Highlights

  • Wimbledon starts Monday at 6:30 a.m. ET.
  • Roger Federer (+200) is the betting favorite to win his ninth Wimbledon title and 21st Slam.
  • The Big 4 (Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) will compete at the same Slam for the first time since last Wimbledon.

Ah, The Championships, Wimbledon. The most prestigious Grand Slam on the tennis calendar.

Fifteen years after his first career Slam win, Roger Federer (+200) finds himself as the outright favorite to win Wimbledon once again. Roger did look semi-human on the grass last week in Halle, where he lost in the final to young up-and-comer Borna Coric. However, he did capture the title in Stuttgart in the week prior, beating Nick Kyrgios and Milos Raonic along the way. So Roger will come in full of confidence in search of his ninth Wimbledon title.

Novak Djokovic (+600) comes in as the second-biggest favorite. I gotta admit, the Serbian looked really impressive at Queen’s Club despite losing in the final against Marin Cilic. Djokovic had control of that match before double-faulting his mini-break lead away in the second-set breaker. That ultimately swung the momentum of the match toward Cilic, who pulled it out in three.

 

For the first time in a while, Novak actually showed signs of his trademark “Gumby defense.” If he can raise his level just a tad, he could certainly contend for his fourth career Wimbledon title.

On the periphery, don’t rule out last year’s finalist, Marin Cilic, to make another deep run — especially after his performance at Queen’s Club. Cilic (+700) is one of only two men (Federer) to make the Wimbledon R16 in each of the past three years.

I also think Rafa holds some value at +800, as his form and favorable draw may allow him to conjure up some of that magic from his 2008 run here. Most “tennis people” are looking past Rafa, due to the surface. Sure, Rafa’s game is not most suited for a grass court, but he’ll still be a tough out. At a price of 8-1 for a confident Rafa, prospective bettors should certainly put some “respek on his name.”

Seed Money

For your futures and daily betting throughout the Wimbledon, we created the following wagering reference chart that I think you’ll find useful. Names highlighted in green have won an ATP title on grass.

Wimbledon


Let’s now cover a few key nuggets to keep in mind ahead of this year’s third Slam before closing out with thoughts on the futures market.

Wimbledon R16 Each of Past 3 Years

  • Roger Federer
  • Marin Cilic

Wimbledon Semis Since 2015

(Past champions in bold)

  • Roger Federer (2015-2017)
  • Tomas Berdych (2016-2017)
  • Marin Cilic (2017)
  • Sam Querrey (2017)
  • Andy Murray (2015-2016)
  • Milos Raonic (2016)
  • Novak Djokovic (2015)
  • Richard Gasquet (2015)

2018 Unseeded Players to Make Wimbledon QF

  • Andy Murray (2008-13, 2015, 2016)
  • Marcos Baghdatis (2006-08)
  • David Ferrer (2012-13)
  • Feli Lopez (2005, 2008)
  • Stan Wawrinka (2014-15)
  • Florian Mayer (2004, 2012)
  • Gilles Simon (2015)
  • Bernard Tomic (2011)
  • Vasek Pospisil (2015)
  • Mikhail Youzhny (2012)
  • Ivo Karlovic (2009)
  • Gilles Muller (2017)

2018 Grass Tournament Winners

  • Roger Federer (Stuttgart)
  • Richard Gasquet (‘s-Hertogenbosch)
  • Marin Cilic (Queen’s Club)
  • Borna Coric (Halle)
  • Adrian Mannarino or Damir Dzumhur (Antalya)
  • Lukas Lacko or Mischa Zverev (Eastbourne)

Federer Grass Losses Since 2015

  • Borna Coric (Halle, 2018)
  • Tommy Haas (Stuttgart, 2017)
  • Milos Raonic (Wimbledon, 2016)
  • Sascha Zverev (Halle, 2016)
  • Domi Thiem (Stuttgart, 2016)
  • Novak Djokovic (Wimbledon, 2015)

Withdrawals

  • Andrey Rublev
  • Roberta Bautista-Agut
  • Victor Troicki
  • Hyeon Chung
  • Pablo Andujar

Injury Concerns

  • Andy Murray (hip)
  • Milos Raonic (shoulder)
  • Filip Krajinovic (achilles)
  • Sascha Zverev (quad)

Futures Lounge

Pick to Win: Rafa Nadal (8-1)

Dark Horses: John Isner (100-1) and Kevin Anderson (50-1)

Projected Semifinals: Federer vs. Isner, Nadal vs. Djokovic

I like Rafa’s chances of winning his second Wimbledon. The field’s pretty weak outside of Federer — who, himself, has looked a step or two slower of late. I think Nadal’s overall tennis level is higher than anyone on the planet right now, and he put the work in on the grass courts in Mallorca.

If Rafa can get through the first week (mainly by avoiding a big server), the tournament will play more to his strengths — as the grass wears down and the court slows up. With seeded players Marco Cecchinato, Fabio Fognini and Diego Schwartzman in his 1/8th of the draw, it looks like Rafa will finally make it past the fourth round for the first time since 2011.

I think Nadal deserves a dice roll at anything better than 5-1.

For insights into other contenders and draws, stay tuned for our individual quarter previews over the next two days.

 

Around the Office

Scott Miller: Roger Federer 2-1
Stuckey: Nick Kyrgios 18-1
Connor Nolte: Roger Federer 2-1
Evan Abrams: Marin Cilic 7-1
Gill Gross: Roger Federer 2-1

All odds via 5dimes as of 3:30 a.m. ET on Saturday 


More Wimbledon Betting Coverage

Credit:

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Follow Daniel J. Scotti on Twitter
@scottipippen