The third round at the Indian Wells Masters concludes on Tuesday night and, with eight matches on the card, players are fighting to join Roger Federer, among others, in the last 16. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns with his best bets...
"In the five matches in the last 12 months where Ferrer has been a heavy underdog (starting price greater than 3.00) he's lost all five, but hasn't been outclassed, only losing one match by greater than today's +4.5 game handicap line."
Mannarino and Bautista-Agut exit on disappointing Monday
Yesterday's recommendation ended in disappointment, with Adrian Mannarino struggling in three sets against Jeremy Chardy, despite fighting back from a set down. Chardy's 'reward' is a fourth round meeting with a certain Roger Federer, who eased past the potential banana skin, Filip Krajinovic, last night.
We also lost our long-shot outright pick, Roberto Bautista-Agut, as he was trounced by Borna Coric, but we do still have our main choice, Marin Cilic, in the event, and it is Phillip Kohlschreiber's mediocre 2018 level which means that the market has so much faith in Cilic, at a current [1.25] for their match-up in one of the earlier matches tonight.
Monfils and Mayer look fairly priced in early matches
In the other early matches, Gael Monfils looks fairly priced for his match against countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who still has awful return data in main tour matches, while Leonardo Mayer is also justifiably priced at [1.50] against Novak Djokovic's conqueror, Taro Daniel.
Ferrer unlikely to be outclassed by Del Potro
Juan Martin Del Potro has won his last four matches against David Ferrer and the Spanish veteran's aging legs may struggle to keep up with the Argentine, but I do feel that odds of [5.50] with the Exchange are a little insulting to Ferrer. His propensity to break opponents is on the wane slightly, but is also biased by his inability to convert break point chances - if that was in line with his service points won expectations, it wouldn't be a big drop at all from his peak figures.
In the five matches in the last 12 months where Ferrer has been a heavy underdog (starting price greater than 3.00) he's lost all five, but hasn't been outclassed, only losing one match by greater than today's +4.5 game handicap line, which can be taken at [1.97] on the Exchange. Del Potro, as a serve-orientated player, is unlikely to win by a large margin, so this line does appeal.
Tough to split out of form duo Sock and Lopez
The late match is also of interest, with Jack Sock playing Feliciano Lopez. Sock's data this year (and even in the last 12 months on hard court) is not impressive whatsoever and while Lopez has won six of ten matches this year, neither is his. However, my model made this a very level match and Lopez looks decent value at the available [2.60].
In the other matches, Milos Raonic, Marcos Baghdatis, and Sam Querrey are all priced around the [1.40] mark against Joao Sousa, Dudi Sela and Yuki Bhambri, respectively, and in all three cases, the pricing looks pretty fair. Of the trio, Baghdatis looks the worst value, but opponent Sela isn't nearly in value territory.
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