Is Rory McIlroy Fit To Defend His Crown at 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational?

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D.S. Williamson

March 6th, 2019

The best on the PGA Tour head to Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida this week for the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

One of the most popular non-major tournaments of the year, the Arnold Palmer often showcases the very best from all over the world. This year should be no different as defending champion Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland is favored, as he deserves to be. Second choice is England’s Justin Rose at +950. Check out analysis and BetAmerica odds for the favorites, up to +4000 choices, and the dogs with a chance to win the PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational!

For those of you out of the loop, Tiger Woods has had to bow out of this one, but remains +1400 to win the 2019 Masters if you're interested.

Prior to the start of the tournament you can also bet on golfers placing in the Top-5, Top-10 or Top-20 as well as the leader after the first round! Check out our full betting board for all the offers by visiting our New Jersey sportsbook.

The 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Favorites

Rory McIlroy +625
Justin Rose +950
Brooks Koepka +1050
Rickie Fowler +1150
Jason Day +1350
Rory most definitely deserves to go off as the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational favorite. He was sensational last year, shooting a -18 and beating both Justin Rose by 4 strokes and Bryson DeChambeau by 3 strokes. McIlroy’s also in excellent form.

He hasn’t teed off since the WGC-Mexico Championship where he finished second. Before the sweet second place finish at the WGC-Mexico, Rory had finished fourth at the Genesis, fifth at the Farmers Insurance Open, and fourth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He's just always threatening a tournament and is showing poise that he's lacked in recent seasons.

But, McIlroy offers very tight odds compared to the rest of the top-five. It’s hard to back a golfer to win any PGA Tournament that's outright favored because that's just not how the sport works. That’s why it’s best to go with a striker like Rickie Fowler.

Fowler shot a -6 at last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. That was good for a tied fourteenth place finish. In The Honda Classic last week, Rickie finished tied for second, after finishing a stroke behind winner Keith Mitchell. Of the favorites, Fowler offers the most win potential and a fantastic payout if he comes through.

2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Free Pick: Rickie Fowler +1150

2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Choices up to +4000

Bryson DeChambeau +1600
Hideki Matsuyama +2400
Marc Leishman +2500
Tommy Fleetwood +3100
Patrick Reed +3300
Franceso Molinari +3400
Phil Mickelson +3900
DeChambeau’s an obvious pick after his second place finish to Rory at last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, but Bryson has hit the ball well. He finished fifteenth at the Genesis Open before a fifty-sixth at the WGC-Mexico Championships.

A golfer to back offering better 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds is Marc Leishman, who shot a -8, 280 at last year’s tournament. What might give Leishman an edge this year is how he stepped it up on Sunday last year with a nice 67. That was his lowest round of the tournament.

Leishman finished sixty-second at the WGC-Mexico Championships. He also placed fourth at the Genesis Open in the tournament prior to the first WGC event. That’s a pattern for Leishman. He finished third at the Sony Open before finishing forty-third at the Farmers Insurance Open.

If Leishman has a bad tournament, like he did at the Farmers Insurance, he bounces back with a great performance. And that's the trend you should be chasing at Bay Hill Club & Lodge this weekend.

2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Pick: Marc Leishman +2500

Major Odds Dogs With a Chance

Billy Horschel +5000
Ian Poulter +5000
Lucas Glover +5100
Louis Oosthuizen +5300
Henrik Stenson +5300
Bubba Watson +5500
Daniel Berger +5800
Rafael Cabrera Bello +5900
Look no further than +5300 Henrik Stenson to get the job done on Sunday. Stenson played fantastic at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing in a clear-cut fourth place with a -13. He got out to a hot start, shooting a 64 in round 1. Henrik faded after that with 71 rounds 3 and 4. Hopefully, he’ll leave some in the tank for Saturday and Sunday.

If he doesn’t, he’ll play to his odds. If he does, he could prove to be a potentially massive spoiler. The veteran from Sweden’s worth a long look to get the job done at the Arnold Palmer even though he bombed at the WGC-Mexico with a fifty-fourth place finish.

2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Pick: Henrik Stenson +5300