ATP French Open – Third Round – Ivo Karlovic vs Andy Murray
Andy Murray’s form at this year’s French Open has been very questionable indeed, with the Scotsman needing to recover from deficits against 37 year old veteran Radek Stepanek in the opening round, and against Matthias Bourgue – in his first ever ATP tournament – in the second round.
On that basis, his third round match against Ivo Karlovic makes for a fascinating prospect, even despite the fact that Murray has got the better of the Croatian big-server in all their previous six meetings.
Having said this, all six meetings were relatively close, and Murray has never won a match by more than a 2 game per set average margin. Indeed, Karlovic has taken at least a set in four of those matches.
This raises an interesting handicap betting prospect, despite the fact that my model showed no value on the actual match winner market – Karlovic clearly doesn’t get beaten easily, even by elite level opponents.
Karlovic’s historical tendencies also illustrate this. In his seven Grand Slam matches where he has been priced over 6.00 to start the match, he has also never lost by more than a two game per set average, losing by 3, 6, 6, 6, 4 and 6 games, and beating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets here at Roland Garros two years ago.
Despite the obvious tendency for Karlovic to at least keep this match close, the oddsmakers have seen fit for him to be priced at a generous 2.17 to win when receiving a 6.5 game head start.
Considering the historical tendencies of Karlovic, this line represents very solid value indeed and is today’s recommendation.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Ivo Karlovic +6.5 games at 2.17
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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