Best bets at Wimbledon

Is Novak Djokovic a good value at +135? Plus, long shots and prop bets

Updated: June 23, 2013, 3:58 PM ET
By Alf Musketa | ESPN Insider

Novak DjokovicJulian Finney/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic, who last won Wimbledon in 2011, is the tournament favorite this week.

The Championships at Wimbledon begin on Monday and concludes Sunday, July 7 at the All England Club in London's Borough of Merton. This major tournament is played exclusively on grass and, believe it or not, was the very first surface that the game of tennis was competed on.

We love betting on Wimbledon for many reasons, the main one being that the sportsbooks will offer so much more compared to other tennis events in terms of props, over-under game totals, sets betting, adjusted tournament odds and live betting. Future book odds have been available since the close of the last major, the French Open, but Round 1 matchups are not determined until the week before the event.

Handicapping a tennis tournament starts with observing the draws and identifying court surface specialists, and for this article we are going to concentrate only on the Men's Singles draw. The seeds have been set and somehow through the wonders of the ATP points system and ATP rankings, the French Open winner and two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal is the No. 5 seed while David Ferrer, who just lost to Nadal in the French Open Final and who has never won a major title, is the No. 4 seed. And thus the bottom half of the men's bracket has three of the "Big Four" and is the talk of the event to date.

The Big Four is World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Andy Murray, No. 3 Roger Federer and No. 5 Nadal. One of these four players should win Wimbledon. In fact, the combo of these four players is -350 versus the rest of the field where as no individual player has odds of less than +135.

Let's take a look at the Big Four and a couple of longshot value bets that may have a chance to win. (Odds courtesy of Pinnacle Sports)


Contenders

Novak Djokovic (+135)

Bet $100 to win on Djokovic, and if he wins you'll collect $235 for a profit of $135. He is the top seed and obvious choice to win because no one has been more consistent in the majors for the past three years, winning five times and a being runner-up twice. He won Wimbledon in 2011 and lost in the semi-finals to Federer last season. His speed on the court is second to none and on grass -- which is at least three times faster than clay -- his baseline game and coverage will wear down opponents.

His particular half of the tournament bracket looks like a breeze compared to the rest of the Big Four. He won't be tested until the quarterfinal meeting against perhaps Tomas Berdych (13-2 head-to-head record versus Berdych) or the semis against Ferrer, who he also dominates with a 12-5 record. I predict Djokovic to have clear sailing to the finals and be tested and rested less than the other three, and that's why he's the betting favorite.

Alf Musketa

ESPN Insider
Alf Musketa has been a professional handicapper in Las Vegas for over 25 years. While he handicaps football, basketball, tennis and UFC, he specializes in golf -- most notably head-to-head matchups.