The business end of the year’s second Masters 1000 event is here! Just five matches remain in the men’s draw, as Thursday wraps up the quarterfinal round.
Let’s delve into the two remaining quarters and see where the betting value lies.
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Miami Open Picks & Predictions
Daniil Medvedev (-2500) vs Chris Eubanks (+975)
It’s been a lovely run for Chris Eubanks, but it’s hard to see him continuing (thus the nearly 10/1 price tag).
Not only is he playing one of the best hard courters in the world in Daniil Medvedev, but he’s in a position now where that first serve — as potent as it is — isn’t likely to be as effective.
Eubanks has found an incredible number of cheap points in his past two matches with that booming first delivery (against Gregoire Barrere, over 40% of his service points didn’t come back into the court).
Why would that change now? Simply put, he has yet to play someone with the reach of Medvedev. Eubanks’ past few opponents have been left lunging at those serves and even when they were put into play, many were left sitting short, allowing Eubanks to put them away.
With that being the primary aspect to his game, he’s in big trouble if the rangy Russian manages to get his racquet to those serves and return them with any kind of depth (something he specializes in).
I commend Eubanks on his run and his improved backhand, but this one should be done in short order.
Pick: Under 19.5 (+104 via PointsBet)
Karen Khachanov (-280) vs Francisco Cerundolo (+220)
Big ups to Karen Khachanov for coming through against Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was a little close for comfort in the opening set, but the Russian was certainly the better player throughout.
Now, he takes on Francisco Cerundolo in a much different matchup. The Argentine may not possess Tsitsipas’ serve and forehand combination, but make no mistake, Cerundolo can still hit both very well.
Khachanov may have the bigger serve and forehand combination, but it’s not like those are weaknesses for Cerundolo, nor will Khachanov be pushed around when he’s able to dictate in his service games in either of those respects.
His athleticism and court coverage is just as strong, if not better, and considering how much he likes the conditions in Miami, he most likely has the edge in that department.
He’s also played — and beaten — guys who are fairly heavily reliant on their first serves and forehands, while also being a tad erratic from the baseline and on the backhand wing.
That should have him well prepared for what will be coming at him from the other side of the net.
On the flip side, Khachanov needed three sets to put away another Argentine with a big forehand in Tomas Martin Etcheverry, with Etcheverry having far less pedigree on hard courts than Cerundolo.
Finally, I like that Cerundola has made it quite clear over the past two seasons that he likes playing in Miami. The courts aren’t too fast, but still reward his aggressive forehand. The heat may bother some, but he isn’t one of those players.
He has been consistently undervalued at this event over the past two years and this is no different.
Picks: Over 22.5 (+100 via BetMGM) & Cerundolo Moneyline (+220 via FanDuel)
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