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Italian Open Odds, Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s ATP Rome Action

Italian Open Odds, Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s ATP Rome Action article feature image

Alex Pantling/Getty. Pictured: Marco Cecchinato.

Friday brought a number of exciting matches at the Italian Open in Rome, and there are more intriguing matches to come in the second round.

For Saturday, let’s delve into a pair of matches that look enticing from a betting perspective, including Bautista Agut vs Cecchinato.

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

ATP Rome Picks & Predictions

Bernabe Zapata Miralles (-160) vs Jason Kubler (+125) 

6:30 a.m. ET

This is a nice matchup for the Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the second round, as he takes on Jason Kubler. While he’s been better in 2023 and has become more of a regular at the ATP Tour level, the 29-year old has yet to really show that he’s improved his clay game enough to garner this kind of respect.

Since the beginning of 2022, Kubler has struggled to beat players that are above the Challenger Tour level on the dirt, with losses this year in straight sets and by fairly big margins to the likes of Tomas Machac, Lorenzo Musetti and most recently Dusan Lajovic.

That last match was another one that saw the Australian overvalued, with Lajovic – another clay-court player, who has coming off a title to boot – in the same price range as Zapata Miralles.

To me, there is a clear pattern here of overvaluing Kubler, whose improvement still seems to be confined to quicker surfaces.

Without the requisite weapons to hit through both the slower clay court and Zapata Miralles’ strong defenses, I’m not sure what Kubler can do to neutralize the surface edge that his Spanish opponent possesses.

Pick: Zapata Miralles ML (-160 via BetMGM)

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Roberto Bautista Agut (-190) vs Marco Cecchinato (+158)

1 p.m E.T.

This is another match where I’m going to target the player with the surface edge.

I understand that Bautista Agut is ranked inside the world’s top-30 and that he’s been a mainstay at the top of the Tour for the past several years, but 2023 has not been his year and slow clay courts – especially at night – aren’t his favored surface on top of that.

In terms of overall pedigree and talent, I can understand why the betting markets like the veteran from Spain.

In this particular match, I think Cecchinato is far more live than the odds would imply.

He’s been in decent form, even if he doesn’t have wins against better competition. He also plays a more defensive, spin-heavy and consistent game style, which should benefit him here, where point construction is rewarded.

Furthermore, Bautista Agut typically prefers counterpunching and using his opposition’s pace against them. Without that coming from the racquet of Cecchinato, it’s another reason to like Cecchinato in a night match, where the lack of sun and heat will also work against the courts being lively.

I’ll take the underdog at a price nearing +160 to feed on the energy of the Italian crowd in favorable conditions to pull off the upset.

Pick: Cecchinato ML (+158 via FanDuel)

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