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Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting News and Notes

Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting News and Notes

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview and Picks
By Matt Fargo

The PGA Tour continues the Florida swing with a trip to Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This is a big event with a lot of big names and this will be the final stocked field until the Masters in three weeks. The headliner is of course Tiger Woods who is making his third straight appearance at Bay Hill. Last year he picked up his first win on the PGA Tour since September, 2009 and it was his seventh victory at Bay Hill.

Bay Hill's last significant upgrade came 21 years ago, when four holes were changed but four years ago, it was a full overhaul. Despite being raised from a par 70 to a par 72, the added yardage increased the cumulative scoring average as Bay Hill was third highest in difficulty of all par 72 non-majors three years ago and second highest in difficulty in 2011. Last year, it was third in difficulty once again so expereience here is one of the biggest factors in success.

Bay Hill played as a par 70 of over 7,100 yards for three straight years from 2007-2009. It was the most difficult track of any non-major course in 2009, playing at +2.19 strokes to par. Three years ago, it played at +0.89 strokes over par and two years ago, it played +1.20 strokes over par. Last year it was +1.17 strokes over par. In five of the last eight years, Bay Hill has played to at least one shot over par and it has been ranked 11th or higher in difficulty nine times since 2000.

Tiger Woods (+275) comes in as the favorite and for good reason. He has won this event seven times, is the all-time money leader and he looks to be regaining the form when he was dominating the tour. Last year when he won, he was coming in with three top 20's in four starts but this year he has already won twice which makes him even more dangerous this time around.

Justin Rose (+1,500) is one of nine players that has finished in the top 25 here in the last two years and one of six to fall into the top 15 each time. He followed up a T3 in 2011 with a T15 last year and he continues his torrid run as his T8 in his last start at the Cadillac made it 12 straight top 25 finishes. He has three wins in the U.S. on the PGA Tour and is ready for his next since winning at Doral last year.

Graeme McDowell (+2,500) was the one player thought to be able to catch Woods two weeks ago at Doral but a Sunday 72 left him with a T3, five shots back. The same happened here last year as McDowell went into the final round one shot back but again faded on Sunday. He is playing excellent this year as he also has a T9 at the Honda and a quarterfinal loss at the Accenture.

Ian Poulter (+3,000) has played a limited schedule but he has been successful as he opened the season with a T9 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, followed that up with a loss in the semis at the Accenture Match play and then a bad weekend led to a T28 at the Cadillac. He finished solo third at Bay Hill a year ago which came after T12 in 2011. Living is Florida is also a bonus on the bermuda greens.

Jim Furyk (+4,000) is one of only two players (Brian Davis the other) that have finished in the top 25 here in each of the last three years. He has two T11 finishes and a T9 in 2011. He is coming off his best finish of the year last week at Tampa Bay where he was T7 but he has not finished worse than T35 so he has been playing well. Experience is key here and he has lots of it.

There are many longshots in the field that can make a case including Charles Howell III (+5,000). He has cooled off since opening the season with three straight top tens but he has missed only one cut and has been inside the top 30 in each of his last three starts including a T12 at the Cadillac. He has a T21 and a T20 at Bay Hill in two of the last three years and he was not playing nearly as good then as he is now.

Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (all for One Unit)

Tiger Woods (+275)
Justin Rose (+1,500)
Graeme McDowell (+2,500)
Ian Poulter (+3,000)
Jim Furyk (+4,000)
Charles Howell III (+5,000)

2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 10 events: +8.16 Units

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Re: Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting News and Notes

Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Preview
By Alf Musketa

In this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Preview we'll discuss odds to win, favorites, longshots, value bets and tournament head to head match-ups. With the majority of the sports betting world including the oddsmakers concentrating on March Madness and NCAA Basketball, I believe we will find oversight and hidden value with our wagers from this tournament.
The Bay Hill Club will play to a par 72 and can stretch out to 7,419 yards. There are 80 bunkers and seven water hazards. Water seems to come into play when the pressure is on the most; the closing 18th hole. Rain is in the forecast, primarily on the weekend and winds should be light no more than 10 miles per hour through Sunday. I honestly loathe handicapping the weather, but it is something that is mandatory each week in selecting my matchups. If conditions were going to be windy or very wet, then we would look at a different database for bad weather players and bet accordingly.
So, what kind of golfer do we think can perform well this week and who does Bay Hill favor? The easy answer is of course Tiger Woods, but there is a trend of those ranking high in greens hit or greens in regulation (GIR) that have fared well at Arnie's track. Tiger won and led the field here last year in GIR, as did Kenny Perry in 2005. In 2011 the winner was Martin Laird he finished 19th in GIR and in 2010 Ernie Els was in the top 10 in GIR. Another factor to consider this week is that 15 PGA Tour players live in the Orlando area. The popular Tavistock Cup teams, Lake Nona and Isleworth Golf Clubs are always well represented in this event. Home cooking and course knowledge can be worth 30-40 cents in head to head match-ups and become a sleeper bet with future book long odds.
Here are my short odds favorites to win this week
Tiger Woods 3-1 
Surely you have heard that Tiger has seven wins in this event all of them on this golf course and has two wins to back him up this season. This course is wide open enough that Tiger's driver won't hurt him. His iron game seems to be the nuts right now and with a putting tip from Steve Stricker, he looks almost unbeatable. I believe the key to Tiger winning here so much has to do with his ability to read these types of Bermuda greens. He also likes them firm and fast and that is how they are shaping up for the tournament.
What the casual bettor must understand is that the sportsbooks must guard against an avalanche of money on Tiger, who sometimes gets 50% of all the money wagered in the future books. For the major events like the Masters the action is totally different, spread out among more players, match-ups and props.
Do we bet Tiger or the field? It is tough to invest in any player at these short odds. When betting the field, shop around and look for the best odds with the least amount of players listed. There are sportsbooks that list only 30 players, some list 75 or more and if you can buy the same field bet of say 5-1, a no brainer value bet is at the place where fewer golfers can beat you. 
Sergio Garcia 22-1
Sergio is a ball striking machine. He ranks 10th in the All-Around category, 33rd in ball striking, and 36th in GIR. His putting is improved and on this set of flat greens, Sergio can make a move up the leaderboard. After finally hitting the winner's circle again last year he is streaking with 13 consecutive top 25 finishes.
Ian Poulter 30-1
The matchplay Master was t12th last year here and also a third place finish in 2011. Poulter loves Bay Hill and is an Orlando resident who recently hosted a charity golf event in the area. He's been working hard on his game and looks to make a run at Augusta.
Longshot/Value Bets
Boo Weekley 65-1

Now that's more like it. I rarely get involved with the future book odds at less than 50-1. Weekley has found his old form of solid iron play. He can get his hands ahead of the golf ball like no other and fire at the pins with his laser like accuracy. He leads the PGA Tour in the ball striking category. He has recently mentioned, he'd like to be top 10 in the World. This is confidence we haven't heard from Weekley in years. He has three top 25's in six starts in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Pat Perez 100-1
Perez just put the new Taylor Made Daddy Long Legs putter in his bag. Add in the new stroke of the left forearm grip as we see with Matt Kuchar and Perez looks like a new and improved player on the greens. He had his best finish of the season a t7th at the Tampa Bay Championship last week. We envision another solid week from the gutsy Perez here.

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