The 2012 Davis Cup Begins This Week - Here's Our Preview
Tennis Futures - 2012 Davis Cup First Round

The Davis Cup Tournament, spanning an incredible 10 months with the first round from Feb. 10th through Feb. 12th and the final round occurring this November from the 16th to the 18th, is as big as it gets in International Tennis Betting.  Sixteen teams will compete for the Davis Cup Championship this year.      

According to the odds makers, it’s all about the Serbs and the French in the 2012 Davis Cup.  Serbia is a solid +275 favorite in the tennis sportsbook to take home the Davis Cup Trophy while France sits at +300, only a +25 difference from the favored Serbs, in the sportsbook.  Betting line third choice Argentina is at +450 while fourth choice Switzerland is at +500.  What’s the big surprise in the lines?  It has to be defending champion Spain who is an overlaid +600 to win the 2012 Davis Cup.

2012 Davis Cup

When:  First Round:  Feb. 10 – Feb. 12

Where:  Worldwide

Contenders

Serbia +275

First Match: Sweden

The Serbs are simply the best team in the 2012 Davis Cup.  Even with Australian Open Champion Novak Djokovic sitting out the first round battle against Sweden, captain Bogdan Obradovic wants Djokovic to rest after his grueling battle against Ralph “Da Mouf” Nadal (I made that up…and, please don’t tell him!) in the Australian Open Final, the Serbs should dominate. 

They boast two Top 25 players in Janko Tipsarevic, (ranked 9th in the world in singles play) and Viktor Troicki, (22nd).  Tipsarevic has two career singles’ titles and finished in the quarter-finals of the 2011 U.S. Open.  Troicki made it to the 3rd round of the 2011 French Open.  The Serbian Team will also put Nenad Zimonjic, the 6th ranked doubles player in the world, onto the court in the 2012 Davis Cup.  Zimonjic won the doubles title at Wimbledon in both 2008 and 2009 and the French Open doubles title in 2010.  The Serbs took home the Davis Cup Trophy in 2010 and lost in the semis to Argentina 3 to 2 in 2011. 

The odds on Serbia will drop dramatically after they trounce Sweden this weekend.  Like Djokovic’s +125 odds at Australia earlier this year, the Serbs are a big overlay at +275 to win the 2012 Davis Cup.  Jump on these guys today.

France +300

First Match: Canada

Runner-up to Serbia in 2010, by a 3 to 2 margin, the French deserve their second choice status on the tennis betting lines to win the Davis Cup this year.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the anchor of France’s talented squad, is ranked 6th in the world.  The 26-year-old has 8 career singles titles and finished in the finals of the 2008 Australian Open.  Tsonga was also the runner-up in the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals to the brilliant Roger Federer.

Supporting Tsonga will be Gael Monfils.  Ranked 13th in the world, Monfils beat Tipsarevic in the 2010 Davis Cup 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-0.  He’s got tremendous Davis Cup experience and is ranked 13th in the world.  36th ranked Julien Benneteau and 43rd ranked Michael Llodra add a great bottom to the first round team and France has a solid overall team for Captain Martin Laurendeau to work with.

France will be exceptionally tough in the 2012 Davis Cup but the odds should be slightly higher than +300.  The runner-up defeat in 2010 was impressive and the French did come back with a semi loss to Spain in 2011, but I’d much rather see them sitting in the tennis sportsbook at +375, a full +100 above Serbia’s odds, than at +300.  We will see, like we always do, but +300 odds are just too low for me to bite.

Argentina +450

First Match: Germany

Argentina is to tennis what Spain was to World Cup Soccer for so many years, a great team that is always highly ranked but can never close the deal.  The Argentineans finished in the semis to France, 5 to 0, in 2010 and was the runner-up to Spain in the 2011 Davis Cup.  The Spanish were amazing in 2011, going a ridiculous 14 and 3, so losing in the finals was expected.

The problem for Argentina in this year’s Davis Cup is that they received a difficult draw.  Germany is no slouch, they never are in any national tournament, and should Argentina get past the Germans, they’d end up either facing Japan, with hot shot player Kei Nishikori, or the Ivan Dodig-led Croatians. 

Argentina has a solid team, but, again, the draw is ridiculous.  Juan Ignacia Chela, ranked 25th, Juan Monaco, ranked 29th, David Nalbandian, ranked 86th, and Eduardo Schwank, ranked 157th, take on Germany’s Florian Mayer, ranked 21st, Phillip Kohlschreiber ranked 33rd, Phillip Petzschner, ranked 56th, and Tommy Haas, ranked 170th and making his German comeback in the Davis Cup.  Don’t be surprised if Deutschland upsets Argentina.  Maybe the Argentineans throw in Juan Martin del Potro against Germany at the last possible moment.

At +450 odds, as opposed to Germany’s +2500 odds, to win the Davis Cup, I’m going to have to pass on the Argentineans.  I see them having fits against Germany before del Potro returns and even then, it will just get harder for Argentina. 

Switzerland +500

First Match: United States

I was all set to pick the United States, at +2000, as my underdog to watch in the Davis Cup, but I can’t do that now, can I?  First, the amazing Roger Federer, ranked 3rd in the world, will lead Switzerland into battle against the United States. Second, because the Swiss are seeded higher in this tournament, they get to decide on what surface they take on the Yanks in the first round.

How do you feel about clay, U.S. team captain Jim Courier?  Although many tennis watchers are hyping up this matchup, I don’t see Switzerland having many issues versus the United States.  I do, however, doubt Switzerland to actually win the 2012 Davis Cup.  The reason is simple: Federer has 41 total victories in Davis Cup play. The rest of the team (Stanislas Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer) have a total of 22 Davis Cup victories, with 16 of those coming from Wawrinka.  Sure, Team Captain Severin Luthi can throw someone else into the mix, but, obviously, the Swedes will depend on Federer for the entire tournament. France, with Monfils and Tsonga, Serbia, with Djokovic (eventually!) and Tipsarevic, and the Spanish duo of Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer (both…eventually!) will throw two awesome players into the mix as this tournament goes on.

After the beat-down they put on the U.S., the Swiss take on France, unless Canada pulls off the miracle. Tsonga and Monfils will run the Swiss off of the court and back into the Alps.

Spain +600

First Match: Kazakhstan

Great draw, amigos!  That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I study Spain’s chances of repeating as Davis Cup Champions.  The first round is against +30000 Kazakhstan, an assured victory.  In the second round, they square off against either Russia or Austria, both teams they can handle.  Spain doesn’t take on France until the semis and if the Spanish got their bull running blood flowing, and they very well could by that time, the French could be in for a long Bastille-like match.

The Spanish have dominated the Davis Cup in the past decade winning the title in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2009.  The reason for the odds is the fact that Nadal, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, who led the Spanish to the Davis Cup victory last December, are all unavailable for the first round match against Kazakhstan, but so what?  Team Captain Alex Correjta should have the four ready to play well before the Spanish likely take on France in the semi-finals.

The team is going off at hugely overlaid odds to win the Davis Cup and although I like to call Rafael Nadal names, the man has more heart than any player outside of Djokovic.  Nadal will refuse to let Spain lose once the Spanish make it to the semis versus France.  If Ferrer is at the top of his game, and some of the lesser known Spaniards can come through, then a repeat of 2011 will definitely be in the offing.

Although I love Serbia to win the Davis Cup, and the Serbs are definitely overlays at +275 because of how strong that they are, the Spanish are the best bet to win the Davis Cup at +600.

Best Underdog   

Czech Republic +2500

Thomas Berdych, with 7 career single’s titles and coming off of a victory over Gael Monfils in the Open Sud, will lead the Czech Republic into the 2012 Davis Cup.  Berdych is ranked 7th in the world and, like most successful tennis players, there’s no quit to the man.  The Czechs will also send 31st-ranked Radek Stepanek onto the court. 

Berdych and Stepanek have a combined 48 victories in Davis Cup play.  That qualifies under my “you need two awesome players to win the Davis Cup” rule.  Not only that, but if the Czech beat Italy in the first round, and pull off the miracle against Serbia in the second round, the finals should be in sight.  At +2500, the Czech Republic is a nice underdog to win the 2012 Davis Cup.

Betting the Davis Cup

I’m putting $50 on Spain to repeat at +600 odds.

I’m putting $40 to win on Serbia to cut my losses should Spain not come through.

I’m putting $10 on the Czech Republic at +2500 (my flyer wager!).

Click Here for the early odds on the First Round of the 2012 Davis Cup!