ATP Newport – Second Round – Malek Jaziri vs Ivo Karlovic
After the prestige of Wimbledon, the grass court season concludes with a small event in Newport, USA – the ‘Hall of Fame’ Championships. This title is somewhat ironic considering the weak nature of the field, but the event does afford us a nice handicap betting opportunity today.
Big-server Ivo Karlovic is loved by the market today and will start at around 1.20 for his match against the Tunisian journeyman Malek Jaziri tonight, scheduled for around 8:30pm UK time. This price looks short given my model priced him at 1.41.
Karlovic is strong on grass, holding 95.2% of the time and breaking 8.8% in the last two years on the surface, but those highly serve-orientated stats will mean that the Croatian veteran will have few break point opportunities even against a player as mediocre as Jaziri.
This is likely to lead to tiebreaks and my maths prices up a match tiebreak at around a 63% chance tonight. For a player who gets a lot of practice at them, Karlovic’s tiebreak record is actually pretty poor – he is 34-36 in the last 12 months and 261-245 in his career in tiebreaks – so he goes into these situations barely better than a 50-50 shot.
This gives Jaziri a solid chance of at least taking one set from a tiebreak, and of course he is capable of a one-break set win as well – his stats on grass aren’t horrific, holding 82.0% and breaking 16.0% in the last two years.
Giving this position further credence is Karlovic’s poor record at winning in straight sets when a favourite priced under 1.50. He is 5-6 on grass in his career in best of three set matches with this criteria, and is 10-13 on all surfaces in this price bracket since 2014.
This further indicates strong value about the 2.50 on Jaziri to get at least a set today and this forms today’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Jaziri +1.5 sets at 2.50
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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