Thursday’s slate didn’t have quite the drastic upsets like Wednesday, but we still got a good taste of what tennis DFS can be with Jannik Sinner retiring just three games into his match. DraftKings has stepped their game up (and the slate start time) big time and given us another eight-match slate, which isn’t very common with only eight matches total on the calendar. As I’ve been doing with slates this size, I’ll give my favorite play for all formats and my two favorite leverage plays.
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Tennis DFS Picks | DraftKings | Oct. 3o
Favorite: Novak Djokovic ($11,200)
Opponent: Lorenzo Sonego
Sweep Odds: -769
It’s not very often you see sweep odds this high for a quarterfinal match, but this looks like a great spot to mash Novak Djokovic. The greatest hardcourt tennis player ever (very arguably) and world No. 1 should have no problem eviscerating Lorenzo Sonego in Vienna. A former champ here (2007) and straight sets winner in both matches thus far (with very good competition), I have zero hesitation paying up. Djokovic has over 600 career wins on hardcourt and I-hard surfaces combined and a big advantage in nearly every important stat we look at for tennis DFS.
Sonego has taken full advantage of his Lucky Loser spot, but that run ends here. If he’s going to make any hay, he’s going to need his service game (8.4 aces per match over last year) to be flawless. When you’re playing Djokovic, though, that is nearly impossible and not something I see happening here.
Leverage: Mikhail Kukushkin ($6500)
Opponent: Emil Ruusuvuori
Two days in the article in a row is probably some kind of curse (and record) for Mikhail Kukushkin but that’s where we’re at. The homestanding Kukushkin took care of business in his last match with Benoit Paire by doing what he does best – keeping it in play. Now, as a dog at nearly +200 I think he can have success with that same strategy against Emil Ruusuvuori. As you would expect, the young Finn has shown brilliance and some baffling play at times. Kukushkin’s strong return game (40% return points won) and Ruusuvuori’s propensity for making mistakes with 4.4 double faults per match gives me plenty of optimism.
As a player who doesn’t have a lot of flash or recognition I think he’ll come in lower-owned than the likes of: Kevin Anderson, Daniel Evans, and Mackenzie McDonald who all have some redeeming stats or better odds, and rank.
Leverage: Adrian Mannarino ($9500)
Opponent: Mackenzie McDonald
This goes hand-in-hand with the pick above and the fact we have lots of other big names on the slate like Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, and Grigor Dimitrov. Adrian Mannarino is very well-versed on the i-hard surface with over 200 career wins in comparison to the 31 for Mackenzie McDonald. Along with that, Mannarino has averaged just under 6 aces per match on this surface over the last year and hit that amount last match. I expect he’ll hit more here against McDonald who allows over 10% aces against per match.
Coming in with the third best betting odds on the slate but I don’t think he’ll fall any where near that in the ownership ranks. Getting a match with a cheap American could make for a perfect storm and an easy way to get different on a tiny slate with high probability of a win.
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