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Gregoire Barrere & Marc-Andre Huesler moneyline parlay at +150 at Caesars Sportsbook
Marc-Andrea Huesler to beat Lucas van Assche 2-0 at +150 at bet365
Steve Johnson to beat Adrian Mannarino at +143 at BetRivers Sportsbook
Over 0.5 tie-breaks in Oscar Otte v Christopher Eubanks at -130 at BetRivers Sportsbook
Over 0.5 tie-breaks in Jack Sock v Ilya Ivashka at +110 at bet365
Denis Shapovalov to win the ATP Dallas Open at +550 at DraftKings Sportsbook
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It’s not exactly controversial to suggest Bublik isn’t the toughest cookie mentally and I’m struggling to see him coping well with going from playing on clay in Chile to indoor hardcourts in France in around 48 hours.
Bublik is the defending champion here so probably feels obliged to show up but we’ve seen some pretty half-hearted efforts from him in the past and another here would be no surprise.
Even if he’s somehow up for this and not fatigued by the long flight, the fact is he’s going to be facing an in-form player, who’s playing on home soil, in conditions he’s bedded into.
Barrere won a Challenger Tour title in Quimper just over a week ago on indoor hard and should be raring to go here.
Sadly, the bookies do seem clued up to the situation but I’m still happy to put Barrere in a win double.
Huesler completes the Montpellier parlay – I’m surprised he’s not shorter for this contest.
He played a starring role in Switzerland’s upset of Germany in the Davis Cup at the weekend, winning both rubbers on a similar Greenset court to the on show in southern France.
A player who won an ATP title in similar conditions indoors in Sofia last autumn, Huesler should be able to use his strong serve to good effect.
Van Assche is inexperienced at this level and has gone just 1-4 at all levels so far in 2023. He was last seen losing 11 of the last 12 games to Geoffrey Blancaneaux in Quimper.
Huesler should win this with +150 (bet365) about a straight-sets win also very much worth considering.
Johnson is my best underdog wager of the week – he comes into this match in Dallas as the +143 outsider with BetRivers.
The Californian leads the pair’s head-to-head 5-2 and even the matches he’s lost have been tight – 7-6 and 6-4 in the deciding set.
Last week he was in Cleveland, Ohio, where he made the quarter-finals of a Challenger Tour event and was beaten 6-4 in the third by eventual champion Aleksandar Kovacevic. That’s far from bad.
In fairly quick conditions, he should be able to make good use of his serve to test what could well be a lethargic Mannarino.
He’s had to hot-foot it across the Atlantic from Hungary where he has been playing in Davis Cup for France in slower conditions to these.
In short, plenty looks in Johnson’s favor here and he’s worth backing accordingly.
Having touched on the expected conditions in Dallas, let’s add some meat to the bones.
This tournament was in the top five for service-holds percentages on the ATP Tour last season and, related to that, 12 of the 27 main-draw matches featured tie-breaks.
I’m looking for contests which could follow suit on this year’s first-round coupon and this one certainly springs to mind.
While neither man has been in sparkling form, both can be expected to rely heavily on their serve in this match.
On a hardcourt, Otte has held 80% of the time across the past year and here he faces a man who has won just 10% of his return games at tour level over the same period. Eubanks, meanwhile, has himself held in 86% of his tour-level games with Otte at 14% for return games won at the top table.
Those strong serve (and poor return) stats have, unsurprisingly, translated into tie-breaks.
Otte has played one in 13 of his last 20 matches, while for Eubanks, 21 of his 36 career matches at the top level have featured a breaker.
Another here makes strong sense at -130 with BetRivers.
This is another match where a tie-break could well occur.
Given both men have played just one singles match so far this year, both should be a little rusty and may struggle to fashion break-point chances against a good serve.
Sock played a tie-break in his 2023 season-opener in Cleveland last week on the Challenger Tour, while Ivashka was involved in a breaker in five of his eight indoor matches last autumn.
While the serve/hold stats aren’t as strong as the Otte-Eubanks match, it still appeals.
Given the lack of tennis in the legs, I’d expect both men to focus on trying to hold serve in these conditions and quotes of odds-against look worth an interest in that anytime tie-break market.
In Montpellier, the aforementioned Huesler has the potential to trouble top seed Holger Rune if, as expected, they meet in round two.
Huesler won both of their meetings last season, including on indoor hard in Sofia.
Rune did play Davis Cup on an indoor hardcourt at the weekend, albeit against weaker opposition, and with next week’s 500-level Rotterdam event also on his schedule, I’m not sure his motivation levels this week will be huge.
In Dallas, both the top two seeds will need to be dialled in from the get-go.
Taylor Fritz, coming in off a disappointing loss at the Australian Open, won’t have it easy against Sock or Ivashka in what could well be a serve-dominated battle, while Frances Tiafoe could find bother against compatriot Mackenzie McDonald, who enjoys slick conditions and will surely take some confidence from beating Rafael Nadal (albeit an injured version) in Australia.
Let’s stick with the action in Texas where Denis Shapovalov has the big serve required go well.
The Canadian was narrowly beaten by Hubert Hurkacz in the third round of the Australian Open, prior to which it took eventual champion Novak Djokovic to stop him in Adelaide.
He enjoyed some good results indoors towards the end of last season, notably reaching the final in Vienna, an event at which he beat his Dallas title rival, Fritz.
Ahead of a potential semi-final showdown this week, Shapovalov now leads the pair’s head-to-head 5-2, including both indoor hardcourt meetings.
At +550 (DraftKings), he’s worth a wager.
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Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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