The last big tournament of the year of the 2022 season is played this week with the 2022 ATP Nitto Finals.
Like the WTA finals that we recently covered here at Bookmakers Review, the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin is a round-robin event. The top eight point scorers for the year are invited to compete for the prize points and lucrative prize money.
Here’s the best way to approach betting on the event when the best men’s tennis players in the world take the court.
Nitto ATP Finals: Now and Then
A lot has changed since Stan Smith won the first year-end ATP Finals in December 1970. Back then the event was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and Stan Smith won $15,000 for winning the event.
The event was called the Pepsi Cola Masters back then. Now Nitto has taken over the sponsorship and it’s played at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy.
This year, the winner of the event can potentially win $4,740,000 if he goes undefeated in all five of his matches. Going undefeated would yield the largest prize money ever in a single tennis tournament in the history of the ATP.
Who Is Playing the Nitto ATP Finals?
Two of the greatest players of all time headline the event, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal has fought through injuries and age to still have one of the best years of his career this season. However, Nadal was injured towards the end of the year and comes into the event with concerns about his health. Nadal has never won the year-end event.
Novak Djokovic’s controversy around his vaccination status caused him to miss many tournaments this year. But in the events that he did play, he was able to play away the rust and show the form that made him arguably the best men’s player of his generation.
This event is played on hard courts, Djokovic’s best surface. Djokovic has won the ATP Finals five times in his career.
Joining the two greats is the man who spent most of the year ranked number one, Daniil Medvedev. Of the players outside of the big three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer, Medvedev has had the most success.
Other young players have struggled playing against the greats, but Medvedev has found himself a Grand Slam champion and able to compete with the two all-time greats in the twilights of their careers. Medvedev won the event in 2020.
Felix Auger-Aliassime comes into the game as one of the hottest players on the ATP Tour. Auger-Aliassime won 16 matches in a row before falling to Holger Rune in the semifinals of the Paris 1000 Masters event. Auger-Aliassime also fell in the first round of the ATP Finals in Turin to Casper Ruud.
However, Auger-Aliassime’s serve has been almost unreturnable as of late, and even coming off of two losses in a row, he remains a force to be reckoned with and is still the player in the best form currently.
The current world number one Carlos Alcaraz could not play the event due to an abdominal injury. However, other top young players such as Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz, and Stefanos Tsitsipas will be there too, so the variety of different styles and personalities on the top of the ATP Tour will be showcased.
This is a round-robin event. So we get to see a variety of interesting matchups between the world’s top players.
The Red Group
The Red Group consists of Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
To me, this Red Group is the much tougher group. Novak is always a force and is at his best on the hard courts. Even though Felix Auger-Aliassime comes into the tournament in impeccable form and Rafael Nadal is an all-time champion, I think Djokovic and Medvedev have the best chance to win the event.
The Blue Group
The Blue Group consists of Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud, Rafael Nadal, and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
I think this group is slightly easier and the players in the Blue Group do have an advantage that it’s easier to make the semifinal here. However, there are no easy matches in the ATP Finals and even being in an easier group, it is still a tough task to make the semifinals.
Keep in Mind
Normally, I discount head-to-head but amongst the world’s best it can be a more predictive stat. These players know each other well and get a chance to play each other often because they are eliminated much less frequently than other players.
These players tailor their games and strategies to the matchup since they know each other’s tendencies. This can come in handy and lead to certain advantages we don’t see in normal early-round matchups within tournaments.
Take a look at the players’ head-to-head, especially on hard courts, to help make an educated decision when gambling upon this event.
Nitto ATP Finals: Best Bets
Novak Djokovic to Win It
Following the best sportsbooks, Novak Djokovic is the rightful favorite to win the event. Unlike other players, because of his stop-and-start schedule, he is much less fatigued than the rest of the players who played a full schedule this season.
While obviously there were drawbacks to not being able to play every tournament, he will have the advantage of being well-rested coming into this event.
There’s a reason Djokovic has won this event five times already. His relentless consistency plays so well on hard courts, and when he’s at his best, it takes a masterful effort to beat him. Djokovic forces his opponent to have to play to a level of perfection in order to beat him. You should have exposure to Djokovic.
Even with his ATP odds at +135, there’s value on Novak Djokovic to win this event.
Felix Auger-Aliassime to Win It
Felix Auger-Aliassime is worth a smaller amount of a wager. Even though he lost in his first match, with the way that he has been serving lately, you can’t discount him. He is coming out of an easier group and if he makes the semifinals he is a threat to beat anyone.
Auger-Aliassime at one point this fall held serve in 86 straight service games. This is the type of serving excellence that you will need when you’re taking on the world’s best players.
As well as taking a full unit bet on Novak Djokovic, a small splash on Felix Auger-Aliassime is warranted at +1000.
The ATP finals is a fun event that ends the year and starts the tennis tours’ very short offseason. This is our last chance to see the world’s best players in action and we’re going to take advantage of it in a fun event that showcases these talented individuals.
So enjoy your last chance to watch elite-level tennis until 2023 and make these tennis picks to have a profitable end to your season.
ATP Pick: Felix Auger-Aliassime to Win (+1000) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.