This article is part of our Tennis Betting series.
The Italian Open continues Wednesday from the clay courts of Rome with Round of 32 action on both the men's and women's sides. One of the WTA Tour's top performers of 2022 finds herself in the unfamiliar position of being a sizable underdog, while her fellow American is rounding into form on what has historically been her best surface. On the men's side, a familiar face is back to his winning ways and ready to prove doubters wrong as a surprising second-round underdog. All match odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
We're early in this Masters 1000 but getting deeper into the clay-court swing, providing a fair amount of data to weigh various players' form on the slow stuff, especially when coupled with their historical results. This information can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Wawrinka has been on a long journey back from a foot injury, but the three-time Grand Slam champion finally looks to be back in competitive form, as he beat 17th-ranked Reilly Opelka 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the first round for his first win since February 2021. There's little question pre-injury Wawrinka would be a comfortable favorite against the 59th-ranked Djere. It's hard not to like the risk:reward ratio with Wawrinka at +195 here.
Last time these two met, Collins was able to grind out a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Halep in Canada last year, and this rematch figures to be another physical battle. This one being on clay rather than hard court certainly plays in Halep's favor, but it's surprising just how heavily favored the Romanian is over the Australian Open finalist. Ons Jabeur beat Halep convincingly (6-3, 6-2) on the way to the title in Madrid last week, so Halep hardly looked invincible in her first clay-court action of 2022.
Lock It In
Khachanov came into this tournament with a 2-6 record in his previous eight matches, and a first-round win over 227th-ranked Giulio Zeppieri won't raise his confidence much. Meanwhile, 18th-ranked Carreno Busta has claimed some impressive scalps on clay this year, with wins over the likes of Casper Ruud, Diego Schwartzman and Sebastian Baez among his 7-3 run on the surface since the start of April.
Sasnovich came into this tournament with an 0-2 clay-court record, so she hasn't shown nearly enough proficiency on the surface to challenge one of the game's best all-court players in Badosa. The third-ranked Spaniard has faced some difficult draws on clay, going 3-3 against top-25 opponents and 2-0 against others. Badosa's battle-tested and shouldn't have much trouble against the 50th-ranked Sasnovich.
Anisimova has the higher ceiling on clay, but she'll need to overcome her two recent bugaboos: nerves and serves. The 20-year-old American's a former French Open semifinalist and has an 8-2 record on clay despite experiencing some serious lapses. Despite some shaky play near the finish line, Anisimova has already notched two wins over Aryna Sabalenka and another over Victoria Azarenka during this clay-court season. She also showed some mental toughness in her 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 first-round win over Tereza Martincova, overcoming a horrid second set, especially when it came to serving. Bencic has the superior ranking at No. 14 but already lost to Anisimova earlier this year in a 6-2, 7-5 Australian Open upset.