- The ATP World Tour Finals are upon us
- Is Novak Djokovic a good bet as a favorite?
- Or is it smarter to take a flyer on an underdog?
The Nitto ATP World Tour Finals start this weekend on November 11th at the O2 Arena in London. It’s a weird, fun event, and one that has produced underdog winners recently.
ATP World Tour Finals Odds
|Player||Outright Winner Odds at Bovada|
I have serious questions about Roger Federer, and less serious questions about Novak Djokovic. It’s good to remember that this format is friendly to underdogs, and that Grigor Dimitrov won last year without ever blossoming into the beautiful flower we’ve all been waiting for. Maybe take a flyer on an outside player you like (Kevin Anderson?) and hope for the long season to get to Novak and Roger like it did to Rafa.
It’s very funny that odds-on favorite Novak Djokovic will enter this tournament on a 0-1 streak. Does that create value for Novak, or did Khachanov expose his vulnerability?
World Tour Finals Match Odds
Here’s the odds on the first matches of the tournament, also from Bovada:
Kevin Anderson vs Dominic Thiem
|Kevin Anderson||EVEN (-105)||-105||O 25.5 (-105)|
|Dominic Thiem||EVEN (-125)||-115||U 25.5 (-125)|
I love the over here, because if Kevin Anderson is good for anything it’s holding serve over and over again. Dominic Thiem is also underrated as a heavy hitter, so I expect a lot of sets to end up 6-4 or 7-5, and since these two are so evenly matched a three-setter doesn’t seem unlikely.
Roger Federer vs Kei Nishikori
|Roger Federer||-3.5 (-125)||-350||O 22.5 (EVEN)|
|Kei Nishikori||+3.5 (-105)||+275||U 22.5 (-130)|
There was something visibly wrong with Roger Federer at the Paris Masters, and his placement and consistency on first serve were seriously lacking. That suggests a back problem similar to what ended his season last year, and if that’s true Nishikori could quite plausibly beat him outright.
The odds here are pretty healthy, +275 for Kei Nishikori is a good payout, so that seems like a good bet.
Alexander Zverev vs Marin Cilic
|Alexander Zverev||-0.5 (-120)||-130||O 24.5 (-120)|
|Marin Cilic||+0.5 (-110)||EVEN||U 24.5 (-110)|
Zverev’s won all five of this pair’s most recent matches, and you have to stretch back to 2015 (when Zverev was still learning to walk) for a Cilic win. I agree that Cilic has made some big strides recently, but I like the spread here.
Novak Djokovic vs John Isner
|Novak Djokovic||-3.5 (-115)||-800||O 23.0 (-105)|
|John Isner||+3.5 (-115)||+550||U 23.0 (-125)|
Novak losing to Karen Khachanov was concerning, but two things stand out to me:
- Karen Khachanov has won his last four matches against top-10 players, and is really good
- Novak Djokovic won the 22 matches preceding that one
Maybe Nole got tired of winning? Maybe he got tired from playing against Roger Federer for three hours? Maybe Karen Khachanov is secretly Marat Safin in a disguise?
Anyway, John Isner has never beaten Novak Djokovic and isn’t about to start. I’ll take the under.