2014 ATP Rogers Cup Picks & Betting Odds Analysis

Nila Amerova

Monday, August 4, 2014 7:09 AM UTC

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 7:09 AM UTC

The sixth ATP Masters 1000 event is underway in Toronto. Here are our choice picks from the star-studded cast from familiar favourites to a whole slew of big-priced outsiders that could offer value this week. 

Utterly Lopsided Draw
The top-half of the draw is loaded with top talent from World No.1 Novak Djokovic to World No.4 Stanislas Wawrinka and World No. 9 Andy Murray – they are also the most credible tennis picks in Rogers Cup betting markets because they have won Masters 1000 titles before.  Amongst this triplet is a sprinkling of standout players, former top ten stalwarts, veterans and rising stars, all of which could do some damage in the coming week.

The bottom-half of the draw is light on load by contrast. World No. 3 Roger Federer headlines this section as the lone credible threat on account of a trophy cabinet full of Masters 1000 silverware. World No.5 Tomas Berdych and World No.7 David Ferrer, each with a Masters title to his name, are also contained within and have a notional shot, but it’s an utterly wide-open bottom half, prompting consideration about where upsets could occur.


Betting on the Favourites
When it comes to Masters 1000 events wide reasoning has betting on the top favourites the best approach. Historically, events of this magnitude have been dominated by the Big Four – Rafael Nadal (record 27), Roger Federer (21), Novak Djokovic (19) and Andy Murray (9). Logically, one would assume a bet on either of these players is the smart tennis pick. Defending champion Nadal is out of the tournament with a wrist injury, so that leaves us with Djokovic, Federer or Murray. Is one of these our top tennis pick?  

Let’s find out.


First Quarter
In-form Djokovic headlines tennis-betting markets as the hot favourite on tennis odds at +110 to win outright. He’s in the loaded top half of the draw, but he’s the sort of player that can make it through any draw, negotiate minefields like no other bar Nadal in today’s game. So the fact that he could see Gael Monfils in the second round and Jeremy Chardy or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round (one scenario out of several) shouldn’t give his fans pause. A quarterfinal berth is almost certain where he’s concerned.

Things could get tricky if Andy Murray emerges (the third favourite to win outright at +900) at this stage. But the Serbian starlet has the 12-8 head-to-head edge, which includes a 1-0 edge on the season. Another important consideration: Murray isn’t 100% yet. Since coming off back surgery and losing coach Ivan Lendl, Murray’s been struggling by his lofty standards. His 31-12 record on the season notwithstanding, he’s significantly without a title or a final appearance to his credit.

None of this means he can’t have a week to remember in Canada. Tennis betting faith in Murray has declined, but hard court is his best surface where he enjoys most success. If he can get past some of the dangerous floaters in his section – such as Nick Kyrgios (beat Nadal at Wimby), Richard Gasquet or Canada’s Vasek Pospisil – in order to reach the quarters, he could give Djokovic a run for his money.


First Quarter Verdict
Most likely, Djokovic and Murray will advance into the last eight, but we can’t rule out a surprise quarterfinalist either. Top outside picks include Vasek Pospisil (+12500 to win outright) or Nick Kyrgios (+15000), to emerge into the quarters. 

Quarterfinal Tennis Pick
Djokovic vs. Murray. Murray to win.

Second Quarter
Stansilas Wawrinka, matched at +1400 to win outright, has a nice section. It’s not a traipse in the park with veterans Tommy Robredo, Mikhail Youzhny and Kevin Anderson, or dangerous floater Benoit Paire lurking en route to the quarters. Blowing hot and cold this season doesn’t help his plight, either. That said, if he keeps it together, delivers on his obvious talent and skill, he should reach the quarterfinals.

Grigor Dimitrov, matched at + 1400 to win outright, flanks the opposite end of this quarter of the draw. The fast rising star is proving the real deal, underscored by his impressive win over Andy Murray at Wimbledon en route to a semi-final finish (l. to Djokovic). He has some experienced veterans in his corner that he can’t take for granted – including Gilles Simon and Philipp Kohlschreiber. Dominic Thiem, a promising talent, also lurks in his section. Assuming he navigates through those, he really should deliver on expectations to reach the quarters.

Second Quarter Verdict
Best options are both Stanislas Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov to reach the last eight. Potential surprise appearances could come from Gilles Simon and/or Kevin Anderson.

Quarterfinal Tennis Pick
Dimitrov vs. Anderson. Dimitrov to win

Third Quarter
If you talk to any Canadian tennis fan, Milos Raonic has this section practically sewn up. The Canadian is coming off a win in Washington at the weekend, his biggest title victory to date (ATP 500), on the strength of which he’s moved up in Rogers Cup betting estimation to fourth overall favourite at +1200. The danger Raonic faces is not so much on the court as it is in his head. Strutting into his backyard, a champion and homegrown star, knowing he’s fallen into a favourable section of the draw, could bring with it a sense of entitlement that’s detrimental. He could underestimate seasoned veterans such as Lleyton Hewitt, Julien Benneteau and Jurgen Melzer for example. Worse yet, Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who looms as a potential R16 opponent and is probably chomping at the bit to show up Raonic at his home event, so healthy is his disrespect for any noteworthy player. Indeed, Gulbis at +5000 to win it all, is a tempting tennis pick to emerge out of this section – at the expense of both Raonic and Berdych, who flanks the opposite end and can be backed at +1400. Speaking of the Czech, he’s thrown into a corner that includes Roberto Bautista Agut, a sleeper tennis pick according to tennis pundits to emerge into the quarters, Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers. Berdych is in no way a lock to reach the final eight.

Third Quarter Verdict
Milos Raonic appears the sensible choice, but we’re fancy an upset in this section.

Quarterfinal Tennis Pick
Gulbis vs. Agut. Gulbis to win

Fourth Quarter
Roger Federer is in fine form this season, flush off a runner-up finish at Wimbledon last month. Fittingly, he’s listed as the second favourite to win outright at +450. His section has its immediate obstacles – Jerzy Janowicz and Marin Cilic, to name a few, but he should navigate those successfully. On the opposite end of his quarter, David Ferrer and John Isner loom. Ferrer has elbow injury question marks hanging over him while Isner is flush of a disappointing run in Washington. Veteran Andreas Seppi could potentially benefit in this section if both Ferrer and Isner come into this event on poor form. 

Fourth Quarter Verdict
Roger Federer is a good tennis pick to emerge into the quarterfinals as are both David Ferrer and John Isner in theory. However, if either of the latter two are off form, a journeyman player like Andreas Seppi is primed to capitalise.

Quarterfinal Tennis Pick
Federer vs. Seppi. Federer to win.

Semi-final Picks
Murray vs. Dimitrov and Federer vs. Gulbis

Final Picks
Murray vs. Federer

Winner: Murray

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