Wimbledon Day 5 preview and best bets: Isner can build on upset of Murray

John Isner (USA) returns a shot during his second round match against Andy Murray (GBR) on day three at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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We are approaching the business end of Week 1 at Wimbledon, as third-round action will get underway on Friday. Novak Djokovic and Ons Jabeur are headlining the schedule of play on Centre Court.

Speaking of Djokovic and Jabeur… before the round of 32 gets underway, be sure to also check out my outright futures bets on both the men’s and women’s sides. Below are my picks for Day 5.

John Isner ML over Jannik Sinner (+159)

John Isner is the essence of a streaky player. He is prone to prolonged slumps, but when he gets some momentum he can really go on a run – making him even more dangerous than he already is with arguably the biggest serve in tennis history. Isner is certainly rolling right now after taking out Andy Murray in four sets on Centre Court earlier this week. In that match the 6’10’’ American fired 36 aces and he is now five shy of breaking the all-time aces record currently held by Ivo Karlovic. When you own a serve that is about to set that kind of record, it’s generally a good thing when you are playing on grass.

It’s no real surprise that Isner once reached the Wimbledon semifinals (2018); his serve is a nightmare for opponents – especially on the lawn. Jannik Sinner had never won a main-tour match on grass in his career prior to this fortnight, so he really should not be as big of a favorite as he is on Friday. In fact, the 20-year-old Italian probably shouldn’t even be favored at all.

Caroline Garcia ML over Shuai Zhang (-126)

I faded Caroline Garcia against Emma Raducanu on Wednesday, but I won’t make the same mistake again following the Frenchwoman’s 6-3, 6-3 victory. Garcia is an awesome 9-2 on grass this summer, which includes a title just last week in Bad Homburg. Shuai Zhang is playing well, too, but she has nowhere near the same kind of offensive firepower as Garcia. The 33-year-old is going to need some help in the form of an off day from her opponent. Given how well Garcia is playing at the moment, there is no reason to think she will be so generous.

Carlos Alcaraz vs Oscar Otte Over 37.5 games (-115)

In general, I believe over/unders are tougher bets in tennis than money lines and either game or set spreads, but with fewer options as the tournament progresses betting strategies can be changed. Plus there is great value in this particular scenario. Alcaraz is a considerable favorite against Otte, but the 19-year-old Spaniard is inexperienced on grass whereas the 28-year-old German is right at home with the green stuff under his feet.

In his career, Alcaraz – who needed five sets to get past Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday – has played only four grass-court matches. Otte has already won seven this summer (16-9 lifetime on the surface). The world No. 36 is coming off semifinal showings in Stuttgart and Halle and he enjoyed the easiest first two matches of anyone in the Wimbledon draw. Otte destroyed Peter Gojowycz 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 and then got a first-set retirement from Christian Harrison.

The underdog is incredibly confident and well-rested, so don’t be surprised if Friday’s contest is extremely competitive. Overs are generally the play on grass – especially with big servers like Otte – and this one is no exception.

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