Tennis Betting: Value in the side markets
Despite how closely matched the two appear, they have not tended to produce especially competitive matches.
Jack Houghton has rifled through the stats and found a few value wagers - most aces, set betting and tie breaks - from the latest Nadal v Djokovic showdown.
Watching this year's French Open - with Nadal looking unplayable; Djokovic able to win matches in spite of a surface that plays against his strengths; Federer momentarily inspirational but ultimately inconsistent; Murray playing Betamax tennis in a Blu-ray world; and everyone else mere extras, acting as nothing more than minor plot devices, to allow the main characters to proceed, inevitably, to a final climax - it's hard to see why, injuries aside, these two won't be fighting out every Grand Slam final for years to come.
In the meantime we are left to consider whether Djokovic (4.03) can do anything to overcome a seemingly insurmountable Nadal (1.33) In 13 meetings on clay, Djokovic has only beaten the Spaniard twice - both in 2011 - so, assuming the (4.03) doesn't represent any kind of value, the side markets might be the most lucrative place to invest.
Typically, neither player is able to rely on their serve to deliver them many free points, and that is especially the case on the slow clay of Roland Garros. During the tournament so far, less than three per cent of Nadal's points have come from aces and only four per cent of Djokovic's. This compares to a figure of over eight per cent for a player like Federer.
To date, head-to-head, the pair have only averaged a combined ace total of seven a match. Djokovic has served more on 18 occasions (60 per cent), to Nadal's eight (27 per cent), with four matches ending in a tie. All this tells you that Djokovic should be around the (1.70) mark to serve most aces; however, as Nadal is on record as having said that has taken some pace of his first serve here for tactical reasons, it is highly likely that Djokovic will serve the most aces. At the time of writing this market is fairly illiquid, but any price over Betfair odds of (1.45) should be considered value.
Perhaps the lack of a big first-serve explains why these two don't play many tie-breaks. In a total of 83 sets, they have only played eight tie-breaks, or one every 10 sets played. Even assuming they play four or five sets in the final, that translates to odds of around (2.60) that we'll see a tie-break in Sunday's final, and (1.63) that we won't. At around (1.90) then, "No" looks enormous value, and I'll be sticking a fair bit on.
Despite how closely matched the two appear, they have not tended to produce especially competitive matches. Of the 112 sets they've had available to play in their matches, they've only used 83 of them, or 74 per cent. Applying this to Sunday's final, we might expect to see three or four sets, but, perhaps against expectations, are unlikely to see five. As Nadal clearly has the edge, I'll be backing him to win 3-0 (2.66) and 3-1 (3.80).
Recommended Betfair Bets
4pts back Djokovic to serve most aces at any price over Betfair odds of (1.45)
6pts back No in Tie-Break Played market (1.90)
2pts back Nadal to win 3-0 @ (2.66)
2pts back Nadal to win 3-1 @ (3.80)