Milos Raonic vs. Andy Murray. January 29, 7:40pm, Melbourne Tennis Park
ALTHOUGH he’s ranked #14, big Canadian Milos Raonic is one of the improving stars on the ATP Tour and he’s set to give Andy Murray a run for his money in tonight’s second Australian Open semi-final.
Raonic has all but breezed into the semi finals with his five-setter against Stan Wawrinka being the only time he was tested. His form leading into the tournament was also good, with a Brisbane International win over Roger Federer in the final.
Andy Murray has also had an easy lead-up into this match. The Scot battled past David Ferrer in four sets and he was able to beat both Australians Bernard Tomic and Sam Groth in straight sets.
These two have played against each other only six times for three wins a piece, but Murray has won the last two and Raonic will be looking to stem the flow.
Bookmakers think Murray should hold the advantage, but the game handicap is closer than expected so a close game could be on the cards.
Raonic vs. Murray head-to-head betting
Murray – $1.36 (-3.5 games)
Raonic – $3.17 (+3.5 games)
CrownBet.com.au has Murray as the hot favourite and history tells us he is more likely to win. Murray has Grand Slam-winning experience whereas Raonic has done well just to get to the semi-finals.
Raonic has a big serve which means he is more likely to hold serve quickly. Often his losses come down to lost tie-breaks or a late break in the game. If Raonic wants to topple Murray, his serve will need to be firing consistently throughout the game.
We think multi-bet punters will be playing Murray, but punters wanting some value for money will definitely be on Raonic at $3.17.
The game handicap line of 3.5 is an interesting line which we thought might be higher. Bookmakers aren’t respected Raonic in the head-to-head market, but they are expecting him to keep the game close and lose. It’s not easy to lose a game and cover a +3.5 spread, so we’re leaning towards Murray -3.5 ($1.72) at Sportsbet.com.au.
Murray vs. Raonic match specials
Sportsbet.com.au is offering some match specials which are worth looking at. There are some standard bets at short odds, but then there are some so wacky it had us in stitches.
Well start with the option that was designed to make people laugh, we think…
Murray to retire mid-match following announcement that Kim [wife] has gone into labour – $67
We think this set might have to be one of the longest in Australian Open history for this to happen and we might want more than $67, but it’s hilarious and would make for a classic story.
Some more entertaining match specials include Raonic to receive a warning for racket abuse at $15. We don’t recommend backing this option as Raonic is one of the coolest players we have ever seen. Murray, on the other hand, is worth a chance at $8 for the same option.
Both players are $21 with Sportsbet to receive a coaching violation, Raonic is $9 to receive a time violation and Murray is $7.
Some of the more routine specials are also available. Murray to win the first set and the match is $1.62, which is a good multi-bet option. If it’s the last leg in your multi-bet, taking Murray to lose the first set and win the match is $5 as a good cover option.