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Reilly Opelka
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Tennis Best Bets for October 9

by Edward Egros
Updated On: October 8, 2021, 10:53 pm ET

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Saturday marks the beginning of the Round of 64 at the BNP Paribas Open.  The top seeds have had their byes and now they will take to the hardcourt under the hot California sun. Here’s where you can find betting value:

Taro Daniel (+264) vs Reilly Opelka (-345)

What is the state of men’s tennis in America?  For some, it’s all about power. Take Reilly Opelka, who still holds the record for fastest SECOND serve recognized by the tour at 144.8 mph. He’s not breaking radar guns like fellow American John Isner, but, over the last year, Opelka currently ranks third on hard courts in service points won rate at 79.72%, per ultimatetennisstatistics.com.

Taro Daniel is drawing these fireballs and his return in-play points won rate given the same time window and surface is 29.6%, coming in outside of the top 150.  Assuming Opelka’s serve has waned since that record-setter in May, Opelka should advance quickly.

EDGE: Opelka -3.5 games (-105)

Denis Shapovalov (-313) vs Vasek Pospisil (+242)

It’s a battle of two Canadians! One concern with Denis Shapovalov is his first serve. On hard courts over the past year, the 22-year-old averages 5.4 double faults per match, third most on tour. He also does not possess one of the more overpowering service games in this event.

What’s helped Shapovalov to his 13th ranking in the world is a solid overall game that translates across all surfaces. He advanced to the semifinals at Wimbledon, nearly won on the clay courts in Geneva and has had some success on hard courts. But, Vasek Pospisil is more experienced and, despite lackluster recent form, has won an astounding 77.6% of his first-serve points. Shapovalov should win, but he will have to earn it.

EDGE: Pospisil +3.5 games (-112)

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