Day four at the Madrid Masters features 12 second-round matches, including Rafa Nada beginning his campaign. Dan Weston is back to look at today's value...
"Also similar is the +3.5 game handicap line on Struff, offered at [2.08] on the Exchange, and he's covered this line 5/7 times this year when a similarly priced underdog on clay, and I do like the chances of the German to keep this close, at the very least."
Raonic gets past Dimitrov on day three
Yesterday's action in Madrid was a mixed bag for us, as we picked up an underdog winner in our daily preview, with Milos Raonic getting past Grigor Dimitrov in three sets, and it will be interesting to see how the markets price the Bulgarian on clay in the next few weeks - certainly he looks rather over-rated currently.
However, we saw our outright interest dwindle with quarter two pick Richard Gasquet succumbing in two tiebreaks to Dusan Lajovic, without creating a single break point chance. One player who did create break point chances was Stefanos Tsitsipas, who managed to create 20 in his defeat to Evgeny Donskoy, taking just one. Players winning, as Donskoy did, while creating fewer break points than their opponents, is rare enough, but winning when creating 10 fewer is virtually unheard of.
Haase with potential to surprise Goffin
Moving on to today, the majority of value - according to my model - looks to be on the underdogs, with Robin Haase, Kyle Edmund and Jan-Lennard Struff all looking rather generously priced.
Earliest on the schedule, at 11:00 UK time, is Haase, with the Dutchman a [4.00] shot to beat David Goffin, whose recent level hasn't been close to his best tennis, following some injury issues. Haase is inconsistent as well, but has decent clay data. The handicap market is still forming to an extent, but Haase +3.5 games is a current [2.20].
In the last couple of years, Goffin has been around 50:50 for covering the -3.5 game line when a favourite priced along these lines on clay, and Haase's record covering +3.5 games as a heavy underdog is pretty patchy.
Struff can keep it close at least against Coric
At a similar price, Struff is a [3.65] underdog against Borna Coric, who after a good season on hard court so far is getting a little over-rated by the markets. Struff has been very solid on clay in the last year or so, while Coric's record on the dirt still requires some improvement, although his win over Pablo Carreno-Busta yesterday was admittedly impressive.
While it's worth noting that Coric also defends quarter-final points from last season here, it's also worth making the point that apart from an injury-afflicted Andy Murray, he beat nobody of consequence on that run.
Also similar is the +3.5 game handicap line on Struff, offered at [2.08] on the Exchange, and he's covered this line 5/7 times this year when a similarly priced underdog on clay, and I do like the chances of the German to keep this close, at the very least.
Edmund chances depend on Djokovic level
As for Edmund, 12 month data makes him a little value at [3.80] to get past the former world number one, Novak Djokovic, but of course, this comes with the huge caveat that if Djokovic was to be close to his peak level, it would also be an absurd price. However, we can't even consider that the Serb will be at that stage in his comeback, given his patchy form in the last few months.
Nadal priced accurately to get past Monfils threat
In other matches, I quite like Phillip Kohlschreiber in a virtual 'pick-em' match against home player Roberto Bautista-Agut, while it will be interesting to see if Pablo Cuevas can continue his head to head dominance over Albert Ramos. John Isner and Ryan Harrison are unlikely to be able to conjure up many breaks of serve, and tiebreaks are likely, while Rafa Nadal looks accurately priced, even at [1.04] to beat the enigmatic Gael Monfils.
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