The ATP Masters 1000 tennis betting continues for a second straight week with the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Join us as we weigh in on the field and serve up our tennis picks for what should be another thrilling week in the lead up to the US Open.
Betting On The Faves
No surprises on the tennis betting board: Djokovic is the player to beat at +110 tennis odds to win outright, despite suffering a loss to Andy Murray in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday and showing visible signs of an elbow injury. What’s also interesting to note – and this could be crucial to the overarching betting landscape – Djokovic has never won in Cincinnati. The surface is faster and slicker, making it more difficult to defend on.
Naturally, Andy Murray, behind that commendable result over Djokovic, which marked his first win over the Serbian starlet in almost two years, enters Cincinnati as the second favorite to win outright at +400 tennis odds. Defending champion Roger Federer, who skipped the Rogers Cup last week, enters as the third favorite at +500. Finally, Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka round out the Top Five favorites at +1400 and +1600 tennis odds, respectively.
First Quarter: Djokovic and Wawrinka on Collision Course
The first quarter is loaded with big hitters and flanked by two of the top five favorites to win outright, Djokovic and Wawrinka. As far as winning the quarter goes, Djokovic has the edge over Wawrinka, trading at -300 tennis odds to his opposites +333 tennis odds.
By and large, few expect Djokovic to drop the ball before the quarters, even though the threats within the section are worthy of consideration (he could face Benoit Paire, Jo Wilfried Tsonga and David Goffin, to name a few in his path). And if he does come up against Wawrinka in the quarters, he’s sure to be the firm favorite, a market stance underscored by his considerable 17-4 head-to-head edge.
Wawrinka’s road to the quarters is no picnic with Borna Coric, Ivo Karlovic and Martin Kilzan, amongst others strewn in his way. What might make Wawrinka a rather iffy punt this week is his lack of form. Since reaching the Wimbledon quarters, he’s only played one event: the Rogers Cup, in which he retired in the second round (his opening round match) to Nick Kyrgios. Now, a highly publicised match for all the wrong reasons.
Then again, Wawrinka can blow hot and cold from tournament to tournament. He might appear off form, but on a dime he could turn things around. Keep in mind, he won the last meeting over Djokovic: The French Open Final.
Assuming all goes to plan, we should have Djokovic and Wawrinka squaring off for a spot in the semis. Djokovic has the considerable head-to-head edge over the Swiss, which makes him a good tennis pick. That said, for our money, we’re giving Wawrinka a tickle to win the quarter. For several reasons, starting with a) in recent meetings, Wawrinka has given Djokovic a run for his money: they are 2-2 in the last four meetings, with Wawrinka winning at the French Open, most recently; b) Djokovic might be slightly injured, something he’s going to have to be mindful off he hopes to put in a successful bid at the US Open; and c) Wawrinka is a bit of a hothead and Kyrgios’s just woke up the beat with his bonehead comments.
Tennis Picks: Wawrinka to win quarter at +333 tennis odds.
Outside Tennis Pick: Tsonga to Win Quarter at +900
Second Quarter: Wide Open
While Tomas Berdych and John Isner (at -120 and +333, respectively, tennis odds to win the quarter) emerge as the top two favorites, they are set to collide in the R16; thereby, one is sure to fall before the quarterfinals. The other section of this quarter is wide open now that Nishikori has withdrawn from the event. It’s up for grabs by a whole slew of viable contenders, such as Alexandr Dolgopolov, Bernard Tomic and Jerzy Janowicz. As it is, there are four players in this group that have a real shot to win this quarter in our opinion: Berdych, Isner, Tomic at +550 or Dolgopolov at +700. To be fair, it's so wide open just about anybody can emerge.
Tennis Picks: Isner at +333 to win quarter
Outside Tennis Pick: Dolgopolov at +700
Third Quarter: Murray and Cilic on Collision Course
According to the seeding, this section features top two seeds Murray and Cilic on a collision course for a quarterfinal showdown. However, this section is stacked with talent and depth, including Richard Gasquet, Grigor Dimitrov, Thanasi Kokkinakis, the controversial Nick Kyrgios, up-and-coming Canadian Vasek Pospisil and American veteran Mardy Fish.
Predictably, Murray, who is coming off a Rogers Cup win on Sunday, is the player to beat at -150 in this section and it’s hard to look past him. Then again, he’s played a lot of tennis these past few weeks and it could catch up to him. Marin Cilic, the US Open defending champion, is the second fave at +333 tennis odds and he could enjoy a standout tournament as he attempts to get as much solid preparation ahead of the US Open. Another player that is worth a punt in this section is the controversial Nick Kyrgios at +1600. He’s been in the spotlight these past few days, all negative attention. He’s another that seems to get riled up and fired up under such conditions. Plus the slick, fast surface in Cincy does favor his game.
Tennis Picks: Murray to win at -150
Outside Tennis Pick: Kyrgios at +1600
Fourth Quarter Federer and Nadal Contained Within
Defending champion Roger Federer comes into Cincinnati well-rested and raring to go, having skipped on all events since losing to Djokovic in the Wimbledon Final. Federer has won six titles in Cincy, four of which have come in the last six years. Clearly, this is a surface that suits his game well and he likes the conditions. Deservedly, he’s the player to beat in this section at -138 tennis odds. Overall, his corner looks winnable with Bautista Agut, Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson, amongst several others in his way.
Rafael Nadal emerges as the second favorite at +240 tennis odds, slated to collide with Federer in the quarterfinals. He’s been Roger’s kryptonite in recent meetings and that has translated to a considerable head-to-head edge. But in the Spaniard’s current 2015 form and the quickness of the Cincy surface, Federer might fancy his chances. That is assuming Nadal makes it that far. He has big-serving Milos Raonic in his path, the third fave to win this section at +550 tennis odds. However, the Canadian is still recovering from ankle surgery, which has him slightly off form and a risky punt as a result.
Tennis Picks: Federer to win at -138
Outside Tennis Pick: Nadal at +240