KELLY Slater’s injury absence leaves a wide open field for the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti.
Online bookmaker William Hill has installed John John Florence as the +400 favourite.
The Hawaiian’s closest challengers in the outright betting are Gabriel Medina (+650) and Owen Wright (+800).
J-Bay Open champion Filipe Toledo shares a +1200 quote with the Australian trio of Mick Fanning, Matt Wilkinson and Julian Wilson.
Also bringing form to the seventh stop on the WSL Champions Tour is Kanoa Igarashi, who won the Vans US Open of Surfing last week.
“I felt like this was going to be my year,” he said after defeating Thomas Hermes in the final at Huntington Beach Pier.
“A lot of people kept telling me it was and I just believed in it and it came true.”
That QS 10,000 victory gives Igarashi a vital points boost as he looks to maintain CT status for another season.
The 19-year-old Californian is rated a +1800 chance to reach the semi finals at Teahupo’o and an +8000 long-shot to snatch the title.
Billabong Pro Tahiti outright odds
Market courtesy of WilliamHill.com
+400 – John John Florence
+650 – Gabriel Medina
+1200 – Mick Fanning, Filipe Toledo, Matt Wilkinson, Julian Wilson
+1600 – Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith
+2000 – Michel Bourez, Adriano de Souza, Jeremy Flores
+2200 – Adrian Buchan
+3000 – Italo Ferreira
+3300 – Kolohe Andino, Connor O’Leary, Sebastian Zeitz
+4000 – Conner Coffin
+5000 – Wiggolly Dantas, Bede Durbridge, Caio Ibelli, Josh Kerr, Ezekiel Lau, Frederico Morais
+6600 – Leonardo Fioravanti, Miguel Pupo
+8000 – Kanoa Igarashi, Nat Young
+10000 – Joan Duru, Ethan Ewing, Jack Freestone, Ian Gouveia
+12500 – Jadson Andre
+15000 – Stuart Kennedy
Heats to watch at Billabong Pro Tahiti 2017
Forecasts suggest the heats will commence early in the tournament window, which opens Friday, August 11. Here are our top picks for the first round, with top odds from William Hill.
— World Surf League (@wsl) August 10, 2017
Parkinson vs. Flores vs. Jadson
- Joel Parkinson – +110
- Jeremy Flores – +140
- Jadson Andre – +350
Flores is one of four men in the field who have won the Billabong Pro before. The Frenchman faces a tricky heat first-up against the experienced Parkinson, who reached the semi finals at the OK Fiji Pro before slumping to a disappointing 13th-place finish at Jeffreys Bay.
Wilkinson vs. Dantas vs. Puhetini
- Matt Wilkinson – +125
- Wiggolly Dantas – +150
- Taumata Puhetini – +300
Wilkinson is top of the Jeep Leaderboard, but this is exactly the point where his championship bid came undone last year. The Aussie has reached the quarter finals at Teahupo’o only once in seven attempts, so he will want to make a strong start as he looks to rectify that horror record.
Wright vs. Ferreira vs. Kerr
- Owen Wright – -111.11
- Italo Ferreira – +200
- Josh Kerr – +300
All the talk is about JJ Florence with Slater out of the mix, but Wright has an even better heat win record at Tahiti than the tournament favourite. The New South Welshman has a very winnable match-up in round one and offers good value compared to others at the top end of the CT standings.
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