March is here, and along with it comes a long stretch of massive PGA TOUR events. While the Florida Swing technically started last week with The Honda Classic, the majority of the best players in the world have begun their time in the Sunshine State this week at Bay Hill. One look at Arnold Palmer Invitational odds heading into the final round will show we’re in for a treat on Sunday.
Bay Hill is one of the toughest tests on the PGA TOUR. Conditions should be nice and crispy for the final round even if the winds are back down. Players will be tested in every facet of their game if they want to take home a big chunk of the $20 million purse for this elevated event.
Tournament Recap Through First Three Rounds
The looming threat going into the Arnold Palmer Invitational was a massive advantage for the late-early tee times because of the wind difference on Friday afternoon. Thankfully for the fairness of the event, that turned out to be very minimal. 36 players made the cut from each split, and the overall difference between the waves was just more than half of a shot.
Jon Rahm flew through the gates again and most bettors were worried about another week with a winner that was nearly untouchable at his price. But Rahm’s issues off the tee finally caught up to him in the next two rounds as he’s gone 76-76 and shot himself out of contention. The breaks stopped bouncing his way, and that putter didn’t get him out of trouble, so we’ll finally be getting a Sunday without the threat of Rahm taking home another trophy.
But we’ll still be getting a group of highly intriguing names trying to get this esteemed victory. Kurt Kitayama still holds the solo lead as the underdog came back from a poor start to shoot 72. Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are all just behind him within four shots of the lead, giving Kitayama an enormous task to hold off this group for his first win.
Scheffler is currently the betting favorite just one shot behind, while Hovland, Hatton and McIlroy are all given decent chances as well. Both Hatton and McIlroy jumped way up the leaderboard on Saturday and are former champions of the tournament along with defending champion Scheffler.
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Final Round PGA TOUR Golf Bets To Consider
Winner: Rory McIlroy
Best Odds Still Available:
I struggled heavily choosing between McIlroy and Hatton for this slot in the final round. Both were on my card prior to the tournament, and they’ve both set themselves up nicely for a run on Sunday. The ultimate decision came down to the conditions at Bay Hill in the final round. Winds look like they will be down on a firm golf course, and that’s exactly where I want McIlroy to strike from. His high ball flight will do well with lower winds and pins that will be tough to attack on these hard greens.
Rory has been steadily lurking all week. The driver has progressively gotten better, and the short game has been lights out. He sits third in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, making me confident he can get up and down in key spots on Sunday. The main thing I’m looking at is his mark of 38th in Strokes Gained: Approach. He’s yet to get the irons going yet this week despite being on fire with his approaches as of late on the PGA TOUR. If he can get hot with the irons in these calmer conditions on Sunday, the field will be in real trouble.
Scheffler is the main worry, as we know how good he is here as the defending champion. I’d be very hesitant to bet against him if winds were to stay up, but I’m willing to take the higher number for Rory here from a couple shots behind in anticipation of a special round due from him.
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Winner: Justin Thomas
Best Odds Still Available:
It’s worth betting someone down the board to make a run at Bay Hill due to how the course plays, and I’m once again going with Justin Thomas to do that job. We know Thomas has the ability to fire something miraculous on Sunday to win a big tournament … he did it to win the PGA Championship last year.
While Thomas has the skill to play well in high winds, I’d prefer lower winds for him to pull off a comeback. Like McIlroy, he has the ability to hit the ball incredibly high and attack pins that most players won’t go after. Thomas’ ball striking has been superb through three rounds. He’s sixth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking for the week, ranking 15th in Driving and seventh in Approach.
The putter will be the key. It remains the real swinging factor in if Thomas can win a tournament on any given week. It’s been decent this week, but if he can catch a hot round with it, I’m not concerned at all about his ability to erase a four-shot deficit. This number is stunningly high in my opinion and worth a bite.
Top-10 Finish: Corey Conners
Best Odds Still Available: +330
Conners currently sits in a tie for 12th at 3 under for the tournament and just one shot back of a top-10 finish as things stand. He was in third heading into Saturday, but a 75 ruined his chances for a win. While Conners struggles to contend for victories in the biggest events, he has plenty of strong finishes in these tournaments without ever really seeming like a threat to win.
That’s why I like him in this spot to manage a top 10 on Sunday as he fades back out of the spotlight for the final round. We know Conners as one of the steadiest ball strikers on TOUR, and he’s quite strong in tough tournaments like this when there’s more of an emphasis on that. He ranks 21st in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 18th in Strokes Gained: Approach for the week.
Conners ranking 25th in Strokes Gained: Putting for the week is encouraging. That tends to be his Achilles heel, so another positive mark from him on the greens in the final round should go a long way in sneaking Conners into the top 10 for another strong week for the Canadian.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds
Click on any of the odds below to bet now and compare across sportsbooks in your state to ensure you are maximizing your potential profits before the final round on Sunday. Best of luck betting Honda Classic odds.