Last Updated: 2016-07-26
The Toronto Rogers Cup is considered one of two major warm-ups to the U.S. Open. Because of the Olympics in Rio this year, the tournament is being played earlier than normal and with a few notable absences from top players (Murray, Federer, Nadal). This means there may be opportunities for some of the younger players to advance farther than they typically would.
Although everyone will be watching to see how Novak Djokovic returns from his 3R loss in Wimbledon, this is clearly his tournament to lose. Watch him early, but assuming he looks to be back in form, he should be a safe play just about every time he goes onto the court. Tomorrow features five matchups, some of which carry heavy lines but are worth taking a look at.
- A few important notes and reminders when betting on non-grand slam tournaments.
- These are best 2 of 3 sets, not 3 of 5. As a result, upsets are more common and it can be harder to predict a “clear” winner.
- If the lines are too high, don’t bet on these matchups because we do see more volatility in the smaller tournaments.
- We have now entered the hard court season. This is a very different surface than grass or clay.
- Know your opponent as well as you know the player you are betting on. Head-to-Head, recent form, and the player’s strength or weakness on the surface (hard court) is something to pay attention to.
John Isner -500 v. Ryan Harrison +375,
Head to Head: Isner 5 wins, Harrison 1 win
- I really like Isner in this play here for a couple of reasons. Isner typically does well against opponents significantly lower ranked than him. His serve sets up well on hard courts and he usually plays well on this stretch of the hard court season. Harrison is not a very strong opponent and his one win against Isner three years ago was more than anything a fluke at the beginning of the tennis season. Although Isner is showing a few signs of weakness, dropping a set yesterday, and losing early in D.C. he should find few issues getting past the far lower ranked Harrison.
Grigor Dimitrov v. Denis Shapovalov +110, to win a set
- Shapovalov is making headlines left and right after his major upset against Nick Kyrgios yesterday. The 17 year-old Canadian won the Wimbledon Juniors title this season after making it to the junior semi finals in Paris the month before. It will be very difficult for him to follow up his performance against Kyrgios with another upset, but there is some great value here for him to win a set. Dimitrov is a total head case, albeit he’s been playing better tennis lately, and with the entire Canadian crowd rooting on one of their own, there is no reason to think Shapovalov can’t sneak out a set. If you wanted to be a little risky, a Shapovalov victory is coming in at a line of +290 and although unlikely, it is by no means out of the realm of possibility.
Sam Querrey +140 v. David Goffin -170
- Goffin comes into Toronto playing his first match since his loss to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon last month. Although there may be concerns that he will be a little rusty, I think a -170 line is very favorable and probably lower than it should be. Querrey has generated a HUGE amount of buzz and hype after beating Djokovic at Wimbledon in the 3R. As a result, lesser-educated tennis bettors are likely picking him to win or upset more often. Querrey deserves all the credit in the world for that victory; however, he still is at best about a top 30 player, who will struggle against opponents considerably better than him. Goffin is one of those opponents and he should have no problem dispatching Querrey. It’s worth noting that Goffin beat Querrey here last year in straight sets.
Bernard Tomic -700 v. Steven Diez +475
- Yes this line is high, especially given that it’s not a grand slam event, but Steven Diez is a very weak opponent and Tomic should crush him. Diez got a wild card bid to his home country’s tournament and snuck past Kyle Edmund (not that hard to do) in three sets yesterday. Unless Tomic, who also is a head case, becomes unwound, he should crush Diez without exerting much effort.
Novak Djokovic v. Gilles Muller +325, to win a set
- It’s really hard to pick against Djokovic in anything, but there is some value here in taking Muller to win a set. The odds are not in Muller’s favor, having lost both of his matches against Djokovic in straight sets, but often times when a player returns after an extended break from tennis, they come out rusty. Djokovic is returning from a devastating loss against Sam Querrey in the 3R of Wimbledon and we don’t know what kind of form he will be in. Mentally and or physically, he may not be 100% and it could be worth placing a small amount on Muller to win a set here. Again, the odds suggest this won’t happen, but if you are looking for value and a bit of longer shot, this may be your pick.