2017 Davis Cup Final: France (-360) vs Belgium (+333)
After a long 16-year title drought, France have the chance to claim the so-called “World Cup of Tennis” on home soil. They’ll face underdogs Belgium at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, France, late next month (November 24-26).
It’s been a tough road for Belgium, who inched past the quarters and semifinals with a pair of narrow 3-2 wins. With a lot of heart and a bit of luck, the Belgians have reached the Davis Cup finals for the second time in three years despite being overlooked by bookmakers and fans.
David Goffin and Steve Darcis staged an unlikely quarterfinal comeback against Australia, battling back from 2-1 down. Goffin overcome the talented but inconsistent Nick Kyrgios, 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 6-4, while Darcis got lucky by matching up with late replacement Jordan Thompson, whom he defeated him in straight sets.
Goffin played a pivotal role in Belgium’s triumph over Italy as well. The world no. 14 blasted through Paolo Lorenzi, winning the deciding final match and sending Belgium through to the semis.
France had a much easier time reaching the finals. They defeated both Japan and Great Britain 4-1, and then dismantled Serbia 3-1 in the semifinals. It’s been a lackluster year for men’s tennis in France, without a single French player within the top 15. A Davis Cup win would provide some much-needed hope after a year of disappointment.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille have been the stand-out stars for France, and they will be expected to do most of the heavy lifting against Belgium. Gilles Simon could potentially come up with something special, but his days as a top-ten player are long gone.
France were the early favorites to win the Davis Cup this year, and despite being far from their best, they’ve managed to comfortably coast to the finals. Belgium were met with long odds from the very start but managed to exceed expectations each time.
I wouldn’t count on Belgium’s streak continuing, though. France has the better team and will have the home crowd roaring behind them. It’s hard to pick against a side that has both better players and home-court advantage. Even at a measly -360, they’re the better option for bettors.
Pick: France (-360)