ATP Shanghai – Third Round – Rafael Nadal vs Milos Raonic
The Shanghai Masters reached the third round phase today and, looking to build on yesterday’s success of backing Feliciano Lopez on the game handicap, our trust is in another Spaniard to get the job done this afternoon.
Regular readers may remember that in March I recommended Nadal on the handicap and Raonic and lost after Nadal traded 1.01 in-running, and I’m looking to erase that variance from memory with revenge here.
Nadal has been regularly under-rated in recent weeks – 1.50 against Fognini on hard court last week, was an insult – and as I’ve mentioned a number of times on social media, he’s actually facing and receiving as many break point chances this year as he has in his 2008-2015 average data. However taking and saving these chances has been his main issue – underperformance on key points.
However, he’s still got reasonable hold/break stats – much better than his Canadian opponent today. On hard courts in 2015, Nadal has held serve 83.1% and broken opponents 32.2% (combined (115.3%). Raonic boasts a much better serve (he has held 94.1%) but a much worse return, breaking opponents a mere 12.4% (combined 106.5%).
In addition to this, the more recent three and six month data also favours Nadal, and with just that one win, previously mentioned, for Raonic from six head to head matches, my model made Nadal value at around 1.60 for this match.
Both players have poor recent records against top ten opponents, so it’s difficult to make any adjustment there. Raonic’s mediocre return game is even worse against the best players on tour, breaking them under 10% over the last couple of years.
Historical price range data on Nadal is hard to come by, given that he’s rarely priced at this level, but all his wins since 2012 priced between 1.50-1.99 have come via at least two games, and all but one by at least a three game margin.
On that basis I’m happy to take the 1.92 about Nadal -2 games, and this is today’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Rafael Nadal -2 games at 1.92
Prices correct at time of writing.
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