ATP Queens – Quarter Final – Viktor Troicki vs John Isner

The second week of grass court Wimbledon warm-up events continues today and we are at the quarter-final stage today of two ATP tournaments, as well as WTA Birmingham.

Regular readers of these previews should be in good heart following Illya Marchenko and Kevin Anderson’s betting handicap victories over David Goffin and Stan Wawrinka respectively, and I’m looking to make it a hat-trick today by focusing on a match where few breaks of serve are expected.

Followers on Twitter may have picked up that I was very keen on backing a first set tiebreak at odds of 2.07 yesterday in the match between Feliciano Lopez and John Isner, and my model priced that at around 1.16, so the value was huge.  The two huge servers produced three consecutive tiebreaks – the bookmakers got this severely wrong, and this market appears to be one that they are unable to price correctly.

There are several opportunities to convert similar bets today, albeit with slightly smaller edges, and both the Tomas Berdych vs Ivo Karlovic and the Isner against Viktor Troicki clashes have been highlighted by my model as over a 50% chance of no breaks in the first set, with Berdych/Karlovic in Halle at 51.75% and Isner/Troicki at Queens showing at 53.31%.

Market odds of this occurring are 1.95 for Berdych/Karlovic dutching the two 7-6 scorelines, and 2.13 on Isner/Troicki.  Given that there’s a small chance that both players will break each other and end in a tie-break, effectively we are being offered 2.13 on a 55% shot, giving us around an 8% edge on market prices.

The reason for this is almost certainly due to the fact that the bookmakers haven’t picked up on Queens playing significantly faster than the average grass court – in fact my data illustrates it’s actually the quickest surface on the ATP Tour, with 87.6% of service games being held this year at the venue.

Isner himself has held 95.4% of his service games on grass in the last two years, and Troicki has done so 88.8% of the time, so it’s clear both players are very strong on serve on grass.  Considering Isner has only broken opponents 9.8% of the time in this period, it is clear that this bet on an extremely fast grass court is extremely viable at a nice price.

Recommendation: Back Over 12.5 games 1st set at 2.13 (dutching the 4.00 on Isner 7-6 and 4.50 on Troicki 7-6)

By @Tennisratings.

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