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Given current odds at the Betfair market - who is the best play?

  • Nadal at 38 % win chance.

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Djokovic at 27 % win chance.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Thiem at 15 % win chance.

    Votes: 7 38.9%
  • Federer at 4.5 % win chance.

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • Zverev at 2.5 % win chance.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Medvedev at 2.5 % win chance.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None in particular - the odds are pretty balanced.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    18
  • Poll closed .
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I often have mentioned previously, Betfair is a market without bookies (betters against betters) and reflects the current opinion of betters weighted in proportion to their respective wallet. It usually gives reasonable odds, but there is certainly room for different opinions. I will write a few words about each of the betting favorites making up the poll, and then you are welcome to offer a different perspective.

Nadal: The two losses against Fognini and Thiem has lowered his favorite status somewhat. After Djokovic and Thiem's losses in MC, but before Nadal's loss against Fognini, the market gave Nadal something like 52 % win chance if I remember correctly. Nadal seemed worried after the Fognini loss, but is more content with his game now, pointing out that Thiem played a great match. If his game evolves in the right direction without Djokovic picking up his form, Nadal may return to being the overwhelming favorite - over 50 % win chance. As of now - I think 38 % is reasonable.

Djokovic: We haven't seen a lot of him since the clay season started. If he manages to find his game in time before RG, most of us know how well he can play. After all, he hasn't won the last three slams for nothing. But does he still have it in him? It is easy to make jokes about Pepe being seen in his box in MC, but the fact is that he hasn't seemed very motivated of late. Personally, I'm not convinced Djokovic will recover his game in time and therefore I think 27 % is slightly overrating his chances. Of course, he may very well prove me wrong already in Madrid.

Thiem: With the match against Nadal in fresh memory, maybe I am suffering from recency bias when I say the Austrian is slightly underrated at 15 %. Perhaps he has peaked too early? Actually, I don't think so. Thiem has a semi, semi, final in his three last RG:s, so in spite of the ambitious clay scheduling, he has not run out of steam previous years. Two things lower his chances though: Firstly, his track record with 4 clay wins against Rafa is truly impressive, but so far Philip Chartier has been another matter. Secondly, if Djokovic finds his form in time, most likely Thiem will have to beat both the top seeds. Still, as I said, I think 15 % is slightly underrated.

Federer: With his results so far this season, he seems to keep father time at bay. Still, I think 4.5 % is a bit overrated. He pointed out himself that his long break from the dirt has made him forget how to slide. I can see him make a couple of decent matches during the clay swing, but I am not sure he should be the number four favorite as the current odds suggest.

Zverev: His current slump makes you forget how good he was in Madrid and Rome last year. Also, his lack of success at the slam level makes it hard to think he would recover his game at RG of all places. Thus, even if Zverev would find his form in Madrid or Rome, still his chances at RG could be questioned. As of now, 2.5 % seems about right.

Medvedev: Before his results in MC and Barcelona, I had a hard time seeing the Russian making it on clay. His flat strokes don't seem well suited for the dirt. After his success in MC, and also his match against Nishikori, I have to admit I am wrong. Medvedev has the important ability to change his game plan depending on the opponent, serves well, and seems to be improving all the time. Of course, he is not among the top favorites, but, as far as I can see, his chances are better than the current 2.5 % given by Betfair.

Please, come with your own suggestions who is overrated or underrated by the betting market. And maybe you want to put forward a name that isn't among the top favorites among the betters? All input is welcome.

Note: The odds of the Poll were from before the Barcelona final. Courtesy of zzzyyy, the updated values before the Madrid final is as follows:

Nadal - 35%
Djokovic - 28%
Thiem - 15%
Federer - 5%
Tsitipas - 5%
Zverev - 3%
Wawrinka - 2%
Medvedev - 1%
Fognini - 1%
Monfils - 1%
Nishikori - 1%
 

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As I often have mentioned previously, Betfair is a market without bookies (betters against betters) and reflects the current opinion of betters weighted in proportion to their respective wallet. It usually gives reasonable odds, but there is certainly room for different opinions. I will write a few words about each of the betting favorites making up the poll, and then you are welcome to offer a different perspective.

Nadal: The two losses against Fognini and Thiem has lowered his favorite status somewhat. After Djokovic and Thiem's losses in MC, but before Nadal's loss against Fognini, the market gave Nadal something like 52 % win chance if I remember correctly. Nadal seemed worried after the Fognini loss, but is more content with his game now, pointing out that Thiem played a great match. If his game evolves in the right direction without Djokovic picking up his form, Nadal may return to being the overwhelming favorite - over 50 % win chance. As of now - I think 38 % is reasonable.

Djokovic: We haven't seen a lot of him since the clay season started. If he manages to find his game in time before RG, most of us know how well he can play. After all, he hasn't won the last three slams for nothing. But does he still have it in him? It is easy to make jokes about Pepe being seen in his box in MC, but the fact is that he hasn't seemed very motivated of late. Personally, I'm not convinced Djokovic will recover his game in time and therefore I think 27 % is slightly overrating his chances. Of course, he may very well prove me wrong already in Madrid.

Thiem: With the match against Nadal in fresh memory, maybe I am suffering from recency bias when I say the Austrian is slightly underrated at 15 %. Perhaps he has peaked too early? Actually, I don't think so. Thiem has a semi, semi, final in his three last RG:s, so in spite of the ambitious clay scheduling, he has not run out of steam previous years. Two things lower his chances though: Firstly, his track record with 4 clay wins against Rafa is truly impressive, but so far Philip Chartier has been another matter. Secondly, if Djokovic finds his form in time, most likely Thiem will have to beat both the top seeds. Still, as I said, I think 15 % is slightly underrated.

Federer: With his results so far this season, he seems to keep father time at bay. Still, I think 4.5 % is a bit overrated. He pointed out himself that his long break from the dirt has made him forget how to slide. I can see him make a couple of decent matches during the clay swing, but I am not sure he should be the number four favorite as the current odds suggest.

Zverev: His current slump makes you forget how good he was in Madrid and Rome last year. Also, his lack of success at the slam level makes it hard to think he would recover his game at RG of all places. And even if Zverev would find his form in Madrid or Rome, still his chances at RG could be questioned. As of now, 2.5 % seems about right.

Medvedev: Before his results in Barcelona, I had a hard time seeing the Russian making it on clay. His flat strokes don't seem well suited for the dirt. After his success in MC, and also his match against Nishikori, I have to admit I am wrong. Medvedev has the important ability to change his game plan depending on the opponent, serves well, and seems to be improving all the time. Of course, he is not among the top favorites, but, as far as I can see, his chances are better than the current 2.5 % given by Betfair.

Please, come with your own suggestions who is overrated or underrated by the betting market. And maybe you want to put forward a name that isn't among the top favorites among the betters? All input is welcome.
Don't really get that % thing. I want numbers. I want stone cold financial calculations

Current odds as of 330 am (US Eastern Coast) on 4/28/19:

Nadal- 2.6
Djokovic- 3.55
Thiem- 6.4
Federer- 22
Medvedev- 36
Zverev- 36
Tsitsipas- 50
Wawrinka- 50
Fognini- 55
Coric- 55
Nishikori- 60

So we see several things here. The market has no faith in Fognini. As do I. Judging by history, Fog will make QF at most in Madrid/Rome/RG

Coric, Nishikori, Wawrinka, Tsitsipas, These guys appear to me as QFists at RG, at most. Zverev I can see losing before R16. Federer clearly would be happy getting a few matches in, winning some points to protect his seedings the rest of the year, stay in shape and match tough, and get to the grass in one piece.

So for me, the only 4 realistic champions I see are Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem, and Medvedev. His endurance and mental toughness alone should get to QF/SF at RG imo. Perhaps he is not ready for the moment this year already, but I can see him making a SF for sure.

Betting on Nadal at 2.6, I can see great value if it was over 3 but I don't know. I am much more optimistic of his RG chances now than 1 week ago. And I expect him to continue to improve. Usually by Madrid and Rome we are wanting Rafa to slow it down before RG. This year he really needs to win at least 1 of them. If Nadal's number continues to fade, there may be some value on him, but I expect that 2.6 may not move much, or if anything will shorten

Djokovic at 3.55, I mean, we have not seen the real Djokovic since Australia. He has shown nothing in IW/Miami/MC, so we will see. Now Pepe is in the group again and that is never a good thing. Definitely flying under the radar especially since we just have no information. Let's see how he does in Madrid

Which leaves us with Thiem. I am one that likes to see hard work rewarded. I am one who likes to see a challenger work and work and work and succeed and fail and succeed and fail until FINALLY he reaches his ultimate goal. Thiem more than fits this description, and if anyone is to win RG other than RAFA, then I think Thiem is the most deserving. His fitness is great for 7 matches in a row, his power game is such that he can get through early rounds quicker and save energy, he has confidence that he can beat anybody, and the tennis gods are on his side, in my opinion. He has done the hard work, he deserves the reward. At 6.4, you can throw a little cash on him and feel good about it regardless
 

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Is there a reason Stan isn't listed? If he's fit to play then he should at least be on equal terms with Federer and Zverev imo. And I can't really see Medvedev being a factor with his still questionable fitness. Otherwise I think this is a really fantastic analysis.
 

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Think Thiem is ready. He seems to be the type of guy that needs to experience things once or twice before he achieves them. He didn’t win his first masters final, first slam semi etc. He’s clearly got the game and pedigree.

Two problems. 1) would still fancy Dull to beat him if it comes down to clutching it out in a five setter. 2) Djokovic could be playing possum and it’s absolutely certain he’ll be in that half of the draw. If he can’t pass Zverev in rankings before RG he could potentially have a tough draw.

Djokovic is an unknown for me. Either he’s not really bothered about anything except slams at the moment or he’s fallen away. I would expect he will need at least one deep run at one of the masters to get the match practice but who knows?

Think Dull is about right price. History dictates that he’ll probably win. If Djokovic was showing a bit more then I’d have it close between them. Throw in Thiem as a more credible threat and you can see why the odds on Dull are as they are.


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Is there a reason Stan isn't listed? If he's fit to play then he should at least be on equal terms with Federer and Zverev imo. And I can't really see Medvedev being a factor with his still questionable fitness. Otherwise I think this is a really fantastic analysis.
You have questions about Medvedev's fitness?

I've never seen such a big guy have such endurance. Never seen such a big guy look so calm and composed and content to rally with a known baseliner as the rallies get to 30-40+ shots
 

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Don't really get that % thing. I want numbers. I want stone cold financial calculations

Current odds as of 330 am (US Eastern Coast) on 4/28/19:

Nadal- 2.6
Djokovic- 3.55
Thiem- 6.4
Federer- 22
Medvedev- 36
Zverev- 36
Tsitsipas- 50
Wawrinka- 50
Fognini- 55
Coric- 55
Nishikori- 60

So we see several things here. The market has no faith in Fognini. As do I. Judging by history, Fog will make QF at most in Madrid/Rome/RG

Coric, Nishikori, Wawrinka, Tsitsipas, These guys appear to me as QFists at RG, at most. Zverev I can see losing before R16. Federer clearly would be happy getting a few matches in, winning some points to protect his seedings the rest of the year, stay in shape and match tough, and get to the grass in one piece.

So for me, the only 4 realistic champions I see are Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem, and Medvedev. His endurance and mental toughness alone should get to QF/SF at RG imo. Perhaps he is not ready for the moment this year already, but I can see him making a SF for sure.

Betting on Nadal at 2.6, I can see great value if it was over 3 but I don't know. I am much more optimistic of his RG chances now than 1 week ago. And I expect him to continue to improve. Usually by Madrid and Rome we are wanting Rafa to slow it down before RG. This year he really needs to win at least 1 of them. If Nadal's number continues to fade, there may be some value on him, but I expect that 2.6 may not move much, or if anything will shorten

Djokovic at 3.55, I mean, we have not seen the real Djokovic since Australia. He has shown nothing in IW/Miami/MC, so we will see. Now Pepe is in the group again and that is never a good thing. Definitely flying under the radar especially since we just have no information. Let's see how he does in Madrid

Which leaves us with Thiem. I am one that likes to see hard work rewarded. I am one who likes to see a challenger work and work and work and succeed and fail and succeed and fail until FINALLY he reaches his ultimate goal. Thiem more than fits this description, and if anyone is to win RG other than RAFA, then I think Thiem is the most deserving. His fitness is great for 7 matches in a row, his power game is such that he can get through early rounds quicker and save energy, he has confidence that he can beat anybody, and the tennis gods are on his side, in my opinion. He has done the hard work, he deserves the reward. At 6.4, you can throw a little cash on him and feel good about it regardless
Superb post, especially the final paragraph with one caveat. Thiem deserves the reward at Roland Garros if he continues to do the hard work, but not overplay and arrive dead at RG. Winning Barcelona or even one of the clay masters is one thing, but a major is a different beast. If he learns, or has learned to pace himself properly in majors, then of course he has a big chance. Time will tell us for sure, but now Thiem looks like he is the best of the #LostGen group.

Respectfully,
masterclass
 

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Is there a reason Stan isn't listed? If he's fit to play then he should at least be on equal terms with Federer and Zverev imo. And I can't really see Medvedev being a factor with his still questionable fitness. Otherwise I think this is a really fantastic analysis.
You have questions about Medvedev's fitness?

I've never seen such a big guy have such endurance. Never seen such a big guy look so calm and composed and content to rally with a known baseliner as the rallies get to 30-40+ shots
@paca is right, look what happened to Meddy in AO vs Djokovic since 3rd set - he ran out of gas and lost a fitness contest vs a guy who is 8 years older.
 

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Superb post, especially the final paragraph with one caveat. Thiem deserves the reward at Roland Garros if he continues to do the hard work, but not overplay and arrive dead at RG. Winning Barcelona or even one of the clay masters is one thing, but a major is a different beast. If he learns, or has learned to pace himself properly in majors, then of course he has a big chance. Time will tell us for sure, but now Thiem looks like he is the best of the #LostGen group.

Respectfully,
masterclass
I think Olympic Gold Medalist Coach Nicolas Massu has made a big impact on Thiem this year. No longer does he play every single event as he did in the past. He peaks for the big ones now. He just seems like the heir apparent to me if it is not going to be Nadal or Djokovic

@paca is right, look what happened to Meddy in AO vs Djokovic since 3rd set - he ran out of gas and lost a fitness contest vs a guy who is 8 years older.
Well he is much better I think since AO, and Djokovic is much worse. Just look at Monte-Carlo. I know only 3 not 5 sets but I would not be surprised to see Daniil winning with endurance at RG. He is someone who needs to make sure he wins easy first couple rounds. He does not have the kamikaze power of Thiem
 

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Best value? I'd risk 20 on Roger and Stan at their current high odds. One doesn't have to bet much on these French Open champions to get a high return.
10 on long shot Fognini. He's a Masters champion now. IF he can keep his head he has the talent to win RG, but fitness is a concern.

Novak hasn't done anything since the AO - sucker bet at those odds.

Clay warrior still seems scared and nervous, no matter how he plays up his overall performance yesterday.
His serve was very nervy, and he couldn't break Thiem. You can't win if you can't break. He'll need to make the Rome final, preferably win to bet on him at those low odds.
BTW, I'm still not happy with clay warrior.

Thiem has to be careful of peaking to soon and overplaying, but otherwise, not a bad play at this time.

Can Rafa's Dr. Cotorro have Delpo's knee regenerated, rehabilitated and ready in time to be a factor? We will see. But a big performance at the US Open seems a more realistic target.

Respectfully,
masterclass
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Don't really get that % thing. I want numbers. I want stone cold financial calculations

Current odds as of 330 am (US Eastern Coast) on 4/28/19:

Nadal- 2.6
Djokovic- 3.55
Thiem- 6.4
Federer- 22
Medvedev- 36
Zverev- 36
Tsitsipas- 50
Wawrinka- 50
Fognini- 55
Coric- 55
Nishikori- 60
Basically, the numbers you list here are consistent with the probabilities I gave. A simple way to convert an odds to an estimated probability is like this:

Estimated win percentage for Nadal: = (1/2.6) = 0.384 (= 38 % rounded to two digits)

Estimated win percentage for Djokovic: = (1/3.55) = 0.282 (= 28 % with two digits, close to the 27 % I had)

Estimated win percentage for Zverev: = (1/3.6)= 0.278 (roughly the same as my 2.5 %)

If the odds come from a bookie that wants some margin, a calculation like the one above is slightly misleading.

Actually, I have done a slightly more advanced calculation, taking into account also the odds one gets when playing against a certain player (for example, betting on any winner but Nadal). The effect on the outcome from these adjustments has been fairly small though, so the simple conversion made above works fine for the sake of the discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Is there a reason Stan isn't listed? If he's fit to play then he should at least be on equal terms with Federer and Zverev imo. And I can't really see Medvedev being a factor with his still questionable fitness. Otherwise I think this is a really fantastic analysis.
Thank you for your kind words. I really like Stan's game, and from what I have seen this season, he can still play great. The problem for him now is to do it for an extended period of time.

I guess it could come at any moment, or, sadly, except perhaps for a few occasional glimpses, we have seen the last of Stanimal. Current Betfair odds give him slightly less than 2 % win chance, so he is not far behind the ones I listed. If he makes a really good result before the French, I can imagine his estimated chances sky-rocketing since very few people questions his peak level.
 

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Wawrinka below Zverev, Medvedev and Federer is a joke. Should be ranked 4th after DJ, Ralph and Thiem. Giving Medvedev any winning chances is beyond absurd to me, he is a poor mans Zverev on that surface in almost every department. Gamewise and physically.

DJ: 35%
Ralph: 30%
Thiem: 25%
Stan: 9%
Rest: 1%
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Best value? I'd risk 20 on Roger and Stan at their current high odds. One doesn't have to bet much on these French Open champions to get a high return.
I have converted the odds into "an estimated win percentage chance" by the betting market. However, the perfectly reasonable argument that I am quoting here shows that this is a bit questionable. If all betters aim for nothing but maximizing the expectancy value of the return (in relation to the input), it makes sense to argue that the odds indeed reflect the estimated probabilities by the betters. That the betters sometimes can be badly informed, resulting in questionable odds (and thereby estimated win probabilities), is another matter.

However, for a recreational better, not trying to make a living, it makes more sense to put small money on a dark horse, instead of betting heavily on one of the top favorites. Thus a player like Gael Monfils having an estimated win chance of 0.8 % for RG (if I use the same conversion algorithm for him as for the others) does not mean that individuals making the bet really thinks his chances are that good. I guess it just means that the betters are willing to throw away a bit of money for the fun of having some skin in the game. I'm not trying to offend Gael by using him as an example here (he can be fun to watch), but there is no way he has a chance that high, and I don't imagine people betting on him think so either.
 

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This RG is going to be very difficult to predict, especially before seeing Roger play in Madrid.

Of course we have now seen Rafa get outplayed thoroughly in two straight tourneys, but beating him over 5 sets at RG is a whole other beast.

He is definitely still the favourite, but I anticipate unless he has incredibly strong performances over the next two Masters, he will be 3.00 or over on the odds. Thiem's odds should shorten after this week and anything over 6 is a good play.

Medvedev and Nishikori definitely have value at such long odds as I would say they are in the top 10 of current claycourters and beat Nole, Federer and have a decent shot against Nadal (probably 20-30% depending on the circumstances).
 

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I don't gamble so I don't quite understand what the payout would be at those odds, but I do understand that at 15% Thiem is the most undervalued. So Thiem is the best bet.

I will be astonished if Thiem can still play like this after several weeks of playing. But perhaps his level will drop then rise again? Rafa's level always rises for RG. Djok? Somehow, I am not worried about him, that is, worried that he can beat Rafa at RG. not in the slightest, actually.

As a Rafa devotee who also likes Thiem ALOT, I had been kind of dreading the day Thiem could take out Rafa so easily, and it arrived.
He is much better than last year, when Rafa clobbered him at RG. He doesn't seem to overhit anymore, that was his big pitfall and it's gone.

Sooner or later Thiem has to get injured. That's another thing.

Big questions this year on clay that were not big questions for the past two years.
 

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Federer. I consider him an underdog against Nadal and Djokovic ONLY. He will gain form in the first few rounds and relearn "how to slide" and anything else required to perform on clay. Thiem is just a streaky player who might not even get there, and I would still consider Fed the favorite in that match.
Right. Thiem just beat Fed on HC, (his advantage over Fed increases on clay) and Fed has not been great at slams lately anyway, and has not played clay in a long time.

Fed is def not the fav against Thiem on clay, BO5 or 3.
 

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Odds honestly seem about right to me. Best bet is probably Wawrinka (though he could crash out 1R easily as well). And think maybe Thiem still has value too.

Aside from his poor groundstrokes, Nadal looks way slower than he ever has before, and both Fognini and Thiem have exploited his court position in a way we haven't really seen before on clay because of this. Have doubts his speed is going to get drastically better in the next month.

Who knows what Djokovic is doing? Probably about right given how dominant he's been at Slams+how unconvincing he's been post AO

Federer might be a little high. Wouldn't be too shocked if this is more of a clay farewell tour than a serious push to win, but we'll see.

Zverev at 2.5% seems low but maybe right given that he, someone who sucks at Slams as is, would need something like a historic turnaround of his season so far to win.
 
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