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1/30/2014 1:53:00 PM
The Davis Cup is almost upon us, a unique event in men’s tennis that pits nations against each other and serves up an entirely different avenue for tennis fans in which to flex their betting muscles. Join us as we examine the top field in this season’s Davis Cup line up and deliver our verdict.
So without further ado, here is a breakdown
of the nations competing complete with Davis Cup odds to win outright and our thoughtful tennis picks.
+225 – Following Stanislas Wawrinka’s unlikely
Australian Open victory Switzerland’s odds to win the competition have been
shaved down to +225 at Bet365,
essentially branding them as the top favourites to win the competition
outright. This is rather interesting, if not misleading: a market purely driven
by Wawrinka’s ascent in the rankings up to World No.3. It’s worth mentioning,
the Swiss are seeded 15th– behind competition long shots Japan,
Germany and Kazakhstan to name a few.
The sum of a nation’s players determines
what probability of winning exists. One player alone can’t win it all. In this
case, aside from Stanislas Wawrinka of course, Switzerland is conspicuously
short on big names (sans Federer as per usual) and that makes them a soft
favourite at best in our opinion. Heck, the rest of the team ranks outside the
Top 150 – with Marco Chiudinelli, Henri Laaksonen and Michael Lammer – a group
that will have all to do to get past some of the stronger nations in the
competition. All in all Switzerland gets a PASS (do not pass go) from us.
– Last year, Spain sent a weakened line-up to
Canada only to falter at the first hurdle. Absentees included Rafael Nadal
(injured), David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro to name a few. Unfortunately, for
Spanish fans this top triplet is giving the first round a pass yet again. In
their stead, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco, Robert Bautista Agut and David
Morreno are carrying the flag, an interesting bunch that ranks inside the Top 50
and could potentially do some damage. But certainly not a bunch that merits tennis betting odds that would put them
second in the Davis Cup pecking order.
They have a tough opening round date with
Germany (+2500 to win outright at Bet365) however, a side earmarked the
quintessential dark horse of the competition with some household names
representing. If Spain can get a result away to Germany, they could be the
nation to watch. A definite consideration for your Davis Cup betting thrills.
+450—On paper, France looms large with two top ten
players in Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. And a former top ten player
in Gael Monfils. Rounding out the quartet is Julien Benneteau, ranked No. 39
and a wily veteran. Based on the names answering the call of duty alone, France
at +450 seems to be the value tennis
pick of the lot. That said this same bunch has flattered to deceive in this
competition, which is an extension of a similar tendency in their individual
careers on the ATP Tour, and, as such we hesitate to recommend them in the
outright win market.
What’s more France host Australia in the
first round, a side represented by fierce competitor Lleyton Hewitt, young guns
Nick Krygios and Thanasi Kokkinakis and Chris Guccione. France have not lost a
first round tie since 2009 but the Aussies will be no pushovers. [Insert
Republic +500 – Of all the Davis Cup odds currently in swing across sportsbooks, those attached to back-to-back champions Czech
Republic are particularly surprising. Listed as the fourth favourites to win
outright across sportsbooks? What?
Two-time champions (not to be repetitive
but let’s) and the top seeds no less, represented by the same crew including
the tandem of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek that has carried the team to
glory these past two seasons. It’s bizarre, not to mention smacks of
disingenuous. Importantly, Czech Republic have home advantage for their first
round clash with Netherlands, a team comprised of middleweight players that
they should be able to overcome. Of course, everybody will be looking to
dethrone the Czechs and that puts a lot of pressure on them. But you can’t
ignore the fact that they have been the best team in recent years and therefore
they are the absolute value tennis pick
to win outright at the moment.
+1000 – Serbia won the competition three years ago
and followed up that performance with back-to-back runner-up finishes, each
time to the Czech Republic. To find them listed as the fifth favourites to win
outright at +1000 tennis odds is
therefore somewhat surprising.
Surely, given their recent success in this
competition and their second seeding, they warrant a much better price tag.
Well, that would be the case if Novak Djokovic were in attendance for Serbia’s
R16 tie with Switzerland. It so happens, he’s not. He’s opted for a break from
competition all together instead, citing mental and physical exhaustion as his
reason for ignoring the call of duty.
Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac have a
lot of experience but they hardly strike a formidable pose seeing that the
former is predominantly a doubles player and the latter is ranked outside the
Top 200. Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic make up the rest of the
nominations, young guns ranked outside of the Top 100 and 200, respectively.
And, thus, it does appear that the market on Serbia is apt at the moment based
on the current landscape. That said with home advantage going for them in the
first round, they really could get past Switzerland. Then if Djokovic rejoins
the team for the quarterfinal round in spring, Serbia could prove the savvy tennis pick of the lot.
+1200, USA +2000, Canada +2500, Great Britain +3300....
Elsewhere, the contenders compete in some
intriguing matchups. A watered down Argentina (sans Juan Martin Del Potro)
takes on a tough Italy (+3300 to win outright); USA and Great Britain collide
in what should be a right cracker but from which the former really should
emerge victorious; Canada, who reached the semis last year strike an
interesting pose as the +2500 long shot
tennis pick. Their appeal should grow following their tie with Japan
(+10000) that most expect them to win handily. Finally, the wide-open affair
between Kazakhstan (+15000) and Belgium (+10000) rounds out the R16 Davis Cup
tennis picks: France on paper appear to be the
smart tennis pick at +450 while (predictable but no less true) Czech Republic
at +500 and Serbia at +1000 are the value tennis picks. The long shot pick
Canada at +2500.