Over the past 12 months, Hovland holds a +2.17 true strokes gained per round mark, per datagolf. Aberg is next up at +1.41, followed by Hojgaard (+1.05) and Valimaki (-0.33).

Hovland's recent data is bogged down by an abbreviated AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and my model is showing slight value on him in this market.

Adam Scott

Top Oceania Golfer (+280)

Scott is not the favorite in this market. That'd be Jason Day (+185) followed by Min Woo Lee (+220) and then Scott (+280); Cam Davis (+450) rounds out the group.

Scott, over the past 50 rounds, is averaging +1.14 true strokes gained: tee to green. Next up is actually Davis at +0.78. While this is a volatile market with a lot of good players, Scott's iron play (+0.81) separates him greatly from Davis (+0.33), Day (-0.14), and Lee (-0.19).


New to FanDuel Sportsbook? You have a chance to get $150 in Bonus Bets if your first bet wins—valid across all sports until March 11th! See the promotions page for more information.

Looking to use your knowledge to build some daily fantasy golf lineups? Check out all of this week's contests over at FanDuel and all golf betting odds and markets at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!


The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.