2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds and Betting Preview

Matt MacKay breaks down the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Can Scottie Scheffler defend his 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational title? Read on to find out.

Scottie Scheffler shot from 12th tee during Genesis Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Sunshine State will continue to be the site for the upcoming Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida. After witnessing the first sudden-death playoff in several months on the PGA Tour at the Honda Classic this past weekend, expect more fireworks and dramatic finishes at Bay Hill. If not due to the challenging course, then certainly because of the improved field. 

Scottie Scheffler returns to defend his title after winning the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational but he’s not the outright betting favorite. That accolade goes to Jon Rahm, who is playing unconsciously this season, winning three of six events outright, including his last performance at The Genesis Invitational a couple of weeks ago. Rahm is +650, followed by Rory McIlroy at +800, who previously won at Bay Hill in 2018. McIlroy hasn’t looked nearly as dominant in the two PGA Tour events he’s competed at since mid-February, drawing T32 and T29 finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Genesis. However, he did win The CJ Cup back in October, before going on to win more on the DP World Tour, so McIlroy definitely still packs a punch and holds his own in a highly competitive field. Max Homa is another budding superstar, winning twice outright in seven events this season while losing as the runner-up to Rahm at Genesis in his last appearance. 

Let’s check out the top-ten betting odds, course layout, and a few players who warrant serious consideration to win outright ahead of Thursday’s opening round at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Odds

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Jon Rahm+650
Rory McIlroy+900
Scottie Scheffler+1000
Max Homa+1800
Collin Morikawa+1800
Patrick Cantlay+2200
Xander Schauffele+2200
Tony Finau+2200
Will Zalatoris+2400
Jason Day+2500

Sportsbooks and oddsmakers have a lot of confidence in Jon Rahm as the outright betting favorite. It’s no surprise, however, it’s important to remember the Spaniard’s meltdown at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, where he went +2 in the final round, allowing Homa to climb the leaderboard and secure the sixth win of his ten-year career. While +650 odds is a hefty payout in a vacuum, it’s relatively low for PGA betting value, so there are other more tempting players to invest in ahead of Thursday’s opening round at Bay Hill. 

McIlroy is due for a big outing but he’s still sitting high at 8/1 odds, which doesn’t offer us quite the satisfactory payout that other big-time players have been designated. Nearly all of the players with top-ten odds entering the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational are elite ball-strikers who either possess a strong driver or great putting ability. Scottie Scheffler is the defending champion and he’s getting overshadowed, despite proving that he’s capable of repeating at an event during his outright win at the WMPO a few weeks ago. 10/1 odds is solid and we’ve seen Scheffler stay poised in the big moments numerous times throughout the past two seasons, plus he ranks inside the top ten for strokes gained tee-to-green, off-the-tee, and greens in regulation with a 75 percent conversion rate. There are a lot of players with much lower odds and higher value that also catch my eye, including Will Zalatoris (22/1), Sam Burns (40/1), and Keith Mitchell (60/1). 

Let’s explore the course layout more, along with previous winners, relevant betting stats, and a few of my favorite golfers to bet on as outright winners ahead of the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Preview

Previous Winners

  • 2022 - Scottie Scheffler (-5)
  • 2021 - Bryson DeChambeau (-11)
  • 2020 - Tyrrell Hatton (-4)
  • 2019 - Francesco Molinari (-12)
  • 2018 - Rory McIlroy (-18)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Driving Accuracy
  • Sand save percentage
  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Scrambling
  • Strokes Gained: Putting

Course Layout

Bay Hill Club & Lodge has been on the PGA Tour circuit since it was officially opened in 1979. Under the vision of owner and renowned late golfer, Arnold Palmer, who was among the first to install Tifway Bermudagrass. It’s a par 72 that tips at 7,381 yards, while featuring more par 5s than PGA National last weekend during the Honda Classic, creating more birdie opportunities.

Conversely, there are numerous water hazards, strategically placed sand bunkers, and doglegged fairways that are lined with trees and plenty of surrounding rough to avoid. The greens are fairly small like they were at PGA National, while the par 3s average 215 yards, making them a bit longer than traditional par 3 holes. The par 5 holes average over 550 yards in length, so while there is room for an errant shot, distance, and accuracy remain pivotal in conquering Bay Hill. Of course, it also helps to have a red-hot putter to create an edge at a course that has only scored lower than -14-under-par on a handful of events since 2007. Suffice it to say there won’t be a lot of red scorecards at Bay Hill this weekend.  

Top Players to Bet for Outright Winner at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Scottie Scheffler (+1000) (Bet $100 to collect $1,100) Get the best Scottie Scheffler odds at DraftKings

The defending champion at Bay Hill is getting slightly disrespected by sportsbooks and oddsmakers. Yes, Scottie Scheffler has started a bit slower than he did in 2022, but that was an absurd pace that should not be expected every season. Plus, Jon Rahm has won half of the events that he’s competed in thus far, stealing a lot of the shine from Scheffler, who quietly goes about his business. Whether it’s hitting the greens in regulation on 75 percent of his attempts, or ranking 28th in driving distance and accuracy, Scheffler is a poised, cerebral player with a lot of confidence and skill to successfully defend his title for the second time this season. 10/1 is a solid payout based on these opening odds ahead of Thursday’s first round, so go ahead and sprinkle accordingly. 

Max Homa (+1800) (Bet $100 to collect $1,900) The best odds for this pick are at DraftKings

Max Homa nearly pulled off his third win of the season at The Genesis Invitational but couldn’t keep up with Jon Rahm despite outplaying him for the outright win at the Farmers Insurance Open a few weeks beforehand. The 32-year-old California native is ranked second in overall putting average, first in par 3 birdies, and has a powerful driver that is well-equipped to keep Homa in the mix near the top of the leaderboard. T17, T10, and T24 are Homa’s three previous finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, so with the way he’s trending to start 2023, landing 18/1 odds is incredible value to acquire. 

Will Zalatoris (+2400) (Bet $100 to collect $2,500) Head to FanDuel to get the best Will Zalatoris odds

A back injury has kept Will Zalatoris from competing in only four PGA Tour events this season. However, the 26-year-old native of California is one of the more talented ball strikers, and he typically saves his best round for Sunday, averaging 65.3 in Round 4 this year. Zalatoris is ranked seventh for greens in regulation at 73.4 percent, averages 306 yards per drive, and is ranked 27th in strokes gained putting, which is an area he’s markedly improved. Previous finishes of T38 and T10 at Bay Hill should have bettors feeling confident about backing Zalatoris despite the highly competitive field he’ll be joining in Orlando. 

Keith Mitchell (+5500) (Bet $100 to collect $5,600) Looking for Keith Mitchell odds head over to DraftKings

Keith Mitchell has been lingering near the top of leaderboards for the past few events but hasn’t quite pieced it all together yet this season. The 31-year-old American has two T5 finishes in his last three events, while only falling outside of the T25 once since missing the cut at the Sony Open in mid-January. Most importantly, Mitchell’s only outright win came in Florida at the Honda Classic back in 2019, so he’s comfortable playing Bay Hill’s rigorous course. Mitchell has logged T5 and T6 finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in 2019 and 2020, while regressing outside of the T25 in his most recent two appearances. His odds to win outright have already begun to climb, so get in while the value is still massive at +5500, especially with an extra week of rest and practice to properly prepare.

Matt MacKay

Matt MacKay is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game from a fantasy sports and sports betting perspective. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly aiming to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.