2020 Australian Open Outright Odds & Picks: Is There Value on Coco Gauff in Futures Market?

2020 Australian Open Outright Odds & Picks: Is There Value on Coco Gauff in Futures Market? article feature image
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Photo by TPN/Getty Images. Pictured: Coco Gauff

Day 5 of the Australian Open proved to be upset heavy, with outright tournament favorite Serena Williams (+325) and defending champion Naomi Osaka (+750) both going down to big underdogs.

The No. 8 and No. 3 seeds were both in Quarter 2 of the draw, now leaving a path for a longshot to slip into the semifinals.

That player will come from the pairings of Sofia Kenin (+6600 pre-tournament) vs. Coco Gauff (+5000), and Qiang Wang (+100000) vs. Ons Jabeur (+100000) — and Gauff has taken off in the outright market after defeating Osaka in straight sets on Friday.

Is there any betting value left on the 15-year-old American, who is listed as an underdog (+120) to Kenin in their upcoming match but +1500 to win the tournament?

Per Tennis Abstract’s Australian Open forecast, Kenin has greater than a 50% chance of making the semi-finals and might be the best value left on the board:

Let’s take a look at the five players who offer betting value, and also talk briefly about Coco Gauff:

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Ash Barty: The No. 1 seed sees a boost since she won’t have to play Osaka or Williams in the semi-final, and will draw a longshot instead. Even if she plays Kenin at that stage, the Aussie should be at least a -250 favorite in the semi-finals, and if she draws Halep or Pliskova in the finals, she would likely be around a -150 favorite.

There’s plenty of pressure on Barty to win her home slam, but her path to the title is much easier now without going through the two pre-tournament favorites.

Sofia Kenin benefitted the most from the upsets around her in Quarter 2. You can find Kenin as high as +2200 in the outright market, and she’s worth a small play (quarter unit) at over +2000. The betting markets have her as a -150 favorite against Coco Gauff, and Tennis Abstract makes the line even bigger; at -300.

I would note, however, that Kenin has lost four of five matches against Barty.

Elina Svitolina was one of my pre-tournament futures, at 25-1, and the looming presence of top players in her quarter (Kiki Bertens, Karolina Pliskova) and the semi-final (Simona Halep, Belinda Bencic) hasn’t done much to move her odds down.

But the Ukranian is fearless against Top 10 players (career 33-37, 47.1%) and seems poised to break through at a Slam after winning her quarter at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Kiki Bertens will likely meet Svitolina in the quarterfinals. The two have split four career meetings, though Bertens has never made it the fourth round at either hard court major.  She’s also 3-3 against Simona Halep and 3-3 against Karolina Pliskova, but just 1-5 against Barty.

Bertens offers the most theoretical value here and might be worth a long look, but I’m hesitant to fire.

Belinda Bencic was another of my pre-tournament futures, at 33-1, and she has split four matches with Simona Halep, her most dangerous potential quarterfinal opponent, and beaten Pliskova in their only previous meeting. I’m highly confident that Bencic will be a future-Slam winner, and I will continue to bet her outrights when she shows any value.

Coco Gauff is a +150 underdog to Sofia Kenin, but her odds are somehow better than Kenin’s in the outrights market. Perhaps the books have a significant liability on Gauff, and they have slashed her odds dramatically.

Tennis Abstract gives the 15-year-old Gauff a meager 0.4% chance of winning this tournament, and while she’s playing with a high level of confidence and her actual chances are likely a bit higher, her odds are completely unplayable at 15-1.

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