ATP Tennis Betting: Zeballos can handle the heat and overcome Kamke

Round two of the BB&T Atlanta Open completes in Georgia, USA on Thursday, with Nick Kyrgios among those in action today at the Atlantic Station.

Wednesday’s wagers got off to a good start when the expected opening set tie break happened between Kevin Anderson and Reilly Opelka to land the ‘value bet’ and that was followed by John Isner securing the 'sure thing' with a 2-0 win over Adrian Mannarino. In the process Isner dished out only his fourth ever bagel set – and two of them have come against Mannarino. 

But the bizarre run of players failing to see out matches this week in Atlanta continued last night when Tim Smyczek ended up losing after leading by a set and 3-0 against Donald Young.

At least Smyczek made a good in-play pick from his starting price of 3.15 to an in-running 1.02, but it was very disappointing for those who backed pre-match and let it run. 

Anderson was another to fold near the finish line, with the big man a 1.01 chance against Opelka after leading 5-2 in the decider, and he also had a couple of match points before wilting.

Perhaps the heat has a lot to do with it, but there have been plenty losing from 1.02 in-running already this week and we’re not out of round two yet. It won't get any cooler on Thursday either, with 60 percent humidity to go with 35C temperatures and hotter down on court. 

Yoshihito Nishioka vs Alexandr Dolgopolov

The Dog was taken down by a low-ranked Japanese opponent a year ago in Atlanta and there’s half a chance it could happen again here when the Ukrainian faces Nishioka.

Go Soeda was a 4.36 chance and ranked number 114 when he was a three set winner over Dolgopolov in last year’s Atlanta Open and the favourite hardly comes here in the best of form. 

Ever the mercurial talent Dolgo could blow Nishioka away on his very best form, but anything less than a decent display from the world number 38 could see him upset again. 

He comes here on the back of a disappointing straight sets loss to another lefty in Donald Young in Toronto and he hasn’t beaten anyone ranked higher than 68 in the world rankings since Madrid back at the start of May. 

Three of his last four matches have seen him lose opening set tie breaks then fade away to defeat and on the stats at main level on hard courts in this current season there shouldn’t be much in this one.

Nishioka has a service hold of 78.3 percent in 2016 and a break of serve percentage of 26.1, which is pretty good and more so for a player with a weak serve. 

Dolgo holds his own serve 77.3 percent of the time and breaks 24.9 percent of the time, so on those numbers and knowing the random nature of Dolgo’s performances it wouldn’t be much of a shock if he lost here.

Nishioka will be up for it after a real battle with Dan Evans (who beat Dolgo in straight sets at Wimbledon) on Tuesday and he’ll certainly be more attuned to the conditions after that one.

Horacio Zeballos vs Tobias Kamke

It’s been a good week for Kamke, who got back into the Atlanta Open as a lucky loser when Ivan Dodig pulled out injured, and the German took his chance against Sergiy Stakhovsky.

He was a tad fortunate to get by the Ukrainian though, as Stakho could have won both sets against him and the form of his loss to John-Patrick Smith doesn’t look good at all after the Aussie was easily beaten by Julien Benneteau.

Since winning the ATP Newcomer of the Year award back in 2010 when he rose from 254 to 66 in the rankings that season, but he hasn’t been that high since and the last time he was in the top-100 was May 2015. 

That win over 94-ranked Stakhovsky was Kamke’s second top-100 win in his last 16 matches going back to April 2014 and his last quarter final at tour level on outdoor hard was in Washington DC four years ago.

Zeballos had a good result in round one against the struggling Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and his service hold percentage in the last year on hard courts of 84.7 is impressive. 

The leftie doesn’t break serve much at 15.3 percent, but with Kamke only holding 74.3 percent of the time on hard courts in the last year he should be helped out a bit in that department. 

Kamke has never beaten a top-100 ranked leftie at main level in his career and I’d also side with Zeballos to handle the heat better after his run to the last-16 in those humid conditions there earlier this season.

The -1.5 games on Zeballos at 1.98 looks good value in this one.

Fernando Verdasco vs Julien Benneteau

I can’t trust Nick Kyrgios at a price like 1.2 at the moment (or ever, really) in the mood he’s in at the moment and instead the best choice for odds-on backers today seems to be Verdasco. 

It doesn’t sit that comfortably siding with Nando at short prices, but he has won his last nine as a sub-1.40 chance and he’s been in good form of late and should be too strong for Benny, who has a poor record against lefties. 

Benneteau has lost all four career meetings with Verdasco and against all left-handers the Frenchman has lost nine of his last 11, with that win over Smith in round one here ending a run of five straight losses going back to 2014. 

He’s twice been beaten by Thiago Monteiro in recent months and I’d expect Verdasco’s forehand to be too strong for the Benny backhand in conditions that will test the stamina of a man who’s been out injured for a long time.

Verdasco played well enough in round one against Dusan Lajovic and he’s won 86 percent of his matches on outdoor hard as a sub-1.40 favourite.

Benneteau has a poor 11.4 percent service break mark in his last 10 matches at main level on hard courts and should struggle to break Verdasco, who’s more likely to break himself if his mind isn’t fully on it. 

The Frenchman has won only one of last 10 matches at main level as a 3.0 underdog or bigger and none of his five against lefties in that price range. 

Best Bets
Sure thing: Back Verdasco to beat Benneteau at 1.32
Value bet: Back Zeballos -1.5 games to beat Kamke at 1.98
Long shot: Back Nishioka to beat Dogopolov at 3.30