One of the great players of all time as a betting underdog usually represents the bookmaker’s responsibility, and Serena Williams Inflicted damage with an upset in the second round of the US Open on the second seed Annette Kontaveit.
Some books have pointed to notable losses due to the majority’s support for the 40-year-old American at odds close to 2 to 1 in what many predict will be her end to the Grand Slam.
“It’s very unique to have such a sports icon at long odds that you would never have reached,” Craig McCullough, vice president of commerce for Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN. “That’s a great story and the longer we run, the more excitement we’ll see in supporting Serena for sure.”
The six-time US Open champion entered the tournament as a 50-1 long shot. Her odds of winning dropped to 30-1 after winning the first round and she is now 14-1.
“The future is ugly,” John Murray, CEO and rivalry maker of SuperBook, told ESPN. “Oppositions can quickly accumulate in large numbers. The betting always increases in the last rounds, and interest around Serena will only increase if she continues to win.”
Due to the increasing legalization of sports betting in many states, it is difficult to compare the handling of betting with previous years. However, operators said they see much more interest in betting in this tournament, given that it could be Williams’ last round. Caesar said she is struggling 10 times more with her matches in this tournament than in 2021.
“It’s definitely going to have a much bigger impact in the early games,” Draftskings sports book director Johnny Avello told ESPN, also noting that they saw “awesome” work in the second round. “I suppose this trend will continue all the time. The liability in futures continues to grow and will continue to multiply if you keep continuing to win.”
To meet the growing interest in this US Open, Caesars has also offered to bet the indicator on how long it will last in the tournament. Bettors can bet in advance on the particular round that will be eliminated, which is not normally offered before.
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