Andy Murray and Roger Federer have set up a blockbuster showdown at the Wimbledon Championships. Join us as we preview their much-anticipated semi-final and serve up our choice tennis picks.
Andy Murray Favoured Across the Board
Britain's No.1 Andy Murray is obviously the home favourite and will have the crowds full support when he takes to Centre Court on Friday. Somewhat surprisingly, he's the favourite on the Wimbledon odds board over seven-time Wimbledon champion and last year's runner-up Roger Federer – albeit fractionally so as the Swiss maestro is trading on EVEN money at Bet365 and William Hill, to name a few.
To begin with, the strength of Federer's resume at the All England Club is impressive. A 73-9 record ahead of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships that includes seven titles (of which five were straight from 2003-07) and two runner-up finishes – the 2008 epic he lost to Rafael Nadal and the five-set marathon he lost to Djokovic last year. It's also worth reminding Federer won his last Wimbledon title at the expense of Andy Murray in four sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
By the numbers, Federer is 7-2 in Wimbledon finals which yields a 78% winning percentage. Dialling it back one step, he's a perfect 9-0 in the semi-final round on the luscious lawns of the All England Club. That's the most pertinent stat for this matchup: 100% winning percentage at this stage of the tournament to date, which is remarkable to say the least.
Finally, Federer leads the head-to-head over Murray 12-11. Nominal the edge may be, it includes a run of three straight wins over the Scott – four sets at the 2014 Aussie Open quarterfinals, straight sets at the 2014 Cincinnati Masters and a 6-0, 6-1 thumping at the Barclay's World Tour Finals in London at the close of last season.
Taking all these things into consideration: is Roger Federer really the underdog in this clash? Or is it that the tennis odds for this matchup are just the result of both a touch of bias towards Murray at sports betting shops and a direct result of the public crushing on Murray?
Why Roger Federer Is At The Disadvantage At Market Level
Andy Murray has looked in awesome form all season long, particularly since the clay court swing and he has brought that form to grass. That combined with home advantage has propelled the 2012 Wimbledon Champion in tennis betting markets.
Since the start of the tournament, Murray was second only to Djokovic on the Wimbledon odds board. And in reaching the semis, he's backed up this vote of confidence. So going into this match as the favourite is par for the course, really. It's maintaining the original status quo.
But the job is not done yet. He's still two match wins away from winning the coveted title (his third overall major title), one of which involves overcoming the King of Grass. Obviously, Murray's form is something tennis bettors are sure to hang their hat on. Another is the fact that he's tied 1-1 with Federer on grass, having beaten the maestro at the London Olympics, a month after losing in the Wimby finals.
Murray Should Win, Federer Could Win
Nobody that's watched Murray or Federer during their run at the Wimbledon Champions doubts their respective merit. Both are proven champions at this level and consummate competitors that match up well against each other as evinced by their competitive head-to-head.
Federer has raced through the rounds, dropping just one set to Sam Groth in the third round. Murray's campaign also looks bright with just two sets lost in five rounds (to Seppi and Karlovic). Neither has clocked in more time than necessary over the course of the last ten days, which means they'll be well rested and raring to go. It also means neither has the advantage on that score. As well, both come into Friday's much-anticipated semi-final showdown boasting brilliant form.
In more ways than one, therefore, this match could go either way. Hence, it's the toughest matchup to handicap, underscored by a rather tight betting line. In fact, if we're to interpret the tennis betting odds, they say the following: Murray should win but Federer could win.
For tennis bettors that's a bit of a conundrum, providing value on both sides of the coin. Murray at -125 is a great tennis pick and seeing just how well he's played recently it's hard to go against him. Federer may appear to be a sentimental tennis pick but he was the runner-up last year to Djokovic. Nothing sentimental about that.
Tennis Betting Verdict
While we're super excited for this matchup at SW19 and can't wait to see it unfold on our TV screens, we're feeling no joy about betting against one of these two great champions on our tennis picks. For our money, we're going with Andy Murray at -125 tennis odds, but there's no reason to doubt that Federer can beat the tennis odds. He's a seven-time Wimbledon Champion for crying out loud. If he pulls off the so-called "upset," nobody is going to be surprised. They'll just roll out the red carpet for Federer as he traipses forward to the final. All Hail The King of Grass.
Tennis Picks: Murray -110 at Pinnacle