There are exceptions for the best athletes in many sports, and women's tennis is one of them.
That would help explain why Serena Williams is listed as the +500 favorite (bet $100 to win $500) on the 2018 U.S. Open tennis odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark, despite being the 17th seed in the women's draw at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
Williams returned to action in May after missing most of 2017 due to the birth of her child. She performed well as the favorite at Wimbledon, making it to the final before losing to Angelique Kerber in straight sets.
The 36-year-old has won Wimbledon seven times and will be trying to equal that mark in the U.S. Open when action gets underway Monday.
Kerber is the fourth seed in this year's U.S. Open and the +700 co-second choice to win it along with top seed Simona Halep, who has never made it to the final of this tournament.
Kerber won the 2016 U.S. Open as the second seed but was upset in the first round a year ago. It is also worth noting Halep withdrew from the Connecticut Open, the final tune-up for the U.S. Open, because of a sore right Achilles tendon.
Other top contenders in the mix on the WTA tennis odds to win the women's singles title include defending champion and third-seeded Sloane Stephens (+1000), 12th-seeded Garbine Muguruza (+1200), second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki (+1200) and seventh-seeded Elina Svitolina (+1200).
Stephens led a group of four Americans in the semifinals last year, topping ninth-seeded Venus Williams there and then 15th-seeded Madison Keys in the final for her first Grand Slam title. Keys is +1400 to win this year, while Venus is +2800.
Three more women to watch on the odds to win the U.S. Open are fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova (+1400), eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova (+1400) and sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia (+4000).
Kvitova made the quarterfinals in 2015 and 2017 for the best finish of her career in the U.S. Open. Garcia has gotten to the third round in each of the past two years but has never made it past the quarters of any Grand Slam event. Pliskova may have some value as a finalist two years ago, when she lost to Kerber for her best career finish in a Grand Slam event.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.