Andy Murray tops the betting at 7/4 in what is his first appearance since his shock 4th round exit at the Australian Open last month and for me is plenty short enough considering he has made only one final here in 2012, and one appearance since losing to teenage sensation Borna Coric in 2015.
A fresh and fully fit Roger Federer is hard to oppose in my opinion, the recent Australian Open Champion claiming an incredible 18th Grand Slam title will look to add the trophy this week to the seven he has amassed so far in his career here in Dubai.
Quick conditions like here, Shanghai and Cincinnati are perfect for Federer, and a soft draw to the semi-finals where he would meet Murray on route to the final with only his off season hitting partner, Lucas Pouille, a realistic danger, however this seems less likely the talented Frenchman will be able to trouble Federer as he has had an exhausting week will a quick turnaround from Marseille, where he lost to Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the final earlier today.
The 7/2 with Ladbrokes looks big or can be backed at 3/1 general elsewhere acceptable.
The bottom half and potential finalists could be defending Champion, Stan Wawrinka, who surprised many in claiming the title with conditions not ideally suited to big Stan who usually requires plenty time to set himself and unload that huge backhand. I would not be wanting to touch Stan at 11/2 despite being in the opposite half to the two market principles.
Tomas Berdych looks like being the main threat to Stan in making the final and would probably be my selection to come through that draw but again the price of 9/1 hardly appeals for someone with a poor head to head record over Wawrinka even at half the odds to make the final with such inconsistencies.
So it's Federer who missed last year through injury can claim his title back at 7/2 with the magic sign.
Worth noting Andy Murray missed Dubai last year following the birth of his first child and also played poor over the North American Sping double in Indian Wells & Miami.
I do expect big performances from Murray in the coming months as this is the opportunity Murray can pull away from Djokovic in the World rankings with little points to defend.
For this tournament in these quick conditions, I simply favour the great Roger Federer.
ATP Sau Paulo
A wide open feel to the final leg of the Golden Swing in South America.
So many inconsistent or out of form players will feel they are capable of a deep run this week.
Alberto Ramos has been consistent over this year's Golden Swing and heads the betting at 9/2. He played dreadful, however, rolling over to Dominic Thiem this week in Rio and maybe a tough few weeks in red hot conditions are starting to take its toll.
The same could be said for fellow Spaniard in Pablo Carreno Busta at 5/1, who is yet to play the Rio final against Dominic Thiem later tonight and will be hard to reproduce top form back to back weeks in these conditions.
PCB is defending final points from last year but the pressure is off now that he has repeated that finish at least a week earlier.
The player who defeated the Spaniard in last year's final was Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, he is pretty much a clay specialist despite showing vast improvements on all other surfaces in the last 2 years, and he could take advantage of rivals that are below 100% this week.
Cuevas has not been in the best of form this year but no doubt will have eyed his defence this week as the turning point in his season so will no doubt be giving it his all and is crucially fully fit and fresh.
The Uruguayan only dropped one set on route to the title last year and will fear no-one in this field.
We saw a dream defence and in fact a third Quito title in a row for Victor Estrella Burgos a few weeks back over the golden swing so we are not adverse to repeat winners at this time of the year and he is preferred at 7/1 with Ladbrokes or 6/1 general over the two favourites mentioned in the betting who are below full strength and the likes of Fredrico Delbonis and Fabio Fognini who come next at 15/2 & 8/1 simply can't be trusted and are so hard to win with.
ATP Dubai - Roger Federer to win Outright @ 7/2 Ladbrokes or 3/1 General.
ATP Sau Paulo - Pablo Cuevas to win Outright @ 7/1 Ladbrokes or 6/1 General.