Tuesday ATP Tennis Odds and Picks: Best Bets in Stockholm and Milan (Nov. 9)
Credit: Julian Finney, Getty. Holger Rune practices at the ATP Next Gen Finals.
The penultimate week of the ATP calendar brings a unique twist.
While a standard 250-level tournament will be played in Stockholm, the Next Gen Finals in Milan will also be held.
The Next Gen Final is an atypical tour event that features the brightest under-21 players on tour and has rules that differ from the standard tour events.
Rules include first-to-four three-of-five set scoring in addition to no-ad games and live coaching. You can read more about the rules here.
Despite Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jenson Brooksby's withdrawals from the event, it's still set to be one of the more entertaining events you'll find at the tour level.
Here's how I'm playing a first round match in Stockholm and two group stage matches at the Next Gen Finals.
Match times are subject to change. For tips on watching tennis matches, read here.
Brandon Nakashima (-900) vs. Juan Manuel Cerundolo (+525)
8:00 a.m. ET, Next Gen Finals
In the first match of the morning, surging American Brandon Nakashima will take on Juan Manuel Cerundolo. These two qualified for this event in far different manners, with Nakashima putting together a sustained period of results on the year while Cerundolo shocked the tennis world in February by winning the Cordoba Open in February.
Nakashima has excelled on hard courts throughout 2021, but he's had particular success on indoor hard courts. Nakashima has an 18-3 record on the surface this year, and most recently he played excellent tournaments on indoor hard courts in consecutive weeks.
A four-win week at the European Open on the ATP level was followed up by a title in the Brest Challenger. He was only broken twice on the week.
Cerundolo has put together an excellent season that is highlighted to a great extent by his title in Cordoba. However, he isn't primed to have much success in Milan, as he's played only one match off of clay this year. The Argentinian has a 51-21 record on clay this year, and his one non-clay match came in a Wimbledon qualifier.
A clay-courter through and through, Cerundolo isn't built for speedy hard courts, as he possesses one of the most limited serves on tour and a game style that is predicated upon extended rallies with the use of heavy spin. In his only meeting with Nakashima, he lost 6-3, 6-0 on an outdoor hard court.
Expect Nakashima to dominate the encounter.
Pick: Under 20.5 games -115 via PointsBet
Carlos Alcaraz (-310) vs. Holger Rune (+235)
9:00 a.m. ET, Next Gen Finals
The match with the biggest star-power on Tuesday comes in Milan, where rising star Carlos Alcaraz takes on the US Open qualifier and four-time 2021 Challenger winner Holger Rune.
Both players have the potential to have wildly successful careers, and they've shown that thus far in the year. Alcaraz has a 5-3 indoor hard court record and a 15-8 outdoor hard court record this season while Rune has a 17-4 / 11-4 split, though he's played many more matches at the Challenger level.
Despite the similar trajectories, Rune and Alcaraz will be meeting for the first time in Milan. Both excel across court surfaces but have both found extended success on hard courts. It makes sense considering each has a well-rounded game that is supported by a quality service potential, and it will make this encounter an intriguing one.
Alcaraz has the edge in power off of both wings, but when Rune is in-form (and his recent title last week in Bergamo indicates that is the case), he has the potential to go toe-to-toe with the world's best. Expect him to neutralize Alcaraz at times in rallies, and if the Spaniard is a bit loose, Rune will have the chance to capitalize.
I expect the Spaniard's quality to carry him through the finish line, but it won't be easy.
Pick: Alcaraz to Win and Both Players to Win a Set +150 via DraftKings
Emil Ruusuvuori (-275) vs. Pedro Martinez (+210)
9:20 a.m. ET, Stockholm Open
In a context like this, there is no better player to back than Pedro Martinez.
The Spaniard is consistently underrated on hard courts despite his 8-9 hard court record on the year. When Martinez comes to the court, you essentially know what you'll get, which is a consistent ball-striker with a solid serve but no major weapons anywhere. The ball is frequently on the racquet of the opponent to determine outcomes, resulting in his break-even record.
If players are wild against Martinez, he's capable of capitalizing on mistakes and punishing them. If they arrive with clean tennis and weapons off of the serve and just one stroke, Martinez is instantly in a problematic position on hard courts.
With Emil Ruusuvuori, you're getting a very hit-or-miss player. When in-form, the Finnish number one hits one of the heaviest balls on tour, but when out of form, he can be a very simple player for someone like Martinez to expose.
At this price, it's worth taking a chance on that scenario. The implied probability of 32% isn't reflective of the chance that Martinez has, and thus this is a valuable opportunity.
Pick: Pedro Martinez +210 via BetMGM