2023 UPDATE: Looking for the current 2023 Billabong Pro Pipeline odds and predictions? Click here.
We’re not going to get used to calling a World Surf League WCT event at Ehukai Beach Park the “Billabong Pro Pipeline” in lieu of “Billabong Pipemasters”. It’s just semantics we suppose, but it’s a salty pill to swallow. Still, excitement for the beginning of the WSL season is as big as it has ever been. The success of the updated WSL Finals format is partly to thank for this, as is the fact that prime Pipeline will be the stage for which the season begins. January and early February is indeed a preferred window for running the event as WNW-NW swells tend to peak during the period.
So with the final qualifying leg completed at the 2021 Haleiwa Challenger Series and WCT athletes ranked and ready for action, surf betting fans are wondering who they should throw their wagers behind. Will the World Championship Tour’s typical top performers at Pipeline take the win? Or will a dangerous local wildcard do the Hawaiian Kingdom proud? Let’s review.
Note: The Action Sports Betting (ASB) crew will be on-site at Ehukai Beach Park to cover the Billabong Pro Pipeline. That means we will be in the middle of the action, and will be updating this article in real-time as we gain insight into who’s hot, who’s not, who may be injured, and who may have partied a little too hard the night before their heat/s. Check back often for updates!
Betting Preview for the WSL WCT Billabong Pro Pipeline Men’s Surfing Competition Running from January 29 to February 10 2022
Where: Ehukai Beach Park, Oahu
When: Waiting period runs from January 29 to February 10, 2022
Betting Lines: View sportsbooks offering WSL betting odds
Streaming Broadcast: WSL website / WSL YouTube
Online Commentary: BeachGrit
Surfing Podcast for Post-Event Reviews: SurfSplendor
John John Florence: 4/6 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.11
For the uninitiated, please note that JJF’s mediocre No.11 ranking means nothing. The 2x World Champion who calls Pipeline his literal home was sidelined due to another knee injury in 2021, so holding on to a near Top 10 finish despite missing most of the season really says something. His bothersome joints may make him questionable as a favorite to win the 2022 WSL Finals, but not as a favorite to win at ANY event at Ehukai Beach Park. In fact, he just won the WQS 1000 series HIC Pro at Pipeline which concluded just before Christmas. He also won the 2021 Haleiwa Challenger event the first week of December in solid conditions. He’ll most likely win the currently running virtual VANS Triple Crown too. John John is the clear favorite with the Billabong Pro Pipeline which runs just weeks after his recent string of victories.
Jack Robinson: 8/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.12
Robinson struggled in his 2021 WCT rookie year until he was thrown into a wave of consequence at Barra for the Corona Open Mexico – and won. Therein lies the key to Robinson’s successes and failures. In uninspired conditions he folds, but when the waves arrive he barrels to the occasion. If that winter WNW-NW cranks you’ll thank us for recommending a sizable wager on Robinson to take the win.
Kelly Slater: 8/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.18
Kelly Slater will be turning 50 in the very same month that he may win his eighth WCT event at Pipeline. He also owns two Volcom Pipe Pro trophies to boot. Can he actually pull it off? As far as we’re concerned, Slater will always be a favorite to win at Pipe, whether aged a half-century or three-quarters deep. It’s important to note that Slater thrives when it comes to milestones, and many speculate that he is only hanging around the WCT until he nabs one more win. To do so at Pipeline, days before he turns 50, and coming out of the most ridiculous year this planet has seen since WWII, would only further cement his legacy. The GOAT is hungry for this one. He’s eager, healthy, and has looked as great as ever through the winter season thus far. Don’t be afraid to wager on Slater.
Surfer (TBD): Odds (TBD)
WCT Ranking: TBD
The fourth “favorite” spot is being withheld while we wait for news about Gabriel Medina’s status on the 2022 tour. Check back later this month for updates!
Jordy Smith: 15/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.7
As we see it, this is a make or break year for the tall South African’s WCT career. He’s come close to glory so many times, but a stacked field repeatedly gets in his way. He came in 3rd at then 2018 Billabong Pipemasters, losing to Gabriel Medina, and also had a 5th place finish in 2016.
Seth Moniz: 18/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.21
Moniz is another regular face and top performer in free surfs at Banzai Pipeline. Competitively, the young Hawaiian has done well in the arena. He made the final four at the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro, received a 9th at the Billabong Pipemasters in 2019, and a 13th at the same event in 2018. He’s on an upward trajectory, so don’t be surprised if this sleeper sneaks in his first major win in early February of 2022.
Kolohe Andino: 20/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.13
Critics be damned, Kolohe Andino is a new man. Despite being off the tour for most of 2021 due to injury, he took great advantage of this time off. His self-funded Reckless Isolation film was a big success, and he has just started a family. He returns to the WCT with a much coveted injury wildcard, and is about a refreshed as a professional athlete can get. Andino had always been the one to get in his own way, but this newer 2.0 version is looking happier, healthier, and ready to show the world that he can in fact live up to his potential. He’s knows as well as anyone that a win at Pipeline would be a massive step in that direction. He can pull it off, while you could make a small fortune by betting on the pride of San Clemente.
Owen Wright: 30/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.34
Owen Wright suffered a head injury in 2015 at Pipeline, and he has yet to return to form. He did get a bronze medal for Australia at the 2020-21 Summer Olympics though, and is looking solid heading into the start of the 2022 WSL season. His best result at Pipe is a 5th place from back in 2010. He’s more of a longshot than Andino (above) but the universe (and the WSL) loves a good comeback story. A Wright win in the same place that nearly claimed his career years ago would certainly make a good headline. Expect judges to be a little bit bias when scoring the tall Australian.
Imaikalani deVault: 30/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.29
Hawaii’s (via Maui) Imaikalani deVault has made the World Tour but still brings that “nothing to lose” swagger into the event. He made it into the quarterfinals of the 2021 HIC Pipe Pro, and came in second place at the 2019 Pipe Invitational to win a wildcard entry into the Billabong Pipemasters of the same year where he received a 17th place finish after bowing out to Gabriel Medina. There’s no doubt that deVault is a longshot, but the Hawaiian has what it takes to pull off the upset.
2022 BILLABONG PRO PIPELINE MEN’S WINNER PREDICTION
Jack Robinson goes bonkers at Backdoor to win the Billabong Pipe Pro in Honor of Andy Irons.