UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
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2018 Australian Open Futures Betting Lines Picks
Men's Australian Open 2018 - Outright Winner
I’m not sure there’s ever been more intrigue going into an ATP season as there is going into 2018. It’s no country for young men, with the top players in the world being over the age of 30, but Denis Shapovalov is lurking in the shadows, ready to kill a king. 2017 saw Rafael Nadal regain the world’s number one ranking for the first time since 2014. It also saw the ageless wonder Roger Federer win two big-ticket events and put himself in the #2 spot.
What does the 2018 season hold?
It was the summer of Shapovalov. He electrified his countrymen with a grand showing at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and became the youngest player to ever reach an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinals. He’s 18 by the way. He still cannot even legally drink in Ontario, but he’s old enough to break the top 50 on the ATP tour, which he did in October.
He’s breaking “Youngest player ever to ___” records all over the world. And he’s beat such top players as Rafael Nadal. So this kid is for real, and quite possibly poised to be the Jordan Spieth of tennis. However, he is missing that single breakout win that catapults him into superstardom.
This was a renaissance for Federer.
At age 36, he straight up flipped off Father Time, had his best year since 2007 and the Australian Open. Then he won Wimbledon without losing a single set. Yeah, he’s looked insanely good, but you don’t know if this an Agassi-like second act for his career, or his last hurrah.
He will go into the Australian Open as the defending champion and the odds-on favorite to win it again, just slightly ahead of his arch nemesis Rafael Nadal (we’ll get to him). He’s won the damn thing 5 times and needs one more win to tie Novak Djokovic (we’ll get to him too) and Roy Emerson with six titles.
The world’s number #1 is oddly not the favorite to win it all. Even though he’s coming off a 2017 that saw him win the French Open, the US Open and runner-up to Roger in the Australian last year.
At age 31, you have to figure the next 3-4 years will be peak Nadal (scary). His physical skills are aligned with his experience, his maturity, and his mental game. I’m picking him to win this event and at least one more major on the year.
And then there’s Djokovic.
How you gonna bet against a man who’s won this event 6 times in less than 10 years?
2017 was not his year, at all. First of all, he was upset at the Australian Open by… no. 117 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Yeah, that sucked. It was the first time since 2007 he failed to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. It was also the first time he had lost to a player ranked outside of the top 100 in a Grand Slam tournament. Ouch.
He also struggled with injuries all year and eventually fired his coach. He did replace him with, none other than Andre Agassi. Nobody had a better career in their 30s than Dre. I like Djokovic coming back strong in 2018.
In November of 2016 Murray was ranked #1 in the world.
In November 2017, he was ranked #16. Whuh-happened?
2017 was an injury-plagued year that he would very much like to forget. He didn’t really make waves anywhere all year long and struggled with elbow problems, among other injuries. He will have to come into the Aussie Open fresh and healthy if he finally wants to swap the bridesmaid’s dress for the white dress. Murray has been the runner-up here 5 times since 2010, but never won.
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