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Garbine Muguruza
USA Today Sports
Odds and Ends

WTA Best Bets for Nov. 16

by Edward Egros
Updated On: November 17, 2021, 7:32 am ET

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We’re down to the final four of the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico. Interestingly, three of the four bottom seeds have advanced to the semifinals of this hardcourt event.  Let's see where you can find betting value.

Paula Badosa (-152) vs Garbine Muguruza (+123)

The first match of the day pits a player with better recent form against one with a longer, more robust resume. Paula Badosa won the Indian Wells tournament just last month on this same surface, months after winning the Belgrade Open. Her game arguably begins and ends with her serve, once being recorded as fast as 122 mph. However, over the past year, Badosa has suffered through more double faults than aces. It can be a weapon, but it can be a problem.

Garbine Muguruza is the underdog despite more wins (including two majors) and more service points won this year (60.4% to 59.7%).  Muguruza also has a higher rate of return points won by roughly 1% and is reputationally the bigger hitter.  As you would expect by this point of the tournament, statistical margins are slim and both scouting reports discuss the power and aggressiveness both players possess. Though this will be the first meeting between the two, there’s more value in the veteran underdog.

EDGE: Muguruza +2.5 (-122)

Anett Kontaveit (-190) vs Maria Sakkari (+150)

It may be hard to believe Maria Sakkari has just one WTA title to her credit, given she reached the semifinals in two majors this year.  Again, here’s another player who loves bringing up her serve as her favorite shot. This year she recorded the 8th most on tour, but also compiled a respectful ace/double fault ratio of roughly 1.3:1. Who else has been careful with their serves? Anett Kontaveit.

But, unlike the first semifinal, there is history between these two competitors. Sakkari leads the series 6-5, but on hard courts by my count, it’s 4-4. One meeting even required a third set lasting 20 games earlier this year in Melbourne. Given how evenly matched the talent is and how well each player knows one another, value should be your tiebreak.

EDGE: Sakkari (+150)

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