Tennis Betting Advice - March 2021
Miami match picks - fast starts for the underdogs...
Friday 26th March 2021
In your Ones to Watch email today:
Picking winners at good prices is hard. Just last week, after a couple of very near misses, I said I was looking forward to the next match-point turnaround that goes our way…
Well, like London buses, this week we’ve had two in a row. The early rounds of the Miami Open have certainly provided some great entertainment and drama – if your nerves can take it…
On Wednesday, Sara Sorribes Tormo came from 1-5 down in the final set v Bernarda Pera, saving two match points, and eventually landing odds of 3/1+ for our 2-1 Set Betting pick.
Then, last night, Aryna Sabalenka followed the script in the end, shaking off the rust to recover from 0-6, 1-3 down. Fighting back with a series of big, brave shots, to just about overcome Tsvetana Pironkova, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6. Sabalenka also saved two match points, and I don’t mind admitting that at one point I gave out a big puff of the cheeks. The 2-1 result paid out at 3/1+. But it was very close.
The late match saw Anastasija Sevastova beat Coco Gauff 2-1, at pleasing odds of 5/1. Once again, our player had to come from behind, with the Latvian reeling in the American teenager, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 – and doing very well to recover from 1-3 and 15-40 down in the decider.
We’ve noted a couple of times this year that Gauff is being overrated in the betting. The 17-year-old is a fantastic player with massive potential; that’s not in doubt. But I’m going to continue to oppose her at good prices for now. So far, we’ve managed to land a pair of 5/1 payouts by taking on Coco, backing Katie Boulter in Melbourne, and then Sevastova in Miami.
In the Outright Winner book for the Miami Open, I’m taking an aggressive stance by targeting some big, Each Way prices. Buoyed by a history of surprises in the annual March hard-court swing in the States. And the fact that star names such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams are all missing from this year’s event.
On the triple-figures front, it’s inevitable that we’re going to lose a lot more of these than we win. That might sound obvious when talking about 100/1+ long-shots, but it’s worth reaffirming nonetheless. So far in week one in Miami, the big outsider selections still running for us look like this:
In the less fanciful but still fruitful realm of the double-figure prices, we have these four names, with three of them still to play their first match:
Miami Open match picks…
The hunt for value continues today, and I’ve got three matches on the radar…
Once again, the 2-1 route appeals in the Set Betting market. And I also think a couple of 1st Set Winner prices are worth following.
Dan Evans v Frances Tiafoe
Match scheduled 11pm+
Each of Evans’ last three matches have gone to three sets, and so have four of Tiafoe’s last five.
Evans leads the head-to-head 3-1, and is the 4/5 (1.8) favourite to win. Tiafoe has been digging in well lately though, raising his level at crucial moments in matches – and he’s always extra fired-up when playing at home in States.
Their two previous meetings on North American hard courts have gone to the full three sets. Evans to win 2-1 @ 3/1+ is my pick.
Maria Sakkari v Arantxa Rus
Match scheduled 6pm+
As with Sabalenka yesterday, the seeded player Sakkari could start a little slow here, having had a Bye in the 1st round. Rus was extremely impressive in taking out Ones to Watch pick Marie Bouzkova in the 1st round, 6-3, 6-2. The 30-year-old from the Netherlands looks in great shape, and could be mounting something of a late-career surge.
Rus could threaten an upset today. She’s around 10/3 (4.33) for the win, but I like 5/2 (3.5) for a fast start, with the underdog to take the 1st Set.
Andrea Petkovic v Sofia Kenin
Match scheduled 11pm+
A similar logic here, with the older player Petkovic posting a good straight-sets win in the 1st round, and the favourite Kenin yet to get on court, with a Bye through to round two. Add in the fact that this is the American’s first match back after surgery to remove her appendix, and the fast-start tactic looks the way to go in terms of a potential upset…
Petkovic is 13/8 (2.63) in the Match Winner betting, but again I prefer the 1st Set Winner option, at 7/5 (2.4).
Ones to Watch
ATP Miami Open
WTA Miami Open
1st Set Winner:
Miami matches are being shown live on Amazon Prime Video, and on selected bookies’ websites, including Bet365.
Enjoy the tennis…