Scott Ferguson is back with a couple of bets for Thursday's action at Wimbledon.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Major tournaments should conceivably offer a plethora of value bet opportunities but that seems to be harder each year with the combination of a higher ratio of favourites winning at the big events and bookmaker models getting better at quantifying the intangibles and pricing up matches more accurately.
The key advantage of a punter over the bookmaker is the ability to pick and choose the matches you bet on. The bookies have to price them all up, and some days the punter just has to wait another day for the better opportunities.
With the better value prospects a little on the short side for my risk profile, today's action comes in the form of two accumulators.
Lucas Pouille v Gregoire Barrere
The 27th seed faces another of his countrymen, this time a less-accomplished one in qualifier Gregoire Barrere. Lucas Pouille was a quarter-finalist in 2016 and opened his account this week with a comfortable win over a declining Richard Gasquet. Pouille was aggressive from the beginning and dominated proceedings, exploiting Gasquet's lack of movement and adjusting better to the conditions.
Barrere came through qualifying then claimed the scalp of young Kazakh Alexander Bublik (ranked #80) in the main draw. This is a big step up in opposition, and a recent clash on clay against his good friend only earned him four games.
Pouille to win comfortably.
John Millman v Laslo Djere
Aussie John Millman dominated against devout claycourter Hugo Dellien in round one, never dropping serve (saved six break points) and denying the Bolivian any avenue into the contest. His best result at Wimbledon so far has only been reaching the third round but it's taken a good one to stop him - Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic in the last three years. His variety of game suits grass very well and he can wear down most opponents.
Serbian 31st seed Laslo Djere plays an aggressive style, seeking to control the match on his racquet from the outset. The win over Guido Andreozzi on Tuesday was the first of his career on grass, and a step up from losing first round in Halle and Eastbourne last month.
Faced with a more versatile opponent rather than a dead-set baseliner, I see Djere's game plan breaking under pressure and the Aussie looks a solid choice for the acca.
Millman to win in four.
Jan-Lennard Struff v Taylor Fritz
The back-up seed, Jan-Lennard Struff, who switched to a 'protected' draw upon the withdrawal of Borna Coric may be cursing his luck, being drawn to face the red-hot Taylor Fritz (who would have been seeded if today's rankings were used) in the second round.
Both players had relatively easy wins first-up, with Struff extending his h2h record to 5-1 over Radu Albot, and Fritz hammering down 19 aces and 47 winners to overcome the once-great-but-now-needs-lots-of-painkillers Tomas Berdych.
Fritz's winning streak on grass has reached six now, with a mix of baseliners, big servers and full-court players. He is destined to go further than his latest peak ranking of #31, while I think the German has just about maxed out his rise up the charts.
Take Fritz to win well and complete the acca.
Amanda Anisimova v Magda Linette
17yo American Amanda Anisimova hit the ground running with her commanding victory over Sorana Cirstea. Her flat groundstrokes prove very hard to counter on the low-bouncing grass, making it an uncomfortable matchup for most players. Any pre-tournament doubts on her fitness were dispelled and she looks set to continue her recent form from Paris and Mallorca.
Magda Linette fought well to defeat qualifier Anna Kalinskaya but this is a considerable step up in class. Her lead-up form included losses to Parmentier and Stosur, players well past their best, particularly on grass.
Anisimova for the first leg of the acca.
Tamara Zidansek v Qiang Wang
Slovenian Tamara Zidansek tried her hardest to lose against Eugenie Bouchard in a R1 match best described as an errorfest but in the end the Canadian's dreadful run of form won through. Zidansek threw away a double break on two occasions and the clay specialist won't get away with that against better opponents.
Fifteenth seed Qiang Wang was the proverbial wall against Vera Lapko in the opening round, conceding a miserly five unforced errors and simply letting the Belarussian implode. Her patience and consistency should provide too much of a test for her younger opponent.
Q.Wang to win comfortably.
Elise Mertens v Monica Niculescu
Q2 section winner pick Elise Mertens dropped just two games in her opening round win over Fiona Ferro, dictating the play and feeling very comfortable on the grass.
At the other end, Monica Niculescu is the black sheep of the WTA Tour, the most awkward player to face with an array of choppy slices and spins, denying most players the rhythm they need to dominate a rally. After winning the Ilkley challenger, she continued that form in the first round to defeat the never-more-than-a-week-away-from-injury Andrea Petkovic in three sets. Petkovic has always found difficulty in beating Niculescu with their seven encounters split 4-3 to the German.
Mertens on the other hand has an unblemished record against the Romanian, dropping four games in both straight sets wins, although neither were on grass. The Belgian is in fine form, only losing to eventual champions at Mallorca and Eastbourne, and completes our treble.