Shane Lambert looks ahead to Wimbledon and he thinks Rafa Nadal looks a decent each way bet at 20/1.
Rafael Nadal is considered the best clay-court tennis player of all time. However, let's not forget one thing as the summer Grand Slams loom: when Nadal is playing his best or near his best then he is a threat for all surfaces. The Spaniard has a title from the Aussie, he has two from Flushing Meadows, and he has a couple from Wimbledon.
In regard to the quickly-approaching event at Roland Garros, Nadal is currently the 2nd favourite at 3 to 1 with BetVictor. However, I want to highlight Nadal's Wimbledon odds, even though most people are probably focusing on the clay-court season right now. After all, when it comes to futures betting in sports, you have to try and stay a little ahead of everyone else.
Wimbledon is still about 6 weeks from starting, the tournament running from June 27th to July 10th this season. Importantly, this year, unlike many years from the past, there will be three week's rest between the French Open and Wimbledon. It's true that it was like that last year, but unlike last year Nadal heads into the summer playing really well. I think that combination of extra rest between Slams and Nadal's form makes him particularly dangerous at Wimbledon 2016.
In 2014, 2013, and 2012 Nadal won titles at the French Open and then had little time to prepare for Wimbledon - time that he needs now that he is late-career. I think the lack of rest was the major reason why he suffered bad losses in all those seasons at the All England Club.
This season, not only is Nadal playing excellent tennis heading into the late spring (unlike last year), but the three-week gap is to his advantage. If Nadal is in the late rounds at Roland Garros, he won't have to scramble to get grass-court matches in before Wimbledon. This will enable him to prepare better for the event and should bolster his chances of erasing the bad memories at the All England Club from the last four seasons.
Looking at Wimbledon futures, Djokovic is the favourite but he is a shorter-than-even favourite. That makes him tough to pick and Andy Murray is tough to pick at 4/1 (bet365) given that the Scot has just two Grand Slams in his career.
Roger Federer at 6/1 (bet365) is looking increasingly like a bad pick given his recent health problems and limited action. The more I think about Federer, the more I want odds of 25/1 for Wimbledon, odds that aren't available.
Milos Raonic is in among the favourites at 20/1 with William Hill, but these tall guys can't take the full two weeks that it takes to win a major. Something usually goes wrong with their bodies and we saw that with Raonic in Melbourne Park where Murray still had it going on late in their semi-final match as Raonic drifted.
Nadal at 20/1 is all that I can see is this market that looks like clear value. Bet365 have the line available at 1/2 odds for a 1-2 finish. For true odds, I think I would put Nadal more in the 5 to 1 to 7 to 1 range at this point.
2-pt bet on Nadal to win Wimbledon at 20 to 1 each way (1/2 odds, 1-2)