ATP Basel – First Round – Ivo Karlovic vs Stan Wawrinka
This week’s ATP action sees two Indoor Hard court events in Basel and Valencia, and conditions in the two tournaments are somewhat different, with Basel historically playing very quickly, and Valencia somewhat slow.
We can use this information to our advantage in predicting totals and this has given us such an edge that I’m prepared to look at a first round match – something that I very rarely do – to give us today’s handicap betting recommendation.
Bookmakers find it very hard to price up the eventuality of a tiebreak, seeming oblivious to court speed. Given that their mediocre resources – with the majority mainly focused around marketing as opposed to odds compiling – won’t even stretch to a daily spreadsheet that I produce, detailing these conditions, I don’t expect this situation to cease any time soon.
The match-up I want to focus on is the clash on the faster courts of Basel between Ivo Karlovic and Stan Wawrinka, due on court around 5pm. Local favourite Wawrinka hasn’t got the best record in his home country and may well be tested by the big-serving Croat here – certainly odds of around 1.50 do not appeal.
Both players are serve-orientated statistically, with Karlovic in particular fitting this profile. He has held serve 95.3% and breaking opponents 9.6% on Indoor Hard in the last two years – the best and worst for serving and return respectively on the ATP Tour.
Overall, my data equated that there is a 68.1% chance of there being no breaks in the first set on this fast court, and given that there is a very small chance of both players achieving one break each, it works out to around 70% likelihood of a tiebreak in the first set.
This is quite in line with previous head to head meetings. Away from clay, they’ve played 15 head to head sets, with eight going over 12.5 games. Two of these non tiebreak sets were played on the very slow Indian Wells surface, but in their most recent meeting, in Cincinnati in August – very fast conditions – all three sets ended up in a tiebreak.
Given that my maths worked out today in Basel there was around a 70% likelihood of a first set tiebreak, and the market is offering 1.95 about the eventuality, this has to be today’s recommendation.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back 1st set tiebreak at 1.95
Prices correct at time of writing.
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