Tennis Betting: Take the Baker at Farmers
One I like at a much more acceptable price is Brian Baker, who is available @ around Betfair odds of (15.0)
Sean Calvert follows the North American hard court swing, which continues this week as the tour moves on from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
There is a somewhat depleted field for this year's Farners Classic, the second stop in the 2012 US Open Series due to the majority of the top players being otherwise engaged at the Olympics.
Twelve months ago Juan Martin Del Potro and Mardy Fish led the field in the ATP 250 event. This year they have to settle for the dubious crowd-pulling power of Benoit Paire as number one seed.
World number 47 Paire has been drawn in the top half of a wide-open looking event along with fellow seeds Marinko Matosevic, Nicolas Mahut and Bjorn Phau.
Also in that top half are American veterans James Blake and Michael Russell, plus the likes of Dudi Sela, Jesse Levine, Tobias Kamke and Igor Andreev.
The bottom half of the draw looks tougher, with Sam Querrey, Brian Baker, Xavier Malisse and Leonardo Mayer as the seeds, along with talented youngsters Jack Sock and Steve Johnson.
Matthew Ebden, Michael Berrer, Rajeev Ram, Flavio Cipolla and Igor Kunitsyn are also in that section of the draw and not without chances in this sort of field.
Outright favourite is Querrey @ around Betfair odds of (4.0), but having backed him to win in Newport the other week and watched aghast as he blew a (1.01) lead with match points against Sela, I'm not trusting him this week.
He is a two-time winner of this tournament, but he's not quite back to the sort of form he was in when winning here in 2009 and 2010 just yet and others are preferred in that bottom half of the draw.
One I like at a much more acceptable price is Brian Baker, who is available @ around Betfair odds of (15.0), which could prove to be excellent back-to-lay material this week.
Baker suffered a surprise early exit to Kunitsyn in Atlanta last week in his first match at a tour level hard court event since 2005, but I fancy him to make amends this week.
He probably needed that week off after a tough schedule over the last few months and he certainly has the ability to win in a field as weak as this one.
His recent results on clay and grass prior to Atlanta suggest to me that he is very capable of winning an ATP 250 and the transfer to hard courts shouldn't present a problem to him now that he's had time to prepare.
The top half of the draw is perhaps the place to find a value finalist, with Mahut being the rated as the most likely by the layers, which I personally find a bit strange.
The Frenchman has only once been past the second round of a tour level outdoor hard court tournament since 2008 and I think he's no value at all at around  to buck that trend this week.
You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time that at American failed to reach the final here in LA and I wouldn't be surprised if either Levine, Russell or Blake continued that pattern from the top half of the draw.
Pretty much any of the 16 in that section could potentially make the final this week, with our number one seed Paire also looking no great value at (12).
The unorthodox Frenchman is not much of a hard court player, with a career best of a quarter final to his name at tour level and he was turned over by Yuichi Sugita in his previous appearance on a hard court.
Matosevic might turn out to be a decent back to lay option in the top half @ around Betfair odds of (20.0), as he has a good record on hard courts and seems the most likely of the 16 to produce in these conditions at this level.
So, I'll take Baker in the bottom half and Matosevic from the top half in the Farmers Classic 2012.
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