The last 32 of the Australian Open concludes tonight, with 16 players fighting to join the likes of Andy Murray and Roger Federer in round four. Dan Weston thinks that one player in particular is value to progress...
"Players in general under-perform when backing-up a big victory over a high profile player, with a previous sample that I’ve run indicating that players return worse than -30% return on investment when priced as an underdog following a big win in a Grand Slam."
Federer a threat following dominant victory
Friday's recommendation of Roger Federer to ease past Tomas Berdych was a winner, and despite this being quite a tough opening week, I've seen the script of that match many times before - Berdych has underperformed consistently against the 'big four' name players, and his underwhelming display was far from a surprise.
Following Federer's dominant victory, he's now trading at 14.013/1 on the Exchange - and was matched at 12.011/1 today - to win the Australian Open. Federer, arguably the greatest player of all time, had been matched at 55.054/1 in December and was priced around the 24.023/1 mark before his match against Berdych started.
Kei Nishikori and then Andy Murray await for the Swiss legend, but a potential final against Novak Djokovic has been avoided with the Serb's shock defeat to Denis Istomin.
Istomin back in action following shock Djokovic victory
Ironically, the main match of today's preview focuses on Istomin, and the Uzbek looks over-rated against the improving Spaniard, Pablo Carreno-Busta.
At the time of writing, Carreno-Busta is available at 1.412/5 on the Exchange, and this looks a value price for numerous reasons.
Firstly, he has a 14.1% projected hold edge according to my model, with Istomin looking very vulnerable on serve, with a 67.9% projected hold percentage. Carreno-Busta's is a little higher than the ATP mean, at 82.0%.
Furthermore, there are obvious physical implications for Istomin, given that his victory over the world number two lasted for four hours 48 minutes. Lower ranked players have an atrocious record for performing well again after an extremely long five-setter, and there is little reason why Istomin should be any different tomorrow.
In addition to this, players in general under-perform when backing-up a big victory over a high profile player, with a previous sample that I've run indicating that players return worse than -30% return on investment when priced as an underdog following a big win in a Grand Slam.
Huge negatives for the Uzbek
All these areas indicate huge negatives for Istomin in this match, and Carreno-Busta, who has improved greatly on hard courts in the last year or so, was priced at 1.3130/100 by my model.
Carreno-Busta, with a big fitness and ability edge, should be able to get past Istomin in relatively facile fashion, and the 1.804/5 about the Spaniard with the Sportsbook giving up a 4.5 game head start looks an excellent price.
Traders may also be interested to know that with a low projected hold, plus poor lead loss statistics, Istomin is more likely than average to trade higher if he does get in front in the match.
Watch the Australian Open on Betfair Live Video!
Betfair customers will be able to watch the Australian Open on our Live Video service on both the Sportsbook and Exchange. This service is only available to customers in the UK and Ireland.
We will also be offering game-by-game betting for all singles matches on the main three courts at the Australian Open, and then all matches from the quarter-finals onwards.