Why Will Zalatoris Is a Popular Bet at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Mar 03, 2022, 12:11 PM

The field at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week is stacked.

It features world No. 1 Jon Rahm, who currently has golf odds of +800 to win, as well as three more top-6 players – Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy (who won the event in 2018), and Scottie Scheffler. 

Additionally, the Bay Hill Club & Lodge just outside of Orlando, Florida has been compared to major championship courses given its thick rough, difficult greens and sometimes windy conditions. 

Given all that, it takes a special talent to beat the rest of the field and hold the trophy come Sunday evening. So, one would expect the betting action to be on an established player, who probably has experience winning other tournaments on the PGA Tour.

That is not the case this week. 

Will Zalatoris, who is just 25 years old and doesn’t have a PGA Tour win to his name, is generating the earliest action at the BetMGM online sportsbook.

As of Tuesday morning, Zalatoris, who has golf odds this week of +2500 to win, is pulling in 8.5% of the tickets and 14% of the handle, both of which are the most in the field. 

It is easy to see why.

The Wake Forest product has made three starts in the 2022 calendar year and has finished tied for sixth, second, and 26th. The second-place finish was when he lost in a playoff to Luke List at the Farmers Insurance Open, which was played at Torrey Pines, a course that has hosted multiple U.S. Opens. 

Over his short career, which is just 41 events, Zalatoris has two second-place finishes, 10, top-10 finishes, and 18 top-25 finishes. 

Clearly, he’s a special talent and is due for a win. That has been a trend of late on Tour. 

There have been four first-time winners over the last five weeks, including Sepp Straka at the Honda Classic last week.

Zalatoris can also fall back on a solid week at his only other Arnold Palmer Invitational appearance last year when he finished tied for 10th. 

Current Handle & Tickets

Handle:

  1. Will Zalatoris – 14%
  2. Rory McIlroy – 10%
  3. Sungjae Im – 7.9%
  4. Viktor Hovland – 6.4%
  5. Hideki Matsuyama – 5.8%

Tickets:

  1. Will Zalatoris – 8.5%
  2. Hideki Matsuyama – 6.8% 
  3. Viktor Hovland – 6.0%
  4. Rory McIlroy – 5.8%
  5. Jon Rahm – 4.4%

Rahm has seen his odds go from +900 to +800, while Im has seen the biggest movement, going from +3000 to +2500. Some other notable golf odds to win include McIlroy +1100, Hovland +1600, and Scheffler +1600.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau withdrew from the event on Monday due to a hand injury.

A good mix of players – both long and short hitters – have won the event in the past, with winning scores typically being in the low double-digits under par. An exception was in 2019 when Tyrell Hatton had a winning score of -4, as the tournament was played in extremely windy conditions. 

You can view updated golf betting odds for the Arnold Palmer Invitational winner, top American finisher, wire-to-wire winner, and more at the BetMGM online sportsbook.

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”