ATP Cincinnati Bets, Analysis: How to Bet Stefanos Tsitsipas & Carlos Alcaraz on Thursday (August 18)

ATP Cincinnati Bets, Analysis: How to Bet Stefanos Tsitsipas & Carlos Alcaraz on Thursday (August 18) article feature image

Mike Lawrence/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz

It's nearing crunch time in Cincinnati, as the combined Masters event for both the ATP and WTA Tours will decide the final eight players in each draw on Thursday.

Let's take a look at a pair of matches on the men's side of the draw and see if we can find a few winning bets.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (-333) vs. Diego Schwartzman (+270)

1:30 p.m. ET

First up, a match featuring two of the world's top-20 players in Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman.

In what has historically been a relatively close matchup, I'm backing the 24-year-old from Greece to come away with this one in straight sets, for a few reasons.

For starters, these two have been on divergent paths in terms of their recent form. While Tsitsipas had a disappointing week in Montreal in his first tun-eup event for the U.S. Open, it's worth noting that Jack Draper is one of the sport's better young prospects, and his game is far from comparable to that of Schwartzman. The Brit is tall, left-handed and possesses and huge serve and forehand combination — which can be played cross court into that Tsitsipas one-handed backhand.

Other than that, Tsitsipas had his best ever grass season and in his first match in Cincinnati against a decent server, dispatched Filip Krajinovic in routine fashion.

Schwartzman, on the other hand, has suffered losses this summer to Emil Ruusuvuori on clay, Albert Ramos Vinolas on a hard court and needed three sets in Cincy to get past both Alex Molcan and Aslan Karatsev. Not the most inspiring run.

Secondly, as alluded to earlier, as a contender this summer in New York City — especially with Novak Djokovic still unlikely to play as of now — Tsitsipas could certainly use a few more matches on hard courts to get ready for the year's final slam. After a short stay in Montreal and with a week off between Cincinnati and the U.S. Open, fatigue shouldn't be a concern, and building some form and momentum should be a priority.

Finally, in terms of the matchup on a quick court, the possibility to rush Tsitsipas on return is always there, but with Schwartzman low on confidence and not exactly possessing the necessary firepower to rush the Athens native from the baseline, we should see Tsitsipas able to come through this one in relatively straightforward fashion.

Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win 2-0 (-120 via FanDuel)

Carlos Alcaraz (-435) vs. Marin Cilic(+340)

8:30 p.m. ET

In the night cap on Center Court, phenom Carlos Alcaraz will be put to the test by the veteran Marin Cilic, as the young Spaniard looks to prove himself on the quicker courts of Cincinnati at the Western & Southern Open.

Despite a thoroughly impressive opening round victory and a downright absurd 2022 campaign to date, questions still remain regarding Alcaraz's ability on quicker courts.

Even though he is equipped with elite athleticism and movement, he's still prone to being rushed on some of the quicker courts he's played on and can uncork his fair share of errors.

Generally speaking, this has been against some of the bigger servers and ball strikers on tour (Matteo Berrettini in Australia and Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon), and that's exactly what he's up against in Cilic.

A former U.S. Open champion, Wimbledon finalist and champion at this venue in 2016 (his lone Masters 1000 series title), Cilic is right at home on quicker surfaces, with his massive first serve and crushing forehand.

Unlike Alcaraz's first opponent in Mackenzie McDonald, the 33-year-old is capable of coaxing those errors out of his teenage counterpart in this one, and potentially upsetting him outright.

While the night time conditions should help Alcaraz a tad, we still haven't seen him really prove himself against the upper echelons of the ATP Tour on quick courts, so I'll back Cilic to keep this one more competitive than the markets are giving him credit for.

Picks:  Over 22.5 Games (+100 via PointsBet) & small on Cilic ML (+340 via FanDuel)

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