Australian Open Betting Preview: Do you Bet the Favorites?
The Australian Open is set to begin on Sunday, marking the start of the first tennis grand slam of the season. But according to bookmakers, the men’s side should essentially be called the Novak Djokovic Invitational.
Djokovic enters as the overwhelming favorite to win the opening grand slam at -125 on FanDuel.
He returns to the tournament after being barred from attending last year and ending up deported because of his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine. But after playing one tournament in Adelaide this season, Djokovic already appears to be in form.
Solid Start for Djokovic at Adelaide International
Djokovic took part in the Adelaide International to prepare for the Australian Open and won the event going away.
He dropped just one set, the opener in the final against Sebastian Korda before winning the final two sets to claim the title (6-7, 7-6, 6-4).
The only concern for the world No. 1 during his first week of action came after his semifinal victory over No. 3 Danil Medvedev (6-3, 6-4) when Djokovic said he was bothered by hamstring tightness.
Still, Djokovic should no signs of ailing during the over three-hour match against Korda where he claimed his 92nd individual title.
Djokovic Has Been Dominant in Australia
Djokovic’s recent run in Adelaide moved his record to 103-10 all-time in Australia and is riding a 35-match win streak and has won 78 of his last 81 matches in the country.
His nine Australian Open titles are the most and three more than Roy Emerson and Roger Federer. Djokovic hasn’t lost in the Australian Open since 2018, when he fell to South Korea’s Chung Hyeon in the fourth round.
Who is the Rest of the Field Has a Chance?
The top quarter of the draw is one of the most intriguing, featuring the second-favorite Medvedev (+600), defending champion Rafael Nadal (+1800) and U.S. Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe (+10000).
Djokovic’s quarter features Holger Rune (+3800), who he fell to in the ATP Masters 1000 Paris final and Nick Kyrgios (+1600). Djokovic topped Kyrgios in the 2022 Wimbledon final for his 21st major title and it will be the first grand slam for Kyrgios in his home country since his Wimbledon run and best result in a grand slam.
Pick to Win: Djokovic
It’s not fun laying down a futures bet at -125, but it’s difficult to rationalize any other pick given his dominance in the event, his motivation factor to avenge last year’s debacle and his recent form.
One of the few players who could top Djokovic at a hard-court grand slam event is Medvedev, and Djokovic just defeated him with ease.
Australian Open Women’s Tournament
Unlike the men’s side, there is more parity in the women’s tournament.
Known as a dominant force on clay, No. 1 Iga Swiatek (+225) recorded her first hardcourt grand slam title at the U.S. Open in 2022.
The powerful Aryna Sabalenka (+750) didn’t drop a set at the Adelaide event en route to capturing her first WTA singles title since May 2021.
No. 2 Ons Jabeur (+1400) is coming off two finalist appearances at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, while No. 3 Jessica Pegula (+1000) recently defeated Swiatek at the United Cup.
The popular Cori Gauff has the sixth-best odds at +1600 and had her best major run last year, finishing as the runner-up to Swiatek in the French Open, while a rejuvenated Caroline Garcia (+1400) made a semifinal run at the 2022 U.S. Open.
Pick: Pegula +1200 at DraftKings
A breakthrough could be coming for the top-ranked American. Pegula recorded her best finish in each of the four majors last year, with quarterfinal appearances in the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and also made it to the third round at Wimbledon.
Pegula also made it to the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open and just recorded one of the most impressive wins of her career when she demolished Swiatek 6-2, 6-2.
If you wanted to get adventurous, you could parlay Pegula to win the Australian Open with the Buffalo Bills to take the Super Bowl.
Pegula is the daughter of Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula, who both own the Buffalo Bills. At DraftKings, the bet would pay out at +6400 odds if it were to hit.
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