ATP Buenos Aires – Second Round – Pedro Sousa vs Juan Pablo Paz
Last time out we backed David Ferrer at odds against to get the better of Alexander Zverev and the Spanish veteran obliged, to continue our successful season. With the ATP playing the Shanghai Masters, at largely unsociable hours for European bettors, we move our focus to the Challenger Tour today, with the clay of Buenos Aires the setting for my latest Eastbridge Sports Betting Broker preview.
The second round concludes this evening, and at around 9pm UK time, Pedro Sousa takes Juan Pablo Paz. The less high profile Portuguese Sousa has struggled with injury in recent years and ended last season just shy of the 800 ranking mark – much worse than his ability level. Some solid performances in Challengers have seen this improve to around 200, with two semi-finals and two quarter-finals on his favoured clay reflecting this.
Opponent Paz usually plies his trade on the futures tour, and has one clay title to his name on the third tier this season, in Romania. However, the 21 year old has not performed well at main draw Challenger level, with only three victories in his entire career. Facundo Arguello and Hugo Grenier were two previous victims, and Joao Pedro Corgi in the first round here was his third. A win for Paz would be the biggest win of his career.
Sousa is currently available around the 1.40 mark, and this looks generous based on my model, which priced the Portuguese player at 1.23 for this match.
The Tournament So Far
Sousa was a solid 1.46 favourite against the qualifier Marcelo Zormann in the opening round, and eased to a 6-4 6-1 win, creating 11 break point chances in just nine return games.
Paz’s previously mentioned win over Sorgi was a hard fought 3-setter in which he dominated the final set. However, Sorgi only took one of eight break points (Paz was 4/9) so the match looks like it was tight, and Paz took his chances.
Statistics indicate that Paz is likely to struggle to hold serve on a consistent basis, with my data giving him a pre-match projected hold percentage of just 59.4%. This is due to his poor service numbers in Challengers, and Challenger qualifiers, and Sousa’s strong return game. Sousa’s projected hold percentage of 78.4% is much higher and the difference between the two projected hold percentages forms the basis of my model pricing.
Sousa has a superb career record when his Pinnacle closing price was between 1.20-1.49 on clay, winning 15 of 17 matches. Of those matches, 14 wins were completed without retirement and nine were won by greater than today’s main handicap margin, four games, also with one push.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation
With the value on Sousa, and historical tendencies illustrating that he has been able to cover the handicap line more often than not in this price range, backing Sousa -4 games at just shy of even money makes more sense than backing him at a shorter 1.40 for the match win. The handicap market for this match is still forming (Pinnacle, for example, are yet to quote), so there may be bigger than the recommended 1.95 in the coming hours.
Back Pedro Sousa -4 games at 1.95
Prices correct at time of writing.
Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage, winners welcome!