Italian Open Betting Picks: Thursday 5/16/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
Italian Open Betting Picks: Thursday 5/16/24

Tennis' clay season continues as we work our way to the 2024 French Open later this month.

The Italian Open is underway, and what better way to get in on the action than by making some wagers on the Rome betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

Where can we find betting value in Thursday's matches?

Italian Open Best Bet

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Nicolas Jarry

Tsitsipas 2-0 Sets (-120)

Prior to this clay swing, Stefanos Tsitsipas posted a solid 11-6 record in the early hard-court season but failed to achieve any titles or finals appearances. Most notably, he wasn't able to make deep runs at the biggest events, with an opening-round exit at Miami being particularly disappointing.

That's all changed on clay, where Tsitsipas has now gone 13-2, picking up a trophy in Monte Carlo and finishing runner-up at Barcelona. Outside of a surprise one-and-done in Madrid, Stefanos has been firing on all cylinders on this surface.

Here in Rome, Tsitsipas opened his run by fending off this year's Munich champion, Jan-Lennard Struff, in three sets and has since cruised to straight-set wins over 30th-ranked Cameron Norrie (6-2, 7-6) and 11th-ranked Alex de Minaur (6-1, 6-2). He's faced just three break points total over the last two matches.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Jarry came into this event on a four-match losing streak (three on clay), which is already a red flag. Although he's clearly bounced back to make it to these quarterfinals, he hasn't faced the stiffest competition, as two of his three Rome wins have come against players ranked outside the top 100. Overall, he's barely above .500 on clay this year (7-6).

Tennis Abstract's model is bullish on the in-form Tsitsipas, giving him a 79% win probability. Massey Ratings is even more confident with an 86% win chance and also predicts a straight-sets win as the most likely outcome. With Tsitsipas being too substantial a favorite (-365) to bet the moneyline, backing a straight-sets win is exactly what I'm looking for to get more value.

Danielle Collins vs. Aryna Sabalenka

Over 2.5 Sets (+118)

Danielle Collins has now won 19 of her last 20 matches and continues to look nearly unstoppable since announcing she will retire this year.

The lone person to beat her over this stretch? Today's opponent, Aryna Sabalenka, who defeated Collins in Madrid right before this tournament. Sabalenka has always had Collins' number, too, owning a perfect 5-0 record in their head-to-head clashes.

While that doesn't bode well for Collins, she hasn't dropped a set through four matches here, which includes wins over top-30 players in Caroline Garcia and Victoria Azarenka.

This is in contrast to Sabalenka, who hasn't had nearly as smooth a run to these semifinals. Her toughest test was a gutty win over 19th-ranked Elina Svitolina (4-6, 6-1, 7-6) that included an injury timeout and saving three match points. Despite all of Sabalenka's success lately, three-setters have been nothing new for her this clay season, as nine of her last 12 matches have gone to a deciding set and five have included tiebreaks.

Sabalenka seemed to prove her health in a straight-sets victory over 10th-ranked Jelena Ostapenko in the last round, but it's fair to wonder if there will still be any lingering effects from that Svitolina match.

Overall, the dominant head-to-head record makes it difficult to back Collins to get the upset, but given her absurd form right now, it feels safe to assume that she's going to make things very difficult on Sabalenka.

Both Tennis Abstract and Massey Ratings predict Aryna winning this roughly two-thirds of the time, but Massey Ratings also sees this going three sets. Given Sabalenka's recent trend of going the distance, I like the plus odds we're getting for a three-set match.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.