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ATP Internazionali BNL d'Italia Betting: Lopsided draw makes back-to-lays the tactic in Rome

Will Del Potro prove a sound investment in Rome this week?

"An in-form Delpo should make the last four and there's no reason at all that he can't beat Federer in a semi final should the Swiss make it that far.."

Back to lay Del Potro at 22.021/1
Back to lay Gasquet at 126.0n/a

It's a fast turnaround for the stars of the ATP Tour as they hotfoot it from Madrid to Rome for the second of the back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments and Sean Calvert has identified a couple of big priced alternatives to the favourites...

Last week's back-to-lay wager on Tomas Berdych at 67.0n/a proved to be a solid selection and would have been better, but for a fairly epic choke from the Czech from 4-2 up in the deciding set of his semi final with Stan Wawrinka.

The players will need to make an adjustment from the quick conditions at altitude in Spain to the usually slow surface and prevailing conditions at the Foro Italico for the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Reigning champion here this week is Rafa Nadal, who has been drawn in the 'half of death' alongside Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, plus the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, and Milos Raonic amongst others.

By contrast, the bottom half of the draw looks the place to seek out some value with Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro the leading lights in a lopsided section.

Tsonga and Murray's questionable clay court prowess alongside Federer's poor display defending in Madrid and the fact that he has never won here and not reached a final since 2006 leaves Del Potro as the most likely in that half.

Others who will fancy their chances of a run this week include Richard Gasquet, Tommy Haas, Grigor Dimitrov, Gilles Simon and Italian wild card Filippo Volandri, who reached the final of the Rome Challenger last week and who once defeated Federer, Gasquet and Berdych to reach the last four at the Foro Italico.

Gasquet has done well here in the past and his poor first match exit to Daniel Gimeno-Traver in Madrid has pushed his price out to a backable 126.0n/a. The Gasman made the last eight here 12 months ago and the last four in 2011 beating Federer and Berdych, so in a half minus Nadal and Djokovic he's worth adding to your portfolio.

Dimitrov is another option in that section and a fairly obvious choice after last week, but for me he's like Kei Nishikori in that he's only got one good win in him before his brittle body breaks down and I just can't see him lasting until a final or semi-final in this company at the moment. His price is also too short after last week.

As for Murray, he should make the quarters unless Nikolay Davydenko can catch him cold in the first round, which is not out of the question at all. The rest of Andy's section looks weak though and the Scot should get to the last eight, where he'll probably face Del Potro, who is also worth an investment at around 23.022/1.

The Tower of Tandil should be fresh having not played since a surprise loss to Jarkko Nieminen in Monte-Carlo and his results this spring have been poor enough to make him a tempting proposition in a weak section, where only Almagro, Monaco and Murray bar his way to a semi-final.

An in-form Delpo should make the last four and there's no reason at all that he can't beat Federer in a semi-final should the Swiss make it that far.

As for the qualifiers, Ernests Gulbis and Lukas Rosol are both dangerous wild cards, who could alter the situation depending on where they are placed in the draw and assuming they win their final qualifying matches on Sunday, but I'm not sure either are title contenders. Either or both could be spoilers though.

The likeliest outcome of course is that Nadal wins his seventh title here since 2005, but he has a really tough half and for me the best tactic this week is to take the prices from the bottom half of the draw and look to lay off.

Recommended Bets
Back to lay Del Potro at 22.021/1
Back to lay Gasquet at 126.0n/a

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12 May 2013

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