ATP Los Cabos – Quarter-Final – Nicolas Almagro v Dusan Lajovic
Whilst the glamour – or lack of it, if you look at the player accommodation – of the Olympics takes the main attention in the Tennis world this week, there is also an ATP event accompanying it, in the tourist resort of Los Cabos, Mexico.
Second on court tonight, after midnight UK time, is Nicolas Almagro, and the Spanish veteran takes on the Serbian clay-courter Dusan Lajovic, and this match gives us a solid handicap betting opportunity this evening.
An ATP quarter-final on hard court is something of a novelty for Lajovic, given that he has never made it past the second round of a main tour hard court event, and indeed, he’s only won seven main draw matches on the surface in his career on the surface.
Opponent Almagro has plenty of experience of the business end of tournaments, although after injury issues, it’s fair to say that he is far from the player that he once was.
This is reflected in the somewhat generous price of around 1.60 on the Spaniard, and this differed from my model – that has also has taken into account Almagro’s slump – which priced up Almagro as a 1.42 favourite for the match.
In a likely serve orientated match – both players break opponents less than the ATP hard court mean – holding serve will be key with few opportunities on return, and this is something Almagro has done superbly this week.
In Almagro’s opening match against the American youngster, Noah Rubin, he faced just two break points and created 12, whilst yesterday against countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Almagro only faced one break point in the entire match, creating five.
It’s clear to see that Almagro’s serve is working very well and his conversion of return break points (3/12 and 1/5) was the only thing stopping him from more dominant victories.
Conversely, it’s fair to say that Lajovic was very lucky to be at this stage, converting his only break point against Bernard Tomic last night, who had five break points on return.
On hard court in best of three set matches priced between 1.50 and 1.99, Almagro’s wins from 2012 onwards have come via 4, 4, 4, 2, 3, 2 and 6 game margins, and considering this, it seems to make more sense backing Almagro -2 games at 1.77 than it does outright at 1.60.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Nicolas Almagro -2 games at 1.77
Prices correct at time of writing.
Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage, now UK licensed.