The 2015 Davis Cup gets underway this weekend and tennis expert Sean Calvert likes a couple of big-priced teams in round one of the World Group...
"Bolelli hasn't won a live singles rubber since 2008, while Seppi has a 4-11 record in DC singles rubbers against top-100 opposition..."
The Davis Cup returns on Friday, with eight World Group clashes providing a few tempting betting propositions over the next three days.
Great Britain take on the USA in Glasgow in a tie that will be screened live in the UK on the BBC, but the layers can't really split the pair and it does look very much a 50/50 clash.
Andy Murray should win his two singles rubbers, while James Ward is hard to judge, with some very good performances combined with some shockers and his overall level isn't as good as John Isner and Donald Young's.
The emotional Young isn't one to rely on either in what will be only his second Davis Cup rubber, while Isner has started the year poorly.
If I were having a bet in that I think I would side with the hosts, but other opportunities seem like better value this weekend.
The outright tournament favourites, France, look worth taking on away to Germany, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet - their top two singles players generally - not available this time around due to injury.
Instead, they rely on Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, which sounds a precarious position to be in for a [1.27] shot away from home.
The nervy Simon has a poor Davis Cup record and hasn't won a live rubber since beating Stefan Koubek back in 2011, with a sequence of feeble three and four set losses on his record since.
Monfils has a far better record than Simon, but it's a little misleading, with three of his last five singles rubbers being dead best-of-three set affairs, although his last performance was mightily impressive against Roger Federer in last year's final.
Germany have Philipp Kohlschreiber back after a period of dispute with the previous team captain and he could make the difference to a German side that almost beat France last year.
This year's hosts went 2-0 up in Nancy when Peter Gojowczyk and Tobias Kamke stunned Tsonga and Julien Benneteau, but were unable to finish the tie off, but at home on a quickish indoor hard court they have a great chance as [4.3] underdogs.
Kohlschreiber hasn't played well so far this season, but Davis Cup can change form and fortune very quickly, and Jan-Lennard Struff and Benjamin Becker have powerful games that could cause Simon especially some problems.
My outright picks Canada look a touch short against Japan at [1.3], but the visitors' strength in depth is poor, with the records of Tatsuma Ito and Go Soeda misleading due to the poor opposition they've faced.
Ito has never beaten a top-100 opponent in Davis Cup, while Soeda has won one, which was a five set win over Ivan Dodig three years ago.
Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil should have enough in the singles, with Daniel Nestor to call upon in the doubles, along with major winner Pospisil, and I prefer the Kazakhstan side at a big price.
Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin are different animals in Davis Cup than on the main tour and they have every chance at home against an unusual-looking Italy side.
The moody Fabio Fognini has been left out of the singles in favour of his Australian Open-winning partner Simone Bolelli, and although Paulo Lorenzi has been nominated to partner Bolelli in the doubles surely it will end up being Fognini.
Golubev saves his best tennis for Davis Cup, with wins over Stan Wawrinka (in singles and doubles) last time out and David Goffin and Jurgen Melzer have also been beaten by Golubev in the last two seasons.
The Kazakhs haven't lost in round one since being defeated by Spain in 2012 and Italy's singles nominations of Bolelli and Andreas Seppi look beatable.
Bolelli hasn't won a live singles rubber since 2008, while Seppi has a 4-11 record in DC singles rubbers against top-100 opposition.
All of which makes the [3.75] on Kazakhstan a tempting price and both they and Germany look viable back-to-lay shots this weekend.
Elsewhere, Australia look decent favourites against a depleted Czech team shorn of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, but Belgium without David Goffin look a tad skinny at [1.03] against a Federer and Wawrinka-less Switzerland.