Men’s Final

Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev, 7:30 pm
Djokovic to Win $1.85

A lot of the early action has come on Novak here, which isn’t too surprising given the even starting odds. While I think the general public does underrate Medvedev, I’m definitely not looking past Novak to win his 9th Australian Open.

After his Australian Open triumph last year, things just didn’t go the Djoker’s way for the rest of the campaign. Whether it was the media or Nick Kyrgios taking shots, getting embarrassed by Nadal at the French Open final or a bizarre suspension at the US Open, it just wasn’t his year.

Now, he finally gets a chance to put things right on the biggest stage at his favourite grand slam. This is a huge match for Novak and I think he uses every bit of his talent and experience to get the job done.

Medvedev just hasn’t done it consistently at Grand Slam level, previously making just one Final appearance. He has taken 3 of the last 4 matches against Novak, but grand slam men’s tennis is a different beast.

It’s only a matter of time before he claims his maiden grand slam, but I’ve still got Novak rated as the better player for now. Novak has gone 8-0 in his past Aus Open Finals, most of which were against better opponents than the current version of Medvedev. Getting $1.85 for the outright win, I’m banking on him making it 9 straight here.

Aus Open – Women’s Final

Naomi Osaka vs Jennifer Brady, 7:30 pm
Osaka 2-0 $1.62

I don’t see a huge amount of value on this match, but Osaka 2-0 at $1.62 does stick out. She is unquestionably the best player on the WTA right now and has had a very strong tournament.

She looked especially good in her Semi Final, handling Serena Williams with relative ease. Having already previously won an Australian Open, I also don’t see her getting overwhelmed by the moment either.

Her opponent, Jennifer Brady, actually had a .500 record in grand slam matches before this tournament. This was propped up as well by an improbable run to the semis at the US Open last year. She has had a very favourable run to this point, not facing anyone higher than the #25 seed.

Overall, I think this is a pretty big mismatch and that Osaka has her covered in all major categories. The obvious caveat to that is the unpredictability of the WTA, where we regularly see crazy results. I don’t see Osaka losing this one straight up, but the 2-0 does add considerably more value.

Aus Open – Men’s 2nd Semi

Daniil Medvedev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, 7:30 pm
Medvedev -1.5 Sets

I’m going to take Medvedev -1.5 sets here, currently listed at a generous $1.80. I thought the $1.40 starting price for Medvedev was about fair, but this implies that he wins in 5 sets at least half the time.

Despite getting a walkover in round 4, there’s every chance Tsitsipas enters this one fatigued. He’s had two very long 5-setters, including one that finished past midnight against Nadal. Medvedev, on the other hand, has won 15 out of 17 sets he’s played this tournament.

I also think Tsitsipas was fairly lucky to beat Nadal and is probably a bit overrated here as a result. After winning the first two sets, Nadal really should’ve won the 3rd set tie-break, before getting broken late in the 4th and 5th sets.

Medvedev has looked in excellent form recently, making the US Open semis last year and looking unphased so far here in Australia. He was especially dominant over #7 seed Rublev in the quarters, looking untroubled in a straight sets win.

Ultimately, the straight up odds are right here and Medvedev should win this around 70-75% of the time. I think there’s a disconnect between the match price and the set handicap price, as it is much more likely he wins in 3 or 4 sets against a fatigued opponent. At $1.80, this looks like the best value play on the board here.

Aus Open – Thursday Semi Finals

Naomi Osaka vs Serena Williams, 2 pm
Osaka $1.67

Both of these two are usually overrated in the market, so it’s interesting to see the betting shifts when they match up. A lot of the action has come in on Serena so far, but I’ll take the favourite Osaka at $1.67.

They’ve both had impressive runs to reach this point, only losing a set apiece all tournament. At this point in their careers, I’d argue that Osaka is the stronger version of the same archetype.

Serena can’t win the power battle against her and is certainly losing on the speed side as she edges towards 40. Hard court is also far and away Osaka’s best surface, where she has a 41-7 combined record at the Aus and US open. This is one that could easily go the distance and it’s hard not to question Serena’s endurance at the end of a potential 3rd set.

Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev, 7:45 pm
Djokovic 3-0 $1.70

I’ll take Novak to win in straight sets here, paying a reasonable $1.70. Karatsev has had an impressive run to reach this point, but Novak is definitely a level above anyone he has faced so far.

He realistically should’ve been out earlier, when FAA pulled off a huge choke after winning the first 2 sets comfortably. Dimitrov also got off to an early lead against him in the quarters, before inexplicably choking midway through the 2nd.

If he starts poorly against Novak, I just don’t see how he gets back into this. Two impressive matches in a row don’t discount the rather disappointing preceding decade. If Novak’s injury is serious, I expect him to look to finish this one quickly to get maximum prep time ahead of what should be a much tougher final.

 

Aus Open – Day 9

Serena Williams vs Simona Halep, 7:15 pm
Over 2.5 Sets $2.50

I was initially leaning towards over 21.5 games at $1.85, but felt that over 2.5 sets at $2.50 was ultimately better value. As the odds would suggest, this is a relatively even matchup on paper that projects as a close one.

I’m not sure it’ll play out that way, but I wouldn’t expect either of these women to lay a complete egg here. Both women have had relatively easy draws so far, but have been pushed to 3 sets in their tougher matches.

Their last match at the Aus Open was 2 years ago, which was ultimately a very close 3-setter. It’s fair to say Serena has lost a step since then, but that only serves to make these two closer.

I can definitely see some uncompetitive set scores, but at current $2.50 odds, over 2.5 sets seems like the sensible bet. We only need a 40% success rate to break even, when I think this is much closer to an even money bet.

Aus Open – Day 8

Rafael Nadal vs Fabio Fognini, 3 pm
Nadal 3-0 $2.05

Opting for a bit of a different play here, taking Nadal to win 3-0 at decent $2.05 odds. Rafa has been in exquisite form so far, winning all 9 sets and not even going to a tie-break.

Fognini did pull off an impressive win over De Minaur last time out, but the hard court definitely isn’t his favoured surface. Entering this tournament, he is actually below .500 for his career on hard court grand slams.

He prefers the clay court, like Rafa, and is essentially a poor man’s version of the same player archetype. Nadal has the better serve, speed, and shot-making ability, which is why I don’t expect too much trouble here.

As always, it depends on just how ‘on it’ these superstars are in matches like these. With Nadal yet to have a mental slip so far, I’m confident that continues here, at least at plus money odds.

ATP Multi
Tsitsipas/Rublev/Nadal

There seems to be scope for another multi here, with 3 favourites ranging from $1.11 out to $1.25. There are a few other potential options in the WTA, like Barty and Brady, but I’m sticking with the ATP here.

In the Nadal pick, I touched on why I’m expecting a relatively comfortable night at the office for Rafa. Even if he doesn’t win in straights, I think it’s unlikely that he loses straight up. There is a similar mismatch in the Rublev vs Ruud game, where Rublev should really overpower him.

Tsitsipas is our last option, providing the bulk of the value at his $1.25 price point. He has been inconsistent so far, dispatching of Simon and Ymer, but getting taken to 5 sets by ‘The Kokk’. I think he has enough quality to narrowly beat Berrettini here, providing enough surplus value to be included in the multi.

Aus Open – Day 7

Multi: Auger Aliassime/Djokovic
Odds of $2.22

Opting for a bit of a different play today, taking a 2-leg multi with a strong $2.22 payout. The two legs are Auger Aliassime over Karatsev at $1.50 and Djokovic over Raonic at $1.48.

Auger Aliassime has established himself as one of the risers in men’s tennis. At 20 years of age, he entered the tournament as the #20 seed and has yet to drop a set so far.

He looked especially impressive last time out, taking care of #11 seed and countryman Shapovalov in straight sets. His game is very well suited to the hardcourt surface, where he made the 4th round at the US Open.

I think this is a favourable matchup for him here, coming up against a qualifier in Karatsev. Karatsev has never made the second week of a grand slam before and I don’t see that starting here against the rising youngster.

Djokovic had a scare on and off the court against Taylor Fritz last time out, but he ultimately held on. He comes up against Raonic here, a man he has had no trouble previously beating.

His 78-8 record at Melbourne Park is exemplary, beaten only percentage wise by his 11-0 record against Raonic. Novak has done relatively well against the Raonic serve and I don’t see Milos getting much of a look in on the return side. Ultimately, I think that both men are a little undervalued here and that the current $2.22 price point is definitely overs.

Aus Open – Day 6

Multi: De Minaur/Ruud/Medvedev/Brady
Odds of $1.92

Depending on what comes up in round 4, this could be the last of the multi’s for the tournament. We’ve changed the criteria a tad, with prices ranging from $1.07 all the way out to $1.29.

We’ve got 3 ATP players in here, with Medvedev at $1.07, Bahamas resident De Minaur at $1.18 and Casper Ruud at $1.29. Given the success of WTA players in yesterday’s multi, I’m also including Jennifer Brady at $1.18.

These four combine for a payout of $1.92, which is essentially the same as your average sports handicap price. The potential success of this bet likely hinges on Ruud, who has been in strong form of late. We need this bet to hit 53% of the time to be profitable and I think this is +EV.

Andrey Rublev vs Feliciano Lopez, TBD
Lopez +8.5

I don’t think Lopez has much chance at an upset here, but he does represent decent value at +8.5 games. Now 39 years of age, he remains one of the better servers on tour.

Rublev has looked great so far, but he hasn’t covered -8.5 in either of his matches. I’d argue that Lopez is his best opponent so far, especially on the serving side.

Lopez did come off a gruelling 5-setter last time out, so the case could be made that he’s fatigued here. There is probably an element of that, but I’m not expecting a long match here. I think his serve is enough to keep him competitive and cash with a scoreline like 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.

Aus Open – Day 5

Multi: Zverev/Raonic/Osaka/Williams
Odds of $1.80

With few options on the ATP multi side today, I’ve had to do the unthinkable and include a few WTA options. The prices today range from Serena Williams at $1.11 to Alex Zverev out at $1.18.

Both Raonic and Zverev have looked solid thus far and have favourable matchups against Fucsovics and Mannarino respectively. Their two games suit the surface and conditions perfectly and I’m expecting at least one of them to go on a deep run.

If anybody is to be free of the WTA curse, surely it has to be the GOAT and Naomi Osaka, priced at $1.11 and $1.17 respectively. They add in some extra value here and should realistically take care of their opponents quite easily.

Dominic Thiem vs Nick Kyrgios, 7 pm
Kyrgios +6

Coming off of an impressive win over Humbert, I’m taking Kyrgios +6 games against the solid Thiem here. The only real question surrounds Kyrgios’ health, given he seemed to be battling a few niggles last time out.

That said, I think those are priced into the current line, where getting 6 games looks like good value. His game is perfectly suited to the Melbourne hard court and his serve is good enough to keep him competitive against anyone.

Thiem does have more tennis under his belt of late, including his tournament win at the US Open late last year. That said, after a relatively long hiatus, Kyrgios is by far his strongest opponent at the open so far. I’m not expecting a Kyrgios upset here, but I think he serves well enough to cover the line in what should be a competitive match.

Aus Open – Day 4

Multi: Khachanov/Krajinovic/Coric/Tsitsipas
Odds of $1.78

Another day, another four leg multi on offer. A bit of a bigger price range with our options today, going from Tsitsipas at $1.10 to Krajinovic at $1.13 and Khachanov and Coric at $1.20 each.

I’m again operating under the theory that favourites between $1.10 and $1.20 are actually undervalued on the current market. The extended quarantine could change things a little, but we’ve seen the favourites get up in heavy numbers over the opening 3 days.

These are four very accomplished players at ATP level, all with significant talent advantages over their respective opponents. When combined together, I think the $1.78 price point on offer represents good value.

Casper Ruud vs Tommy Paul, 12:30 pm
Over 39.5 Games $2

Finding a conventional spread play was difficult today, but the model suggests that over 39.5 games in Ruud vs Paul is a strong play. The straight up odds for these two are quite even, with Ruud at $1.80 and Paul at $2.

This suggests we’re in for a relatively tight 4 or 5-setter, which I would agree with. Both of these players also have a propensity for tie-breaks, which naturally lends itself to more total games in a match

Additionally, the vig is in our favour here, with over 39.5 games currently priced at $2. I think this is somewhere around a 54-55% play, so definitely +EV at the current number.