ATP Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Sat 9th April by @DavAulak

Borna Coric v Jiri Vesely – ATP Marrakech

Two younger players on the Tour will be looking to reach a Final at the start of the European clay court season which could help them improve their World Rankings in the coming weeks. Out of the two players, Borna Coric looks the more secure and able to reach his potential than Jiri Vesely who has struggled for consistency at this level.

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It has been an ‘easy’ draw for Coric who has had to win just one match to reach the Semi Final while his opponent has won three matches to join him at this Stage.

That might mean Coric is a little undercooked for the Semi Final, but the other side of the coin is that he should be physically fine to compete. Both players are comfortable on the clay courts, but I think Coric has the better movement and that might give him the edge on this surface.

Vesely is the taller player, but I think he is still trying to find the best way to get more out of his first serve and that can be an issue on the slower surfaces for him. I can see Coric earning more points behind his own first serve and I think it will be a battle to the end with the Croatian player earning his way to a 76, 64 win.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Borna Coric -1.5 Games @ 1.86 with Pinncale Sports

 

Feliciano Lopez v Juan Monaco – ATP Houston

This has been a good week for both Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco with only one set dropped between them in five wins to reach the Semi Final. Both should be familiar with one another as former Doubles partners and veterans of the Tour and both will be looking to win the tournament this week in Houston to put some vital Ranking points on the board.

It is Lopez who has won the majority of their previous meetings which isn’t a big surprise to me. While his return game isn’t the best, Lopez has a very solid serve and that puts the pressure on Monaco whose own serve can be a weakness and I expect that will be the reason the Spaniard moves into the Final in this one.

The surface in Houston is playing faster than most clay courts and that will only favour Lopez a little more and force Monaco to try and stay with him on the scoreboard. The sliced return should keep Monaco focused at all times if he is to stay with Lopez, but it might also force the pressure onto him when behind on the scoreboard and thus leading to mistakes.

I don’t think it will be as comfortable as it was for Lopez on Friday, but I do think he will battle through to a 76, 64 win to make it four straight wins over Monaco.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Feliciano Lopez -1.5 Games @ 2.07 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Houston Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Fri 8th April by @DavAulak

Feliciano Lopez  v Tim Smyczek

The clay courts in Houston are unlike most around the world in that they seem to play much faster, as many in North America seem to do. That has led to some surprise Semi Finalists and Winners of this tournament in the past and someone like Feliciano Lopez may appreciate this type of clay court more than the ones he will see in the coming weeks.

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On this surface, Lopez should be able to get plenty of free points behind the serve as well as being able to attack the net as he plays the match very much like a hard court. He hasn’t had the success here Lopez might have liked in the past, but I think he will be surer underfoot than Tim Smyczek and can beat the American on the way to the Semi Final.

Smyczek has shown some form over the last few weeks and his confidence should be in a good place having reached the Quarter Final. However he will have to serve well to stay with Lopez and one sloppy service game could cost the American the set if Lopez is playing up to the standards he can produce.

The key for Lopez is to build pressure on the scoreboard by putting plenty of first serves in play and and forcing Smyczek to keep with him. I think that will see a couple of late breaks of serve to help Lopez move through to the next Round behind a 75, 64 win.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Feliciano Lopez -3.5 Games @ 1.77 with Pinnacle Sports

 

Marcos Baghdatis v Jack Sock

2016 has been a season in which Marcos Baghdatis has looked revitalised and that has seen him re-enter the top 40 in the World Rankings. He will be looking to push on further, although the clay court season is perhaps his weakest portion of the season and the Cypriot will look at the tournament in Houston as his best chance for big points in this part of the season.

His win over Fernando Verdasco on Thursday was an impressive one, although the standard might have gone up when Baghdatis faces Jack Sock in this Quarter Final. The American reached the Quarter Final in 2014 before winning the title in Houston in 2015 and Sock has the kind of game that should work well on the clay courts in the build up towards the French Open.

Sock reached the Fourth Round at Roland Garros last season and clearly can produce some of his best tennis on clay, although it was Houston where he really shined. The court plays faster than the European clay courts and that should suit both players in what looks like a close match to me.

That makes the games being given to Baghdatis look very appealing and I think he can steal a set to make it possible to cover even in a losing effort. Personally I also think Baghdatis has restored some confidence and can give Sock plenty to think about in this one as the defending Champion tries to take the title home again and I am backing the Cypriot to cover in this one.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Marcos Baghdatis +2.5 Games @ 2.16 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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