What a brutal day and just an awful few weeks. Nao Hibino served to win each set and lost the match. Elise Mertens, one of the best clay players on tour, handed a bagel in the first set then proceeded to get bageled and lose the match in 3 sets. Rogers was serving up 5-2 in the 3rd and lost the next 5 games and the match. Just a mess of hard to watch losses. Before the sunshine double I was just above even for the season and am now down 19 units. Just sickening. If there is a silver lining to any of this, with proper bankroll management we still have 80% of our bankrolls left. Bankroll management is everything. It’s a long season and things will turn around, onward we go.
I hate to address trolls, but I was recently accused of not actually betting my picks. That is absolutely, positively not the truth. I want to be transparent as part of this process, so, for those wondering, here are my tickets from yesterday:
Yesterday 1-7 -5.2 units
Season to date 103-135-11 -19.20 Units Average Odds +100 Average Units/Bet 0.95
All of these lines come from a local book that I use. I will say this often, BE SURE TO CHECK THE PRICES AT ALL THE BOOKS YOU CAN ACCESS. One of the easiest ways to be a better bettor is get the best prices. I’m using lines from my local to try to teach this lesson and make sure what I post is widely available to those who read. I’m sure anything I post in here is offered at a better number somewhere, so be smart and check all your outs before placing your wager. The first number after each player’s name is their US odds with decimal odds in parenthesis. I’ll list total games for every match and spreads for matches with a spread greater than 2.5 games. Anything less than that and just take the moneyline, no need to risk a bagel or breadstick ruining your favorite spread.
As for staking, 1 unit = 1% of my bankroll. Do what you’d like, but I think is the best plan for the long term. Almost all bets will be 1 unit, sometimes less and rarely more. If it’s a favorite then the bet is to win the number of units posted. For example, 1 unit on a -130 (1,77) is a 1.3 unit bet to win 1 unit. If it’s an underdog, then the bet is to risk the units posted. For example, 1 unit on +200 (3,00) is 1 unit to win 2 units. Feel free to DM @_Noops with any questions.
Sloane Stephens -165 (1,60) vs Ajla Tomljanovic +135 (1,45) Total Games 21.5
Sloane Stephens continues to produce disappointing results. She went to tiebreak twice against Tormo who is well below her level of talent. Considering the numbers above and her overall pedigree she should be a bigger favorite than this and I’m disappointed by the value on Ajla. Tomljanovic has played some nice tennis this season and has looked comfortable on this surface. I think she has a real chance to win this match, but I’m not interested at that price. Pass.
Jelena Ostapenko +140 (2,40) vs Madison Keys -170 (1,58) Total Games 21 Spread +/- 3 games
Madison Keys looked bad last night. She needed a tiebreak in round one and blew a lead to lose the second. She got the late break in the third to win the match, but at no point did she look like the Madison Keys we’d expect to see. Keys has had some great performances in grand slams, but she doesn’t perform as well at lower levels:
She moves to 13-14 after winning last night. Thanks to Jorge for that nugget. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind, but I’m not sure I’m going to fade Keys in this match. Ostapenko is finding some form after a long hiatus from good tennis. This surface suits her game and she has a good chance of winning this match, but I would hope for a better price. Pass.
Aryna Sabalenka -155 (1,64) vs Monica Puig +125 (2,25) Total Games 21.5
This is a cheap price on Sabalenka. She is the much better player and Puig doesn’t offer the things you need to take down the Amazonian Warrior. If you’re going to beat Aryna you need top level movement and the ability to absorb power and send it back. Puig has very little if any of those abilities. Full unit on Sabalenka.
Danielle Collins -115 (1,87) vs Kaia Kanepi -115 (1,87) Total Games 21
Kanepi’s win yesterday was absolutely shocking to me both that it happened and how it happened. The numbers above are in her favor, but it’s small sample size as both players didn’t get too many clay matches in last year. This number is just about right. Pass.
Taylor Townsend +250 (3,50) vs Belinda Bencic -310 (1,32) Total Games 20.5 Spread +/- 4.5 games
Townsend looked very comfortable beating Julia Goerges in 2 sets yesterday. Goerges is one of the better players on tour and that’s arguably the best win in Townsend’s career. Although Bencic avoided clay last season, she’s looked very comfortable here and is deserving of such an expensive price. All these numbers look right to me. I’m curious to see if Townsend can continue to play above her normal level. Pass.
Petra Martic -155 (1,64) vs Jessica Pegula +125 (2,25) Total Games 21.5
No data from last year on Pegula, but she’s looked good here gutting out a tough 3 set match and then routining Sevastova 4 & 2. Martic is a solid clay player and has 2 good wins as well here. My initial thought is that this is a cheap opportunity to take Martic, but Pegula has played better tennis this year and seems to be setting a new, higher level as her norm. This is going to be fun to watch, but nothing stands out to me as a good bet. Pass.
Caroline Wozniacki -280 (1,36) vs Mihaela Buzarnescu +230 (3,30) Total Games 20 Spread -/+ 4.5 games
The numbers above make this seem like it should be closer in price. Buzarnescu acquitted herself nicely last year on clay. Wozniacki remains one of the better players on tour and it’s early enough in the week where I’m concerned about her RA flaring up. They’ve played twice before and Wozniacki won in blowouts both times. Wozniacki is the better player and those numbers are just about right. Pass.
Maria Sakkari +310 (4,10) vs Kiki Bertens -400 (1,25) Total Games 19 Spread +/- 5.5 games
Kiki Bertens is one of, if not the, best clay player on tour. She’s defending her title here and has talked all week about how important that is to her. She deserves the expensive price we see above. 5.5 games does feel like a lot, but I’m not getting in front of Kiki here. Sakkari is a good player, but has struggled against top talent this year. I expect her to continue to struggle and lose here. Pass.
Angelique Kerber -295 (1,34) vs Karolina Muchova +245 (3,45) Total Games 20.5 Spread -/+ 4.5 games
These two played a fun match in Miami. Kerber won in 3 sets. Muchova has had a very good start to her season, but she’s struggled against top level talent. Her losses were to Kerber, Svitolina & Pliskova the Greater. Kerber was the tournament favorite and for good reason. She is almost certainly going to win this match, but I expect Muchova to be competitive. +4.5 games is about game too high and I like the over. The total at 20 games is at least half a game too low. Both woman average 22 games on hards and hold serve at high rates. Full unit on Muchova +4.5 games and half a unit on over 20.5 games.
Zarina Diyas +355 (4,55) vs Victoria Azarenka -455 (1,22) Total Games 19.5 Spread +/- 5 games
They’ve played twice, but those matches were over 3 years ago so let’s put those aside. Diyas has hardly ever played in Mexico and struggled with a local wild card in the first round. Azarenka’s numbers look much stronger, but I am surprised Azarenka is such a big favorite. There’s likely value on Diyas, but I’m not sure I can pull the trigger. I’ll probably talk myself into something small just before the match, but for official purposes, pass.
Kristina Mladenovic -465 (1,21) vs Greta Arn +365 (4,65) Total Games 19.5 -/+ 5 games
My word, how in the world is Mladenovic such a big favorite? She really is not good enough to deserve this kind of pricing. I wish she was playing almost anyone else though. Arn is a 30 year old tour veteran who has been outside the top 100 since 2012. How do you put your money on that? I’m still astonished by that price. Similar to above, I’ll likely put a small wager on Arn, but for the official record, pass.
Margarita Gasparyan +220 (3,20) vs Garbiñe Muguruza -270 (1,37) Total Games 20 Spread +/- 4 games
Another big favorite that I can’t trust. Muguruza is occasionally one of the best players in the world, but when and where that might happen remains a mystery. She struggled through a match against a lucky loser in round 1 and looked uncomfortable in the cold, damp conditions. Ruse led in the first set and got all the way to a tiebreak in the second. Gasparyan is a much better player than Ruse. Gasparyan hasn’t played a lot of tennis this year, but the tennis she did play was great and similar to the rates she played at last year. Muguruza is always vulnerable, and I think Gasparyan has the game to take advantage. Full unit Gasparyan +4 games and half unit +220(3,20).
Charleston - Full unit Sabalenka -155 (1,64)
Monterrey - Full unit Muchova +4.5 games
Monterrey - Half unit Kerber/Muchova over 20.5 games
Monterrey - Full unit Gasparyan +4 games
Monterrey - Half unit Gasparyan +220 (3,20)