ATP Tennis 2019 March 10, Indian Wells Day 4


Is this real? Feels like a nightmare. Or a surreal out of body experience. I am 2-9 at Indian Wells and 7-20 in my last 27 bets over the last two weeks. I don’t even know what to say. Kyrgios decided not to show up, surprise. Coric got broken three times by Ivo fucking Karlovic and Basilashvili lost two tiebreaks to a guy who has two career ATP wins at 29. Whatever.

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Oh ya, and Tsitsipas is unable to beat FAA. 0-4 now lifetime. Amazing. Hurkacz still lives at 300/1 and Federer hasn’t played a match yet, so there is hope.

The idea of a Djokovic moneyline rollover parlay is probably on thin ice now, with both Kyrgios and Coric going down in their first matches. He is lined at -1600 tomorrow against Kohl. Then it is probably Monfils at about -700. Monfils will have to actually BE the Black Panther to beat Djokovic (0-15 lifetime). Then it is Thiem and hopefully Zverev. Those are probably lined in the -300 range. If he gets Fed in the final it still might get over +200. Any more upsets around him though and this easily crashes down to +110/+120 range.

Day Four

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NIshikori has all the statistical advantages I would normally look for but, I generally stay away from matches lined above -500 and -4.5 games. Add to that the fact that there has already been 13!!!! dogs of +200 or greater to win this week and these are easy stay aways.

It is pretty much common sense to throw a full unit on Pouille here, blindly, and if he wins it covers the Tistty future and all three lottery tickets and buys you a hamburger. Pouille is the much more accomplished hard court player and on paper he should roll over the Pole. The flip side of the that, lathered in greed, is that Pouille is 1-3 here lifetime, basically took February off of after having a great Aussie Open so he may be rusty and unmotivated, and if Mannarino pulls the upset before these two take the court (Mannarino/Nishi is at 2pm local) Hurkacz may be seeing a chance to make a splash. I’ll pass on this match and avoid the hedge. Just cheer hard for the kid.

Shapo and Johnson have nearly identical stats across every category I track, including each being 3-3 in their last three tournaments. There is no edge here. If the total was 22.5 instead of 23.5 I would probably be on the over. As is though, I’ll pass.

Cilic kind of owns Lajovic. They have played twice and neither has been even close. One of them was at Miami too, which is even slower than Indian Wells, so you can throw out the “this is a slower surface” argument. The issue is Cilic hasn’t looked great this year, he got upset in round one in Dubai and he has a real lack of success in Indian Wells historically. Easy pass.

Is this the biggest market over-reaction ever? Fognini declares he no longer wants to play the Golden Swing, proceeds to tank the entire month. Well, he told us what was going to happen. Albot wins Delray Beach, beating one top 50 player en route (Steve Johnson, who is hardly having a good year). Now, Albot is favored? I’ll take the plus money. Thanks.

Nic Jarry just keeps losing. Kyle Edmund is coming off a title in the Indian Wells Challenger last week. Of course, it’s hard to quantify that title; the familiarization with the setting should help but he didn’t really beat anyone other than Rublev on the way and Rublev has fallen out of the top 100 (I know he is still a talented young player, though). This looks priced pretty accurate and I’ll pass.

Stan should come through here but I expect it won’t be easy. He played Fucsovics three times last year, all on hard courts and struggled with him each time. They present as very equal statistically but, we know Stan usually outperforms those metrics. If I had an exact score market, I’d bet Stan 76,64.

Federer is 9-8 at covering 6 games in his first match at Indian Wells. Gojo played Fed tight the first time they met up and he has already played a match here this week where he generated 11 break point opportunities. This feels like Gojo could keep this close, if Djokovoic’s first match struggles and all the other upsets are any indication. But, Fed obviously has massive statistical advantages on hardcourts and massive experience at this venue. I also think Fed comes in super motivated. He showed in his last two matches in Dubai, he can still turn it on when he is feeling it. The -5.5 is at even money and I think we could see Gojo fade in the second set the way Fratangelo did last night. A lot may depend on the coin flip here but, hopefully Fed can serve first in one of the sets and it produces a 63,63 or 64,62 type of scoreline. Fed -5.5 (way outside my comfort zone).

Isner is over-priced. I’ll sit back and cheer on my outright.

Pella seems cheap here. Massive hold/break advantages on hard courts. A slow venue which seems to be favoring clay players, a surface on which Pella is the most recent champ. Pella has had a full six days to recover from his Sao Paulo title and whatever partying he may have done. Pella has been to Indian Wells five times previously so, he should be aware of the conditions and that should blunt whatever advantage Bolt might have from playing last week in the Challenger event. I’ll take the cheap handicap here.

Maybe I am a sucker for Russian prospects. Maybe I am sucker for fading Robin Haase. Maybe both. Rublev might be turning a corner. He went to finals last week in the Indian Wells Challenger, he almost qualified for this event on his own merit (blew two match points in the second set against Fratangelo and then melted down), and now as a lucky loser into the second round with an opponent like Robin Haase he must see the window of opportunity here. He gets through here and he may get an out of form Khachanov or a semi-retired Lopez in the third round. Even despite his struggles, Rublev has better hard court stats than Haase across the last two years and has beaten him twice. I’ll take the handicap here and hope for more Rublev improvement.

Man, would I love to bet Khachanov here. Lopez is on the semi-retirement tour, he squeezed past Berdych in round one winning 92 points to Berdych’s 88 and not creating a single break chance. These two played on outdoor hards two years ago and KK routined Lopez 3 and 4. The hold back today is clearly Khachanov’s 2019 form. KK is 2-5 on the year, he is riding a four match losing streak and his two wins came against guys ranked in the 60’s. I expect Khachanov to win here, somehow, but it is not worth a bet.

Medvedev outdoors, against someone lower than him in the rankings, as a favorite. Where have I seen that before? Meds holds all the statistical advantages here and has beaten McDonald before, at a windy event, outdoors (a match I attended in person). This is an easy parlay piece.

Krajinovic played in the Challenger event last week and lost to Jason Jung. Not impressive. But, he also got through qualifying here and the first round against Kukushkin without dropping a set. So, maybe he is rounding into form? Goffin hasn’t had the greatest of starts to 2019 but every loss is probably slightly explainable. He missed much of 2018 and the loss to Berankis seemed more rust than anything else. He lost to Medvedev which doesn’t mean much, Meds has proven to be one of the hotter players on tour this year. He lost to Monfils in Rotterdam, which Monfils won. He lost to Tsitsipas in Marseille, which Tsitsipas won. His one bizarre loss so far was to…. Krajinovic. How do you spell ‘revenge’? Ya, that looks right. Goffin has a solid advantage in hold/break numbers across the past two years, he’s beaten Krajinovic twice before and he has been to Indian Wells a few times before, making a semi-final run in 2016. This will be parlayed with Meds.

Schwartzman hasn’t had much luck in Indian Wells, despite the fact that the surface should suit him. This is an easy avoid considering the price.

Tell me how Federer can be -2000 on the moneyline and -5.5, +100 games when Nadal is -1600 on the moneyline and yet -5.5, -150 on the games? Bizarre. And too expensive at -150 to risk the coin flip of if/when Nadal will serve first. Nadal should, I repeat, should, pummel Donaldson but, I’ll stay away.

Rublev -2.5, -120
Fognini ml, +100
Federer -5.5, +100
Pella -2.5, -120
Medvedev/Goffin ml, -125

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 March 9, Indian Wells Day 3


Another rough day. I’m running out of excuses. Down almost $2,000 in daily picks. Fucking gross. Sandgren no-showed in the third set. Istomin lost a tight tiebreak and no-showed in the second set. Just brutal.

A couple different people asked about the spreadsheet - I’m not hiding anything, here it is (I am trying to get it hosted on the DeepDive site and just have it available in full in Google Sheets):

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Two futures down in round one but, they were lottery tickets and amount to $20. Still disappointing. Hopefully Isner wins a few matches and Hurkacz wins his second match and I can hedge those two for something to cover these smaller futures.

The real meat is Tsitty at 33/1, Fed each/way at 5.5/1, and the potential Djoker moneyline rollover which I hope to get to +250 or so.

Day 3

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I don’t see any point in betting Djokovic. There is no value in -3300 even in a parlay. And at -6.5, your looking for a 62,62 o 62,63 type of win. It is plus money and I guess it is possible but, not worth the risk. I’m sure Djoker is totally comfortable with a 63,63 type win. Djoker has had a first round bye twelve times in Indian Wells and he is 4-8 at covering a -6.5 line in his second round match. So, pass.

I said I wasn’t going to bet Kyrgios matches this year, then I did in Delray and he lost to Radu Albot, then I got pissed and bet against him in Acapulco and he won the tournament. Like, fuck. Anyway, I stated on the podcast, when he gets rolling, he rolls. And he backs up his titles pretty well. Kohl was on a serious losing streak coming into Indian Wells and was gifted a first round win when Herbert literally no-showed (bizarre loss where PHH concede 13!!! break chances in only eight service games). Kyrgios isn’t top ten but, I think everyone can agree when he is “on” he can be considered top ten… Kohl is a career 0.200 winner against top ten guys. Not impressive. I’m sure Kyrgios sees Djoker lurking and maybe, just maybe he wants him. The stats are barely in Kyrgios’ favour but, it’s easy to fade Kohl here and hopefully Nick wants a piece of the Serb while he is in the mood to play tennis. I’ll take the handicap.

Oh man, was Leo lucky to survive round one. Mayer saved six of seven break points that Opelka generated and somehow broke Opelka in his only opportunity. Incredible luck, especially considering Leo served less than 60% on first serve. Monfils is playing ‘Wakadian’ tennis as one tennis writer put it:

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In addition to playing great tennis Monfils is also 3-1 head-to-head with Mayer. The slow courts should help Monfils get to everything and disarm Mayer’s serve. I could see Monfils running away with this. But, the line is priced just out of my range. The spread of -3.5 is juiced to -150. If I’m buying -3.5 I’d like to do it for like -110 or -120 tops.

Two clay courters. Eww. ARV trucked Dzumhur, so I am not sure what to make of that. Cecchinato only recently showed some chops on hard courts. These guys have played a bunch but not since 2015. They both win on hards less than 40% of the time. Straight pass.

Outdoor tennis on a slower, windier surface. Hmmm. Coric has lost twice to Karlovic but, they were some time ago when Coric was just a pup. In round one here Ivo had to squeek past Matthew Ebden 76,76 while only landing 52% of his first serves. It was Ivo’s first win since the Aussie. Coric is coming off a semi-final in Dubai and a fourth round appearance at the Aussie, both outdoor hard court events (his one indoor event this year was… not memorable). I like Coric to get his win agains the Doctor on Saturday. All the hard court stats support this - Coric has better hold/break on hards the last two years, he is better for the career, already, and the kid already has a winning record in tiebreaks. Coric also is comfortable here, having gone to the semi’s last year. Now, I am plenty concerned, when betting against Ivo, with the tiebreak factor. They are coin-flips after all. So, I’ll parlay this moneyline instead of risking the -2.5.

Gunny dropped a set in qualifying to Salvatore Caruso and he squeeked past Jason Jung. Now he is here in the second round, where he doesn’t belong, by the grace of Benoit Paire. Oh, Benoit Paire. What a guy. Gunny served ONE ace, double faulted FOUR times, landed 58% of his first serves and was only able to protect his second serve to the tune of 45%. Yet, Gunneswaran beat Paire. Well, it gives us the wonderful chance to fade the Indian on Saturday. As far as I can tell Gunny has only ever won one min draw prior to this week, in Stuttgart last year. He was promptly dispatched, and did not cover +3.5 games, in the second round. That win in Stuttgart was also his only top 50 win I can ever find (Jeez, what was Shapo doing that day?). Basil on outdoor hards is just shy of being a 0.500 player, he is a positive tiebreak player and hardly ever loses to guys outside the top 50 (Daniel Brands 67,67, Sam Querrey and Laslo Djere the only ones since his title in Hamburg). I like Basil to spank Gunneswaran and I’ll take the handicap.

I don’t bet Gilles Simon. Period. He has every statistical advantage you could want. Should steam roll Jaziri. Probably loses because he is French and hates me.

Jordan Thompson hasn’t looked great in 2019. The only top 50 player he’s beaten is Mannarino, who himself was having a horrible 2019 (until yesterday, fuck sakes). Thiem hold every statistical advantage I look for in a tennis match. But, how healthy is Thiem? He really struggled on the clay swing through South America, only getting one clean win, over #85 Maximillian Marterer. This should be Thiem’s match to win but, I’m running bad enough that I’ll gladly avoid this.

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Zverev at -700 is steep, as is Zverev -4.5. I think he wins but, Klizan plus games probably isn’t a bad look. I usually avoid matches with this lopsided of lines.

Struff fucking rolled in round one. He generated eleven break points in eight return games, he broke Millman FIVE times, and he landed 67% of his first serves. He also kind of owns Berankis - three wins to zero losses, on three different surfaces. And Berankis is just kind of a poor man’s Millman right? Berankis is 5”9, 170 lbs… Millman is 5”11, 175 lbs… both right handed with a two handed back hand… both running at about 105% hold/break on hard courts this year. I’ll use Struff to parlay with Coric.

I don’t know what to make of Marcos Giron. He just shouldn’t be here. He dropped a set to Thomas Fabbiano, he squeezed past Kecmanovic in a third set tiebreak, then won two more tiebreaks against Jeremy Chardy. That kind of luck is bound to run out. And it’s not like he is doing it in Karlovic style with tons of aces and holding serve like John Isner. I can’t make an argument for how Giron is here. DeMinaur is winning the matches he is supposed to win this year - he is 11-3, with a title in Sydney and his three losses were to Tsonga, Nadal and Zverev. There is nothing wrong with those. So, at -450 I have to look at the handicap. Can ADM cover -3.5? And is it worth -150? I didn’t think so with Monfils. But Leo Mayer is a bigger challenge than Marcos Giron. DeMinaur is 6-2 at covering the -3.5 spread, failing only versus Nic Jarry and Reilly Opelka, two big, big serves; so probably understandable. I just find it hard to justify -150, so I’ll pass on what should be a winner.

Raonic and Querrey have played five times. The series is pretty even at 3-2. They split sets three times and one of the two straight set matches contained a tiebreak. Their hold/break stats are amazingly similar (which probably explains the dearth of Raonic titles, in retrospect) and I would vouch for the over here if it wasn’t set at 24.5. Pass.

I have an outright on Tsitsipas and FAA surprised everybody, continually on the Golden Swing, and surprised me, again, on Thursday. This is a straight avoid while I cross my fingers and hope my outright survives.

RBA holds massive advantages over Nishioka. In every category. He beat Nishioka at the Aussie Open in 2017 and it wasn’t close. Just like ADM and Monfils though, he is priced just outside my range, both on the moneyline and on the handicap. What do you do when you have three guys you really want to bet but they are too expensive? You avoid them because three-way parlays don’t work, right? Nah.

Kyrgios -2.5, -125
Basilashvili -3.5, -125
Coric/Struff ml, +104
Monfils/ADM/RBA ml, -120

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 March 8, Indian Wells Day 2


Well, Day one did not go as planned. Windy outdoors conditions, super slow courts, coupled with travel and, probably, just poor handicapping on my part led to a 1-3 day. Ugo Humbert and Cameron Norrie were simply run right off the court.

Anyway, I read somewhere on Twitter that losses count as +2 units earned for “learning”. So, I consider yesterday a learning experience. Right?

Day Two

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Four Frenchman played yesterday, they went 0-4. Is Mannarino going to turn that luck? I don’t think so. Sandgren won a tournament in outdoor, slightly windy, conditions in the South Pacific earlier this season. Neither of these guys look in good form, having lost in round one in Acapulco. And outside of Auckland, neither guy has been able to put together a stretch of wins in 2019. Sandgren is even on a three match losing streak. I suspect he’ll be able to get on the winning track today though. I watched Sandgren play in a match against Henri Laaksonen in Hawaii that was so windy the court signage was blowing away. He should be fine here. Sandgren has better hold/break numbers on hard courts across the past two years and his losing streak hasn’t been to plugs - he lost to Opelka in New York (Opelka won the tourney) and to Ferrer in Acapulco (legend). I’ll take the dog money here.

I have a tiny outright on Hurkacz and after yesterday I am super nervous about this match. Guys like Ivashka and Humbert who had never been to Indian Wells before got run over. The slower conditions may blunt the service advantage Hurkacz has and Young played last week in the Indian Wells Challenge event, so he is used to these conditions. Young is probably a live dog, despite his last few years in the tennis wilderness. I’m plenty nervous.

My other ting outright is on Fritz. The story is the same for him as it is for Hurkacz. I’m plenty nervous. Now, the differing factor here is Fritz has previous success at this venue. Fritz went to the fourth round last year, in the process turning around a dismal start to his season. Fritz on a Challenger event a month ago in Newport Beach and hasn’t played much tennis since. So, he could be rusty. The hold/break stats are really close across of the past three years and I don’t think I’ll get involved here. If anything, take the over; it is set at 23.5. They have played two matches, one ended in three tight sets and one ended 76,76.

I’m always down to fade Taro Daniel. the guy drives me nuts. Lajovic has the better hold/break numbers on hard courts the last two years by a significant margin - 2019 has been a struggle for both guys, and as they are both sporting hold/break numbers in the 80’s, I’ll toss those out. The courts are playing slow enough that being a clay courter like Lajovic should help and Lajovic has beaten Daniel all three times they have played (twice on clay). I’ll take the cheap handicap here.

I wrote extensively about guys coming off maiden titles last year. It can go one of two way - motivational, spurs you onward, you do well the next week…. or you party and relax. The second option is very true when it happens to older guys (look at Tennys Sandgren, just mentioned above). Albot “broke through” at 29! He is 0-4 lifetime against Copil and Albot took last week off after winning. I’ll avoid this match, feels like Copil or nothing.

Jarry and Tiafoe are both in terrible form. Terrible. I lean hard to Tiafoe here just based on how bad Jarry was in February. But, if you’ve been following along for any amount of time you know I don’t bet Tiafoe…..

Is Dan Evans the hottest tennis player on the planet right now? Semi-final last week in Indian Wells, finals in Delray Beach, finals in Quimper. Dude is legit fire right now. Couple that with Wawrinka’s inconsistency in non-Slam events and this is Evans or pass. I’ll pass just because in all that winning Evans only beat two top 50 players (Isner and Tiafoe in Delray).

Seppi and Gojo are almost the same player - within 4% each year on hold/break stats, career winning percentage within 0.030% both had 21 wins on hards last year. Total pass. Maybe the over? They have played twice and both went three sets.

Qualifying, in these conditions and with these courts may be super helpful - three qualifiers won matches yesterday. Munar has never been to Indian Wells before and I’m hesitant to back him here. Popyrin went through qualies, played in Acapulco last week (Munar is travelling from South America) and their hold/break numbers, while in Munar’s favor, are pretty close. Popyrin or avoid and I’ll pass.

Re-read the above paragraph. The advantages in stats that Gulbis enjoys here are even more pronounced than Munar. But, Bolt came through qualifying AND he played til the quarters last week in the Indian Wells Challenger. Gulbis doesn’t have a great history here and I’ll pass (came real, real close to betting Gulbis -1.5, -125).

Istomin came through qualifying, should be acclimatized, he was in Indian Wells last week, and he has slight advantages in hold/break numbers over Haase in each of the past three years. Haase is travelling from Dubai and is having a terrible year - he has two wins, over 35 year old GGL and #336 Dimitar Kuzmanov. This pick is really bucking the h2h which I usually adverse to when it gets up to to 3-0 and 4-0 and beyond but, Haase just seems a great fade and I’ll grab the -1.5, -120 here.

Sandgren ml, +100
Lajovic -1.5, -125
Istomin -1.5, -120

ATP Tennis 2019 February 27

ATP Tennis 2019 February 27

Oh man, DeMinaur just kept me from the sweep. Actually, his performance was a little concerning. He lacked the power to hit any winners against Jarry and the slow court seemed to help Jarry get to balls as much as it did DeMinaur. It reminded me a lot of the match DeMinaur lost to Tsonga earlier this year in Brisbane. Power combined with any kind of movement and ADM is kind of out of options. Anyway, a 3–1 day is much needed. In fact, I need about six more of those in a row….

Dubai, Acapulco, Sao Paulo

Dubai, Acapulco, Sao Paulo

It’s the fourth and final week of a disparate three-pronged tour before everyone re-unites under one banner in Indian Wells the first week of March. For the fourth week in a row there is almost zero cross over between the three separate iterations of the tour — there are two or three players who moved from Rio to Acapulco but other than them there continues to be zero cross-pollintaion , so this will be a little more brief than usual. Form should be established and we’ll see some repeats of matches and sections of brackets that have already happened this month…