How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Croatia 4/7, Argentina 11/8 - Betfred
- Croatia have claimed some impressive scalps on their way to the final. They beat 2015 runners-up Belgium in the first round, won in the United States in the quarter-finals and then held off France in the semi-finals. Marin Cilic is their star player and has had an impressive season, having won his first Masters title in Cincinnati and qualified for the ATP Tour Finals.
- Argentina had to get past Poland and Italy in the first two rounds to set up a tie with Great Britain in the last four. Juan Martin del Potro set them on the road to victory with an epic five-set win over Andy Murray on day one, but it needed Leonardo Mayer to overcome Dan Evans in the deciding rubber to seal a 3-2 triumph.
It is not hard to see why Croatia are the narrow favourites to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 2005. In Marin Cilic, they have the highest-ranked player on either side at No.6 in the world, but the rest of the squad can certainly pull its weight. World No.20 Ivo Karlovic may be getting on a bit at 37, but the hard indoor courts of the Arena Zagreb should be tailored to his ferocious serve and the 6ft 11in giant could well be given the nod as the second singles player ahead of Borna Coric, who is racing to recover from knee surgery.
Croatia also appear to hold the edge for what could be the crucial doubles rubber on Saturday. Cilic and Ivan Dodig have teamed up to beat the American Bryan brothers and Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the past two rounds, and Argentina do not have a doubles pairing to match them.
However, the longer odds on Argentina are still likely to appeal to many punters, and that is primarily down to Juan Martin del Potro. The Tower of Tandil may only be ranked 38th in the world, but the fact that he slipped outside the top 1,000 earlier in the year shows how far back he has come after an incredible 2016. He has beaten Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka since returning from a wrist injury and it is clear that playing for his country means everything to him, having lost to Murray in the Olympic final but then taken his revenge in the Davis Cup semi-final.
He opted to sit out the Paris Masters to focus on the Davis Cup final and is a good bet to win both of his singles matches in Zagreb, which would leave Argentina needing just one of the remaining three rubbers to lift the trophy. It would cap a fairytale run for Del Potro and there is enough talent in the rest of the squad to get the job done, as both Guido Pella and Leonardo Mayer showed with singles victories in the defeat of Great Britain.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Argentina to win the Davis Cup final - 13/8 at Bet365
Please note, odds may fluctuate.