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Felix Auger-Aliassime
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Odds and Ends

Tennis Best Bets for November 4

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: November 3, 2022, 10:10 pm ET

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The final Masters 1000 event of the year in Paris is into the Quarterfinal stage, and there is so much to love about the remaining eight. I've got two plays for Friday I'm eyeing.

Frances Tiafoe (+175) vs. Felix Auger Aliassime (-220)

In theory, this is a mismatch. Frances Tiafoe is playing some the best tennis of his career, sure, but so is Felix Auger Aliassime. He's won three straight titles (all indoors) and is up to No. 6 in the world in the live rankings. So, with all due respect to Tiafoe and the form he's in, I have to ride with the Canadian.

Why? Well, he's got a 2-0 head-to-head advantage over Tiafoe. Last season, after the American talked up his confidence and fearlessness going into a match with Auger Aliassime at the US Open, he fell rather easily in four sets. Earlier this year, in Barcelona, he fell in two sets even though he is arguably a stronger clay player.

Auger Aliassime is on an insane heater right now and playing with so much confidence. He's even more of a threat to Tiafoe than in their previous two meetings, and I think given the way he's serving right now we should lay the games here. Tiafoe has been shaky on serve, coughing up plenty of break points to Jack Draper and Alex De Minaur, escaping by the hair on his chin. I don't think he'll be as fortunate against the hottest player in the world. 

Edge: Auger Aliassime -2.5 Games

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (-300) vs. Tommy Paul (+220)

Tommy Paul has now run through three of the hardest players to beat in the world. He took down three Spaniards, who have all been inside the top 10 in the world, in succession in Roberto Bautista Agut, Rafael Nadal and Pablo Carreno Busta. His level is exceptional at the moment. He's returning incredibly well and chasing down some impossible balls to get to.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is in fine form, yes, but I wasn't totally blown away with his performance against Corentin Moutet. He was gifted a break in the first, which was ultimately enough, thanks to some sloppy errors from Moutet. In the second, he really returned awfully, watching as Moutet held to love multiple times, and he was lucky to escape the second-set breaker with a win.

Paul's level is pretty close to the Greek's at the moment, and I think many will look at these wins that the American has racked up and look for excuses as to why they happened. Perhaps the former two names are simply old and waning, and the latter wasn't feeling 100%. I can assure you, as someone who has watched these matches, Paul has had to produce his best tennis to win these contests.

So, I feel pretty good about him keeping this match within reach and I think this line isn't really fair enough to the American. I'm taking the games.

Edge: Paul +3.5 Games

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.