We’ll make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date map before you embark on your sports betting voyage.
1. Federer out of French Open
The resurgence of Roger Federer is taking a brief hiatus. After a rip-roaring start to the 2017 season, which saw him win the Australian open (his major since 2012), Indian Wells, and the Miami Open, the Swiss national has decided to stay neutral for the upcoming French Open. Federer has never been the best on clay; only one of his 18 career Grand Slam titles (to date) came at Rolland Garros. And with Rafael Nadal also enjoying a renaissance, Fed was coming into the second slam of the year a longhsot.
Opting out of the French doesn’t change the outlook for the tournament all that much. Nadal just cruised to the Madrid Open title and is playing the best he has in years. While Federer has gotten the better of Nadal so far this year, Nadal owns a 13-2 career record against Federer on clay. The nine-time French Open champ is a deserving favorite, whether Federer is playing or not.
What this news does impact is Federer’s outlook for the remainder of the season. As we’ve seen in years past, the more rest the 35-year-old takes, the better he plays these days. He’s clearly learning what his body can handle and when it’s time to tone it down. He’s opting for quality over quantity.
Despite playing sub-par for most of the season, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic remain the favorites for Wimbledon (July 2, 2017), sitting around 2/1. You can get Federer at around 7/2 on most sites. He’s won the tournament seven times already and is obviously going to put everything he has into snagging number eight. He looks like the best value on the board right now.
2. Leonard out of Game 2 vs Warriors
The San Antonio Spurs put the boots to the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals yesterday, winning by 23. Unfortunately, with 7:55 left in the third quarter, the Spurs were replaced on the court by the San Antonio NoKawhiLeonards, who proceeded to lose by 25. The league treated the two games as one, giving the Warriors a 113-111 win and 1-0 series lead.
All satire aside, San Antonio was a completely different team from the moment Kawhi Leonard left the court with an(other) ankle injury. The Warriors immediately went on an 18-0 run, trimming a once safe lead to a manageable gap. And manage they did. Without Leonard there to hound him, Kevin Durant went off in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 34 points in the final frame. When the Spurs tried to adjust by keying on KD, the supporting cast made them pay.
The most recent news suggests Leonard won’t suit up for Game 2. The line (Warriors -13.5) reflects this.
The Spurs took some time to adjust without Leonard on the floor — as evidenced by that aforementioned 18-0 run — but they did provide some pushback without their MVP candidate. They managed to hold a six to nine-point lead for much of the fourth quarter. We saw the wizardry Gregg Popovich can conjure up in Game 6 against Houston, when he was also without Leonard. With a couple days to prepare, and some experience sans Kawhi, I’d hop on that Spurs line right now. And hey, if Leonard does play, that’s just gravy.