Davis Cup 2015 Betting: Argentina look solid favourites at home to Serbia

Mayer won a marathon encounter in his last Davis Cup appearance
Mayer won a marathon encounter in his last Davis Cup appearance

The Davis Cup reaches its last eight stage this weekend, with Great Britain among the teams vying for semi final spot and Sean Calvert has two bets to consider in the coming days...

"Leo Mayer, Diego Schwartzman, Federico Delbonis and Carlos Berlocq looks a solid side at home on clay and this is a tall order for Troicki after a 14 match grass swing."

Back Argentina to beat Serbia at 1.501/2

Davis Cup outright betting is wrought with problems relating to fitness and availability by its very nature as a yearlong competition and as we reach the last-eight stage the market has changed hugely.

My outright tips of Canada at 9.08/1 back in February are now out to any price up to 51.050/1 after both Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic pulled out of this week's tie in Belgium due to injury.

Serbia have lost Novak Djokovic, which was at least foreseeable, after the Wimbledon champion retained his title at the All England Club and they are now up against it away in Argentina this weekend.

Australia have to do without Bernard Tomic after he fell out with Tennis Australia and went to play Newport instead - not exactly successfully after he lost in round, somewhat ironically, to another Australian, John-Patrick Smith.

We still have Kazakhstan as long shots at 175.0 and they are big underdogs away in Darwin for that clash with the Aussies on grass, but I don't think they're totally out of that tie.

Nick Kyrgios is reportedly struggling with injury yet again, while Lleyton Hewitt has very little left in the tank, which leaves Sam Groth and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Mikhail Kukushkin can play on grass, as he's shown against Andy Murray and Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon, while Alexander Nedovyesov qualified for Wimbledon and was beaten in four sets by Viktor Troicki after a five set loss to Yen Hsun Lu last year.

Andrey Golubev has a dire record on grass, but a very good one in Davis Cup, and this Kazakhstan side could well benefit from the in-fighting and fitness problems of the Australians.

They tend to play above themselves in this competition, as quarter final showings in four of the last years shows, and the Aussies hardly have a crack doubles outfit to call upon.

And as I write the feel good factor in Australian tennis has dipped further with the news that Tomic is facing resisting arrest charges after allegedly refusing to turn down loud music in his suite at a Miami Beach hotel.

Much of the interest here in the UK though will be on Great Britain vs France and Team GB are slight underdogs in this one and rightly so.

As ever GB will rely on Murray winning at least two and possibly all three points, with James Ward surely likely to be outclassed despite his occasionally excellent showings in this competition.

Ward plays well above his usual standard in Davis Cup sometimes and having benefitted very nicely from David Ferrer's withdrawal from Wimbledon to win a few rounds against opposition with little grass experience he's now in the top-100.

That'll be good for his confidence, but it would be stunning if he were to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet or Gilles Simon on grass.

Ward is 2-11 against top-20 opponents, with one win coming at Queen's back in 2011 against a disinterested Stan Wawrinka and the other in five sets against John Isner in Davis Cup earlier this year.

I would expect the French side of the three I mentioned earlier plus Nicolas Mahut to have too much for the Brits, but the doubles will be key and could be the decider.

I don't think there's much value in the prices and I prefer backing Argentina to put Serbia out at home on indoor red clay at the Tecnopolis in Buenos Aires.

The price of around 1.51/2 isn't thrilling, but the hosts have four very solid clay courters in their ranks and will be very much up for this in front of a partisan home crowd now that there's no Djokovic.

That puts a huge burden upon the shoulders of Viktor Troicki, with a barely fit Janko Tipsarevic and out of form Dusan Lajovic the back up in singles.

Tipsy looked well off the pace in a straight sets loss to Marcel Granollers at Wimbledon and needs more match time, while Lajovic's last two matches on clay were losses to number 247 Laslo Djere and number 202 Nicolas Kicker at Challenger level.

Leo Mayer, Diego Schwartzman, Federico Delbonis and Carlos Berlocq looks a solid side at home on clay and this is a tall order for Troicki after a 14 match grass swing.

There were signs of fatigue when Troicki hastily stated that he wouldn't play Davis Cup after a five set loss from two sets up at Wimbledon to Pospisil and by way of comparison the entire Argentina team played nine matches total on grass this summer.

Mayer played six of them, while Delbonis had the cheek to win a Challenger in Milan on clay the day before Wimbledon then popped in to London to lose in round one then head back to Argentina.

It would be rather ironic if Argentina, after years of being desperate to win the Davis Cup and having the likes of David Nalbandian, Juan Martin Del Potro, Guillermo Coria, Gaston Gaudio and co. to choose from of late, won it with not a single top-20 player.

They've certainly got half a chance now with a likely semi final against Belgium should they win this weekend.

The Belgians are 1.051/20 shots and against Frank Dancevic and young Filip Peliwo in singles for Canada it'll be a major failure by David Goffin and co. if they don't beat a seriously weakened Canadian side.

The best big-priced long shots looks like Kazakhstan, who are not a bad low-stakes punt at 9.08/1 for my money against the Aussies, but perhaps a more viable proposition is the 3.02/1 about Kukushkin beating Kokkinakis in rubber one.

The Kazakhs know they need a winning start and this isn't beyond the powers of Kukushkin by any means, with all the pressure on the 19-year-old, who has played only three senior matches on grass.

Kokky looks a poor price in his only his second live Davis Cup singles rubber and the value lies with the proven performer on this stage in Kukushkin.

Recommended Bets

Back Argentina to beat Serbia at 1.501/2
Back Kukushkin to beat Kokkinakis at 3.02/1

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