The new-look Davis Cup is nearly upon us, and our top tennis betting guru Derek Bilton his here to help you try to take some cash off the bookies whilst you enjoy it.
The 2019 Davis Cup has a brand spanking new look and will be contested on indoor hard courts at the Caja Mágica in Madrid from 18 until 24 November.
The old home and away ties have been ditched, leaving traditionalists up in arms, and now 18 nations will compete indoors in Madrid to find a winner. The ties are contested in a best-of-three rubbers format and are played out over one day (two singles matches and one doubles).
The thinking behind it is obviously to try and create a kind of ‘Tennis World Cup’ with the 18 teams chopped into six groups of three. The winners of each group will progress to the quarter-finals, with the two best runners-up also making the cut into the knockout stage.
The revamp has been made possible following a $3billion investment from Kosmos, which was founded by Barcelona footballer Gerald Pique. However not all of the big names from the ATP are on board with this brave new world. After previously announcing he is skipping the event, last week World No. 7 Alexander Zverev launched a fresh attack on the restructured competition, while Roger Federer is another big name who won’t be there.
It remains to be seen how much of a hit the new format – and a break with over 100 years of tradition – will be, but from a betting perspective there’s plenty to get excited about.
For a start Great Britain look a huge price at 16/1. They have been draw in Group E alongside Netherlands and Kazakhstan, and should have way too much quality for both nations. It’s as good a draw as captain Leon Smith could have hoped for and unless something crazy happens they look nailed on for the last eight. British No. 1 Dan Evans is joined in the five-man team by Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, who is making his Davis Cup debut.
All bar Skupski were all part of the set-up in Belgium four years ago that famously lifted the trophy, and with Murray looking somewhere near his best again – he was last seen winning Antwerp – this side should not be underestimated.
Let’s have it right. Murray is an absolute monster who could drag his colleagues kicking and screaming to glory by himself this week if he’s in the mood. Winning an ATP title in Antwerp with a metal hip just nine months after an on-court retirement ceremony in Melbourne was schoolboy’s own stuff, and Paddy Power could live to regret pricing Team GB up at 16s.
In the top half of the draw France look difficult to ignore as top seeds. They have such a solid team with Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all quality operators indoors. Tsonga in particular has been excellent this year, winning two indoors titles in Metz and Montpellier.
Indeed since 2015 he’s won seven ATP titles and six of those have come indoors. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are one of the most accomplished doubles teams too (which doesn’t hurt) so its easy to see why the layers have them as a best price 5/1.
Sebastien Grosjean’s side won the old Davis Cup 10 times and could take some shifting this week so are worth a cover bet, but I have a hunch that Murray is about to produce something extra special again in the GB colours. You have been warned.
Bilko’s Banker: Great Britain to win the Davis Cup at 16/1 (Betfair tennis betting offers)
Best of the Rest: France to win the Davis Cup at 5/1 (888 Sport)
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