ATP Montreal – Quarter Final – Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori
The Montreal Masters 1000 event moves into the quarter-final stage, with Rafael Nadal’s clash with Kei Nishikori the closest match on the cards, with Nadal opening as a slight 1.71 favourite, before Nishikori was backed into marginally odds-on, at a current 1.86. It is this match which gives us tonight’s handicap betting opportunity.
Certainly, reading online, there seems to be a great deal of support for the Japanese talent, and according to my model, this has put Nishikori in the unbackable territory. The opening line of 1.71 was my exact model price on Nadal, who has a cigarette paper’s edge on projected holds – 77.8% to 77.7% – and boasts a 7-0 head to head lead, with three coming on today’s surface, hard court.
It is a mark of how little faith the market has in the Spaniard that this lead has been totally disregarded, although giving it too much respect would also be foolish, given Nishikori (currently ranked fifth in the world) was not ranked inside the top ten in any of the seven meetings. However, it has to be given some credence, and this did make some contribution to my overall model price.
Over a large sample, matches like today’s where both player’s projected holds are below average give slightly bigger game handicap discrepancies, as there is a higher chance of a double-break set victory. On that basis, looking at historical data with a view to quite an aggressive handicap bet looks to be in order.
In best of three set matches where he was priced between 1.50 and 3.00, Nadal’s wins since the start of 2013 have come via 5, 7, 4, 3 and 6 games. Six of Nishikori’s ten best of three set defeats priced between 1.50 and 2.00 since the start of 2013 have also come by at least four games, and eight out of ten by at least three.
Nadal -2.5 games is available at 2.50, but taking the extra risk and backing him giving up 3.5 games at a standout 3.50 with Unibet is an aggressive handicap play I am keen on for this match. A 2-0 set score (available at a similar 3.57) would almost certainly cover this line, but taking the game handicap line also allows us the extra scope of a dominant double-break set scoreline to get the win at a very nice price.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Rafael Nadal -3.5 games at 3.50
Price correct at time of writing.
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