Wimbledon men’s singles preview, odds, and best bets: Can anyone stop Djokovic?
Novak Djokovic is halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam, and if you want to include the Tokyo Olympics he is two-fifths of the way to the Golden Slam. Australian Open? Check. French Open? Check. Wimbledon? We will find out over the course of the next fortnight.
Djokovic is favored over the entire field at the All-England Club, and why not? He is the two-time defending champion and heads to London on the heels of a second French Open title. Rafael Nadal, the Serb’s biggest rival at the moment, is out. Roger Federer is well past his prime at 39 years old. Andy Murray appears to be on his last legs. The younger generation is knocking on the door but — outside of Dominic Thiem’s 2020 US Open triumph — still seems to be a step behind Djokovic and company. Speaking of Thiem, he is sidelined along with Nadal because of a wrist injury.
With the championships rapidly approaching, let’s take a look at the odds and some of the best bets.
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Novak Djokovic -125
Daniil Medvedev +600
Stefanos Tsitsipas +750
Roger Federer +1100
Matteo Berrettini +1200
Alexander Zverev +2000
Andrey Rublev +4000
Felix Auger-Aliassime +5000
Nick Kyrgios +5000
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Best bet: Novak Djokovic (-125)
Djokovic really should be an even bigger favorite — something like -175. The only thing that stopped him at the 2020 US Open was a fluke default when he accidentally hit a lineswoman in the throat with a ball struck in frustration. It may take a similar stroke of misfortune to knock him out of Wimbledon. All other things being equal, it’s hard to see Djokovic losing. He just won the French Open on a surface that is worse for his game and better for plenty of others including Nadal and Tsitsipas. Federer is the main beneficiary of grass, but the Swiss has played sparingly over the past two seasons and his body may not hold up through multiple best-of-five-set matches. As if Djokovic needed any more help, his Wimbledon draw is favorable. All signs point to another Grand Slam title for the world No. 1.
Longshot: Matteo Berrettini (+1200)
Berrettini has the benefit of being in the bottom half of the draw, away from Djokovic. That in itself gives the Italian a great shot at reaching the final. There is always some chance Djokovic loses before that stage, but even if it is the Serb on the other side of the net Berrettini could not be discounted. They just faced each other in the French Open quarter-finals and the result was a four-set thriller. Berrettini’s next tournament on the grass courts of Queen’s Club saw him power his way to the title. The world No. 9’s huge serve and forehand make him extremely dangerous on the green stuff.
Deep sleeper: Andrey Rublev (+4000)
It’s a bit ridiculous that Rublev is +4000 when Berrettini is +1200 and Zverev is +2000. The Russian should be right on par with those guys. Rublev has been one of the best players on tour dating back to the start of 2020 and he is coming off a final appearance on the grass of Halle. The bad news is that he is the same quarter of the draw as Djokovic, which may explain why he is +4000. Still, we are talking about winning it all here and in order to do that you usually have to beat the best at some point. Rublev would arguably have a better chance against Djokovic in the quarters than in the final.
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