Thursday Morning Tennis Picks: How to Bet ATP 250 in Sofia
Credit: Hector Vivas, Getty. Laslo Djere hits a backhand at the ATP Mexican Open.
As is traditional with 250-level weeks, the matches are coming fast and furious, so there continues to be an abundance of matchups to find opportunities in.
Here are three matches in the Sofia Open that are worth a play on Thursday morning.
Match times are subject to change.
James Duckworth (-110) vs. Benoit Paire (-110)
6:20 a.m. ET
A lot of the time, outcomes in matches that involve Paire are reliant on the type of effort that the Frenchman wants to give.
In this match, though, I think it’s going to be tough for Paire to excel no matter the engagement level he wants to offer.
Duckworth comes into the match riding some very nice results that have included a run to the final in Nur-Sultan last week and an upset win over Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round of this event.
The Australian is comfortable on this surface and is in the midst of his best year on tour. Paire shouldn’t be a player that has the ability right now to knock him off his game.
Paire enters the second round with plenty of tennis in the last couple of months. He’s 7-7 on hard courts in his last 14 matches and has picked up some nice wins, mainly in Cincinnati where he found solid footing.
However, he’s the far more inconsistent player between him and Duckworth. He thrives in situations where he exchanges many breaks of serve with his opponent, something Duckworth won’t give him. In his last five wins, Paire has broken serve 23 times, including four against John Isner.
Paire won’t be able to break Duckworth down from the baseline and he won’t be able to generate break chances with ease, so he could have a very tough time keeping pace with the world No. 56.
Pick: James Duckworth -110 via Caesars Sportsbook
Filip Krajinovic (-225) vs. Laslo Djere (+175)
7:40 a.m. ET
In this all-Serbian battle, the underdog has serious value.
Djere has put together a string of quality indoor hard court results in recent matches, which hasn’t been easy for him to do throughout his career.
He’s won three of his last four matches, with the loss coming to eventual Astana Open champion Soon-Woo Kwon.
Djere has utilized heavy groundstrokes to maintain his position in rallies and combined that with an improved serve to find a great level.
He’s won above 50% of the points behind his first and second serve in each of his last two matches, which includes the loss to Kwon. He only made 51% of his first serves in that match and it cost him dearly as he was broken six times.
Krajinovic, on the other hand, has a lone hard court win in the post-grass period. That victory came against Alexandar Lazarov, a wild card in his hometown event that looked completely out of place.
That may be due to the play of Krajinovic, but it’s hard to give him too much credit when the level from the Bulgarian was just so obviously low.
The one advantage that Krajinovic does have coming into this match is his 5-2 head-to-head record against Djere. However, the most recent hard court meeting between the duo came in 2019, a time when Krajinovic was playing some of his best tennis.
Siding with recent form in this case offers a chance at an in-form player going up against a struggling opponent with an unbelievable price.
Pick: Laslo Djere +175 via DraftKings
Ilya Ivashka (-115) vs. Gael Monfils (-110)
7:40 a.m. ET
This matchup is a tricky one to look at, as Monfils has the type of style that should break down Ivashka. But the Belarusian is nearly unstoppable at the moment.
Monfils likes to get on the offensive and take the initiative in points, which would typically translate to success against a defensive player like Ivashka if Monfils is firing.
However, Ivashka has been able to dial in recently, winning 12 of his last 14 matches and snagging his first ATP title at the Winston-Salem Open.
When a player is in that kind of form and he’s being offered at a near pick ’em price, it’s not an opportunity you can pass up.
The two matches that Ivashka lost came to Matteo Berrettini at the US Open and to Duckworth in Nur-Sultan.
The former loss came in five sets against an in-form top-10 player and the latter was a significant upset against another in-form player. At the end of the day, two forgiving losses out of 14 matches shouldn’t push you away from Ivashka.
Back him to get another win.
Pick: Ilya Ivashka -115 via BetMGM