WTA Prague & Rabat Day 4

I spent all day thinking about what I was going to write to here. What’s important for me to say? What’s important for you to hear? What might you want to know? What might you need to know? Where am I at this point? Where are you at this point? It’s important that I address a few things, so here’s some thoughts & feelings I wanted to share and thought you should know.

To start, my performance lately in this endeavor has been atrocious, ghastly, dreadful, gruesome, any negative word that would normally be considered hyperbole is appropriate. As of March 13th, I sat 86-96-10 for a loss of 2.43 units. As of today, I am 127-176-14 for a loss of 36.47 units. -34 units in 49 days. 34% of my, and possibly your, bankroll gone. I assure that I bet every single pick I post. If you’d like to see some tickets shoot me a DM. My personal unit size is $50, so I’m down $1,823.50 on the season. It’s sickening to write that, but like mentioned earlier, I think it’s important that you know that. Not because I want any sympathy, but so that those of you that are following along know that I am truly with in this endeavor.

I’ve used that word twice now, endeavor. I’ve been asked this question a few ways, but this is my favorite. “Why the fuck are you doing this you stupid asshole?” I’m probably sick in the head, even more so than you might think already, but I appreciate some brutal honesty. So let’s break that down into it’s parts.

Why am I doing this? When I began doing daily writeups for each match I was hoping to formalize my handicapping process so that I, and possibly others, could learn along the way. Forcing myself to actually write everything down has been a taxing, but interesting process. I’d like to say I’ve learned a lot, but the results so far would question the value of those lessons. That aside, going through every single match each day has taught me a lot about market pricing, themes throughout the season and the variability in player’s performance week to week. My other goal was to get some reps writing about tennis. Writing every single day is at times work, but it’s been a worthy challenge. Hopefully I’ve gotten better. I think I have.

Secondly, “you stupid asshole.” A lot of people who know me who agree with the “asshole” part of that statement. I can be rough, forceful, and am told I even occasionally “mansplain” things. I very well may be stupid, but the only real difference between smart people and stupid people is that smart people occasionally do things that aren’t stupid. I’m still not sure where all this falls, but a little about me and my background. I went to college for finance and am a manager in the finance department of a large corporation. My team is responsible for underwriting a segment of our customer base.

So, to the surprise of no one, I do not pay my bills betting on tennis. I’ve been wagering on tennis for a little over 3 years now and until this point it has mostly been a profitable endeavor. This is the longest period of extended losing during that time. I also handicap the NBA seriously and a few other things to varying degrees of intensity. In the NBA, I have a model that projects 1Q scores in the regular season and another model I’ve built recently that projects each player’s made 3 pointers. Both have been successful as anyone who followed my 1Q picks will know. This is my hobby. This is the thing I would do if it paid would do if I could make enough money doing it to pay the bills. That is my goal long term. I will someday pay my bills through sports wagering and creating content about sports wagering.

Some people in my life, my wonderful girlfriend, my lovely family, question why I have chosen this of all things. People on the internet “question” it regularly. Some thoughts on trolls. For starters, it’s weirdly validating. It’s kind of cool that anyone cares enough about what I’m doing to create a burner account simply to harass me when I’m performing poorly. At times, it’s the fucking worst thing in the entire world. It makes you question yourself, what you’re doing, and whether or not it’s worth doing what you’re doing. For a time, I would block these people, but that only made it worse because I didn’t know what they were saying behind my back. I would also occasionally reply, but that just never ends well. Regardless, they are like a dog turd on the sidewalk. They stink and no matter how hard you try you’re going to run it them everyone now and then.

Going forward, I committed to myself that I would do this for the entirety of the season which ends sometime in November. At this rate, I might not make it, but I’m not stopping until it’s over. As I said at the beginning, my performance has been terrible. It’s gut wrenching. I have to take long walks to calm myself downs sometimes. Most of it is feeling bad about anyone who’s following my advice. To those of you who have, you have my commitment and promise to do everything I can to be better at this. I’ve already spent time auditing my performance and finding ways to improve my process. If you have any thoughts of your own, please send them my way.

Most importantly, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for reaching out to me with your thoughts and comments. I appreciate all the interaction, good and bad. This is how we learn. Onward we go, further into the crevasse, wish me luck.

Yesterday 1-6 -6.25 units

Season to date 127-176-14 -36.47 Units Average Odds -105 Average Units/Bet 1.02

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.

Prague

Barbora Strycova -105 (1,95) vs Katerina Siniakova -125 (1,80) Total Games 21

This will be the third these 2 players have met in the quarterfinals of this very event. What an odd thing. I like Siniakova in this match. Better numbers last year and an incredibly talented player on her preferred surface. Strycova has had a nice run here on clay, but her only victory of any real gravity was beating Viktoria Kuzmova in 3 long sets in Istanbul. If Strycova were at here very best we’d see a tight match, but things as they are Siniakova should win this match. BZS will throw a lot of junk at Siniakova, but similar to BZS’s loss to Vondrousova, Siniakova should have enough talent & experience to handle that junk and hit through it. Full unit on Siniakova.

Jil Teichmann -145 (1,68) vs Tamara Korpatsch +115 (2,15) Total Games 21.5

At first, I was surprised to see Korpatsch as the underdog. She had the better WTA numbers the last 2 years and was solid at lower levels with a 45-23 record. She’s had success on these courts. Looking at Teichmann she is absolutely red hot. In her last 15 matches on clay, she is 13-2 with a title at a lower event. She lost the first set 6-2 to Kuznetsova and somehow found her form and came back as a big underdog. I’m not getting in front of the train. Pass.

Bernarda Pera +145 (2,45) vs Qiang Wang -175 (1,57) Total Games 21 Spread +/- 3.5 games

Wang beat Pera 6 & 2 in Indian Wells about 2 months ago. I think that’s giving us a good price on Pera. She plays a lot on clay and has some good results. Hold+break over 100 at the WTA level and 33-9 at lower levels. Wang is one of the better players on tour, but as you can see she is not as familiar with the dirt. She has the movement and skill to be successful though. I think there is some value on Pera, but I’m going to pass. The moneyline and spread aren’t where I’d like them to be and the total is right where I would set it. Pass.

Karolina Muchova -180 (1,55) vs Natalia Vikhlyantseva +135 (2,35) Total Games 21 Spread -/+ 3 games

This will be a fun battle between 2 good young players. Natalia is not much for the dirt. You can see above that her performances at the WTA level have been underwhelming and has few performances at lower levels. Muchova doesn’t have much clay experience in the WTA, but has had some success in Challenger & ITF matches. I’m curious as to why either is a large favorite, but I’m going to pass and just enjoy the show. It’ll be fun to watch these 2 find themselves on clay. I do, however, like the total. The price for over 2.5 sets is +150 (2,50) which is about right, but I like over 21 games here. Both are great servers so we might 3 sets or even the rare WTA tiebreak. Full unit over 21 games.

Rabat

Elise Mertens -245 (1,40) vs Maria Sakkari +195 (2,95) Total Games 20.5 Spread -/+ 4 games

This could be a fun, long 3 set battle. This could also be a blowout. Mertens is a great clay player and seems to be laser focused on winning this event to get herself in form. She could easily cover this spread or win in 2 sets. Sakkari is very talented and could take a set, but I don’t see it happening here. She’s too inconsistent for the Mertens we’ve seen this week. Mertens is a good parlay piece. Hopefully I find a partner.

Ysaline Bonaventure +155 (2,55) vs Alison Van Uytvanck -185 (1,54) Total Games 21 Spread +/- 3 games

Bonaventure somehow keeps winning matches on clay. I don’t really understand how or why. She lost her first 2 matches on dirt, but has won 5 matches in a row here. AVU doesn’t play clay often, but her numbers are good when she does. Over the last 52 weeks, her hold+break is 110 and her strong serve is a big weapon. I’ll put her with Mertens in a parlay.

Rebecca Peterson +125 (2,25) vs Ajla Tomljanovic -155 (1,64) Total Games 21.5

Peterson won in a surprising 3 sets over Polona Hercog. Rebecca was 19-3 at lower levels, but that is arguably the best win her WTA career on clay. As you see above, Ajla was better at the WTA level. She’s a good player and deserving of being the favorite here. The pricing does look right though, I can’t pick a side. Pass.

Johanna Konta -130 (1,76) vs Su Wei Hsieh +100 (2,00) Total Games 21.5

Konta has the better numbers on clay, but I’m a little sour on the idea of betting against Hsieh. She was down a set and 1-4* and came back to win and ruin the start of our day yesterday. She is crafty and is capable of finding the tiniest crack in her opponent’s game and squeezing through it. Konta prefers hard courts and grass. I was looking for ways to bet the over, but that’s a high number and over 2.5 sets is only +130 (2,30). Pass.

Recap

Prague – 1 unit – Siniakova -125 (1,80)

Prague – 1 unit – Muchova/Vikhlyantseva over 21 games

Rabat – 1 unit – Parlay Mertens/Van Uytvanck +120 (2,20)