The final event of the WSL World Championship Tour (WCT) regular season has concluded, with an unlikely Miguel Pupo winning the 2022 Outerknown Tahiti Pro. All attention is now on Lower Trestles in San Clemente CA for the big showdown between the top five WCT surfers. The field looks a little different from when we made our initial WSL Finals predictions at the onset of the year. Two of the early season favorites (John John Florence and Gabriel Medina) are both injured and out of contention. However, our other pick – Filipe Toledo – is fully in the mix, sitting pretty atop WCT rankings. Toledo is followed by Jack Robinson, Ethan Ewing, Italo Ferreira, and Kanoa Igarashi at second, third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively. While Filipe Toledo is a heavy favorite to win, each surfer brings their own strengths to the Lower Trestles table. Who will manhandle the A-frame wave to victory? Have a look at our Rip Curl WSL Finals odds and predictions below to find out.
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Betting Preview for the Rip Curl WSL Finals Men’s Surfing Competition Running from September 8 to 16 2022
Where: Lower Trestles, San Clemente, CA
When: Waiting period for the one-day event runs from September 8-16, 2022
Betting Lines: View WSL betting odds
Streaming Broadcast: WSL website / WSL YouTube
Sponsor: Presented by Rip Curl
Online Commentary: BeachGrit
Filipe Toledo: EVEN Odds
WCT Ranking: No.1
As the ratings leader, Filipe only has to win two out of a possible three Title Match heats to win the WSL World Title. The rest of the field must fight their way through individual match-ups to meet him. As a result, the Brazilian will be well-rested going into the Title Match, whereas his opponent will not be. The latter is especially relevant if that opponent is Kanoa Igarashi (No.5). Igarashi would have to win three heats in a row prior to meeting Toledo which does not bode well for those who want to watch an even-sided match-up. Regardless, rest isn’t what gives the kinetically gifted 27-year old the advantage. Lower Trestles’ rippable lefts and rights are tailor-made for Toledo. He is without question the physical superior to all of his opponents here. The only thing that can get in Toledo’s way, is Toledo himself. This is something that bettors need to think about.
After another embarrassing barrel-dodging performance at the Tahito Pro, the army of Toledo naysayers has grown. There was even talk of a petition to remove him from title contention given his propensity for avoiding waves of consequence. This may weigh heavy on his confidence going into the WSL Finals. But alas, Lower Trestles is the arena for the single-day title decider, not Teahupo’o. Subsequently, a Toledo world title is almost guaranteed. Can anyone stop him in a best-of-three heat showdown? Keep reading.
Jack Robinson: 4/6 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.2
After a slow start to the season, WCT sophomore Jack Robinson went on a tear. The Australian won two of the three events that he made the finals in, and chalked-up a semifinals appearance along with a pair of quarterfinals for good measure. He finds himself in the No.2 slot heading into the WSL Finals which is the best position for him to be in. If he manages to beat his first opponent, he’ll have the opportunity to warmup before facing Toledo. That said, despite being ranked as the second best WCT surfer in the world, few believe that Robinson can beat Toledo at a 3-5 foot Lower Trestles. For Robinson to win, the contest will need to run in Robinson’s 6-foot sweet spot. If it does (monitor Surfline) adjust your wagers accordingly. Otherwise Robinson won’t match Toledo with the acrobatics required to get high scores in a less than ideal Lowers.
Italo Ferreira: 5/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.4
While Toledo’s Brazilian countryman Italo Ferreira sits at No.4 in the world, we’ve placed him here as a favorite above World No.3 Ethan Ewing (below). The 2019 WSL WCT World Champion has already competed in the revamped WSL WCT format at Lower Trestles during its inaugural run in 2021. Ferreira may have been defeated there by Toledo (who went on to lose to Gabriel Medina), but the goofy-footer has the athletic ability to tame this San Clemente high-performance wave. However, Ferreira’s best performance at Trestles was a 9th in 2015, followed by an unlucky pair of 13th place finishes in 2016 and 2017, prior to the wave being removed from the tour.
Ethan Ewing: 10/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.3
This regular-footer is a shoe-in for sleeper of the year because no one expected him to be in the Final 5. Yet somehow, at the end of the season, here he sits. We’re all wondering how the heck it happened in the same way we questioned Conner Coffin and Morgan Cibilic in 2021. Winning the 2022 Corona J Bay Open had a lot to do with it, as did a string of 3rd places finishes at this season’s Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, and Margaret River Pro. We suppose the fault is ours for being surprised to find Ewing contending for the WCT Title this September. Heading into the Finals, Ewing boasts an average heat score of 13.48.
Kanoa Igarashi: 20/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.5
We were tempted to name Kanoa as the sleeper pick to win the Rip Curl WSL Finals over No.3 ranked Ethan Ewing. However, Ewing’s 2022 performance has been better on paper, even though Igarashi seems to be destined for a World Title at some point in his career. Could this be the year for Kanoa? He certainly has his work cut out for him. He must defeat Ewing in the first round, then dismiss Italo Ferreira in the second round along with Robinson in the third before winning two-of-three heats against Filipe Toledo, at Trestles. Long shot indeed. Igarashi has an average heat score of 12.57 this season, which isn’t enough to win against any of his prospective opponents in the march to the finish line. Anything less than an average heat score of 16.5-points or greater will be required of Kanoa. Can he rise to the occasion?
2022 RIP CURL WSL FINALS MEN’S WINNER PREDICTION
The 2022 Rip Curl WSL Finals odds don’t lie. We confidently predict the inevitable conclusion that Filipe Toledo will win his first (and only) WCT World Title. Place you bets, then join us in the petition to move the Finals to Teahupo’o for 2023 and beyond.
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