Arnold Palmer Invitational predictions, odds 2020: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood picks from PGA insider

The PGA Tour heads to Central Florida this week, where many of the world’s top players will converge on Bay Hill for the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The first 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational tee times are on Thursday morning. Palmer, who died in 2016, spent decades tinkering with Bay Hill to make it one of the most challenging venues in the world.

Rory McIlroy is the favorite at 9-2, with surging Tommy Fleetwood not far behind at 12-1 in the latest 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds. They will be joined by Hideki Matsuyama, who excels in Florida and is listed at 14-1, Adam Scott (18-1), former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka (28-1) and Rickie Fowler (33-1), among many other elite players. Before you make any 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational picks of your own, you need to check out the PGA Tour predictions from SportsLine’s resident golf insider, Sal Johnson. 

A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson is coming off a red-hot year. He featured Woods in his best bets for the Masters and backed Koepka in his picks for the PGA Championship, and both players pulled off victories. In the season-ending Tour Championship, he nailed it, pegging Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele as main contenders to come out on top, and McIlroy won the event for the second time, Schauffele was second and Koepka tied for third. 

Johnson also has a strong feel for what it takes to win on the courses in Florida. At last week’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, he tabbed Sungjae Im as one of his players to watch, and the 21-year-old got his first PGA Tour win. Johnson noted that the South Korean had played poorly on the West Coast last year before surging after the Tour hit Florida. “He has been uninspiring this year out West, so look for good things in the weeks to come,” Johnson wrote. He shot a final-round 66 to finish six-under par at PGA National. 

Now, Johnson, the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who has worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world’s top golf statistics database, has released his highly confident 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational picks here, and they will surprise you.

Top 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational expert picks

Johnson wants no part of Koepka, even though the former world No. 1 is gearing up to try for his first Masters title after finishing tied for second last year. The 29-year-old has seven Tour wins, but has never played well at Bay Hill. He is recovering from a knee injury and still trying to pull his game together. 

Johnson has followed Fleetwood closely the past several weeks, and likes what he sees. The 29-year-old finished third last week at the Honda after shooting a final-round 71, but he has finished in the top 25 in three of his four Tour events. He also has played well on the European Tour, winning the Nedbank Challenge in November, and had two-runner-up finishes in his past four European tournaments. He was eighth on Tour last year in scoring average at 69.7.

The golf stats guru also is high on Scott, who won the Genesis Open at Riviera and has finished third at Bay Hill twice. He has an Official World Golf Ranking of No. 7 and has won 14 PGA Tour events. The 39-year-old has a Masters green jacket and has finished in the top five in all four majors. He is also 13th on Tour in scoring average and 15th in strokes gained tee-to-green. The Australian also has been putting well, making 258 of 289 (89.3 percent) inside 10 feet.

How to make 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational predictions

Johnson is all over a major long shot who has been playing consistent golf and excels on the courses in Florida. This up-and-coming player is a true sleeper pick, but he could be poised to pull off stunning victory. Anyone who backs this underdog could hit it big. 

Who wins the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational? Where do Fleetwood and Scott finish? And which monster long shot is a must-back? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational, all from the insider who nailed the Tour Championship and knows what it takes to win on the Florida swing.

2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds

Rory McIlroy 9-2
Tommy Fleetwood 12-1
Hideki Matsuyama 14-1
Bryson DeChambeau 16-1
Adam Scott 18-1
Xander Schauffele 22-1
Brooks Koepka 28-1
Patrick Reed 28-1
Sungjae Im 28-1
Jason Day 33-1
Tony Finau 33-1
Rickie Fowler 33-1
Byeong Hun An 40-1
Billy Horschel 40-1
Collin Morikawa 40-1
Justin Rose 40-1
Henrik Stenson 40-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 45-1
Tyrell Hatton 45-1
Marc Leishman 45-1
Viktor Hovland 50-1
Bubba Watson 50-1
Abraham Ancer 66-1
Harris English 66-1
Lee Westwood 66-1
J.B. Holmes 80-1
Max Homa 80-1
Kevin Kisner 80-1
Phil Mickelson 80-1
Ian Poulter 80-1
Scottie Scheffler 80-1
Rafa Cabrera-Bello 90-1
Bud Cauley 90-1
Ryan Moore 90-1
Kevin Na 90-1
Carlos Ortiz 90-1
Brendan Steele 90-1
Keegan Bradley 100-1
Wyndham Clark 100-1
Lucas Glover 100-1
Brian Harman 100-1

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