ATP Wimbledon – Second Round – Julien Benneteau v Kei Nishikori
Day four of Wimbledon starts in an hour and, with the non-event that is the English summer manifesting itself as predicted, many players are in the position that they still need to complete their first round matches.
With further rain scheduled, the tournament may be experiencing a huge backlog this weekend, and it may be that the recommendation from this handicap betting preview will carry over until tomorrow.
Two players that won their opening match in straight sets were Julien Benneteau and Kei Nishikori, over Ilya Marchenko and Sam Groth respectively.
Many observers felt that Nishikori was unimpressive in his victory over Groth, but the Australian big-server is a tough opponent on grass (the quickest surface on tour) and getting past Groth in straight sets without even the need for a tiebreak is actually a solid result.
French veteran Benneteau has had a terrible last 18 months following injury issues and his stats across all surfaces in this period are very poor indeed. In 14 matches, Benneteau has won just twice in this time period, holding serve 76.1% and breaking opponents 9.6% (combined 85.7%). This isn’t even close to top 100 level.
Comparing this to his 2014 stats, for example, he held serve 81.8% and broke opponents 22.0% (combined 103.8%) so it’s not difficult to see that he has deteriorated greatly in the last 18 months.
Considering this, I’m very surprised to see the Japanese 5th seed at 1.13 for this match, with my model making 1.05 more realistic.
Even though it is solid value, backing such a short price isn’t recommended in this preview, as there are better options on the handicap markets.
Backing Nishikori -6.5 games is available at a current 1.65, and this is a line that I much prefer. Nishikori is 30-3 in Grand Slam matches when priced under 1.20 and 22 of the 29 completed match wins came via at least this margin. This is 22 out of 32 completed matches (68.75%) overall, implying the odds of this outcome should be 1.45, instead of the much more generous line.
Bearing this in mind, and the value on Nishikori from my model, taking the Japanese player -6.5 games looks a very solid handicap betting prospect today.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Kei Nishikori -6.5 games at 1.65
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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