It’s that time of year again! With Wimbledon starting this week, tennis fever is about to grip the nation once again. In today’s feature we look at the concept of laying a selection.
It is often the case where you look at a tennis tournament and have no strong fancies for victory. However, there are one or two players who just stand out as having absolutely no chance of winning. They may have had a long season, could be returning from injury, or may have a poor record on the particular surface. So just how do you put your money where your mouth is and oppose a tennis player for profit? You lay them.
Lay!? I hear you say. What is that? Laying is the act of betting something WON’T happen. This privilege was previously confined to bookmakers but since betting exchanges started becoming popular in the early 2000’s, individuals can strike lay bets themselves.
So which players make good lay bets? Well laying outsiders who have very little realistic chance of success and are available at treble figure odds accordingly, do not provide much scope for a decent profit as the outlay has to be substantial and the risk even more so. At the other end of the spectrum, laying hot favourites can be an unprofitable activity, as quite simply they tend to win regularly! The mid-level players are those that should be the focus of attention. These individuals tend to progress past the early stages of tournaments, but come unstuck when faced with a line-up of two or three of the game’s elite en route to the finals.
The odds on mid-level players are not so large that when laying the liabilities reach eye-watering levels, as in theory there is a small chance they could upset the tournament favourites and lift the title. An example of one of these players is current world number 13, Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian has just won the Queen’s Club final and heads into Wimbledon as the fifth favourite at odds of 23.0 with betting exchange WBX. With a 30-9 record this year, he is definitely to be respected, but just 1 win from 13 matches against the top four seeds (Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Federer) indicates he has his work cut out at the latter stages of the tournament. In reality he would have to beat two or three of them to be successful, and at odds of around 11.0 if he reaches the Semi Finals, he is value to lay. At those odds, for every £100 risked, the individual would make a £10 profit. Quite a sound investment, as the likelihood of winning each match would be around 4.0. If we assume the true odds of him winning his Semi-Final match and Final were 16.0 (4.0 for semi x 4.0 for final = equals true odds of 16.0) then we can say that laying at 11.0 is value.
There are certain instances where the favourites are worth laying. For example, Serena Williams used to mop up the Australian Open, but in recent times she has not managed to progress past the Quarter-Finals. This could be due to her training cycle, or a personal psychological block with the tournament, but she would still be likely to be priced up at short odds and would be worth taking on. Looking for smaller tournaments or particular surfaces where the top players struggle is the best way to find value laying favourites.
If you’d like to learn more about WBX, please head over to our WBX betting exchange review.