Serena Williams has come in as the favorite to win the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships.
Serena Williams has played the best tennis over the last year when Grand Slams are looked at. However her odds appear to be too short when the talent of the entire field of the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships is taken into consideration. Finding the players to throw out of the mix and isolating a talented pick who has been underrated in the odds is the key to suceeding when making your tennis picks in the futures market.
Here are the odds with Stan James as of 7:30am ET on Monday October 26th (they are likely to change, so check with Stan James for updates):
Serena Williams, +175 (7/4)
Jelena Jankovic, +450 (9/2)
Venus Williams, +750 (15/2)
Elena Dementieva, +750 (15/2)
Svetlana Kuznetsova, +750 (15/2)
Dinara Safina, +900 (9/1)
Caroline Wozniacki, +1000 (10/1)
Victoria Azarenka, +1200 (12/1)
The field of 8 will be divided into two groups: Safina, Wozniacki, Azarenka, and Jankovic comprise one group and S. Williams, Kuznetsova, Dementieva, and V. Williams comprise the other group.
When making your pick for the winner you should immediately throw out Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki in this event.
Wozniacki might get some nods because she made the final of the US Open but remember how weak and even lucky her draw to the final was, Kuznetsova aside. Also Wozniacki has fallen to some non-Doha calibre competition leading up to the Championships, so there's no need to touch her, even at long odds.
Azarenka has been rising in the rankings as well but that is partly because Venus Williams has been falling. The last time Azarenka did anything significant on tour was back at Wimbledon where she made the quarterfinals. Since then she has exited pretty early in the draw in all events that she has entered except for Tokyo, but even that event was only a quarterfinal result (loss to Na Li). Azarenka is not tempting at +1200 (12/1) at all as she is much more of a longshot than that.
With the two groups being the way they are and with the odds being set as they are you would be smart to bet against Serena Williams. While she is the best player in the world at the moment, her odds are too short against this talented field.
If you are looking for the value then Kuznetsova, the third ranked player in the world, is where it is. She took down the title in Beijing to capture 1000 ranking points and over three quarters of a million dollars. She's priced to sell at +750 (15/2) and no serious sports bettor would turn that price down and it should be shortening quite quickly.
She is our recommendation as the most valuable pick in this field of 8 and if she can best Serena Williams in the round robin, she should be the favorite in the final.
Go to Stan James to bet on WTA tennis.