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Thursday ATP Tennis Adelaide & Melbourne Best Bets: Back These Live Underdogs, Including Laslo Djere

Thursday ATP Tennis Adelaide & Melbourne Best Bets: Back These Live Underdogs, Including Laslo Djere article feature image
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SOPA Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Botic van de Zandschulp strikes a backhand.

  • The ATP Tour heads to the quarterfinals of the early 2022 tournaments, which means there are some potential opportunities to cash on some upset winners.
  • Avery Zimmerman dishes out his two favorite potential underdogs on the busy slate.
  • Check out below why he lies Laslo Djere and Botic van de Zandschulp to pull off some surprises.

Three ATP tournaments head into the business end of the week for the first time this year, with quarterfinal play is set to begin in Melbourne and Adelaide, plus the ATP Cup heads into the semifinals.

With more than 10 quality matches on the docket, there are a number of opportunities to find value and a couple of underdogs are capable of pulling off upsets.

Here is where I’m looking for Thursday evening’s action.

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

Marin Cilic (-400) vs. Laslo Djere (+270)

7:30 p.m. ET, Adelaide International

Djere isn’t someone who wants to be on a hard court. And with the European clay season just months away, he’ll soon have his best chance to make a real dent in the tour, but he has the tools to compete well on the surface.

While a 7-5, 7-6 win over Roberto Carballes Baena and a disqualification victory against Corentin Moutet might not illustrate a talented hard-court player, stats paint a kinder picture. The Serbian has been excellent behind his serve, registering 20 aces and just five double faults through his first two matches while winning over 70 percent of the points on his serve.

This would be a big accomplishment for Djere on a hard court, but his ability to neutralize power and extend rallies will serve him well against a player like Cilic, who’s prone to loose play at times. Against an average server in Thiago Monteiro, Cilic was only able to record one break of serve and it’ll be even tougher for him against Djere.

Further, the price discrepancies on the market offer an even greater rationale for betting the +270 odds. With oddsmakers offering Djere primarily in the range between +205 and +220, the number at FanDuel creates a near five percent edge on the market.

That’s more than enough for me to back the underdog.

Pick: Djere to win a set (-110) — 0.5u | Djere (+270 via FanDuel

Grigor Dimitrov (-180) vs. Botic van de Zandschulp (+134)

3:00 a.m. ET, Melbourne Summer Set

One of the biggest breakout stars of the latest quarter of the season was van de Zandschulp, who reached the final eight at the US Open. Since then, the Dutchman has put together quality tournaments on frequent occasions.

He’s already kicked off his 2022 campaign in good form, beating Adrian Mannarino and Mackie McDonald in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals. It isn’t too surprising considering his run of form and the combined six wins he garnered in the run-up to the Australian Open last year, but it’s good to see VDZ open the year in strong fashion.

Dimitrov earned an underrated win against Facundo Bagnis to open his singles season, and he already teamed up with David Goffin to get by van de Zandschulp in doubles, but this is going to be a very difficult matchup for him.

The Bulgarian is reliant on an effective slice off of his backhand wing, but van de Zandschulp likes to run around his backhand and hit a heavy forehand when given time, as he’ll have against consistent slices. Dimitrov is also prone to struggling on his first serve, and the 62 percent first serve rate he found against Bagnis will cause issues against van de Zandschulp.

Neither of van de Zandschulp’s first two foes were able to win more than 46 percent of the points behind their second serve, as van de Zandschulp able to tee off on conservative service styles. All in all, there are enough reasons to believe that he should be coming into this match as the favorite outright.

Pick: Van de Zandschulp (+134) via FanDuel

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