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2014 PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview | Picks

Arnold Palmer Golf Betting

The Florida swing on the PGA TOUR continues this week with the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Location: Orlando, Florida, United States
Course: Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Date: Mar 20-23, 2014
Total Purse: US $ 6,200,000
Winner’s Share: US $ 1,116,000 (18% of total purse)
Golf Odds from Bovada

Defending Champion: Tiger Woods ($1,116,000)

11 of the top 20 golfers on the World Golf Rankings will tee it up this week including Tiger Woods whose balky back will be a huge story all week long.

Bay Hill will play 7,419 yards and will have its share of par 5s on the par 72 track – that’s where Tiger made bank last year. Ball striking will be at a premium again this week – just like last week with length off the tee being crucial this week. A hot putter, as always will certainly help but it, like driving accuracy it doesn’t seem to be absolutely essential on this track.

So who should we be keeping an eye on this week? Let’s break it down.

The Favorites:

Tiger Woods 7/1

Tiger and specifically his back are a huge question mark ahead of the Arnold Palmer – he has won this event four of the last five times he’s played – eight wins here in 17 tries! The other nine appearances have produced just one top 10. Hmmmm. But based on his recent appearances on this track he’s awfully hard to count out. My guess is that his back isn’t an issue – unless of course he is out of the picture on Sunday.

Bubba Watson 16/1

Has been in fire in his last three starts – a T2 at Doral and with a win at the Northern Trust Open included. His game is perfectly suited for this track – the TOUR leader in distance but not particularly accurate off the tee. He has top 25s in his last three appearances here including a T4 in 2012. Never has he entered this event in such fine form – watch out for Bubba!

Justin Rose 16/1

Finished second here last year and was T3 in this event in 2013 – a very good track record. He played very well last week at the Valspar in a tournament he could easily have won. His shoulder issues seem to be a thing of the past making Rose a lock for a good finish this week.

The Contenders:

Adam Scott 18/1

Hasn’t played this event since 2009 and has made four of six cuts here with a T3 in 2004 being his best result. Scott is ramping up for the Masters and would love nothing more than to serve notice this week that he is coming hard!

Graeme McDowell 25/1

Has finished second twice in six starts here and is coming off a T9 at Doral last week. He has four top 10s already this year and is proving to be one of the more consistent guys on TOUR but he is still looking for a 2014 breakthrough. His present form is good – unfortunately his ability to finish is lacking.

Henrik Stenson 25/1

Stenson has been slow out of the gate but did have a T16 at Doral. He’s also made the cut all five times he’s played Bay Hill. We all know what can happen if Stenson gets Hot – could this be the week?

Zach Johnson 25/1

Johnson has played this event 10 times and has made the cut in nine with four top 10s and a third place finish in 2009. On a track where length is an asset Johnson figures to have a tough time this week although he has ranked 12th on TOUR in Par 5 scoring.

Hunter Mahan 28/1

Has finished T9 in his last two starts and has is 8-for-10 on this track. He has four top 25s among those cuts made but just one top 10. Despite Mahan’s lack of success here he has been in the mix more often than not lately – expect more of the same this week.

Keegan Bradley 28/1

Incredibly has just one top 10 this year (the CIMB Classic) but did finish T3 in this event last year. We’re all waiting for a Bradley breakout.

Gary Woodland 40/1

Surprisingly he has zero top 25s in three attempts here but does have three top 10s this season including a T8 at Copperhead. He is the TOUR leader in total driving – something that should come in handy this week.
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Kevin Na 40/1

Has really been coming on as of late – a T4 / MC / 2 run in his last three PGA TOUR starts and he did finish T2 in this event in 2010. Na is too difficult to ignore with his current form and the fact that he ranks inside the top 25 in par 5 scoring average, SGP and Par Breakers.

Patrick Reed 40/1

If you listen to Patrick Reed he should be the favorite every week! His results show that he just may be right – two wins in his last six starts overall – three wins in the last seven months! He ranks seventh in all-around and inside the top 25 in most statistical categories that will help him here – including driving. While I don’t love Reed’s attitude, I do love his present form.

The Sleepers (50/1 or higher):

Ryan Moore 50/1

Has three top 10s this year and has done well at this event – T12 in 2011 and T4 in 2012. Moore is fourth in GIR on TOUR and 14th in bogey avoidance and should be in the mix once again this week.

Will Mackenzie 50/1

Is coming off a T4 at Copperhead to go along with a T6 at the Honda. He ranks fifteenth in strokes gained-putting, sixth in adjusted scoring and fourth in all-round but has a T44 as his best finish at Bay Hill. Still with the way he’s been playing MacKenzie is certainly worthy of mention.

John Senden 66/1

Posted victory at Copperhead last week and has finished inside the top 30 in his last 4 tries at Bay Hill. His stats match up well on this track – T29 in total driving, 30th in GIR & 10th in strokes gained-putting.

Matt Every 80/1

Has finished T6/T24/T8 in his last three starts overall but a T24 is his best ever result on this track. His stats are perfect for Bay Hill – third in par 5 scoring, seventh in strokes gained putting and 11th in Par Breakers.

The Pick:

My pick this week is Bubba Watson at 16/1. He is scorching hot and Bay Hill plays right to his strengths. With Tiger and Justin Rose battling injury this is Bubba’s tourney to lose.

My sleeper is Matt Every at 80/1. He, like Watson has the perfect game to compete here. Every is also at the top of his game.





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