One of the worst things an aspiring tennis bettor can do is put too much stock in head to head results, especially over the course of several years. Unless there is a glaring disparity, combined with a clear matchup issue for a player, it’s best to avoid looking at head to head records entirely. One of my favorite strategies is actually targeting the revenge angle, as it’s incredibly difficult—in any sport—to defeat a quality opponent multiple times in a row.

Aslan Karatsev defeated Hubert Hurkacz two weeks ago in San Diego. After losing the first set, the Russian capitalized on a disinterested and exhausted Hurkacz, ultimately winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Hurkacz was just three days removed from winning the ATP Metz title, and he was nowhere near his best.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Hurkacz is listed as a solid -180 favorite and projected to win by 2.5 total games. There’s no question Karatsev’s form is improving, and he is one of the few players with the raw strength to hit through these nightmarishly slow conditions.

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Hurkacz will need to win this match in order to move one step closer to qualifying for the ATP Finals.

Hurkacz will need to win this match in order to move one step closer to qualifying for the ATP Finals. 

But Hurkacz came to play in the desert. He survived a tough opening round match 6-1, 7-5, over Alexei Popyrin, then dismantled Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-2, in disgusting conditions on Monday night. Hurkacz’s range on the return, combined with his stellar defense and serving advantage makes his game spread a solid play in most matches where he is a slight favorite.

With an ATP finals spot on the line between he and Jannik Sinner, Hurkacz should be incredibly motivated to avenge his recent loss and move one step closer to a fantastic payday in Turin.

The Pick: Hubert Hurkacz -2.5 games