The Florida Swing continues this week when a star-studded field tees off Thursday in the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Rory McIlroy won this event in 2018 but has been struggling to finish for more than a year now, and his last victory was the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2019. Still, the Northern Irishman comes in as the 9-1 favorite in the latest 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland are the 12-1 second favorites. Tyrrell Hatton (16-1), Patrick Reed and Sungjae Im (both 20-1) also are expected to contend, but are those your best options for your 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Fantasy golf rankings? Would you be better off with the steady Paul Casey (28-1) or should you have faith in Jordan Spieth (30-1)? Before making any 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Fantasy golf picks, check out the latest Fantasy golf rankings from data scientist Rick Gehman.
With his expansive database of golf statistics, course data and betting odds, Gehman creates advanced models and back-tests them constantly. These models have produced 12 outright winners in the past year -- including 30-1 Webb Simpson at the 2020 RBC Heritage, 50-1 Chez Reavie at last year's Travelers and 40-1 Patrick Reed at the Northern Trust among the PGA Tour winners -- plus a $10,000 DraftKings win at The Masters.
At last week's WGC-Workday Championship, two of his top 10 picks placed in the top six, including Brooks Koepka, who continued his surge to finish second as Collin Morikawa outclassed the field. At the previous week's Genesis Invitational, half of Gehman's top 10 players placed in the top 15, including Tony Finau, who got his third straight runner-up finish worldwide.
At Pebble Beach, three of Gehman's top four picks finished in the top five, including winner Daniel Berger. And at the Farmers, the leaderboard looked like a who's who of Gehman's rankings, with five of the golf expert's top nine picks finishing tied for seventh or better.
Gehman has been on fire all year. Two of the top four finishers at The American Express ranked in his top seven, and at the Sony, the top three in his rankings all finished in the top seven. Anyone who has followed his advice has cashed in huge.
Now, Gehman, co-host of "The First Cut" podcast on CBS Sports, has revealed his top 30 players for Arnold Palmer Invitational 2021 over at SportsLine so you can crush your Fantasy golf picks.
2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Fantasy golf picks
Gehman knows McIlroy remains one of the world's top players, even if has had trouble breaking through. He has been in an extended drought, but he can still smash it off the tee and has finished in the top 25 in seven of his eight events this season. He ranks second in driving distance and 16th in scoring average, and he was in contention all week at The Concession before finishing T-6. His game is too good for the drought to continue.
On the other hand, Im has had a lot of success in Florida, but the golf expert is slightly fading him this week. Im tied for second at the Masters and fifth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but he hasn't finished higher than T-12 in his past five events. He tied for fifth here last year, a week after his first career win at the Honda Classic, but Im has struggled on approach shots and on the green. He ranks 141st on tour both in proximity to the hole and one-putt percentage.
How to set your 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational Fantasy golf lineups
Strikingly, Gehman is looking for a big week from another young golfer who comes into the event at around 45-1. This under-the-radar player has consistently finished in the top 25 and has lurked near the top several times. He has the skill to win if he can put four rounds together, and Gehman believes this could be the week he breaks through. Gehman is only sharing who it is, and his top 30 golfers in order, right here.
Who wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational 2021? Who are the top golfers to target? And which overlooked player can help you win your league this week? Visit SportsLine now to get Rick Gehman's Fantasy golf rankings for the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational, all from the data scientist who's called 12 outright winners in the past year.