ATP Bastad – Quarter-Final – Pablo Cuevas vs Steve Darcis
The ATP clay season resumed this week and on the slow courts of Bastad, I like Pablo Cuevas to convert a solid handicap betting proposition this afternoon.
Not before 2:30pm UK time, the Uruguayan takes to the court and faces Steve Darcis in the last quarter-final of the day, and there is a significant ability difference between the two players on the dirt.
Cuevas has performed to a strong level on clay in the last couple of years and his stats illustrate this – he has held 83.6% and broken 26.8% on his favourite surface in the last 12 months, winning a superb 20 of 26 matches in that time period. Those combined numbers of 110.4% indicate he is around top-10 level on clay currently and hugely outclass Darcis.
The Belgian – ranked 52 places lower than Cuevas at a current 75 – has only played five matches on clay at ATP level in the last 12 months, winning two. He has held 75.6% and broken 18.2% in that small sample, but extending the sample further also does Darcis no favours.
Over the last three years, Darcis’ clay record is 2-5, holding 72.2% and breaking 16.4%, and in his career he is 21-30, holding 76.0% and 19.2%. In other words, there is very little evidence whatsoever that Darcis is anywhere near Cuevas’ level on this surface. This is shown by my model, which prices Cuevas at 1.23, making the current market prices of around 1.36 decent value.
When priced 1.20-1.49 on clay in the last 12 months, Cuevas is 9-1, and in completed matches he has won by at least 3.5 games in 6/9 completed matches. Extending that price range back to the start of 2014, Cuevas’ handicap tendencies stretch to covering this line on 12/18 occasions (implied odds of 1.50).
Given that this bet today is offered at 1.76, it represents superb value and is today’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Pablo Cuevas -3.5 games at 1.76
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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