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ATP Delray Beach and Marseille Odds, Picks, Best Bets: Grigor Dimitrov on Upset Alert (Feb. 18-19)

ATP Delray Beach and Marseille Odds, Picks, Best Bets: Grigor Dimitrov on Upset Alert (Feb. 18-19) article feature image
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Aaron Francis/Getty. Pictured: Grigor Dimitrov hits a slice backhand at the Australian Open.

With rain creating a wacky schedule on the ATP Tour — particularly in Rio which is looking likely to head into next week due to interruptions — there’s an interesting slate of matches ahead.

The quarterfinals are progressing in Delray while semifinals are set to be played in Marseille and round of 16 play is still delayed in Rio.

Here are the two players that I’m backing on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Grigor Dimitrov (-180) vs. John Millman (+155)

8 p.m. ET Friday, Delray

In an interesting stylistic battle, Dimitrov and Millman will compete for a spot in the semifinals.

The Bulgarian opened up his campaign with a nervy win over Mitchell Krueger, but he got the job done in the end. It was a difficult route there for Dimitrov, as he had a sub-one winner-to-unforced error ratio and a one-to-two ace-to- double fault ratio.

Millman is the type of player that will make things difficult for Dimitrov, as he’s finally appeared to find his rhythm in Delray. While conditions have been difficult for everyone, that plays to Millman’s advantage as his conservative defensive style is strengthened.

He coaxed Marcos Giron into a number of errors and was able to neutralize Maxime Cressy’s power effectively. Dimitrov isn’t exactly like either of those players, but the former world number three is prone to error-ridden periods at times and these are the conditions that would be most likely to generate that out of him.

With winds still gusting in Delray and Millman finding a groove, it presents a tough matchup for Dimitrov, despite being a more complete player on hard courts.

I’ll back the underdog here.

Pick: John Millman (+155 via Caesars)

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Andrey Rublev (-330) vs.Benjamin Bonzi (+255)

9 a.m. ET Saturday, Marseille

While the young Frenchman has had an excellent period over the past two weeks, winning the Cherbourg Challenger and progressing to the semifinals here in Marseille — I believe that these odds are a major over-correction on the matchup’s fair value.

Bonzi’s hard court Elo Rating is more than 200 points short of Rublev, and the world number seven has been continuously improving throughout the European indoor stretch. His loss last week came to eventual tournament winner Felix Auger-Aliassime and he’s gotten through difficult tests from Richard Gasquet and Lucas Pouille to progress in France.

Rublev got past Bonzi in doubles Thursday with partner Denis Molchanov, but I expect the margin to be much different on the singles court.

Rublev has the consistent power and reliability off of both wings to push the rally tolerance of Bonzi, who is due for a bit of regression on serve. He’ll be facing the best returner he’s faced all week by a wide margin in Rublev, and the 80-percent first serve win rate he’s been enjoying all week is bound to drop.

While the Russian has had struggles of his own this week, he’s fought back against the best levels possible from Gasquet and Pouille in their home country and I’m not too concerned. Rublev has been big in key moments and I don’t think he’ll suffer a similar dip against Bonzi.

Pick: Rublev -3.5 games (-125 via Caesars)

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