Mexican Open Day 1 Odds & Predictions: Best Bets in Acapulco (Feb. 21)
Buda Mendes/Getty. Pictured: Pablo Carreno Busta hits a forehand at the Rio Open.
Editor's Note: Tonight's match between Grigor Dimitrov and Maxime Cressy was cancelled due to Cressy's withdrawal from the tournament
Dubai isn't the only 500-level ATP tournament this week, as one of the coolest spots on the ATP Tour plays host to a number of top 10 players.
Acapulco featured a final between Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas last year, and both players will be back this year in addition to Daniil Medvedev, Rafa Nadal and Matteo Berrettini.
The stacked field should create some excellent matchups and moments, so it'll be a fun week to bet and enjoy… as long as we're on the winning side, of course.
Here's how I'll be betting two matches on the first day of the main draw in the Mexican Open.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Grigor Dimitrov (-160) vs. Maxime Cressy (+130)
8:20 p.m. ET
While Australian Open standout Maxime Cressy hasn't captured that form just yet in subsequent events, he has a good opportunity to secure a win against a player whom he has already beaten on the season.
Grigor Dimitrov and Cressy met in an Aussie Open warmup event, with Cressy controlling the match with an effective serve-and-volley strategy in addition to clutch play in big moments.
The match could've gone either way, but while Cressy was one-of-two on break points and stronger in the second set tiebreaker, Dimitrov was zero-for-five on break chances and let his level drop in the breaker.
Coming into Acapulco, Dimitrov hasn't been able to find a rhythm on the season, winning just one of his last three matches (that being against Mitchell Krueger, the ATP number 157). His best win on the year came against Jiri Lehecka in the first round of the Australian Open, but we haven't seen Dimitrov maintain any consistent level.
Slower hard courts in Acapulco could work to Dimitrov's advantage, but Cressy isn't a standard big server like Opelka or Isner, but rather one who is tactical behind serves, looking to get into the net. A slower court doesn't damage his style too much as he'll have time to close space and ultimately rush Dimitrov behind solid net play.
At this price, Cressy is worth a look, and I think he's the favorite to follow up his win down under with another in the rematch.
Pick: Cressy +130 via DraftKings
Pablo Carreno Busta (-260) vs. Oscar Otte (+205)
9:40 p.m. ET
World number 17 Pablo Carreno Busta didn't have a successful campaign in Rio, but this is a much better opportunity for him to find some success before the Sunshine Double gets underway in a few weeks.
Carreno Busta ran into an in-form Fabio Fognini in Brazil, but Oscar Otte doesn't present the same type of challenge. The German is difficult to deal with at times, presenting a unique style predicated on a big serve and mixed looks, but Carreno Busta should dictate rallies in this match.
Otte was fortunate to get through qualifiers, showing some nice toughness to get by Stefan Kozlov, but the match was sloppy from the second set on, and loose play from the American allowed Otte to recover from a break down and progress to the main draw.
The Spaniard won't give him the same opportunities to capitalize, as he's far more consistent and overall just a level above Kozlov. Carreno Busta has an approximate 100-point Elo Rating edge on hard courts, and on less lively hard courts, particularly in the evening, Otte won't generate as many free points as he'd like.
That'll cause problems for him as he instantly becomes the underdog in each rally that gets extended between the two.
Back Carreno Busta to get his tournament started on the right foot.
Pick: Carreno Busta -3.5 games (-110 via FanDuel)