ATP Shanghai – Second Round – Dominic Thiem vs Feliciano Lopez
This week’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai got underway with several matches on Sunday and today sees today’s handicap betting opportunity, with the majority of second round matches being played.
Starting at around 11am UK time is the clash between Dominic Thiem and Feliciano Lopez, and on one of the quickest hard courts on the ATP Tour, I like the Spaniard’s chances against the young Austrian in a match that the market is finding it hard to pick a favourite.
Lopez historically has a very strong record on quick surfaces, excelling on grass, and by accident or design actually seems to be one player who has recognised his strengths and appears to schedule relatively intelligently on that basis. This is further illustrated by his record on the quick courts of Shanghai, where he has accumulated an excellent 16-6 career record. He has reached the semi-finals here on three occasions, a strong achievement for a player of his ranking considering the field strength in Masters 1000 events.
A strong tiebreak record also is of use to Lopez, with a 27-15 record over the last 12 months, with Thiem’s 17-22 record much more inferior. The quick courts increase the possibility of a tiebreak today, with my maths making it around a 29% chance in the first set. Given that, there’s over a 50% chance that there will be a tiebreak played in this match.
2015 hard court statistics also favour Lopez. He’s 16-10 for the season on hard courts, holding serve 84.0% and breaking opponents 18.2% (combined 102.2%), whilst Thiem’s 7-9 record, holding 82.2% and breaking 14.4% (combined 96.6%) is inferior.
When this, in addition to the tiebreak records and venue records, are considered, my model priced up Lopez at 1.62, so there is clear value on the Spaniard.
In matches where Lopez has been priced between 1.70 and 2.30 on hard court in the last 12 months, he is 5-1 with one win coming via a two game margin, and the rest by five games or greater. Across all surfaces, he is 8-7 in this price range, again winning all matches by a minimum of two games.
The -2 game line isn’t currently offered by bookmakers today but I feel that taking the slightly bigger price than the outright match win, about Lopez on the -1.5 game handicap, appeals today.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Feliciano Lopez -1.5 games at 2.15
Prices correct at time of writing.
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