ATP Wimbledon Thursday Betting Preview: Is John Isner Worth Throwing in a Parlay?

ATP Wimbledon Thursday Betting Preview: Is John Isner Worth Throwing in a Parlay? article feature image

Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports. Pictured: John Isner

  • Round 2 of Wimbledon continues Thursday at 6 a.m. ET, so get your bets in early!
  • Sean Zerillo previews Thursday's second-round action at the All England Club and suggests a few bets that have value.

Monday features the remaining 16 ATP singles matches in the second round, but the slate kicks off at 6 a.m. E.T., so you’ll need to get your bets in early.

The slate features a showdown between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal. The pair have split six matches since 2014, with Kyrgios taking their first meeting at Wimbledon in 2014, and their most recent match in Acapulco (hard court) on February 27 of this year.

Thursday ATP Betting Preview


With the amount of public support for Nick Kyrgios to pull the upset in this spot, there might be value in Rafa Nadal (-316) on the moneyline; but I’m going to skip betting on such a completely unpredictable popcorn match that will ebb and flow with the Australian’s level of engagement.

Even the game spread or total in that match is difficult to recommend, as Kyrgios is prone to taking a set off to rest if he drops an early service game.

Kyrgios actually lost two more games than he won in a five-set victory over countryman Jordan Thompson on Tuesday; after he dropped the fourth set 6-0 in peak low-light fashion.

I’ll be also staying away from enigmatic Italian Fabio Fognini (-130) against Márton Fucsovics. The Hungarian is coming off of his first victory in the main draw at Wimbledon, and this line opened lower than I expected it to.

I can’t get a read on the match between Taylor Fritz (-146) and Jan-Lennard Struff. Both are in great form and have consistently made the second or third round in their recent slam events.

Fritz is eight years younger and has the long-term upside, but this match is too close for me to call — I’d take Struff +2.5 games if anything.

I always have a tough time reading matches involving Diego Schwartzman (-228). He’s 2-4 at Wimbledon but has reached the fourth round of each of the other three slam events.

However, he’s playing a 25-year-old Geman who just won his first-ever main draw match on Tuesday, and I have no idea what to make of Dominik Koepfer’s chances to win another.

John Millman (-313) should ultimately get through Laslo Djere, whose best surface is clay, but Djere also has a consistent, low=energy playing style that keeps his opponents frustrated. He can hit with depth all day and force Millman into a long, uncomfortable match.

At such a steep price, I don’t see value on Matteo Berrettini (-700), even though he is playing as well as anyone and is essentially a lock to defeat the retiring Marcos Baghdatis.

I feel similarly about Marin Cilic (-644), Kei Nishikori (-822), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (-900)  – steep favorites whom I don’t even see value on including in parlays.


John Isner (-394) vs. Mikhail Kukushkin

Big John has beaten “Kuku” in all four of their previous meetings, including three times on hard courts and once at the 2014 French Open.

Eight of the 11 sets that they have played have gone to a tiebreak, and Isner has won six of those. That’s not wholly surprising — Isner has won 61.5% of the tiebreaks he has played over the course of his career (71% on grass); while Kukushkin is at 46% (33% on grass).

Kuku has lost in the second in this tournament for three straight years — with his only second-round victory coming in 2014 over a lucky loser.

Big John makes for an ideal parlay piece.

Sam Querrey (-401) vs. Andrey Rublev

Querrey is coming off of an impressive first-round upset over Dominic Thiem and is in good form while playing on his best surface.

He has taken out some top-flight players at this tournament over the past three years, including Novak Djokovic (2016) in the fourth round, and Andy Murray in the Quarterfinals (2017)

Andrey Rublev has had success in slams at a young age, making the quarterfinals at the 2017 US Open, and the third round at the 2018 Australian Open.

He defeated exciting young Chilean Christian Garin in the first round, generating 26 break-points in four sets, and while I expect him to test Querrey I ultimately think that the American comes out ahead in four or five sets.

I’d play Rublev on the spread, but Querrey is another solid parlay piece.

Gilles Simon (-560) vs. Tennys Sandgren

Simon is typically tough to read and his performances at slam events have been inconsistent. He made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2015 and he has a 22-13 overall record at the tournament, but he has also been upended in the first or second round six times.

However, Simon recently beat Sandgren 7-5, 6-1 on the grass at the Eastbourne Invitational on June 25, and also has a 6-4 6-1 victory on a hard court against Sandgren from 2018.

Outside of a run to the quarterfinal at the 2018 Australian Open, Sandgren is just 2-7 at slam events.

The Frenchman looks like another potential parlay piece.

Lucas Pouille (-560) vs. Grégoire Barrère

Speaking of Frenchmen, Pouille will take on a compatriot for the second straight match here, after dismantling Richard Gasquet in three sets.

Barrere has gone the distance in his previous two matches: defeating an Englishman in order to qualify for the first round before eliminating Alexander Bublik in five sets.

He now has first-round victories in the main draw at back to back slam events (his first entries into the main draw), but this is as far as he will go.

Pouille is the far superior player at the same age and is another potential parlay candidate.

Daniel Evans (-344) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili

Including challenger tournaments, Evans is 13-2 during the grass season, losing to Stan Wawrinka at the Queens Club Championship and Kyle Edmund at the Eastbourne Invitational.

Basilashvili took losses in his opening matchups against Matteo Berrettini at the Halle Open and Martin Fucscovics at the Stuttgart Open.

He owns a career 6-11 record on grass, while Evans has been diligently preparing for this tournament over the past month.

I view Evans as another potential parlay candidate.

Alex de Minaur (-133) vs. Steve Johnson

Finally, a match that you can play straight up at a reasonable price.

The 20-year-old Australian is certainly more talented than Johnson but is still a bit green at times.

However, he appeared to have his head on straight, following a discussion with a sports psychologist, in a straight-set first-round win over Marco Cecchinato.

Oddly, de Minaur also beat Cecchinato in four sets in the first round of Wimbledon 2018.

De Minaur made the third round at that tournament and he has gone 8-4 at majors over the past year.

He also had two 2018 wins against Steve Johnson in straight sets over hard surfaces.

Bets (So Far) for July 4

  • Alex de Minaur (-133)
  • Evans / Isner / Querrey moneyline parlay
  • Evans / Pouille / Simon moneyline parlay
  • Isner / Querrey / Pouille moneyline parlay

Odds, especially live odds, swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Wimbledon betting card for Thursday, July 4. 

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