ATP Winston Salem – Semi-Final – Malek Jaziri vs Kevin Anderson
ATP Winston Salem moves into the semi-finals tonight and the event in North Carolina has been very positive for both Malek Jaziri and followers of this column, with the Tunisian netting us two consecutive handicap betting recommendations on Wednesday and Thursday.
With Jaziri under-rated by the market again this evening, I see no reason why we should stop riding the bandwagon and I’m backing the world number 89 to complete a hat-trick against opponent Kevin Anderson.
Naturally, Anderson is the heavy favourite for this match – at number 15 in the world, he is a different class to Jaziri – but the current odds of around 1.20 on the South African seem short, given both the hold/break stats, and, as mentioned in this week’s previous previews, the superb record that Jaziri boasts as a heavy underdog.
With this week’s results included, the hard court records of the pair are closer than a 1.20 match would expect to see – Jaziri is now 11-10 on hard court in the last 12 months, and has held serve 78.4% and broken opponents 22.5% (combined 100.9%). This is solid top 40-50 form on hard courts.
Anderson’s record, as expected, is superior, winning 61% of his hard court matches in that time period (22-14), holding 85.1% and breaking 18.6% (combined 103.7%). However, it is clear that there isn’t a wide difference in these stats, with the big-serving Anderson much better on serve but Jaziri having a slight edge on return.
With opponent quality factored in, I priced Anderson at 1.39 tonight which creates decent value on Jaziri as a big underdog – a role where he has thrived in the last couple of years. The question is, how to exploit this value best?
Less of a concern in the previous recommendations against Teymuraz Gabashvili and Thomaz Bellucci was Jaziri’s poor tiebreak record (3-8 in last 12 months, 7-13 in last 24 months) and against a big-server – Anderson is 27-19 in the last 12 months, and 41-34 in the last 24 months – with a strong record in this format, backing him +1.5 sets is a strong move but less attractive than the other matches, with a tiebreak in the match more likely.
Jaziri has covered +4.5 games 8/14 times in best of three set main draw events since 2014 when priced 3.00 to 5.99 and covered +1.5 sets on 9/14 occasions.
Anderson has covered -4.5 games 7/16 times in this format when priced 1.10 to 1.35 and covered -1.5 sets on 6 occasions.
On this basis, we can look at pricing – purely on historical price range trends – Jaziri +4.5 games at around 1.76, and Jaziri +1.5 sets at around 1.58. Market prices are currently 1.80 and 2.37 respectively.
It is clear that the market value is on the set handicap as opposed to the game handicap, and despite my slight reservations about Jaziri’s tiebreak record, with a price discrepancy this big, I must make this today’s recommendation.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Malek Jaziri +1.5 sets at 2.37
Price correct at time of writing.
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