World No. 31 Frances Tiafoe takes on world No. 80 Brandon Nakashima in an all-American battle at the Miami Open on Friday. While Nakashima was able to get used to the South Beach conditions in his 6-1, 7-5 win over Soonwoo Kwon last round, the 28th-seeded Tiafoe had a first-round bye.
Having the ability to play a match and get comfortable in Miami will surely be an advantage for Nakashima, but will it be enough to help erase what Tiafoe has done to him in the past? These two have met twice at the ATP level, with Big Foe having won both of those matches—in addition to winning their only Challenger-level battle. These two met just two weeks ago when Tiafoe earned a 6-4, 6-4 victory at Indian Wells.
Considering Tiafoe is the higher-ranked player and undefeated against his countryman, the -115 pick'em appears to be a trap line set by the oddsmakers. On paper, they would have had every reason to make Tiafoe a favorite in this match, but they instead went the route of begging bettors to take the 24-year-old. We’re not going to fall for that here.