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Wimbledon – Gentlemen’s Singles Odds and Mid-Tournament Betting Preview

United States(33 Titles) @ United Kingdom(37 Titles)

  • Where: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. London, England
  • When: July 3, 2017 5:30 am EST
  • Moneyline: Roger Federer (+200), Rafael Nadal (+450), Andy Murray (+500), Novak Djokovic (+500), Marin Cilic (+1600), Milos Raonic (+1800)

Different sports change for different reasons. The era of the “slugger” heavyweight champion is gone, with even the most powerful boxers and martial artists relying on technique and speed-training to outlast opponents. In track & field power and stamina have become more important than ever, with sprinters like Usain Bolt dominating not with pure speed but by developing the ability to slow down at a lesser rate than other runners.

But there’s one constant. As playing surfaces change, so do the athletes. It’s hard to imagine college or NFL football without the slick, wiry backs and receivers who make their living with precise cuts on artificial turf – the days of “bulldog” fullbacks slogging through mud are all but over.

In tennis, the modern popularity of hard courts and clay has led to a surge in power-players and baseline specialists like Boris Becker or Novak Djokovic. Those few grass-surface tournaments that still exist are largely held as a warm-up for Wimbledon, a Grand Slam on natural grass which kicks off its 131st edition this week.

There are only two ways to win at Wimbledon – rushing the net and landing volleys with precision, or nailing such consistently powerful serves that your opponent is worn down by the low bounce of the ball and unable to muscle any service-breaks.

That leaves a conundrum for the futures bettor – do you pick out a blazing server like Andy Murray, a technician like Rafael Nadal or the veteran Roger Federer, who just happens to be on top of the odds board as betting heats up.

Young blood or experienced (back or fore) hands? Let’s look at where the value is.

Murray’s malady

World #1 and defending champion Andy Murray is suffering from a hip injury, which probably counts him out as a value bet as outright-winner at Wimbledon.

Yes, Murray’s penchant for serving aces will afford him extra recovery time during early matches, but his quotes on the injury – words like “hopefully” and “anti-inflammatory pills” – do not bode well. Even if there’s only a 20% or 30% chance the injury slows Murray down or knocks him out, the bet isn’t worth his (+500) odds.

That leaves an aging Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and a number of (1000+) odds underdogs to choose from.

Don’t forget The Joker

Click here (sports/futures & props/tennis) to wager on Novak Djokovic to win the 2017 Gentlemen’s Singles at Wimbledon and enjoy a 50% sign-up bonus.

Federer’s short odds-to-win are in part a tribute to his talent and lasting passion for the game. Bookies and bettors alike recall his incredible Wimbledon streak from 2003-2007 as well as his two titles in later years. But should we really be handing 2/1 odds to a 35 year-old who didn’t even play in the 2017 French Open?

The “Express” was wonderful in winning a warm-up grass tournament in Germany, only losing nine points-on-serve in the finals of the Halle Open. He’ll bring his powerful serve and a wealth of experience and confidence to London.

But MSB strongly cautions against wagering on part-timers late in their career. Again, it’s all about the odds…2/1 means that if even his knees and nerves hold up to the end, and even he’s not defeated by a Nadal or Murray, the cash player only scores double his bet on a Federer win – minus the vig, of course.

Nadal won the French Open this year for a record tenth time, and when he’s on top of his game there is no better tennis player on the planet. But the Spaniard faces two basic problems on grass courts. His serve is consistent but not overwhelming, meaning that he loses the advantage of winning short rallies or scoring aces in bunches. Second, his patented high-bounce forehand won’t bedazzle as many opponents on the natural surface, which tends to dampen the ball.

We recommend a futures wager on Novak Djokovic, who just won the 2017 Eastbourne International for his first grass-surface win outside of Wimbledon. Thrice a winner in London, Djokovic’s unsteady year has driven his odds to (+500) at Bet Online. But that’s not a indictment of his skills. In fact, it’s an open door for the value bettor.

The Joker has needed time to work through a coaching change, and seems to be settling back into form. What’s more, Djokovic’s return-forehands are still as effective as his own serves, giving him a distinct advantage on grass that led to his titles in 2014 and 15.

It might even be wise to wait a couple of preliminary rounds before placing the winner’s bet on the Serbian…more about that below.

Wait and C (notes)

The best mid-tournament futures bets are always counter-intuitive. That’s because of the relationship book-makers have with the media – the one where you pretend to ignore someone, but listen to everything they say.

A futures bet on a young up-and-comer who wins his first couple of matches seems exciting, but that player’s odds will go up as the hype begins to appear. Meanwhile, odds for a premier player like Djokovic will not shorten as fast because early-round wins for stars are seen as routine and meaningless. In fact, if the Serbinator drops a set to an unknown in the early-going, the payout on your bet could even fatten.

All roads lead to London

Whether placing a bet now or late this week once early rounds are in play, Novak Djokovic is the value futures play for the 2017 Wimbledon tournament.

The grass-surface romp at Eastbourne showed that the 31 year-old is rounding into form, and there have rarely been 5/1 odds placed on a player more likely to win a Grand Slam.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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