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Australian Open Futures

Sick of these January temperatures? Why not head down under to Aussie land to take in the first major tennis tournament of the season, where the temperatures are reported to have reached 83 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s been over four months since we last checked in so let’s get a lay of the land and see out who’s favored to win this thing before the Australian Open officially sees its first serve on Monday.

Men’s Side

I’m getting pretty used to seeing Novak Djokovic’s name at the top of tennis futures boards but instead of having the No. 1 spot all to himself like he normally does, the Joker is joined by the newest world No. 1 – Andy Murray.

Murray was involved in three of the four Grand Slam finals last year, won a tour-high nine titles and finished the season on top of the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. His second career Wimbledon title set him up nicely for his run to a second consecutive Olympic gold medal and for very good reason, Murray is just barely plus-money at +150 at online shop Bovada to get his 2017 started on the right foot by finally earning his first title at the Aussie Open.

Prior to Murray's 2016 Wimbledon final matchup with Canada’s Milos Raonic, the Englishman had played Djokovic in six consecutive finals and according to oddsmakers, Andy has a good chance of meeting the Serb in the final of the Australian Open for the fifth time. Before he was overtaken by Murray in the ATP standings, the Joker had held the No. 1 world ranking for 122 consecutive weeks and is anxious to reclaim his title as the best male tennis player on the planet.

Not only was Australia the country where Novak won his first major, it’s where he’s seen by far the most success throughout his career. With six wins in six finals appearances and titles in five of the last six years, Novak Djokovic is the man to beat at this tournament.

For a little bit of value, you may want to consider a bet on the +1600 line of Raonic. The heavy server had his best year on record in 2016 and made it to the semifinal of last season’s Aussie Open. The guard at the top of the tennis world has been in constant motion for a few years now and with the Joker and Murray both now less than one year away from 30, this could be Milos’ year to take over.

Here are the odds for the entire field:

Australian Open Futures: Men's

Odds as of January 11 at Bovada

  • Novak Djokovic +150
  • Andy Murray +150  
  • Stan Wawrinka +1100       
  • Rafael Nadal +1200
  • Milos Raonic +1600   
  • Roger Federer +1600
  • Kei Nishikori +2200        
  • Nick Kyrgios +3300      
  • Grigor Dimitrov +3300
  • Marin Cilic +5000    
  • Tomas Berdych +5000     
  • Dominic Thiem +6600   
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga +6600                 
  • Bernard Tomic +6600
  • Gael Monfils +10000
  • Richard Gasquet +10000     
  • John Isner +10000          
  • David Ferrer +10000       
  • Jack Sock +12500      
  • Gilles Simon +15000    
  • David Goffin +15000       
  • Kevin Anderson +15000        
  • Viktor Troicki +20000       
  • Benoit Paire +20000
  • Feliciano Lopez +20000

Women's Side

Admittedly, I am not a heavy follower of women’s tennis. The names at the top of the rankings are much more fluid than they are in men’s tennis – outside the constant dominance of Serena Williams – and with Maria Sharapova still suspended, this Aussie Open feels a little like a golf tournament without Tiger Woods.

That said, Karolina Pliskova out of Louny, Czech Republic is the only woman who currently resides in the top five who has gotten her 2017 off to a positive start. She beat Alize Cornet in the final of the Brisbane International, a warm-up for the Aussie Open, and broke into the top five for the first time in her career.

Without Sharapova in the field, Serena Williams is always a good bet. Since 2003, the current world No. 2 has won the tournament six times and has appeared in the finals two straight years. Keep in mind, Williams is now 35 and 2017 could be the year she finally falls off the elite world-class level she’s been playing at for two full years.

For those of you with a more articulate knowledge of women’s tennis, I present to you the odds from Bovada for your perusal:

Australian Open Futures: woMen's

Odds as of January 11 at Bovada

  • Serena Williams +200
  • Angelique Kerber +350
  • Simona Halep +800
  • Garbine Muguruza +800
  • Karolina Pliskova +800
  • Dominika Cibulkova +2200
  • Agnieszka Radwanska +2500
  • Caroline Wozniacki +2500
  • Belinda Bencic +3300
  • Johanna Konta +3300
  • Elina Svitolina +5000
  • Eugenie Bouchard +5000
  • Sloane Stephens +5000
  • Lucie Safarova +5000
  • Ekaterina Makarova +6600
  • Venus Williams +6600
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova +6600
  • Caroline Garcia +8000
  • Carla Suarez Navarro +10000
  • Daria Gavrilova +10000
  • Samantha Stosur +10000
  • Andrea Petkovic +10000
  • Jelena Jankovic +12500
  • Sabine Lisicki +12500
  • Camila Giorgi +12500
  • Heather Watson +15000
  • Sara Errani +15000