ATP Madrid Odds, Picks, Predictions: Andy Murray on Upset Alert in Round 1

ATP Madrid Odds, Picks, Predictions: Andy Murray on Upset Alert in Round 1 article feature image

Valery Hache/Getty. Pictured: Andy Murray.

The big-name events are coming fast and furious now, as we shift from Monte Carlo to Madrid and then Rome all in a six-week span.

For now, it's the lone event of the trio that plays in slightly quicker conditions, as the Spanish capital is about 2100 feet above sea level. That means that as we handicap matches this week, that altitude should be front of mind.

Now let's get into a pair of matchups from ATP Madrid that I believe are showing some value in the betting markets for Thursday's action.

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

ATP Madrid Picks & Predictions

Andy Murray (-150) vs Andrea Vavassori (+130) 

10:30 am E.T.

There are a few reasons to like a fade of Andy Murray in this spot.

First and foremost, the Brit has played precisely four matches on clay since the 2017 season. The only one that came this year? A straight-sets drubbing at the hands of Alex de Minaur – one who isn't at his best on clay in his own right.

I'm not sold on the veteran's physicality after all this time on the surface that demands the most out of players.

The other is that Andrea Vavassori may be a Challenger Tour type opponent, but he's been in okay form and his game should benefit from the altitude.

He is one of the very few players that frequently goes to the serve-and-volley on the dirt. It's not a style that is normally effective, but with a strong first serve and altitude in his favor, it could bear fruit against Murray.

I think the fact that these two have different overall pedigrees in their careers has had a fairly outsized influence on the price. With Murray not having played nearly enough on clay for years and having been clobbered in his lone match on the surface in 2023, and Vavassori showing some decent form and having a game that could work well here, I'll take the plus money and fade the aging Murray.

Pick: Vavassori ML (+130 via FanDuel)

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Dusan Lajovic (-160) vs Jason Kubler (+138)

11 am E.T.

There has been some interesting line movement in the early goings of this market being open. Certain books have seen Dusan Lajovic move from -235 all the way to -155.

Perhaps some are overvaluing the benefit of the altitude for the hard courter in Jason Kubler. It could be that some believe in a potential emotional letdown after a title for the Serbian. Or it could be as simple as some data leading quantitative based bettors to betting Kubler and shaping the market that way.

For me, this movement is a bit much.

I don't think anyone out there would make the case that Lajovic is an undeserved favorite here. He's got a huge surface edge and just won a title on the dirt in Bosnia. His game is also more topspin-heavy, which is rewarded on clay – even if played in elevated environs.

The fact he's coming off a long week would normally be a slight concern on clay, which is a more physically demanding surface, but since Madrid moved to a two-week format this season in the mold of Indian Wells and Miami, the first two days of action were reserved for qualifying, meaning he had plenty of built-in recovery time.

With Kubler's lack of real impressive results on red clay, I'm hard-pressed to justify him being a slight dog here and feel like fading him is the correct position to take.

Pick: Lajovic ML (-160 via FanDuel)

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