Once a 50-1 long shot, Serena Williams now among favorites at US Open

A hugely popular all-time betting maverick is usually liable for sports betting, and Serena Williams caused that damage with her US Open second round upset over No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit.

Some books point to notable losses as the 40-year-old American is majority-backed at odds of around 2-1 in what many expect to be her last Grand Slam.

“It’s extremely unique to have such a high odds sports icon that you never would have gotten in your prime,” Craig Mucklow, Caesars Sportsbook vice president of trading, told ESPN. Sharing the house took five times as many bets on Williams as it did on Kontaveit. “It’s a great story and as the run goes on I’m sure we’ll see more action supporting Serena.”

The six-time US Open champion went into the tournament with a 50-1 long shot. Her odds dropped to 30-1 after her win in the first round and are now 14-1.

“The futures position is ugly,” SuperBook executive director and odds maker John Murray told ESPN. “With large numbers, the liabilities can quickly add up. Betting always increases in the late rounds and interest in Serena will skyrocket if she keeps winning.”

With the growing legalization of sports betting in many states, it is difficult to compare betting operations to previous years. However, operators said they see much greater betting interest in this tournament as it could be Williams’ final run. Caesars said their games will be handled 10 times better in this tournament compared to 2021.

“Certainly a much bigger grip for the early games,” DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello told ESPN, also sharing that they saw “fantastic” actions for their upset in the second round. “I would assume that the trend will continue throughout. Liability going forward continues to grow and will continue to multiply as it keeps winning.”

To accommodate the increased interest in this US Open, Caesars also offered index bets on how far she would make it in the tournament. Bettors could bet in advance on the particular round in which they would be eliminated, which was not normally offered beforehand.

https://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/34498309/once-50-1-longshot-serena-williams-now-favorites-us-open Once a 50-1 long shot, Serena Williams now among favorites at US Open

Emma Bowman

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