Arnold Palmer Invitational betting guide: 6 picks our gambling expert loves

Viktor Hovland of Norway plays his shot from the 18th tee during the second round of The Sentry at Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on January 05, 2024 in Kapalua, Hawaii.

Our expert likes Viktor Hovland's chances this week.

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Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which gets underway Thursday in Orlando, Fla. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

We have reached the 10th tournament of the 2024 PGA Tour schedule and with it, the fourth Signature Event of the young season. Sixty-nine players are in the limited field classic that is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Country Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

Bay Hill is a par 72 that stretches out to nearly 7,500 yards. As we saw last week in Palm Beach Gardens, water, sand, and wind are the primary hazards that this week’s test will present. The forecast this week looks pretty typical for Florida: an occasional shower, temperatures in the low 80s, and winds anywhere from 10-15 mph. Breezes and gusts of anywhere from 12-20 mph are where we start to see a golf ball affected, so it looks like that will definitely be a part of the equation at times during this tournament.

The rain may soften this golf course somewhat but it could also make an already thick rough, play even more difficult. The larger, relatively flat Bermudagrass greens here are typically firm and fast. Even a little rain should not alter that too much.

As it was last week, Ball-Striking is again my primary focus for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Specifically, I looked at Driving Distance and SG: Off the Tee, or Total Driving in a sense. I also looked at SG: Approach and Greens in Regulation Gained and Hole Proximity from 175-200+ yards. Bay Hill, including the par 3s, presents players with more 200+ yard approach shots than any other course on the PGA Tour rotation. Finally, I also considered Bogey Avoidance and Scrambling.

Other golf courses we see regularly where Total Driving and Ball Striking are at a premium (and thus make for good comps to Bay Hill) are as follows: TPC Scottsdale, Congaree in South Carolina, Olympia Fields, Southern Hills (where the 2022 PGA Championship was staged), Oak Hill (where the PGA Championship was played last year), Quail Hollow, and Memorial Park in Houston.

Throw that all into the mix, and here are six players I landed on for an outright win plus a Top 20 finish. 

Viktor Hovland (17-1)

After finishing 2023 on a tear, Hovland has yet to find that groove again so far in 2024, but he did show some signs a few weeks ago in Los Angeles at the Genesis Invitational where he finished 19th. This week, however, is a perfect place for him to find another gear. He meets all of the criteria as one of the best drivers, ball-strikers, and long-iron players in the world. He’s finished 10th and runner-up here at Bay Hill previously, was runner-up at Oak Hill, won at Olympia Fields last summer, and has finished third at Quail Hollow. 

Sam Burns (26-1)

This will be Burns’ seventh time playing Bay Hill, with his best finish being 9th. He has finished third and sixth in Phoenix, seventh at Congaree, 15th at Olympia Fields, and seventh twice at the Houston Open. He doesn’t fit the profile for me as strongly as Hovland does but I can’t ignore the fact that Burns comes in having recorded four top-10 finishes in a row this season on Tour — and he’s one of the best putters on Bermudagrass.

Cam Young (30-1)

2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds: Our long-shot pick is looking for his third PGA Tour win
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Young fits a little bit of both as far as course profile and current form. He was eighth in Phoenix, 16th at Riviera, and finished fourth last week at the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches. Over the last 24 rounds, Young is fifth for SG: Off the Tee, 17th in Greens in Regulation Gained, and ranks in the top-10 in this field for Hole Proximity from 175-200+ yards. He’s finished 10th and 13th here at Bay Hill and was third at Southern Hills at the 2022 PGA Championship.

Matt Fitzpatrick (32-1)

U.S. Open winners are almost always exceptional ballstrikers and Fitzpatrick has had incredible success at the correlated courses I used this week. He’s finished ninth and 14th here at Bay Hill, 15th and 10th at TPC Scottsdale, 10th and 13th at Congaree, fifth at Southern Hills, and sixth and runner-up at Olympia Fields. He comes off a 21st-place finish last week at PGA National and over the last 24 rounds, ranks eighth in this field for Hole Proximity from 175-200 yards and 23rd for SG: Putting (Bermudagrass).

Tommy Fleetwood (32-1)

The Englishman comes in off of a 10th-place finish at the Genesis Invitational and has three top-10 finishes here at Bay Hill. He has a fourth-place finish at Congaree, a fifth at both Southern Hills and Quail Hollow, and was 18th at Oak Hill at last year’s PGA Championship. He’s one of the best players in this field on difficult golf courses and ranks 15th in Hole Proximity from 200+ yards over the last 24 rounds.

Keegan Bradley (55-1)

We’re diving a little deeper down the board with this one but Bradley matches the profile we’re looking for here as a career ball-striker, total-driver, long-iron type player. All of that has shown up at Bay Hill, where he has recorded two 10th-place finishes, an 11th, a third, and a runner-up in his career. Over the last 24 rounds, Bradley ranks 28th in this field for Greens in Regulation Gained, 22nd for Driving Distance, and 19th in Hole Proximity from 200+ yards.

Who Chirp users like this week

Scottie Scheffler is the Chirp user favorite this week. Chirp

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