Tennis Betting Advice - February 2020

Sunday Night Club – French connection at 40/1…

Sunday 2nd February 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Each Way payout on Thiem…
  • Grand Slam patterns…
  • Ones to Watch this week – at 28/1 and 40/1…

Thiem theme continues…

Dominic Thiem is getting closer to Grand Slam success.

We said that before his quarter final win over Rafael Nadal last week.

And after losing a five-setter v Novak Djokovic on Sunday morning, the Austrian’s record in Grand Slam finals shows steady progress:

  • 2018 – French Open Final – Runner-Up: lost 3-0 v Nadal
  • 2019 – French Open Final – Runner-Up: lost 3-1 v Nadal
  • 2020 – Australian Open Final – Runner-Up: lost 3-2 v Djokovic

Djokovic and Nadal are the top two players in the men’s game right now. Thiem is doing lots right. And at 26 years of age, he still has plenty of time to crack the code at a Grand Slam.

Grand Slam patterns – Men & Women…

We leave Melbourne with a satisfactory Each Way payout from our 22/1 or 20/1 Outright Winner bet on Thiem.

We were happy with a men’s runner-up at a good price.

The simplest way to illustrate the merits of that Ones to Watch ‘outsider’ pick, versus backing Djokovic as the winner, is in the odds…

Thiem losing in the final (at 22/1 or 20/1, with half-the-odds Each Way terms) produced a significantly greater profit than backing Djokovic to win the tournament at 6/5 (2.20).

The last 13 men’s Grand Slams have now been won by the big three – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

But the ‘Next Gen’ players are getting closer to winning a ‘Slam...

In the last two finals – Thiem at the Australian Open 2020, and Daniil Medvedev at the US Open 2019 – the younger man has pushed the established name (Djokovic and Nadal, respectively) all the way to a fifth & final set.

It’s a whole different story in the women’s…

The women’s Grand Slams have now seen 11 different winners in that same 13-tournament period.

And eight of those have been players lifting a Major trophy for the first time…

The most recent of which being our 50/1 Australian Open pick, Sofia Kenin.

In the women’s Grand Slams in particular, we’ll continue to be aggressive in our Outright Winner picks: going after appealing outsiders at attractive odds.

It only takes one…

At odds of 50/1, we’re not going to win very often, and certainly not in every tournament we look at.

But we don’t need to. At the big, Each Way, outsider prices, it only takes one player to make a big run, and we’ll be in a position to do more than alright in the long term…

That’s a point picked up on by Ones to Watch member Gabriel, who emailed me this afternoon:

“I was somewhat annoyed when Shapo and Opelka lost in the first round along with the daily advice’s record.

However, it’s never over until the fat lady sings and a couple of weeks later, I was overjoyed to cash up 85 points in your name at 10 quid per point”

Eric also wrote in this weekend to say he got 85/1 for Kenin on the Betfair exchange, partially traded to ‘green up’ before the final – and ended up with his “biggest tennis return ever.”

It’s been great writing to you every day during the Australian Open. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

  • If you’ve got a story to share, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at:

Ones to Watch this week – at 28/1 and 40/1…

We move straight on from Melbourne to the next three tournaments all taking place on the men’s tour this week, starting on Monday:

  • ATP Cordoba, Argentina (the first clay court event of the season) 
  • ATP Pune, India (hard court)
  • ATP Montpellier, France (indoor hard court)

Those are all ATP 250 grade events, which is the smallest/ lowest grade on the main men’s tour – both in terms of ranking points, and prize money.

As such, we don’t see as many of the Top 5 players entering in these. And that can open things up for some big-price finalists…

French connection at 40/1…

There’s one thing you need to know above all when it comes to the ATP Montpellier event: French players tend to do well here.

In the last four years, no fewer than seven of the eight Montpellier finalists have been Frenchmen. And seven of the last nine finals have been won by a ‘home’ player.

Last February, we had Pierre-Hugues Herbert as a 25/1 pick here. The Frenchman got to the final for an Each Way payout, beaten by compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (8/1).

This time we have a similar set of prices to work with – the better-known French players at single-figure odds, and the outsiders at bigger prices…

French entertainer Gael Monfils is in with the favourites at 9/2 (5.50). With David Goffin (Belgian), Denis Shapovalov (Canadian) and Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgarian) at around the same price.

Elsewhere in the home-country names, Richard Gasquet is an interesting one at 28/1. The 33-year-old has reached the final on each of his last six appearances in Montpellier, lifting the trophy three times…

In his last two visits, finishing runner-up in 2018 & 2017, Gasquet went off at odds of just 5/1 and 4/1.

The bookies aren’t stupid, though. There’s a reason the veteran is 28/1 this time. Gasquet has been struggling with injuries for some time. And he’s yet to be seen on the tour this season.

A tough match against fellow French representative Gilles Simon in the 1st round will be worth keeping an eye on, though. Simon has only managed one semi final from eight visits to Montpellier, and that best performance was back in 2012. He’s now 35 years of age.

Another French player at the bigger end of the price spectrum is Adrian Mannarino. He’s as big as 50/1 with Skybet, 33/1 and 28/1 elsewhere. The 31-year-old won his first ever ATP title last season, lifting a trophy on grass in Holland at 28/1. He’s never won more than one match in a row here at Montpellier. And in the top half of the draw, Mannarino will have his work cut out here.

Herbert & Humbert…

There are two French players I like most at the prices…

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (40/1), to back up his run to the final here 12 months ago.

He’s shown decent enough glimpses of form in early 2020, with two five-set matches at the Australian Open, both against higher-ranked players. And a quarter final showing in week one at Doha, where Herbert was beaten by the streaking Andrey Rublev who went on to win that trophy.

Herbert could also benefit from a lower-ranked replacement coming into his section of the draw, if Felix Auger-Aliassime ends up pulling out (which may be the case, seeing as the Canadian youngster’s name has disappeared from a few bookies’ prices this evening).

Almost namesake, Ugo Humbert is a player we looked at a couple of times last season. The 21-year-old is on the up…

Humbert won a first tour title in January, taking the trophy at ATP Auckland as a 25/1 shot, in an all-French final v Benoit Paire.

That result helped propel this promising left-hander to a new career high of No.43 in the world. He looks set to go higher this season and beyond.

Last year, the youngster made his first appearance at Montpellier. He only just missed out in the 1st round, beaten 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 by compatriot Tsonga – who went on to win the title. Improved since then, Humbert is a top price 28/1 to put a run together this time.

For tonight, Montpellier gets our attention with those two Ones to Watch picks, 40/1 Herbert and 28/1 Humbert.

I’m monitoring the draws and prices at ATP Cordoba and ATP Pune, too, and we may make a move or two in those after the 1st round matches in the next couple of days.

Ones to Watch:

Outright Winner picks – Each Way

ATP Montpellier:

  • Pierre-Hugues Herbert is 40/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral, 33/1 Bet365, NetBet, 10Bet, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 28/1 William Hill, Skybet
  • Ugo Humbert is 28/1 with Bet365, 25/1 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, NetBet, 10Bet, 22/1 Skybet

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.

Note: some bookies call this tournament by its commercial name, ‘Open Sud de France.’

Play starts in the Montpellier main draw from 2pm Monday (UK time). There are qualifiers to be completed before that, at 11am. Bookies suspend their Outright Winner markets during each day’s matches.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch