Friday is when the men’s event in Miami gets fully underway, with Rafael Nadal taking on his compatriot, Nicolas Almagro.

Match: Nicolas Almagro vs Rafael Nadal

Nicolas Almagro

Source: Christian Mesiano @ Flickr

Selection: Nicolas Almagro (+1.5 sets)

Best Odds: 2.52 @ Pinnacle

The most important thing to note here is that Rafael Nadal is not playing well at the minute. Plenty of people thought that he would go really far in Indian Wells, but he was unable to capitalize on the soft draw and – uncharacteristically – lost a match against Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals. It is definitely worth remembering that he looked to be in cruise control for much of the match, but he slowly fell away and eventually lost the lead and the match. He also had a troubling fall during one of his practice sessions in Miami, so it is fair to say that he is not doing particularly well at the moment.

Almagro has a pretty dreadful record against Nadal, but he has not lost a lot of straightforward matches against him either, so we do fancy his chances of troubling Nadal yet again. The conditions are fast enough for Almagro to get some very cheap points on his serve, which is something that he will need to build on in order to stand a chance against his compatriot. However, if he gets into the right rhythm early on, he is bound to get his chances, as Nadal is making a lot of mistakes these days. Raonic was able to outplay him in rallies at times, which tells you all you need to know about his current form. Almagro tends to be poor when it comes to closing things out, however, so we are going to recommend a bet on the set handicap instead of a bet on the outright win.