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Aslan Karatsev
Aaron Doster / USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Ducey's Tennis Best Bets for Jan. 13

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: January 13, 2022, 6:20 pm ET

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The 2022 ATP season has arrived. As a gift to us all, there are two tournaments going on at once on the men's side, with some of the top names in the sport doing battle. With that in mind, it's hard to whittle things down to just two bets, but I've done that below and picked out my favorites.

Corentin Moutet (-145) vs. Arthur Rinderknech (+114)

We're rolling right now with four straight winners to start our week, and I'm looking to leave no doubt on this slate. I'm really into the way Moutet is playing, and while I hopped on earlier at shorter odds, I'd play him all the way to -150.

The undersized Frenchman has been running circles around some great competition in the last two weeks and his much-larger fellow countryman could be his next victim. Moutet is fresh off a 6-4, 6-4 win over Thiago Monteiro who has really impressed in the early going with aggression and relentlessness. Beofre that, he dusted Marton Fucsovics — an accomplished veteran — 6-2, 6-2 and breezed by the talented Jan-Lennard Struff to start the week.

He would have had a deep run last week if not for a default, when he lost his mind at the chair umpire and got himself disqualified. He's taken down some relentless, hard-working players and Rinderknech should crumble like they did. While he has power, the Texas A&M Aggie is very error prone and his chances of winning points will decrease as they go on. I think Moutet, with a backhand that has looked like a real putaway shot, can get himself into the winning position many times over on Thursday. 

Edge: Moutet -145

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Aslan Karatsev (+104) vs. Dan Evans (-130)

Hats off to Dan Evans for a great run here down under, but I think it'll hit a snag against Aslan Karatsev. The Brit has been superb across all competitions and even took down the likes of Denis Shapovalov at the ATP Cup. While he's playing at his highest level, it's nothing we haven't seen before.

The only time these two met was last year in Dubai, where Aslan Karatsev dispatched Evans en route to the final, where he captured his first ever title. In that match, Karatsev was reading Evans' serve easily and ripping returns, getting himself ahead early in the match and then breaking to start the second. Where he fell short was on his serve, considering he landed just about 50% of them in.

Karatsev's own serve was his Achilles heel last year, considering he established himself as perhaps the most dangerous returner on tour. The Russian has been much better on serve this season and managed to get nearly 65% in against Lorenzo Sonego on the way to an impressive win.

Karatsev simply overpowered Evans last season, and I see the same story unfolding here. While Evans is incredibly crafty and great at breaking down his opponent's weakness, he lacks any sort of power and should fall here. The Russian was favored when they met in Dubai and should be favored here.

Edge: Karatsev +104

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.