DFS Golf: UpNorth’s PGA Preview – Arnold Palmer Invitational Advice for Fanduel and Draftkings

Rosey, Rory, Rickie, and Brooks head to Bay Hill to try and win Arnie’s tourney! 

My name is Josh Thomas, and I am a PGA and NFL Coach here at DFS Army! Welcome to the 2019 PGA Season! We here at DFS Army have got you covered this year with my weekly preview out on Sunday Nights, Chalk Donkey article breaking down the ownership projections, where to pivot, and GPP strategy out Tuesday Nights, and our Research Station that is full of more information than you could ever need!

Killa Keith Mitchell made a gutsy putt on 18 to hold off the likes of Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, Ryan Palmer, and Brooks Koepka to get his first win of his PGA Tour career at the Honda Classic and it just so happened that we mentioned him as a deep punt in this very article last week. It was impressive performance and I was pleased to see him hang on on Sunday while others like Wyndham Clark faltered.

From a betting standpoint, we had no hits last week since I wasn’t really interested in any of the T5, T10, or T20 odds for players in a tournament that typically produces quite a bit of carnage. Lukas Bjeregaard made a nice little run over the week but never quite sniffed the top of the leaderboard to help us with a 200-1 bet. Sergio Garcia was also around all week but never in that prime position to win. That being said we hit quite a few round matchups for our VIPs making it a profitable week! MyBookie started offering 3 balls which are some of my favorite bets as we often get plus money on guys in a better than 50% chance to beat their two competitors.

Speaking of carnage, boy did I have some in DFS. If tournaments would have ended on Friday night, I would have been up about 28K for the week. As it so happens, they had to play rounds 3 and 4 and I went from an incredibly profitable week to one where I barely scraped by. All thanks to an EPIC collapses on Saturday by Sungjae Im. Sungjae went from leading the tournament to almost not making the secondary MDF cut on Saturday shooting 7 over and staying alive by one stroke. With him went ANY chance I had of binking a GPP. While disappointing, such is the GPP life and I’ve been on the other end of that variance many times.


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It’s on to the next one as we prepare for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge! Arnie’s tournament is one of my favorites of the year and often features some of the best golfers in the world. This year is no different as we get Rory, Rickie, Brooks, Rosey, and Bay Hill slayer Matt Every!


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Course Breakdown:

The Arnold Palmer Invitational takes place at Bay Hill  Club and Lodge in Bay Hill, Florida just south of Orlando. Arnold Plamer owned the course and club from 1976 until his death in 2016 (and it’s now owned by his son-in-law, Roy Saunders, dad of Sam Saunders). It has hosted the Arnold Palmer Invitational every year since 1979.

We get back to a normal par 72 here at Bay Hill, but it is a LONG par 72 at 7,419 yards. As a whole last year, the course played at almost exactly par, with the back nine playing a little easier due to the Par 5 16th being the easiest hole on the course. The 16th gave up 24 eagles last year, including two to Bryson DeChambeau who played the hole in -5 for the year and finished 2nd place. A couple of players birdied it every single day, including Justin Rose and Kevin Chappell who both finished in the top 10.

NOTE: TIGER WOODS HAS WD’d from the tournament!

While the par 5’s are going to be key here to scoring well, all four par 3’s are OVER 200 yards! All four are in the ten hardest holes on the course including hole number two which played as the most difficult hole on the course last year. Being able to play these long par 3’s at par or better will ble essential for anyone looking to compete this week.

The weather looks gorgeous for this weekend currently with no wind or rain forecast at all. It should be a beautiful week with prime scoring conditions. Though there may be a bit of a disadvantage to teeing off on Thursday AM with cold temperatures forecast. Once tee times come out assessing whether there is a real advantage or not could be a worthwhile avenue to pursue.

The one interesting thing though is that this may actually be a bit of a wet course with rain in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. A wet course would put even more of a premium on gaining strokes off the tee. Players who are strong drivers of the ball are typically who we want to target at this event and if we get some rain, it makes a long course even longer. Excellent driving can cover up a variety of other issues in players games here, including struggles on these bermudagrass greens.

Overall, this is a course that can be had, but you better bring your A game off the tee. A long course, with particularly long par 3’s, means there is a premium placed on long iron play. Approach shots over 200 yards will be quite common and those who can put themselves into position to score will be in great shape.

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Key Stats: 

Key Stats to look for this week –  Driving Distance, SG – Approach, Birdies Gained, Long Par 3 Scoring, Par 5 Scoring, Course History, and Projected Course Score.

You can find all of these key stats in our DFS Army research station accessible ONLY for our VIPs.

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The Field:

In this section, I’ll cover who is in the field this week, the odds, any pricing discrepancies, and a few of my favorite plays on first look!

What a stacked field. Even with Tiger withdrawing, it doesn’t really matter as we have pretty much everyone here outside of Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Rory McIlroy leads the board here as the favorite and in pretty much every statistical category over the last few months. He’s absolutely crushing it off the tee and approach. We’ll know early if he is going to contend as it all pretty much relies on his putter. If he gets hot with the putter and keeps that momentum rolling, he’ll be in a position to run away with this tournament similar to last year.

Justin Rose will come in a little unheralded after having taken a few weeks off following his win at the Farmers. (He did MC in Saudi Arabia the week after), but there is really no reason to fade him here and as usual, anytime I can get the world #1 at a discount, I’m all in on it. He’s got a 3rd, 13th, and 9th here in his three go rounds. He’s one of the better par 5 and par 3 scorers in the field.

Rickie Fowler is always in play here, but as we slide down the list we get to a player with a pretty similar skill set at a decent discount in terms of odds, but a massive discount on DK/FD and that’s Francesco Molinari. Moli has a similar history as Fowler here, with three top tens in his last five trips and while current form leaves a bit to be desired, and his lack of play lately has me a bit concerned, I can’t deny the great spot he’s in here, especially at only 9K on Draftkings!

Deeper down the board we have Lucas Glover who I think is knocking on the door, having not finished lower than 17th going back to last fall outside of a missed cut at the Waste Management. He has a top ten here before and as always has a bit of motivation to perform…

Keegan Bradley at a ball strikers course that benefits those who can pound it off the tee? Sounds like a match to me. He’s never really contended here outside of a second place finish way back in 2014, but he checks all the boxes for me.

Deep on the odds board, there are a couple of players who are piquing my interest. Matt Wallace, and Talor Gooch in particular are both players I’m interested in.

Overall, this is a fun week and I can’t wait to break it down more in depth, including ownership projections and pivots, in my weekly ‘Chalk Donkey’ article for our DFS Army VIPS!

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Beat the Bookie Betting Card:

Something new I’m adding each week to this article is my personal betting card for the week for Outrights, First Round Leaders, Top 5’s and Top 10’s. The real bread and butter with golf betting is a tournament and round matchups but I’m saving those for our Beat the Bookie VIPs!

As a rule, I typically don’t bet many outrights under +3500 unless its an extremely weak field (DJ at the FedEx St. Jude last year comes to mind) It’s just not a +EV most weeks when you think about 156 guys teeing it up. Hitting 3-4 outrights a year is a fantastic year for most golf bettors. The return on investment of hitting an outright at 50-1 can pay for a long dry spell (which is fairly typical in golf betting if you are only playing Outrights, FRLs and T5/T10).

Tiger is going to shake up this board a bit with his WD, but since I’m not chasing the top here this week, there are still some value plays I want to hit before they go lower. I think its a bit of wait and see with some of the higher priced guys this week. I wanted to hit a couple if they dropped due to Tiger soaking up money, but with that not being the case I might wait for an in tournament bet on them.

As stated above, I think there is a real case to be made for Lucas Glover and Keegan Bradley here. Both have been playing excellent golf, and Glover in particular is knocking on the door of a win real soon. He’s excelled on long tracks in the past and there’s no reason to suspect he won’t be in contention this week.

Ian Poulter is the hottest golfer on the planet that no one is talking about. While he hasn’t had a top ten here, he does have just incredible form coming in. 3rd, 6th, 3rd, 6th, in his last three events. You couldn’t ask for anything better. And 50-1? Yes please, there is a ton of value there.

Matt Wallace has been sneaky good recently too. Aside from his three wins last year on the Euro Tour, he’s starting to settle in on his little swing on the PGA tour and was much more comfortable last week at the Honda Classic on the Bermuda Greens. I would rate him around 66-1 and at 80-1 he presents a big value here.

I’ve added a Francesco Molinari outright as I’ve really fallen in love with him here, and his odds didn’t shift with the loss of Tiger Woods from the field.

Getting a little exposure to the ‘Butcher of Bay Hill’ Matt Every with a T10. Not only does he crush here, but he’s been playing pretty well this year. I also am getting exposure to two guys I really like this week in JT Poston and Nate Lashley with T20 adds.

I’ll have Head to Head and full tournament matchups posted for our Beat the Bookie VIPs on Wednesday. And there are some reaaaaly juicy ones this week! These are truly where you can make your money in golf betting, while not as sexy or as big as an outright win, they are much more profitable.

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Final Thoughts: 

This is a really fun week and while it’s not quite a full field as it’s an invitational, it’s still a great week for all formats, cash, gpp, multipliers, play it all. While there are studs, I think a lot of the best roster construction will be balanced.

We will have content for you all through the week at DFS Army. Our research station and domination station optimizer will be updated on Tuesday and I will have my full Chalk Donkey article breaking down all the ownership and GPP strategy for our VIP’s on Tuesday night! If you aren’t a VIP yet, use code UPNORTH for 20% your first month!

Also, give me a follow on twitter @dfsupnorth as I’ll be posting updates there as well as useful retweets leading up to this weeks event!

What are you waiting for?! 20% off with code UPNORTH this week only!

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