Italian Open Betting Picks: Friday 5/17/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
Italian Open Betting Picks: Friday 5/17/24

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 Friday's matches?

Italian Open Best Bet

Alejandro Tabilo vs. Alexander Zverev

Zverev 2-0 Sets (-140)

Betting against an in-form Alejandro Tabilo -- someone who ousted Novak Djokovic and hasn't dropped a set this tournament -- might feel a little scary on its own, let alone expecting him to lose in straight sets.

But if we look at Tabilo's overall body of work, it makes sense that he's a +315 underdog against Alexander Zverev.

This has no doubt been a breakthrough campaign for Tabilo, earning his first title (Auckland) and a career-high ranking (32nd). However, it's been a long road to get here, making it unclear whether this is a true turning point in his career -- or just a blip on the radar.

Despite being 26 years old, Tabilo came into Rome with just a 40-37 record in ATP Tour matches. In contrast, Zverev just turned 27 in April and entered with a far meatier 416-186 record.

Additionally, despite his improvements, Tabilo enters Rome with just a 7-6 clay record this season, most recently going 3-3 across his last three clay tournaments. While this has historically been his best surface, a 55% career clay win percentage doesn't move the needle much.

Even if Tabilo has in fact turned a corner, facing the world No. 5 on clay is no joke. Zverev owns a dominant 72% career win percentage on clay and has won seven clay titles -- including this event in 2017.

While Zverev wasn't exactly crushing it in his clay matches leading up to the Italian Open, amassing a 4-3 record, he also hasn't lost a set in four Rome matches. His straight-sets win over 13th-ranked Taylor Fritz in the last round was particularly impressive, as Fritz has played exceptionally well this clay season after reaching the finals in Munich and semifinals in Madrid.

Zverev's serve has been dialed in all tournament, with the German recording an ace rate between 12-17% across his matches while consistently winning his first-serve points at a 78% clip or better. He's faced just five break points total, too.

Models at Tennis Abstract and Massey Ratings are both firmly behind Zverev, projecting 79% and 87% win probabilities, respectively. Massey Ratings predicts a straight-sets win, and that feels like the most likely outcome in this match despite Tabilo's dream run.

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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.