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Strategy, Commentary, Ramblings & Wagering

Good morning!

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I hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July!

The topic for today is a simple but important one, don’t go all-in on chalk futures. What am I talking about? With the start of Wimbledon I got a bunch of messages from people saying they were going to hammer Djokovic and Swiatek individually as futures bets and parlay the two futures together to win Wimbledon.

Of course both players are the best on paper for the men’s and women’s side. Of course they have the best chance of lifting the trophy (if a match could ever complete at Wimbledon due to the weather). The problem with this strategy is the futures favorite, regardless of sport or event, is usually not a value 98% of the time and often (usually 90% of the time) it’s not just not a value, but a negative value!! People get too sucked into the “nobody will beat Djokovic at Wimbledon” mentality and then feel no matter his price that he is a value because “he will win”. So, Djokovic -175 to win Wimbledon is a “value” because these folks have him as a -900 favorite to win Wimbledon. Same “math” can be used when analyzing Swiatek.

Yes, Djokovic or Swiatek are going to be tough to get out of the tournament, but it’s hardly a lock. Swiatek has some health issues and Djokovic could have some fatigue issues given his recent run in the French Open and his age. Not to mention, all it takes is a bad twist of an angle or pulling a back muscle to lead to a retirement and those locks are worthless.

However, when someone is not a value or even a negative value, smart bettors will recognize that it means the market will be creating other values deeper in the pools. Finding those values is the real professional strategy for futures markets. Let the Joe’s press on Joker and Iga, while pro’s will look to bet a 20-1 shot that should be 15-1. It is likely that 20-1 price is due to the overabundance of money on the chalks. Sure, the 20-1 doesn’t have as good a chance of winning as the -165 Joker price, but there will be those tournaments (regularly) where the chalk falls. It’s much better to hold a losing ticket you got 20-1 when it should have been 15-1 than holding a losing ticket of -175 that should have been +200. The Joe’s might cash the ticket, but over time they will be burning money!

So, when you assess futures, except in VERY RARE scenarios…avoid the first and second chalks in the pool. Just throw them right out and begin to assess the remaining wagers. Yes, the chalks will win from time to time, but they will not win regularly enough for you to turn a profit. It’s might better to go 0-2 on futures and cash a nice +1500 for +15 units to make it all worthwhile…than betting Joker -175 every tournament and going 1-1 and losing money.

In terms of early sharp buying, we have buys on LA Sparks -1.5, Baltimore/NY Yankees UN9.5 (-110) and Atlanta/Cleveland UN10. There were also buys on Boston and Seattle/San Francisco OV8 (-120) as you saw on the Cutting Room Floor.

That’ll do it for me today. I hope you have a wonderful day and good luck in your action!