The Pick ATP Finals Ruud Djokovic-1

If you saw our pre-tournament articles or videos, you know we were high on world No. 8 Novak Djokovic to win the Nitto ATP Finals at +125 odds. With that said, you should probably stay away from betting on the final of this event, as he’s a favorite over world No. 4 Casper Ruud in Turin. By betting it early, you’d have excellent value on the Serbian to come away with the championship at the year-end event, and that’s something you aren’t going to want to change. But we actually like the Norwegian to keep this match somewhat close, which is why we’re backing him to win a set.

For those that bet Djokovic and need action here, this presents an opportunity to middle your initial investment. That means that you’re protected in the event that Ruud pulls off the upset, but you also have the opportunity to win a lot more if the 21-time Grand Slam champion prevails in a tight three-set match. The idea is also similar for somebody that didn’t take our advice to bet Djokovic before the tournament. You can back a red-hot Ruud to continue to play some good tennis, but you’d just need him to win a set. That means that you aren’t directly betting against arguably the best player in the history of the sport. Ruud doesn’t have to win the match in order for you to win money.

The reality is that Ruud has played well enough in the last week—and really the last year—to provide confidence that he won't go down in a lopsided affair. Djokovic has been the sharpest player in Turin this week, as he went undefeated in round-robin play and only dropped a single set on his way to reaching the final. But Ruud was lights out in all of his matches that mattered, with his only loss coming against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal after having already clinched a spot in the semifinals.


With the 23-year-old having looked great all week, we just like him to play freely in this meeting with Djokovic. And while Ruud has never won a set in three meetings against Djokovic, we think that changes here. Their last meeting came in Rome on May 14, ahead of Ruud’s remarkable runs at Roland Garros and the US Open. This is a player that has seen his game go to another level, all while maturing along the way.

There’s nothing that can take away the sting of losing two major finals in a single season, much like there is nothing that can take away the sting of Djokovic having not been able to play the Australian Open or US Open this year. But Ruud is going to want to go into 2023 with some momentum, which is why we’re expecting an inspired effort here. And realistically, he doesn’t have many holes in his game right now. It's no secret he has one of the best forehands on tour, so if he’s loose when he gets on the court, he can put Djokovic on the defensive right away. That might cause the Serb to let a set go for preserving some energy. We’ve seen Djokovic do it before. We also just saw him lose to a red-hot Holger Rune in the final at the Rolex Paris Masters, and Ruud is on a similar run right now.

Djokovic can earn a boatload of money by earning a win over Ruud, while also cementing he’s still the best player on the planet. For that reason, we know it’s likely that the Serbian will win this match. But don’t count on Ruud making it easy on him.

The Pick: Ruud To Win A Set (+105)