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ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Saturday 19th November By @DavAulak

Andy Murray v Milos Raonic

The big serve of Milos Raonic is clearly going to be built up as the potential deciding factor in this match, but Andy Murray has shown he has the tools to blunt that weapon and make the Canadian work hard for a lot of what he earns on the court.

It is Murray who has dominated their head to head this season and even the quicker conditions in the O2 Arena this season shouldn’t concern Murray who has beaten Raonic at the Cincinnati Masters. That is considered the fastest court along with Dubai and Murray was able to break the Raonic serve three times at that tournament and I do think he is seeing the ball big enough to make sure his opponent is not winning as many cheap points as he wants.

The second serve is where Murray will look to make hay and the limited time spent on court on Friday will certainly help him after that long match with Kei Nishikori on Wednesday. There has to be a better performance from Murray on his own serve to prevent Raonic finding a foothold in this match, but he has been solid for the most part this week and knows exactly where to serve to keep his opponent under pressure.

Murray now has seven wins in a row against Raonic and he would have covered this number in the last five best of three set matches he has played against Raonic. You would think the faster surface gives Raonic a chance to penetrate the Murray defences, but I think it takes some time away from a limited returner too and I think Murray will prove too good in the afternoon Semi Final and I will back him to come through with enough of a margin to cover this number of games.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Andy Murray – 3.5 Games at 1.84 with Unibet

Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori

It will depend on your point of view as to why Kei Nishikori collapsed from an impressive first set to a three set loss to Marin Cilic on Friday night. Some will think Nishikori just lost his focus and didn’t put in a full effort, while others might point to some fatigue from the gruelling match with Andy Murray on Wednesday with Nishikori having conditioning issues at the back of tournaments throughout his career.

I will admit that I am in the latter camp as Marin Cilic was able to turn the match around by avoiding the unforced errors in sets two and three and forced Nishikori to go much deeper. Novak Djokovic is likely to do the same and Cilic also became the first player to actually have a lot of success against the Nishikori serve which is another area in which Djokovic can succeed in the second Semi Final at the World Tour Finals.

Tiredness is going to mean it is hard to pump the legs to pull out the big serves for Nishikori with that weakness in his game magnified when fatigue is in play. Novak Djokovic has not served as effectively as earlier in the 2016 season, but he should be much fresher and can break down the Nishikori game on his way through to the Final on Sunday.

It won’t surprise me if Nishikori is competitive through the first set, but Djokovic should be able to just drag him into deep waters at that point. Djokovic might have slipped from the standards he has set in recent years, but he has dominated Nishikori over the last twelve months and I can see the Serbian player coming through with a 75, 62 win in this one.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Novak Djokovic – 4.5 Games 2.10 with Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

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ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Friday 18th November By @DavAulak

Stan Wawrinka v Andy Murray

These two players are meeting for just the second time in 2016 with the first ending in a comfortable win for Andy Murray at the French Open in the Semi Final. Prior to that the last match between Murray and Stan Wawrinka actually came at the O2 Arena last year in a final Group match which saw Wawrinka beat Murray in straight sets and move through to the Semi Final at his expense.

The same could happen this Friday in the first match of the afternoon as a straight sets win will put Stan Wawrinka through to the Semi Final yet again at the World Tour Finals. He is coming in off a much more impressive performance than what Wawrinka could produce in his straight sets loss to Kei Nishikori and the Swiss player will believe he can do enough to win this match.

It will be interesting to see the kind of levels that Murray can produce after struggling for over three hours in his win over Nishikori just two days ago. He has played so much tennis in recent weeks and that match has to have taken a toll on a player that hasn’t faced the top competition in his run of wins in the last month.

Someone like Wawrinka won’t be overawed by playing Murray and bringing his best to the court will give him every chance to beat a tired opponent. The home favourite does need a set to make it through to the Semi Finals, but Wawrinka will be more motivated throughout and I do think he can win this match outright.

However, I think taking the games here might make the most sense at odds against and I like Wawrinka giving himself a chance to win this match at the least. Murray is unlikely to give up or not offer his best, but I do think he could have some fatigue issues and might have preferred coming on in the evening for a few more hours rest.

This has all the makings of a tight match and I do think Wawrinka can be backed with the games to at least keep things competitive in what could be another gruelling match for Murray.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Stan Wawrinka +3.5 Games @ 2.18 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Marin Cilic v Kei Nishikori

There is plenty on the line for Kei Nishikori as he looks for the win that will be enough to take him through to the Semi Finals. Regardless of what happens in the first match, a win would be enough to take the Japanese player into the next Round, although he potentially only needs a set if Andy Murray has won the match against Stan Wawrinka earlier in the day.

You can’t predict with any accuracy what will be required for Nishikori by the time this match begins, but my personal opinion is that Stan Wawrinka may just get the better of Murray and so Nishikori might be under pressure to earn a win. He does have a strong record against Marin Cilic, although it should be noted that it was the latter who won their most recent match last month in the Final in Basel.

Cilic doesn’t have a lot to play for, but won’t want to head into the Davis Cup Final after losing all three matches in the Group here in London. That should be motivation enough despite being out of the tournament and I do think he will bring in a full effort in this match. The Croatian might also have an edge with the energy he has in the tank after Nishikori was put through the ringer against Andy Murray and spending so much time on court on Wednesday in that loss.

We have seen in the past that Nishikori can struggle with his conditioning and that match with Murray is certainly going to be on that tests what he has left for this tournament. That should enable Cilic to get into this one and he did show in Basel that he can take advantage of the second serve that Nishikori possesses, a second serve that may have a little less on it than usual if Nishikori is feeling the strain of his second match in the Group.

It might also mean Nishikori is not as quick around the court as he was and Cilic has the firepower to drag him out of the tournament with him. I do think Cilic has every chance of winning this match outright, but I will back him with the small amount of games being given to him and look for a competitive match at the least.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Marin Cilic +1.5 Games @ 2.27 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP World Tour Finals Handicap Betting Preview – Sun 22nd Nov by @DavAulak

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer – O2 Arena at 18:00 live on BBC 1

For the second time this week and for the second time in consecutive seasons, Novak Djokovic is set to face Roger Federer at the O2 Arena in the World Tour Finals. Last season was an anti-climax as Roger Federer pulled out of the Final due to injury which meant he focused on the Davis Cup Final, but this year both players look in strong form and the Final should be very good to watch.

Both Djokovic and Federer came through their Semi Final matches in straight sets and both looked very good in their wins over Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka respectively. The edge on that form has to be given to Novak Djokovic who was very, very good, but Roger Federer might have the mental edge having beaten Djokovic in the Group a few days ago.

How much am I going to stake in that result? Not that much actually because Novak Djokovic admitted he had been very loose in the second set to let the match get away from him. The fact is that that wasn’t an elimination match so Djokovic might have let his focus wander, but that is not likely to happen in the Final.

It is a big Final for Federer too who can still take over as World Number 2 for the end of season Rankings if he wins the tournament and Andy Murray isn’t successful in the Davis Cup next week. However, Federer hasn’t looked himself the last couple of matches (not talking about the new-look bearded Federer) and he has won through sheer will.

That isn’t enough against the World Number 1 who I think will be much better in all aspects of his game than he was in his straight sets loss to Federer. As I said earlier in the week, the conditions should suit Djokovic more than Federer and he has won three in a row at the O2 in the World Tour Finals which backs up that belief.

I thought Djokovic would win 75, 64 earlier this week and I was wrong… However, I think he is the right favourite here and I will look for Djokovic to just be a little more solid all around and take his chances this time around. Federer might not be at 100% when it comes to his health as I still think he could be suffering from a cold he had on Thursday and I think Djokovic wins the title with an impressive win to round up an impressive 2016 season.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Novak Djokovic -3.5 Games at 2.28 with Unibet

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DavAulak

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