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We're into what is by far the strangest part of the tennis calendar. We're in the middle of the second clay-court swing while also beginning the US Open series right here in the United States.
With three tournaments taking place simultaneously, there are plenty of ways to make money. Let's get into some bets.
Albert Ramos Vinolas (-141) vs. Juan Pablo Varillas (+115)
This is a very ridiculous line in my eyes. Ramos Vinolas is a veteran of the tour who rarely gives his opponents anything and grinds you down on the clay. Varillas is a young upstart with some raw talent but who is nowhere near putting it all together.
Ramos Vinolas has met Varillas twice, and at no point in either match did it appear that the young Peruvian had a chance of winning a set. The forehand of Ramos Vinolas easily broke down the Varillas backhand, and I anticipate the same happening here.
Varillas is on a bit of a roll here after qualifying for Gstaad and winning a couple of matches over some known names like Lorenzo Sonego and Roberto Bautista Agut, but Ramos Vinolas is almost definitely a better player on clay than those two. While he fell into a little bit of a funk in the middle of the season, he's playing some good tennis now and comes in with three wins in his last four contests.
I expect the more experienced Ramos Vinolas to keep his cool and easily dispatch Varillas.
Edge: Ramos Vinolas -141
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Dusan Lajovic (+110) vs. Aslan Karatsev (-136)
This is another rather ridiculous line. While Karatsev did well to lose the trust of the betting public with a disaster of a season following his win at a 250 in Australia, the Russian is back with a vengeance here on the clay. He's won four of six since returning to the dirt, losing twice to Francisco Cerundolo — perhaps the most in-form clay player on tour at the moment.
Aside from that, he's been great. He's served very well and cut back on the costly errors that have caused him to lose matches all year. He's taken out some great defenders like Hugo Gaston and some guys with great offense like Daniel Galan. He should handle Dusan Lajovic with ease.
Lajovic simply isn't a good tennis player. He's arguably just as error-prone as Karatsev and seldom finds his best game. A win over World No. 265 Vitaliy Sachko does nothing to inspire me, and the Serb's losses to Lorenzo Musetti and Thiago Monteiro prior to that weren't all that pretty either.
I'm going to roll with Karatsev here, who I think should be closer to -155.
Edge: Karatsev -136