5 picks I love at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, according to a professional gambler

Do you like Viktor Hovland this week? Our expert does.

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On to the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The King’s course. The King’s event. 

Rory McIlroy reacts to putt during 2022 Genesis Invitational
2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds: Rory McIlroy among betting favorites at Bay Hill
By: Kevin Cunningham

Palmer will forever be a presence at Bay Hill. This year, though, the tournament has a notable absence. Defending champ, Bryson DeChambeau, won’t be in the mix. He has withdrawn due to injury. But world-number one Jon Rahm is part of a formidable field that also features Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama and past Bay Hill winners Tyrell Hatton, Marc Leishman and Rory McIlroy.  

Another name that merits mention is Erick Lindgren, GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator, who is looking to build on an already profitable season. Our weekly game remains the same. We give Lindgren a $1,000 gambling budget (just play money) and he gives us his five top wagers. Here are Lindgren’s plays for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which kicks off Thursday morning. 

(Looking to play any of these bets yourself? We teamed with BetMGM and the online sports book is offering a Risk-Free Bet of up to $1,000.)

Viktor Hovland to win, +1,600 (wager: $300)

The fourth-ranked golfer in the world is also one of the hottest golfers on the planet. “He will be right there on Sunday,” Lindgren says. 

Corey Conners to win, +6,600 (wager: $100) 

It’s just a matter of time before the sweet-swinging Canadian notches his second Tour win. Lindgren likes his chances of making good at an event where he finished third last year. 

Tom Hoge Top 10, +650 (wager $300) 

Four beefy par-3s and a cluster of gettable par-5s place a premium on long irons and fairway woods. “Hoge checks those boxes, big time,” Lindgren says. 

Hudson Swafford Top 10, +1,400 (wager: $200) 

Always wizardly with his up-and-downs, Swafford has been striping it of late, Lindgren says. “Let’s ride his good history.” 

Keegan Bradley first-round leader, +6,600 (wager: $100) 

“Nobody starts faster compared to their average rounds,” Lindgren says. At the fat odds, he’s banking on Bradley to go low before the winds kick up on the weekend. 

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Josh Sens

Golf.com Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.