Best Matchups Bets for the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational

| March 2, 2021 1:48 pm PDT

Never count your chickens before they hatch when you’re betting golf matchups online. Two years ago, at this very golf tournament, I backed Billy Horschel in a head-to-head matchup against Henrik Stenson. I was feeling great after Thursday’s round seeing that Horschel opened with 68 and had built up a nine-shot cushion (Stenson shot 77).

Needless to say, Henrik wound up smashing Billy by six shots on the final leaderboard. My smile on Thursday had evolved into a giant frown by Sunday.

I don’t see this pair pitted against one another this time around, but there are plenty of Arnold Palmer Invitational matchups worth exploring.

Here’s a three-pack to ponder.

Max Homa vs. Marc Leishman

Max Homa-130
Marc Leishman+110

Max Homa is playing some terrific golf, so much, so that’s, he’s ballooned to a -130 favorite over Marc Leishman at Bay Hill. I’m a proponent of Max and love his all-around game, but this seems like the perfect time to step off the “Homa train” and hop aboard Marc Leishman’s coattails.

Only Tiger Woods has made more money than Leishman at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Marc’s dependability at this golf course needs to be commended. Leish has won here, he’s finished second, and he’s finished 3rd. He’s played in every edition of the API since 2016 without finishing worse than 23rd, and his game is in a good spot.

The 37-year-old Aussie arrives with five straight top-40s and is seeking his second top-5 of the year.

  • Marc Leishman

Rickie Fowler vs. Justin Rose

Rickie Fowler+100
Justin Rose-120

Fading Rickie Fowler for the better part of the last nine months has worked out for the most part. However, that statement rings just as true by replacing “Rickie Fowler” with “Justin Rose.”

By assessing how these guys looked their last time out, it’s easy to perk about backing Rickie at even money.

Fowler stopped tinkering with a mallet and went back to his trusty blade at The Genesis Invitational and voila. Rickie ranked 5th in SG: Putting and logged his first top-20 since August. Justin Rose tied for 54th this past week at The Concession, and nothing about his performance alludes to the tide possibly turning.

In a 72-man field, Rose finished outside of the top-50 in all of the following categories:

  • SG: Off-the-Tee (56th)
  • SG: Approach (60th)
  • SG: Putting (53rd)
  • SG: Tee-to-Green (52nd)
  • SG: Total (54th)
  • Scrambling (66th)
  • Birdies Made (52nd)
  • Bogeys Made (58th)

I’m at ease about calling this one of the best Arnold Palmer Invitational matchup picks in 2021.

  • Rickie Fowler

Viktor Hovland vs. Bryson DeChambeau

Viktor Hovland+100
Bryson DeChambeau-120

Viktor Hovland is listed at -110 versus Bryson DeChambeau at BetUS. “Hovi” is -105 against the Mad Scientist at MyBookie, but I didn’t settle there. By shopping this API H2H matchup across all of the top golf sportsbooks online, we can all latch onto Hovland at +100 versus DeChambeau at BetOnline.

I couldn’t get my money down fast enough.

Bryson’s ceiling is through the roof, but his floor was exposed at Riviera. DeChambeau missed the cut at The Genesis Invitational and proceeded to open with 77 at the WGC. He was able to claw back and finish T22 at The Concession, but that’s now six straight events since winning the US Open without a top-6 on his resume.

Now let’s flip the coin and investigate what Hovland has been up to.

So basically, Viktor has amassed six top-6 finishes since the US Open, and Bryson has collected zero.

Are you really going to pass on Hovland at +100?

  • Viktor Hovland

More Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks

Three juicy Arnold Palmer Invitational head-to-head picks all in “plus-money” territory.

The fact that we can back Viktor Hovland at even money right now against anybody needs to be considered. Rickie Fowler strolls into Arnie’s Place with a few positive vibes; Justin Rose is searching so deep he’s talking about being able to walk into a Starbucks after his rounds.

As trusty as Max Homa has been, riding Marc Leishman at +110 at Bay Hill is what I call a “green-light special.”

Those who feel like dipping their toes into other PGA Tour betting markets have at it.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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