WTA Cincinnati Betting Notes: Value Galore on Tuesday’s Deep Slate

WTA Cincinnati Betting Notes: Value Galore on Tuesday’s Deep Slate article feature image

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Serena Williams during her dominant first-round win over Daria Gavrilova

  • Tuesday's loaded WTA card in Cincinnati features plenty of intriguing matchups from a betting perspective.
  • The feature match of the day will take place in primetime between Serena Williams (-165) and Petra Kvitova.
  • I ultimately bet six matches today, as I see a number of lines that hold significant value compared to my numbers.

Monday was an entertaining and profitable start to the WTA tour stop in Cincinnati. After getting a first-set bagel, Viktória Kužmová decided to make us sweat into the third set — but eventually pulled out a win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. We also cashed with Anett Kontaveit, who won in much more routine fashion against Barbora Strycova.

Tuesday’s card has a number of tremendous matchups, headlined by the main event: Serena Williams vs. Petra Kvitova. I see some decent value in a number of matches, so let’s take a quick glance at each one. I will close with a summary of the six bets I made today.

Non-futures YTD Record: +2.37 units

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Naomi Osaka (-155) vs. Maria Sakkari (+135)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Osaka leads 1-0 (2018 Indian Wells-hard)

The day will start off with a very intriguing matchup of two powerful hitters looking to end two-match losing streaks.

However, one of Sakkari’s losses came in the San Jose final (her first on Tour) two weeks ago against Mihaela Buzarnescu. She played fantastic tennis leading up to that final, having dropped only one set. The other loss came against Daria Kasatkina in Montreal — two very respectable defeats to say the least.

Conversely, Osaka has suffered disappointing back-to-back defeats to Magda Linette and Carla Suarez Navarro. The bigger issue is her conditioning and health; the 20-year-old has had her ankle bandaged up in recent weeks and doesn’t look like the same player we saw win Indian Wells in March.

Sakkari can not only match Osaka’s power, but she can win this match with her forehand. I simply can’t pass up +135 on the in-form Greek against a hobbled Osaka.

Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Maria Sakkari

Tatjana Maria (-120) vs. Allie Kiick (+100)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

This is an unlikely meeting between two qualifiers who had four collective upset wins in the qualifying round. I’m not sure Maria has the power to put points away against Kiick, who will play her typical defensive style.

Elise Mertens (-205) vs. Magdalena Rybarikova (+175)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Rybarikova leads 1-0 (2016 Auckland-hard)

I expect a competitive match between two players who looked sharp last week in Montreal. Mertens has been rock-solid throughout 2018, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 14 and losing in the first round of a tournament only twice. Mertens’ superior defensive skills will frustrate Rybarikova, but her lapses in concentration that allowed two of her Montreal matches to go three sets do concern me.

Ana Bogdan (-120) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (+100)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Bogdan leads 1-0 (2018 Washington, D.C.-hard)

These two met just a couple of weeks ago in Washington in a match Bogdan ran away with in the second set after Makarova got tight in the first-set tiebreaker. Makarova is lacking confidence in all phases, while Bogdan pulled off two impressive upsets in qualifying against Monica Niculescu and Donna Vekic — both in straight sets.

I will be betting Bogdan (whom I make closer to -140) against a struggling opponent who’s only 5-8 on hard courts this year.

Credit: Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ana Bogdan

Ashleigh Barty (-330) vs. Marketa Vondrousova (+270)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Barty leads 1-0 (2017 Birmingham-grass)

Barty is fresh off a semifinal appearance in Montreal, where she lost to eventual champ Simona Halep. The Aussie will look to continue her fine form against an opponent who may be rusty after a monthlong break.

Vondrousova is a left-handed 19-year-old Czech who prefers clay courts. She did win a lesser tour event on this surface last year, but her play has regressed a bit in 2018. Barty’s style suits hard courts much better, and she’s in much better form.

Kaia Kanepi (-245) vs. Varvara Lepchenko (+205)

Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
H2H: Kanepi leads 4-0 (3-0 hard courts)

Kanepi possesses more talent and power, and she also generally performs well during the summer hard-court season. Lepchenko will need a lot of errors from Kanepi to stay involved.

Amanda Anisimova (-150) vs. Timea Babos (+130)

Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

This line (which I make -220) makes zero sense to me. After Anisimova’s impressive performance in San Jose, I didn’t think we would see this much value with her — especially against an opponent in Babos who is 3-10 in her past 13 matches.

Anisimova has proven she can handle the power of players such as Babos in 2018 hard-court wins over Caroline Dolehide, Kvitova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Unless Babos somehow suddenly finds her peak game, the young American should move on.

Karolina Pliskova (-130) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (+110)

Time: 1 p.m. ET
H2H: Radwanska leads 7-0 (4-0 hard courts)

That head-to-head record says it all. Radwanska, with her tricky style, is completely in Pliskova’s head. Radwanska isn’t in career-best form, but neither is Pliskova, who didn’t make a single semifinal in the three grass-court tournaments she played (her preferred surface). The Czech also was beaten soundly (6-2, 6-2) by Kiki Bertens in Montreal last week.

Radwanska, meanwhile, has dealt with injuries all year en route to a subpar 13-10 record. However, she can still run and use spin/variety to force Pliskova into countless unforced errors. I just can’t pass up plus-money on a player who owns a 7-0 head-to-head record.

Kiki Bertens (-170) vs. Coco Vandeweghe (+150)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: Tied 1-1 (Coco 1-0 on hard)

Bertens arrives here in solid form, having made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and Montreal. Those are impressive results for a player who prefers the clay.

Vandeweghe is such a form player, but that form is currently lacking. After the 26-year-old American made the U.S. Open semifinals last year, many had high hopes for her, but she’s had a very disappointing 2018 season. I have no interest in backing Bertens as a favorite on a hard court but I have too many questions with Coco’s game to get involved.

Anastasija Sevastova (-130) vs. Camila Giorgi (+110)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: Giorgi leads 1-0 (2018 Wimbledon-grass)

This is quite the matchup of differing styles. Giorgi will try to blast the ball by her opponent on every point, while Sevastova relies on superior defense and angles to force her opponents into errors.

Sevastova did make the quarterfinals last week in Montreal, but she probably should’ve lost to Monica Puig two rounds earlier. Also, I don’t take too much from the Italian’s recent win at Wimbledon, as she prefers grass much more. Tough match to call on a hard court.

Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Camila Giorgi

Victoria Azarenka (-125) vs. Caroline Garcia (+105)

Time: 4 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

A great undercard match for the main event between Serena and Kvitova. Azarenka fought through a game Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday, while Garcia enjoyed a bye. That could make all the difference.

Azarenka is still nowhere close to her former self, having to grind her way through matches and overcome fitness issues. She will have more than 24 hours to recover, but I just can’t trust her form right now. I think her name recognition is creating value on the other side in a match I have as a toss-up.

Daria Kasatkina (-145) vs. Petra Martic (+125)

Time: 4:15 p.m. ET
H2H: Martic leads 1-0 (2015 ITF Vancouver-hard)

Kasatkina, though not in peak form, has much more talent than Martic. I wasn’t worried about Kasatkina’s game after she got blown out by compatriot Maria Sharapova in Montreal, as I think nerves played a huge role for the 21-year-old Russian against an idol of sorts.

Martic is not nearly as intimidating as Sharapova. She did handle her way through qualifying against Bernarda Pera and Lauren Davis, but Kasatkina is in a different class, with more tools and consistency. Considering I make this line -180, I have to back the Russian.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (-325) vs. Aleksandra Krunic (+265)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: Pavlyuchenkova leads 1-0 (2015 Linz-hard)

Krunic has looked horrible during the summer hard-court swing, winning only three total games in losses to Sevastova and Katie Boutler. Pavs should probably never be priced this high, but I can’t back Krunic until she ends her five-match losing streak.

Viktoria Kuzmova (-115) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (-105)

Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Except for a small stretch in the second set, Kuzmova looked dominant Monday — especially on serve. Meanwhile, Mladenovic didn’t look great in a win over a wounded Julia Goerges (who retired).

Kuzmova has been on a good run recently and can easily overpower Mladenvoic just like she did against Sasnovich. I doubt she will match her career-high 18 aces, but her 55% first-serve percentage should increase. Kuzmova holds great value against a shaky and off-form Mladenovic.

Elina Svitolina (-240) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (+220)

Time: 7 p.m. ET
H2H: Tied 1-1 (both on hard)

Kuznetsova received a wild card here after winning in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago, but struggled mightily with qualifier Stefanie Voegele in the first round before winning a third-set tiebreaker. I think Svitolina will advance with her impeccable defense. Kuznetsova is on a six-match win streak, but she hasn’t played anybody with top-level defensive skills. Sveta could also have fatigue issues against a very fresh Svitolina.

Serena Williams (-165) vs. Petra Kvitova (+150)

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
H2H: Serena leads 5-1 (3-0 on hard)

This prime-time showdown everyone drooled over after Friday’s draw could realistically be a preview of the U.S. Open final in four weeks. While Kvitova has won their most recent encounter in 2015, Serena has lost only one set in their three hard-court meetings. Williams also looked dominant Monday against Daria Gavrilova.

The line looks right, so I will just enjoy this match with a beverage.

Tuesday Best Bets

  1. Maria Sakkari +135
  2. Ana Bogdan -120
  3. Agnieszka Radwanska +110
  4. Amanda Anisimova -150
  5. Viktoria Kuzmova -115
  6. Daria Kasatkina -145

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