What do West Virginia bettors trust, the money list or the odds-betting board, as the Arnold Palmer Invitational beckons on Thursday in Orlando, Florida?
Gamblers who pocketed more than +6000 across most WV sportsbooks for Sepp Straka to win the recently concluded Honda Classic would not have found him near the top of the PGA money list.
And Sungjae Im, the pretournament favorite and a top-10 tour money winner, did not make the cut.
Go figure. Up is down. In (or Im) is out.
That’s why bookmakers encourage gamblers to scour the board for live long shots. There’s a big payout every week.
How do bettors want to mix and match the tour and the DraftKings Sportsbook WV odds?
Arnold Palmer Invitational odds at WV sportsbooks
Hideki Matsuyama, the tour earnings leader, is +2500.
Tom Hoge, second in money earned, is a whopping +10000, or 100-1. He’s also +330 to hit the top 20.
Scottie Scheffler, third on the money list, is +1600.
Then there’s Talor Gooch. Who? He’s No. 6 on the money list and +6500 at DraftKings. He’s also +230 to hit the top 20.
Luke List is No. 8 on the tour and +7000. He’s +240 to hit the top 20.
Here were the early favorites listed by DraftKings:
- Jon Rahm +750 to win, +190 for the top 5 and -105 for the top 10
- Rory McIlroy +1000, +250, +110
- Scottie Scheffler +1600, +350, +175
- Viktor Hovland +1800, +450, +225
- Matthew Fitzpatrick +2000, +400, +200
There are other betting opportunities, too.
Players will be grouped in competitions of two and three for individual rounds later in the tournament.
Next-hole bets are also popular. You can wager on how the player you like will fare on the upcoming hole. Par is the dominant score, but a sense of when a birdie or bogey is coming will be worth betting.
Next-round leaders are adjusted after every round.
Analyzing Bay Hill golf course
Bay Hill stands over 7,400 yards and rewards long strikers. There will be a high number of approaches from 200 yards and out, more than double the tour average.
That may explain why McIlroy, who has not been playing well, has enormous respect from the oddsmakers. He’s a long striker.
Bay Hill also features some of the thickest rough on tour. Those factors assure that the course will hold up well.
The winning score last year, from Bryson DeChambeau, was -11.
The sixth is an excellent risk-reward proposition, with compelling decisions that can produce birdies, bogeys or worse.
A winding body of water on the left essentially makes this a double dogleg par 5. Tee shots will be aimed right, but players will be tempted to risk flying over part of the water to gain significant additional yardage.
Eventual tournament winner Bryson DeChambeau electrified the gallery at this hole last year by doing that.
He smashed an eye-popping 370-yard drive in round 3, clearing the water. It enabled another shot at the green for a shot at an eagle. He did not get that but got the birdie.
DeChambeau cannot defend his title this year. He had to withdraw because of injury.
Most players will produce two aggressive but safe shots to the right side of hole No. 6. That will set up a low to midiron into the green for the third.
The 15th will be a tough test of placement. Trees and traps on the right and trees on the left present a somewhat narrow landing area off the tee.
The green is well guarded. It is listed as the toughest hole on the course and can be viewed by bettors as a bogey possibility.
Birdie chances exist on the second and 14th, both par 3s. The greens are open enough that the pros should not encounter trouble driving into them.
PGA props from BetMGM Sportsbook
BetMGM WV features additional props for this week’s PGA event.
Will Rahm be in the final group in the final round? Yes is +400.
Will there be a wire-to-wire winner? Yes is +1200.
Will the winner not be in the final group on the final day? That’s +190 for yes, and it came in last week with Straka.
Will there be a hole-in-one in the first two rounds? Yes is +400.
Will there be a hole-in-one in the final two rounds, with the field cut in half? Yes is +700.
Highlights from the Honda Classic
Daniel Berger assumed top odds at between +250 and +350 across the sportsbooks after the first round.
He looked like an odds-on winner going into Sunday, carrying a five-shot cushion, the largest 54-hole lead in tournament history. But he didn’t win.