We’re back in Kazakhstan and Austria with more indoor tennis and a slate with a few more names, but unfortunately there is one fewer match. I think our biggest take from yesterday’s slate, besides the great call on the Jurij Rodionov upset, is trying to identify popular targets and using that leverage to our advantage in tennis DFS. Gael Monfils and Denis Shapovalov were 48% and 54% owned, respectively, which made for some great pivots and very easy leverage with their opponents. I’ll take a bit more of a game theory approach in this article and try to pinpoint those spots along with some favorites.
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Tennis DFS Picks for DraftKings | Oct. 27
Favorite: Daniel Evans ($8,100)
Opponent: Aljaz Bedene
After a nice run in Belgium, I expect much of the same here in Austria from Great Britain’s Daniel Evans. With a similar playing surface to Antwerp and a close cousin to Evans’ favorite surface (grass), he should have no problem dispatching Aljaz Bedene. Evans relies heavily on spin, movement and slowing the game down a bit with rallies using slices. This surface keeps the ball low and plays right into the slicing hands of Evans. Bedene does carry a decent record indoors at 71-42 and has won two matches here already, thus the close odds.
I personally don’t agree with the odds and think Bedene’s inconsistent game will get exposed here in straight sets.
Leverage Up Top: Andreas Seppi ($9,400)
Opponent: Aslan Karatsev
This is about as easy as it gets if you want to gain leverage, but it’s a bit backwards in the case of Andreas Seppi. DraftKings misprices a player on about 75% of tennis DFS slates (I think intentionally), but this one is as bad as I’ve seen. Aslan Karatsev is currently a -352 favorite and only $5,500 on DraftKings (obvious cash play). Now, I don’t think any of us would be clamoring to play the Russian Karatsev if the salaries were flipped, which, if nothing else, speaks to viability of Seppi. The 36-year-old Italian is on a five-match losing streak, which doesn’t give me much confidence. That said, he does have an indoor final this year at the NY Masters in February and 170 career indoor wins (58% career winning percentage).
It’s a very weird situation, but the leverage is obviously there, so I think getting well over the field is a simple way to differentiate in the bigger GPP’s.
Leverage Down Below: Attila Balasz ($4,400)
Opponent: Hubert Hurkacz
I didn’t say it was going to be pretty, but at this price you can’t expect much better than Attila Balasz. In this situation I think the Hungarian Balasz has a few things working in his favor besides just leverage against Hubert Hurkacz owners. Hurkacz withdrew from his last tournament with “food poisoning.” Now, this could have just been an upset stomach and he didn’t want to play in Cologne again last week or it was legit and knocked him out for a few days. This is full narrative street, but if legitimate, a longer match has to favor Balasz. Along with the weaker opponent, we also get Balasz coming into the match with two wins on these courts already. They were against complete nobodies but wins nonetheless, and getting comfortable with the surface is crucial for him with only 19 career indoor matches.
It’s a total shot in the dark, but he’s going to come in at sub 10% ownership, like Rodionov Monday, and could pay off in spades if he can get his second career win against Hurkacz.
Cash Plays: Dominic Thiem, Aslan Karatsev, Daniel Evans, Novak Djokovic
Other GPP Plays: Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov, Dusan Lajovic
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