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ATP Tour Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Alcaraz, Berrettini Vulnerable in Rio Matches (Feb. 17)

ATP Tour Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Alcaraz, Berrettini Vulnerable in Rio Matches (Feb. 17) article feature image
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Marcelo Endelli/Getty. Pictured: Thiago Monteiro hits a forehand at the Argentina Open.

Round of 16 play continues Thursday on the ATP Tour, with a number of stars set to play in Rio that includes Carlos Alcaraz, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud.

While Alcaraz played an excellent final two sets and Berrettini is fresh off of a semifinal run in the Australian Open, I feel as though both are in tough positions.

Read on for my analysis of both players’ matches under the lights in Rio.

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

Carlos Alcaraz (-370) vs. Federico Delbonis (+265)

5 p.m. ET

Alcaraz is undoubtedly already one of the brightest talents the sport has to offer and on the path to becoming a dominant all-court player. He’s also a future Roland Garros champion in the making, but he’ll be facing a veteran with the ability to make life tough on clay for opponents.

Delbonis struggled at the beginning of his season, but then came the Argentina Open, where he really found his form, beating Pablo Andujar, Fabio Fognini and a hampered Juan Martin Del Potro en route to a semifinal appearance.

The Argentine had one of his best seasons on tour in 2021, earning a 29-13 record on clay and reaching three ATP semifinals. Delbonis has a clay court Elo Rating just shy of 200 points lower than Alcaraz, but he has the experience to cause problems for the talented 18-year-old player.

Rio has courts that play as some of the slowest on tour, and that’ll work to Delbonis’ advantage as well. If he can frustrate Alcaraz, we’ve seen him go on poor runs like he did against Munar.

I don’t believe that was a fluke, and I expect to see some struggles from Alcaraz once again, even if he doesn’t lose.

Pick: Delbonis +4.5 Games (-120 via Caesars)

Matteo Berrettini (-330) vs. Thiago Monteiro (+250)

6:20 p.m. ET

Another heavy favorite, Berrettini is another elite all-court player with pedigree on clay.

Monteiro is a veteran with a bit of quality form coming into this match. However, it’s another situation where the conditions favor the left-hander. Berrettini’s biggest weapon is his serve, and it’ll be tough to generate the amount of free points he typically does on a slow court after a decent layoff.

Berrettini hasn’t played since a Jan. 28 meeting with Rafael Nadal and hasn’t seen a clay court since June 9 last year. In contrast, Monteiro, is a clay-courter through and through who got past a difficult test in Sebastian Baez in the first round.

Look for Monteiro to seek out forehand-to-backhand rallies. And if Berrettini is struggling to find his serve, the Brazilian will be able to get into a lot of those situations.

Despite a significant Elo gap that reflects the general levels of both players on clay, I’m comfortable with this spot on the underdog once again.

Behind his home fans, on conditions that suit him well facing a player stepping onto a clay court for the first time in 2022, he could be live for a major upset.

Pick: Monteiro +3.5 Games (-105 via DraftKings)

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