Kurt Kitayama shot an even round on Saturday, meaning he’ll carry a slight lead into Sunday’s action at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Whether it was a lack of aggression or simply an underperforming round, he now holds just a one-stroke edge over Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland. And while Kitayama is in front on the leaderboard (-9), he comes in with the third-shortest odds, which means the sportsbooks expect him to lose the lead on Sunday.
Scheffler comes in as a favorite at +225 after shooting four under on Saturday. Hovland is right behind him at +400 courtesy of a -6 effort in the third round. His six-under outing made him the biggest mover on Saturday, along with Tyrell Hatton (-7) and Pierceson Coody (-5).
Another notable move was Rory McIlroy, who climbed into fifth (-6) courtesy of a -4 round on Saturday. The Northern Irishman is T5 with Harris English, who went three under in the third round.
There’s plenty of talent atop the leaderboard, including two of the world’s top three players sitting inside the top five. From a betting perspective, here’s what I’m locking in for Sunday’s finale at Bay Hill
Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks
Rory McIlroy Top 5 Finish (-140) (Bet $140 to collect $240) The best odds for this McIlroy pick are at DraftKings right now
After shooting one over in Thursday’s opening round, Rory McIlroy rebounded with -3 and -4 efforts the following days. He now resides in fifth, sitting three strokes off Kitayama’s nine-under pace.
I don’t mind making a play on McIlroy at +700 to win the whole thing, and I’m tempted to lock that in myself. However, with Scheffler and Hovland each holding two-stroke advantages over McIlroy, I think the safe play is to lock in the Northern Irishman to secure a top-five finish.
He’s gotten better each day at Bay Hill, and I don’t think it’s outlandish to say he closes out the tournament with another big performance. He’s excelled here in the past, winning in 2018 (-18) and adding four other top 10 finishes in his past six starts on the course: T4 (-9, 2017), T5 (E, 2020), T6 (-8, 2019), T10 (-3, 2021). Let’s lay the juice with McIlroy to place inside the top five.
Matt Fitzpatrick Top 20 Finish (+150) (Bet $100 to collect $250) DraftKings has the best odds for this API pick
Another golfer who has had a ton of success at Bay Hill recently is Matt Fitzpatrick. Here’s how the Englishman has fared in his last four starts here: 2 (-10, 2029), T9 (-1, 2022), T9 (+1, 2020), and T10 (-3, 2021).
After shooting four-over par on Saturday, Fitzpatrick dropped to -1 in the tournament. I’ll chalk it up as a one-off bad day for the 28-year-old, who has clearly played this course to a high level in recent years. With his course experience, I expect Fitzpatrick to make his way up the leaderboard and crack the top 20 again. He’s currently T31 entering Sunday’s finale, but just one stroke separates him and 11 golfers sitting T19 (-2).
Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds – Live Odds Entering Sunday