ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 17th November By @DavAulak

Novak Djokovic v David Goffin

No one can watch Novak Djokovic and say he is playing at his best, but he has been good enough to win this Group and I do think he is playing well enough to beat David Goffin. The alternate comes into the draw and only found out on Wednesday that he will be playing, but that isn’t reason enough to oppose him.

Goffin is a solid player, but I still think the serve is something of an issue while playing in these conditions against someone like Djokovic. If he isn’t serving well it does give Djokovic the chance to get himself involved in the rallies and try and break down the Goffin game.

His movement is a strength, but that might not be as helpful on a faster court in London this year, although there are questions as to how much Djokovic can keep his unforced errors in check. The last few months have seen Djokovic miss far more shots than he was when dominating the rest of the ATP Tour and giving up free points to Goffin is going to be a problem in this match, although Djokovic should still have a considerable edge in the game.

I am not convinced Djokovic is serving as well as he would have wanted in this tournament, but I can see an entertaining match swing his way more often than not. David Goffin has suffered some one-sided losses over the last few weeks as he fell short of making it into the top eight, but he is a flashy player and can help entertain the crowd, although I expect he eventually falls 6-4, 6-3.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Novak Djokovic – 4.5 Games @ 1.61 with 888 Sport

 

Tennis Handicap Betting

Novak Djokovic

Milos Raonic v Dominic Thiem

Milos Raonic might not have had a better chance to beat Novak Djokovic than he had in their Group match a couple of days ago, but he has to be encouraged about his chances to move through to the Semi Finals. It is a winner takes all match with Dominic Thiem, but I give the Canadian enough of an edge to come through in straight sets.

It was a straight sets win for Raonic when these players met in Cincinnati a few months ago and that was down to the Canadian dominating the Thiem second serve. I do think the Austrian is an improving player, but he definitely needs to work on the second serve which brings a lot of double faults and also allows players to go on the attack and force mistakes from a player who does take big swings of the racquet and can mess up the timing when the ball is on him very quickly.

There is also the added factor of fatigue as Thiem is coming in at the end of a long season where he clearly was slowing down at the end of the 2016 season. There have been some heavy losses as Thiem has found it hard to stay in the moment in matches, with mistakes coming thick and fast as the matches progress.

Thiem is capable of playing some really good tennis for some time, but that tiredness begins to set in and we have seen him lose sets by 6-0, 6-1, and 6-2 scores already this week. The pressure Raonic will put on him with his big serve and being able to come through service games a little easier will build on Thiem and the mistakes may begin to come too quickly for the Austrian to stay in the match.

Of course there is nothing left for Thiem this season so he can give his full effort here, but I am not convinced there is enough left in the tank. I can see Raonic coming through with a 7-5, 6-3 win as Thiem perhaps falls away in this one and the Canadian can move through to the Semi Final along with Novak Djokovic.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Milos Raonic – 3.5 Games at 2.01 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 16th November By @DavAulak

Andy Murray v Kei Nishikori

There have been two epic matches between Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray this season and those two five setters have been split with one win apiece. The most recent match took place at the US Open when Nishikori battled back from 2-1 down in sets to win that match and snap a four match losing run to Murray, but the new World Number 1 can earn a measure of revenge for that defeat on Wednesday.

There were some nerves initially in the way Murray began this tournament, but he looked a much stronger player by the time the end of the victory over Marin Cilic was being completed. He can’t afford a slow start in this one against a confident Nishikori who dismissed Stan Wawrinka as easily as he did on Monday, although I do have to say I feel the Swiss player made life much more comfortable for Nishikori than it should have been.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting ATP World Finals 16/11

Andy Murray

The Murray levels don’t fluctuate as much as Wawrinka’s do and Nishikori has to get far more than 45% of first serves in play if he wants to win and virtually move through to the Semi Finals here. It is Murray who has the far bigger serve and he is one of the more attacking returners when he sees the second serve and I think having a win under his belt in the Group should relax Murray for a better all around performance than he had on Monday.

Their Davis Cup tie produced some tight sets, but Murray has used his dominance in the service stats to help break the Nishikori serve a couple of times and set up a comfortable set or two. That could be a key in this match as I can see Murray taking a set either 61 or 62 which will give him a chance to cover this number even if he needs three sets to win the match.

Murray won two of the first three sets at the US Open and would have covered this number as he did at the Olympic Games and in their two meetings in 2015. The Davis Cup tie looks the exception to the rule and I will back the World Number 1 to move to the brink of winning this Group and avoiding a potential Semi Final with Novak Djokovic.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Andy Murray -4.5 Games @ 1.99 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Stan Wawrinka v Marin Cilic

I have really no idea why Stan Wawrinka looked as flat as he did in the defeat to Kei Nishikori on Monday, but it might have something to do with what he admits to anyone who listens. Wawrinka has made it clear that he doesn’t think about cracking the Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray top two positions in the World Rankings because of his lack of consistency and Wawrinka can sometimes produce some of these really strange performances.

He can get away with it to some extent at the World Tour Finals with another chance to get back into the Group and maintain his run of Semi Final appearances at this tournament. I do worry that the conditions are not suiting him as much as usual with the slightly speedier courts taking away some of the time Wawrinka likes, but I am going to back him as the underdog on Wednesday evening.

Wawrinka holds a dominant 10-2 head to head record with Marin Cilic who blew a big opportunity to beat Andy Murray on Monday. It is Wawrinka who has won six in a row against Cilic and I do have to say that he produced a listless performance against Rafael Nadal in his opening match last season before turning it around with two Group wins and a place in the Semi Finals.

There is no doubt that Wawrinka has to serve better than he did on Monday, but Cilic will have some mental obstacles to overcome too. Those losses to Wawrinka won’t be easy to forget and he will know he had his chances against Murray, while Cilic might also be thinking ahead to the Davis Cup Final that is upcoming.

It is the expectation that Wawrinka will be better than Monday which drives my pick. With that head to head over Cilic behind him and the fact that all is not lost for him in the Group, Wawrinka can’t be any worse than he was on Monday and I expect he wins a tight match outright. However I will take the games being given to him in what could be a tough match that goes down to the wire and will look for the Swiss player to set up a huge match with Andy Murray which will decide his fate in the Group for a second year in a row.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Stan Wawrinka + 1.5 Games @ 2.0 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP World Tour Finals London Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Tuesday 15th November By @DavAulak

Gael Monfils v Dominic Thiem

Both Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils were beaten in their opening matches on Sunday, although the former showed more of the quality tennis that has taken him into the top eight this season. The problem for Thiem is that he has admitted some tiredness and the way he fell apart against Novak Djokovic, after taking the tiebreaker in the first set, has to be a concern.

Having a day of rest will help Thiem, but the collapse has been something of a feature of his matches down the stretch in what has been a long season for him. He did win the Tie Break Tens competition in Austria, but the regular tennis points have been tough for Thiem and I am not sure he has a lot left in the tank for the remaining days of the 2016 season.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for Monfils either and I was little disappointed that he couldn’t produce more in his loss to Milos Raonic. The Frenchman has some solid results to end the 2016 season, but he has to show a little more tennis smarts to look for the win in this one, rather than entertaining the crowd.

That has been an issue for Monfils through his career, but he has looked more focused in 2016 and I think he can pick himself up from his opening loss. I don’t hold much hope for either of these players to make it through to the Semi Final, but I think Monfils can keep his chances alive for another couple of days by using his athleticism to wear down Thiem over the course of this match.

Thiem admitting he is feeling a little tired would be a worry and I think Monfils can continue the run of straight sets win in this tournament and I will back him to cover the games.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Gael Monfils -1.5 Games at 1.92 with Pinnacle

 

Tennis Handicap Betting

Gael Monfils

Milos Raonic v Novak Djokovic

The favourites have been winning easily so far this week so backing against Novak Djokovic, who is desperate to finish the year with the World Number 1 Ranking, is perhaps a little foolhardy. That is probably even more so when you think that he has dominated Milos Raonic in their previous matches and would have covered this number in their previous two matches in 2016 and three in a row in their best of three contests.

That includes a win in the Paris Masters in 2014 for the loss of just five games, in what are similar conditions to those that the players will be facing in London.

However my reason is that Djokovic might be motivated this week, but he has also still got some issues that need to be resolved. There looks to be a couple of problems with his camp which came to the fore on Sunday, after dropping the first set while the Djokovic serve is still not working to the same level as it was a few months ago. Another problem has been the unforced errors that Djokovic has produced, which is considerably below what we expect from him and these are situations that Raonic can take advantage of.

I was concerned about the leg issue Raonic had and whether that would have an affect on his serve in the opening match. Those were set aside by a huge serving day and the Canadian has a big enough game to give Djokovic something to think about and this looks enough games for Raonic to at least produce the first really competitive match at the Tour Finals.

There is every chance we will need at least one tiebreaker in this one too and a strong serving display coupled with taking some of the chances Raonic gets to break serve, should see him within this number.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Milos Raonic + 3.5 Games at 2.02 with 188BET

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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