2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds: Surprising picks from top-rated model that nailed four golf majors

The 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational features a field of 119 of the world's top golfers vying for a $9.1 million purse, with the winner receiving a three-year PGA Tour exemption. If history is any indication, this year's event will come down to the wire. In fact, four of the last five Arnold Palmer Invitational events have been decided by one stroke, and with major champions like Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, and Jason Day in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational field, we could have another tight finish. One player we won't see when the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational tee times begin on Thursday at 6:45 a.m. ET is Tiger Woods, who withdrew earlier this week with a neck injury. Rory McIlroy is the Vegas favorite at 8-1 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds to repeat as champion, while Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka are right behind him at 12-1. Woods was listed at 9-1 before bowing out. Before entering any 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational picks or submitting lineups for PGA DFS tournaments or cash games on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, see what the team at SportsLine has to say.

SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed four of the past eight majors entering the weekend and called Tiger Woods' deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. The model has been spot-on early in the 2018-19 season. It was high on champion Dustin Johnson at the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship, projecting him as one of the top two contenders from the start. It also correctly predicted Brooks Koepka's (9-1) victory at the CJ Cup earlier this season. Additionally, it correctly called Bryson DeChambeau's (9-1) seven-shot victory at the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Anyone who has followed the model is up huge. 

Now that the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: McIlroy, the defending champion and top Vegas favorite on the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds board, makes a strong run but falls short of winning the title. 

Thus far in the 2018-19 PGA schedule, McIlroy has already racked up four top-10 finishes. And although he has 14 career PGA Tour victories, he's only finished on top of the leaderboard once since 2016.

Despite his red-hot start to the new season, McIlroy enters the 2019 Arnold Palmer Classic ranked 171st on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy percentage (57.39), which could cause major trouble at Bay Hill. His inability to keep the ball in the fairway off the tee will leave McIlroy scrambling around Palmer's famed Championship Course. He's not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in this loaded field than the 8-1 premium he's commanding.

Another surprise: Hideki Matsuyama, a 28-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a big payday.

Matsuyama comes into the Arnold Palmer Invitational 2019 off a strong performance at the WGC-Mexico Championship, where he took 19th. It was his fourth straight top-20 finish on the PGA Tour, a streak that included top-10 runs in the Farmers Insurance Open and Genesis Open.

The five-time PGA Tour winner is hitting the ball extremely well this season, ranking in the top 10 in driving distance (313.4 yards) and total driving efficiency (32). His ability to hit the ball deep into the fairway allows him to use his short irons to approach the green. That lethal combination has allowed Matsuyama to crack the top 20 on the PGA Tour in scoring average (69.888) this season. He can climb the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard quickly and should be on your radar for the next event on the PGA schedule.

Also, the model says three other golfers with 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds of 18-1 or longer make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big. 

So who wins the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full Arnold Palmer Invitational projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors, and find out.

Rory McIlroy 8-1
Justin Rose 12-1
Brooks Koepka 12-1
Rickie Fowler 14-1
Jason Day 16-1
Bryson DeChambeau 18-1
Hideki Matsuyama 28-1
Marc Leishman
Francesco Molinari 33-1
Tommy Fleetwood 33-1
Patrick Reed 40-1
Phil Mickelson 40-1

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