After the drama of Tuesday's first two quarter-finals at the US Open, it's the second two taking place this evening. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to preview the matches...
"However, it's the game handicap line that again catches my eye, with Millman a little bigger at [1.81] on the Exchange to cover the same +8.5 game line that was recommended against Federer."
Outright market unimpressed with Nadal following epic win
Last night's action in New York saw Juan Martin Del Potro come back from a set down to defeat John Isner in four sets - the third set tiebreak, at 1-1 was the critical turning point - while there was an epic match between Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem.
Our outright pick, Nadal, started abysmally, being bagelled in 26 minutes, but he fought back to lead 2-1 going into the fourth set tiebreak. In truth, Nadal would have dramatically benefited from winning this tiebreak, instead of the one eventually in the fifth set, saving himself a further 75 minutes of court time which will not be helpful going into his semi-final with Del Potro.
The tournament winner market on the Exchange was unimpressed, easing Nadal to [3.50] despite this victory. Novak Djokovic has shortened a little as tournament favourite, into [2.26]. I'll be discussing Nadal v Del Potro on the day of their semi-final.
Cilic slight favourite to defeat Nishikori
In advance of this, we have tonight's two matches to discuss, with the first, Marin Cilic against Kei Nishikori, starting not before 1830 UK time. For this, Cilic is the [1.67] favourite, and while I make this a little short, I would want bigger on Nishikori to consider him value - around the [2.60] mark, at the very least, as opposed to the [2.46] current line.
Cilic does have an excellent record against worse opposition - it is against the elite players that he tends to struggle - and his edge over Nishikori comes from having a much stronger serve, while their break percentage on return is relatively similar.
Millman facing second consecutive elite opponent
It's the second meeting of the night, which features Roger Federer's conqueror, John Millman, that I'm more interested in from a value perspective. I mentioned Millman had a solid record in covering big game handicap lines against much better opponents on Monday, and today he faces Novak Djokovic, in his second consecutive match against elite level opposition.
Djokovic is priced similarly to Federer against Millman, so the question should be 'is the current Djokovic a considerable upgrade on the current Federer?'. My answer is not really - they have pretty similar combined serve and return stats, and Millman does look some value at [14.0].
Millman backers can again consider handicap options
However, it's the game handicap line that again catches my eye, with Millman a little bigger at [1.81] on the Exchange to cover the same +8.5 game line that was recommended against Federer. The market still needs to improve liquidity and I do feel that this will settle at around [1.85] eventually.
The worry is that Djokovic is much better at covering game handicap lines than Federer - he does have a higher propensity to win double-break sets than the Swiss man - but for a small stake, this looks today's best option on the men's card.
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Dan's US Open 2018 P/L
P/L: + 2.39pts (11.95% return on investment)
Back John Millman +8.5 games at [1.81]