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ATP Cup Odds & Picks – Round Robin Day 1

Stephanie Myles

by Stephanie Myles in Tennis

Jan 31, 2021 · 5:40 PM PST

A close up of Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov during a match at the ATP Cup.
Novak Djokovic, right, of Serbia thanks the umpire during their ATP Cup tennis match against Denis Shapovalov of Canada in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Serbia open the ATP Cup against Canada
  • Canada has the lowest-ranked No. 1 player, but a top-notch No. 2 in Milos Raonic
  • Will Djokovic’s early-season blister lead to a first-day upset? We look at the odds

The second edition of the ATP Cup is a pared down version of the inaugural 2020 event.

Instead of 24 teams, there are 12. Instead of three round-robin matches, there are two.

And everything takes place at Melbourne Park starting on Tuesday Down Under.

Day 1 Matchups at ATP Cup

Match Court Time Pick
Serbia vs. Canada (Group A) Rod Laver Arena (6 p.m. EST Feb. 1/3 p.m. PST) Serbia
Austria vs. Italy (Group C) John Cain Arena (6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST) Italy
Spain vs. Australia (Group B) Rod Laver Arena (1:30 a.m. EST Feb. 2/10:30 p.m. PST Feb. 1) Spain
Russia vs. Argentina (Group D) John Cain Arena (1:30 a.m. EST/10:30 p.m. PST) Russia

Serbia the On-Paper Favorite to Win Opener

Serbia won the inaugural ATP Cup a year ago, led by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

They eliminated Canada in the quarterfinals.

This year, Djokovic is dealing with a multi-layered blister on his playing hand. So the outcome is far more in doubt.

Serbia vs. Canada – Match 1 Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) +3.5 (+116) +300 O 22.5 (+102)
Milos Raonic (CAN) -3.5 (-148) -400 U 22.5 (-130)

Odds taken Feb 1 at DraftKings

Raonic the Favorite in First Match

Given the speed of the surface at Melbourne Park, and Raonic’s inarguable superiority on serve, you’d expect a Canadian victory.

Best bet: At least one tiebreak in the match (+140)Β 

Dusan Lajovic v Milos Raonic Head-to-Head

Dusan Lajovic
VS
Milos Raonic

30 Age 30
26 (23) Ranking (Career-high ranking) 15 (3)
1 Career ATP Singles Titles 8
1 Head to Head 1

Last Friday at an exhibition in Adelaide, Djokovic initially begged off an exhibition match because of the blister. But he changed course and spelled teammate Filip Krajinovic after one set.

Serbia vs. Canada – Match 2 Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
Novak Djokovic (SRB) -4.5 (-148) -560 O 20.5 (-122)
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) +4.5 (+115) +400 U 20.5 (-104)

Odds taken Feb 1 at DraftKings

Djokovic and Blister Remain Huge Favorites

Despite that, and despite how good 21-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov is, the Serbian remains a massive favorite.

The 5-0 head-to-head is the obvious call. But Shapovalov’s history against Djokovic both in Australia – and in the ATP Cup – is worthy of discussion.

Novak Djokovic v Denis Shapovalov Head-to-Head

Novak Djokovic
VS
Denis Shapovalov

33 Age 21
1 (1) Ranking (Career-high ranking) 12 (10)
81 Career ATP Singles Titles 1
5 Head to Head 0

Third-Set Tiebreak One Year Ago

When Shapovalov and Djokovic met, one year ago, in Sydney in the ATP Cup quarterfinals, the Canadian – still a teenager – took the Serb to a third-set tiebreak.

Djokovic has not played as much as he would have liked because of the blister. And he could easily get off to a slow start while Shapovalov is very amped up.

Best Bet: Shapovalov to win the first set. (+275).

Austria v Italy – Match 1 Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
Dennis Novak (AUT) +3.5 (-132) +160 O 21.5 (-124)
Fabio Fognini (ITA) -3.5 (+105) -200 U 21.5 (-103)

Odds taken Feb 1 at DraftKings

Surprisingly, Fognini Only a Slight Favorite

You would think, given Fabio Fognini’s accomplishments and experience, that he would he a far greater favorite to beat the fairly unknown Dennis Novak.

At 27, with a career best ranking of No. 85, Novak definitely falls into the “rank and file” class while Fognini has been in the top 10. So those are fairly attractive odds for what should be an overwhelming favorite.

 

Dennis Novak v Fabio Fognini Head-to-Head

Dennis Novak
VS
Fabio Fognini

27 Age 33
100 (85) Ranking Ranking (Career-high ranking) 17 (9)
0 Career ATP Singles Titles 9
0 Head to Head 1

 

Thiem a Solid Favorite

Despite their even head-to-head history, Thiem is a solid favorite to beat Berrettini in the key matchup of the Austria v Italy tie.

Austria v Italy – Match 2 Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
Dominic Thiem (AUT) -3.5 (+114) -245 O 22.5 (-122)
Matteo Berrettini (ITA) +3.5 (-143) +190 U 22.5 (-104)

Odds taken Feb 1 at DraftKings

Berrettini has Good Thiem Cred on Hard Courts

Despite Thiem’s superior resumΓ©, the younger Berrettini has shown well against him on hard courts.

Berrettini also has some solid experience with Fognini is what could come down to the deciding doubles.

The No. 1 Italian has beaten Thiem twice on hard, and lost a close one indoors in 2019 in Thiem’s home town of Vienna.

Dominic Thiem v Matteo Berrettini Head-to-Head

Dominic Thiem
VS
Matteo Berrettini

27 Age 24
3 (3) Ranking (Career-high ranking) 10 (8)
17 Career ATP Singles Titles 3
2 Head to Head 2

The fast surface at Melbourne Park will enchance Berrettini’s biggest weapon, his serve. And if Thiem retreats far behind the baseline to try to field it, Berrettini can be aggressive.
Thiem is at +285 to win three; Berrettini is at +500 to win in three.
Best Bet: +140 for a three-setter.
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