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2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational First-Round Leader Picks FRL Bets for Matthieu Pavon & Scottie Scheffler
Updated:2024-04-26 09:21    Views:149

Here's everything you need to know about 2024 Arnold Palmer first-round leader picks — our expert FRL bets for this week's PGA Tour event at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

With the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches in the rear-view mirror, we now look forward to this week's 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Bay Hill hosts once again, which it has done annually since 1979.

Bay Hill is a par-72, 7,466-yard track designed by Dick Wilson and Bob Simmons that rewards strong driving, good ball strikers and those who can avoid water penalties on the way to putting on these Bermudagrass greens.

Find my 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational first-round leader picks below.

2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational First-Round Leader PicksScottie Scheffler +1600 (FanDuel | 0.14 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 10:10 a.m. ET

As is always my strategy for targeting first-round leaders, I'm searching for golfers who tee off earlier in the day. The first wave almost always scores better than the second wave, which makes sense considering that the greens only firm up as the round progresses.

The earlier a golfer tees off, the more soft greens he faces that are much more receptive to his shots. The one objection to this general rule of thumb is when there is an expected weather change between the first and second waves, but that will not be the case on Thursday.

That brings us to Scottie Scheffler, who tees off in the 15th of 35 groups on Thursday. The best golfer in the world can win any round at any time, and there is a lot to like about Scheffler's chances at Bay Hill.

First, he won here in 2022 and finished fourth last season. This success should not be shocking because this is a ball-striker's course, and Scheffler is the best ball-striker on the planet.

We all know that his one weakness is putting, but perhaps that can be nullified a bit on these Bermudagrass greens. This season, Scheffler has finished third at the WM Phoenix Open, fifth at The Sentry and won at the unofficial Hero World Challenge in December.

All three of those tournaments were contested on Bermudagrass greens, and Scheffler gained cumulative True Strokes Putting across those three events. Perhaps a change of scenery to the Texan's native Bermudagrass will propel him into the first-round lead.

Most strokes gained total per round at @APinv last 5 years, among players in field this week (min. 10 rounds):

Scottie Scheffler, +2.43Rory McIlroy, +2.18Matt Fitzpatrick, +2.13Sungjae Im, +1.88Chris Kirk, +1.76

— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) March 6, 2024

Matthieu Pavon +6600 (BetRivers| 0.11 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 10:30 a.m. ET

Matthieu Pavon tees off just two groups following Scheffler on Thursday morning. Pavon has put together a breakout campaign thus far in 2024, ranking first in the FedExCup Standings.

This explosive start is in part due to his win at the Farmers Insurance Open and subsequent third-place finish at Pebble Beach. Pavon possesses a strong all around game with pretty much every club in the bag firing on all cylinders right now.

He ranks 44th on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, which is important to note as four of the top-seven finishers here last year ranked 12th or higher in that metric, the only stat in which that occurred. Another reason to like Pavon on Thursday is that he ranks 16th on Tour in Greens in Regulation Percentage from the 150-175 yard range, where the largest amount of approach shots come from at Bay Hill.

We are catching such a long price on Pavon in this market because he has never played at Bay Hill before. However, neither had Kurt Kitayama prior to last year, and he won the event.

Here's my full betting card for the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational, and you can find more of my thoughts on this week's tournament on the Links + Locks Best Bets podcast:

Ludvig Aberg Outright Winner (+2000 at FanDuel) – 0.36 UnitsCameron Young Outright Winner (+2800 at bet365) – 0.33 UnitsSahith Theegala Top Five (+1100 at DraftKings) – 0.3 UnitsByeong Hun An Top 10 (+360 at bet365) – 0.27 UnitsAdam Scott Top 20 (+150 at DraftKings) – 0.24 UnitsHarris English Top 20 (+160 at DraftKings) – 0.20 UnitsSi Woo Kim Top 30 (+100 at DraftKings) – 0.17 UnitsScottie Scheffler FRL (+1600 at FanDuel) – 0.14 UnitsMatthieu Pavon FRL (+6600 at BetRivers) – 0.11 UnitsSobel's Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Mega GuideMar 5, 2024 UTC3 Arnold Palmer Invitational One & Done PicksMar 5, 2024 UTCArnold Palmer Invitational Early Outright BetsMar 5, 2024 UTC