WTA Rome Day 1

Season to date 132-186-16 -39.77 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.

Rome

Aliaksandra Sasnovich -120 (1,83) vs Dominika Cibulkova -110 (1,90) Total Games 20.5

Cibulkova was at one time a great player on tour, but it seems age might be catching up with her now that she’s just past her 30th birthday. She is 3-7 this season and 1 of those wins was against #354 in the world. She lost in 2 sets to Greetje Minnen in Stuttgart & in sets to Naomi Osaka in Madrid. Sasnovich’s numbers the last 2 years are the same as Cibulkova’s on dirt, but she’s in much better form. She beat 2 good clay players in Madrid in Kontaveit & Schmiedlova before losing to Osaka in 2. Sasnovich is younger, improving player and I always like to be on that side, but the pricing looks about right. If I could get Sasnovich +100 (2,00) or better I’d make a move, but not at this price. Pass.

Katerina Siniakova +110 (2,10) vs Qiang Wang -130 (1,76) Total Games 21

Siniakova’s numbers look to be a little better than Wang’s, but her competition faced isn’t quite as good. Katerina is a great double’s player, but she’s yet to put it together in singles matches. Her clay season so far has been all over the map. Lost in 3 sets to Rybakina then smoked Jakupovic & Cepelova and followed those up by getting smoked by Strycova & Kiki Bertens. Wang is one of the more steady, reliable players on tour. Siniakova at her best should have the power to hit through Wang, but if she’s making errors Wang will easily.

Venus Williams +170 (2,70) vs Elise Mertens -210 (1,47) Total Games 20.5 Spread +/- 3.5 games

This could be an ugly match. Venus Williams has looked injured all season. Her movement has been incredibly poor, but she’s been able to gut out wins. Mertens was one of the best clay players on tour, but a shoulder injury has hampered her performance. If Elise is healthy, she should demolish Venus. Even if she is injured, she could demolish Venus. There’s too much unknown in this match. Pass.

Johanna Konta -310 (1,32) vs Alison Riske +250 (3,50) Total Games 20 Spread -/+ 5 games

This feels like an overreaction. Konta had a great run in Rabat and played some of the best clay tennis in her career. The problem here is that Riske is not a clay player. What you see above is what she’s done on clay. I would LOVE to fade Konta. She shouldn’t be such a big favorite, but her opponent just isn’t worth backing. This is one of those case where you have to pass on the “value”. Konta should be favored, she’s a better player than Riske, but this is extreme. I just can’t justify supporting Riske in this spot. Hopefully I get to fade Konta next round. Pass.

Victoria Azarenka -340 (1,29) vs Shuai ZhAng +270 (3,70) Total Games 19.5 Spread +/- 5 games

I really don’t understand what’s happening with Azarenka. She does not play on clay very often and when she does, she tends to struggle. Well, except for the past month or so. She beat Karolina Pliskova and Daria Kastakina and even hung with Anett Kontaveit before having to retire. Shuai Zhang is having a similar season, but she’s beating up on inferior competition. This is very similar to the last match. I have no reason for Azarenka to be such a big favorite, but I also have no reason to bet Zhang. Pass.

Saisai ZhEng +300 (4,00) vs Garbiñe Muguruza -380 (1,26) Total Games 19.5 Spread +/- 5.5 games

Betting on or against Muguruza will take years off your life. She has tremendous talent at times and at other times looks like one of the worst players on tour. She’s had some success at this venue having made the semifinals twice in the last 3 years. Zheng has been on fire on the dirt this year. She won a 125K event in Anning only dropping 1 set in the entire tournament. Looking closer though, you can see her wins came against inferior players. She won 5 matches in Anning but faced an average rank of #218. Her performance in Madrid gives me hope though. She beat Yafan Wang & Alize Cornet then she made it to the 3rd set against Sloane Stephens. I can’t talk myself into the moneyline, but 5.5 games is too many especially in Muguruza’s second clay match of the year. Full unit on Zheng +5.5 games.

Sofia Kenin -270 (1,37) vs Jasmine Paolini +220 (3,20) Total Games 20.5 Spread -/+ 4.5 games

I’m really not sure what to make of this line. Kenin, overall, is a very good player, but she has had almost no history of success on clay. She’s never won more than 1 main draw match on clay at the WTA level and she’s a huge favorite in this match. Paoloni is a local wild card and the crowd will be supporting her. She’s a young player, but is very comfortable on the dirt. I think she can win this match and at worst should be able to keep it close. Full unit on +4.5 games and half a unit on Paolini +220 (3,20).

Viktoria Kuzmova -225 (1,44) vs Sara Errani +175 (2,75) Total Games 20 Spread -/+ 4 games

Sara Errani has been using an underhand serve for about a month or so. Not as a gimmick, like Nick Kyrgios does, but as her serve. She’s a professional tennis play who cannot serve overhand. Kuzmova has yet to prove herself on clay, but she can serve overhand. I really don’t know what to do here. Kuzmova’s clay history does not befit a favorite of this price and Errani is playing in front of a home crowd, but she can’t serve. What do you do with that? Pass.

Lesia Tsurenko +145 (2,45) vs Yulia Putintseva -175 (1,57) Total Games 20.5 Spread +/- 3.5 games

Tsurenko’s ranking allows her a spot in the main draw. Without that I don’t think she would be here. She only played 3 clay events last year and only 4 the year before that. Putintseva should win this match, but I’ll wait and see how she does. She’s had a nice season and is generally better on clay. This pricing looks just about right. Pass.

Serena Williams -275 (1,36) vs Rebecca Peterson +200 (3,00) Total Games 20 Spread -/+ 4.5 games

America’s favorite mother makes her return to the tour and her debut on clay. She is the greatest player in the history of the women’s tour. This might actually be a cheap opportunity to bet on her, but given her injury struggles, poor movement during the hard court season, and it being her first match on clay I have to pass.

Tamara Zidansek +120 (2,20) vs Ajla Tomljanovic -160 (1,62) Total Games 20.5

Historically, Zidansek is the better clay player. To add to what you see above, she was 31-5 at lower levels on the dirt. Tomljanovic is a great all around player and has acquitted herself admirably on the clay. I’m not sure she deserves to be favored, but I’m not sure enough to make a move. This should be a fun match. I do like the over here. This should be at least 21, probably 21.5 and there’s a good chance we see 3 sets. Full unit on over 20.5 games.

Amanda Anisimova -1200 (1,08) vs Elisabetta Cocciaretto +700 (8,00) Total Games 18 Spread -/+ 6.5 games

What a lucky loser Anisimova is. She loses to Kiki Mladenovic in qualifying, but instead of having to play Caroline Garcia like Kiki, Amanda gets to be a massive favorite over an 18 year old playing in her first ever WTA event. Tennis is kind of dumb sometimes. Pass.

Madison Keys -180 (1,55) vs Polona Hercog +140 (2,40) Total Games 21 Spread -/+ 3.5 games

I haven an outright on Keys and couldn’t be more upset about the qualifier she drew. Clay is Hercog’s best surface and won the title in Lugano. She has no success at the event, but she is a tough out in any clay match. Keys made the final in 2016 and won 2 matches before having to withdraw at this event last year and she too has a clay title this year. Key is the better all around player. She’s smart, has a strong serve, and moves well. She should win this match and the pricing here is probably correct. Pass.

Anett Kontaveit -370 (1,27) vs Mona Barthel +310 (4,10) Total Games 20 Spread -/+ 5 games

Anett Kontaveit is a great clay player and Mona Barthel is, well, my good friend @Jorgetwtstennis said it best:

Pass.

Recap

Full unit – ZhEng +5.5 games

Full unit – Paolini +4.5 games

Half unit – Paolini +220 (3,20)

Full unit – Zidansek/Tomljanovic over 20.5 games