ATP Estoril – Final – Pablo Carreno-Busta vs Nicolas Almagro

Last week’s recommendation of Gastao Elias over Enrique Lopez-Perez improved our handicap betting record further, with results since the start of 2015 running at over 11% ROI, and with only a few defeats to our name in 2016 so far.

Today I want to look at the final of Estoril, with two Spaniards taking to the court at around 4pm UK time before they travel straight back to their home country for the Madrid Masters, which starts with several matches today.

Pablo Carreno-Busta is the less illustrious player in today’s final in Portugal, but he’s definitely on an upward curve on his favoured clay, whereas there is little doubt that opponent Nicolas Almagro’s career has seen better days.

On clay in 2016, Carreno-Busta has won 67% of his matches on the dirt (14-7) whilst Almagro has succeeded in slightly fewer (63%, 10-6), whilst in those matches, Carreno-Busta has held serve on 76.1% of occasions, breaking opponents 33.6% (combined 109.7%), whilst Almagro has done so 82.0% and 27.2% respectively (109.2%).

Given the hold/break stats and the win-loss records, it would be reasonable to assume that this would be very close to an even money match, but largely due to reputation, Almagro is short at around 1.63.

The market has realised this to a small extent, lengthening the older Spaniard from an opening 1.56.  Almagro being over-rated by the odds makers is certainly not a new phenomenon, with him returning a -11% ROI based on Pinnacle starting prices in the last 12 months.

However, on clay since the start of 2014, Carreno-Busta’s overall win record as a slight underdog (2.00-2.99 SP) is not great, winning just four of 15 completed matches.

This is something of a worry for outright win backers, but with him taking at least a set in 11 of these matches – it looks like he has had an issue in final sets – we do have a handicap betting angle we can exploit.

Carreno-Busta +1.5 sets is available at 1.60 and given the value and historical tendencies, this looks a very solid value proposition this afternoon.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: Pablo Carreno-Busta +1.5 sets at 1.60

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @Tennisratings

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