2020 Australian Open ATP Day One and Futures Betting Preview: Back Querrey as an Underdog In Round One?

2020 Australian Open ATP Day One and Futures Betting Preview: Back Querrey as an Underdog In Round One? article feature image

Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Querrey.

Monday features 32 of the 64 Round 1 ATP singles matches. Still, since the tournament is being played in Australia the slate kicks off at 7 p.m. E.T. on Sunday evening in North America –  so you’ll need to get your bets in early.

You will also need to lock in your pre-tournament futures or prop wagers by then, and though this lines up as a relatively chalky draw, there is some future value worth playing.

Let’s dive into the futures market, and examine some first-round bets in the Men’s singles draw.

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2020 Australian Open ATP Futures

Per the Tennis Abstract Australian Open Forecast, there is higher than a 90% chance that one of the big three, Daniil Medvedev, or Stefanos Tsitsipas wins this tournament.

History is on the line.

Rafael Nadal could tie Roger Federer’s record of 20 Slams with his second Australian Open title while becoming the third man to win all four majors multiple times. If so, he would be the odds on favorite to pass Federer at Roland Garros in May.

Djokovic continues to close in on both legends – with 16 career Slams and a record seven Australian Open titles -winning six of the past ten down under.

While Federer, at age 38, hopes to extend his record and become the oldest player to win a Slam event in the open era.

And youngsters like Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas seem primed to overcome their idols on the big stage finally.

How do I see the draw playing out?

Quarter 1

Nadal was nearly flawless during the past hard court season, winning the Rogers Cup and US Open and helping Spain to both a Davis Cup title and appearance in the ATP Cup final — but he admitted to being worn down after his head to head loss against Djokovic on Jan 12.

He does have a clear path to the round of 16, but that’s where things get a bit more tricky – with potential matchups against big servers like Nick Kyrgios, and Karen Khachanov — before likely facing Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils, or a back to form Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinal.

Monfils has a path, so long as he doesn’t play Thiem (0-5 record) or Nadal (2-14 record). If the giants in his quarter can take out the top seeds, Monfils would be the favorite against Anderson (5-1 career) in the 4th round and leave a potential fireworks and popcorn matchup with Kyrgios or Khachanov in the quarterfinal.

I also couldn’t pass up a significant number on Vasek Pospisil, a former top 25 player who looks healthy and confident after returning from a back injury last season.

Pospisil helped Canada advance to the Davis Cup finals (with wins over Fabio Fognini, Reilly Opelka, and John Millman) in November, and he looked to be in good form last week in Auckland against his countryman Denis Shapovalov.

He is 0-5 against Monfils, but he’s made the third round twice in Australia and the quarterfinal once at Wimbledon. If Monfils (who has breathing issues) struggles with the air quality in Melbourne the top half of section 2 is wide open.

Ultimately, Dominic Thiem likely has the best draw here, but his price is a bit short, and I think his game is better suited for slower hard courts.

The Bet(s):

  • Gael Monfils 28-1 to Win Quarter 1 (0.25U)
  • Kevin Anderson 20-1 to Win Quarter 1 (0.25U)
  • Vasek Pospisil 100-1 to Win Quarter 1 (0.1U)

Quarter 2

I featured this quarter in our staff futures piece, which you should read – but I feel like this one comes down to the two young Russians.

Medvedev has won all three prior meetings, including both in 2019, and I added a unit on Medvedev to win the quarter as well.

The Bet(s):

  • Daniil Medvedev 9-1 Outright (2U)
  • Medvedev +120 to Win Quarter 2 (1U)
  • Andrey Rublev 80-1 Outright (0.5U)
  • Rublev 9-1 to Win Quarter 2 (0.5U)

Quarter 3

I planned to bet on Denis Shapovalov in various ways before the draw came out, but he might have the most difficult path of any seeded player.

I played a small share on the Canadian before the draw, and now I’m stuck with it – but I don’t think he’s bettable below 100-1.

I do like Federer to win the quarter and would take any plus-money price, but I also took shares on Fabio Fognini and Reilly Opelka — as I expect the winner of their first-round match to meet Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round.

However, I wouldn’t play either longshot below my listed number.

The Bet(s):

  • Roger Federer +130 to Win Quarter 3 (1U)
  • Fabio Fognini 40-1 to Win Quarter 3 (0.25U)
  • Reilly Opelka 80-1 to Win Quarter 3 (0.25U)
  • Denis Shapovalov 40-1 Outright (0.25U)

Quarter 4

Djokovic should get through to the quarterfinal in relative ease, but that’s where the grind could begin.

Potential matches against Tsitsipas and Federer could serve to wear him down before a possible final against Medvedev — and I’m hoping that the other top players can take the extra wind out of his sails (after a grueling ATP cup) or knock Djokovic out entirely before the final.

That said, I don’t see any betting value here.

The Bet(s): Pass

 Day One ATP Bets

Sam Querrey (+128) vs. Borna Coric | O/U: 40.5

  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Where: 1573 Arena
  • H2H: Coric leads 1-0

Coric is defending fourth-round points in Australia after losing to surprise semi-finalist Lucas Pouille in 2019. But his path to get there (Steve Darcis, Marton Fucscovics, Filip Krajinovic) was relatively easy.

Querrey lost in the first round last year, and his overall record in Australia (12-13) pales in comparison to his success at Wimbledon (23-12) or the US Open (18-12).

Querrey is the consistent player, while Coric is much more enigmatic, and the Croatian is in the midst of a down period since the end of last season.

His forehand has been imprecise, and that’s the basis for his entire game, leaving him little to fall back on as he’s struggling.

After defeating Dominic Thiem at the ATP Cup, he got blown off the court by a big server (Hubert Hurkacz) and a counter-puncher (Diego Schwartzman).

Coric has yet to regain his form after a 2019 back injury, and I’m expecting Querrey to be the more solid player over five sets.

Pablo Andujar (+138) vs. Michael Mmoh | O/U: 39

  • Time: 10:15 p.m. ET
  • Where: Court 13
  • H2H: First meeting

Andujar is a clay-courter amid a five-match losing streak dating back to last September, and I still think he should be favored here against Mmoh.

Andujar’s stats aren’t pretty: 35-87 (28.7%) career on hard courts and 17-33 (34%) at Grand Slams — but Mmoh’s aren’t much better; 19-36 (34.5%) on hard courts and 0-6 at Slams; winning just four of 19 sets.

When Mmoh steps up against Top 100 players, he tends to get beaten easily — and I certainly don’t think he should be a -157 favorite (implied 61%) against any competent tour veteran.

Andujar is just 2-8 at the Australian Open, and he hasn’t won a first-round match since 2014. Still, he’s coming off of a surprising fourth-round appearance at the US Open — his best-ever singles performance at a Slam – and I like his chances here to overcome the improving American in what should be an ugly, unwatchable match.

Other Matches to Watch

Radu Albot has had success against big servers, but both he and his opponent, Milos Raonic, have looked out of form. To make matters worse for Albot, he recently withdrew from the Auckland Open. However, he could turn this match into a grind, providing great value at over 3.5-1.

Dusan Lajovic played some excellent tennis in the ATP Cup, and Kyle Edmund continues to be up and down, but the Englishman has a 3-0 edge in the head to head and has had more success than the Serbian in the best of five format; I think his price is a bit short.

Ugo Humbert is favored against Australian John Millman, but I think the odds should be flipped. Humbert is coming off of a title in Auckland, but Millman has been playing solid tennis and has significantly more experience in best of five – a format where the Frenchman has struggled.

Tommy Paul has been improving, but he’s a pretty steep favorite against Leonardo Mayer, considering that he’s never won a main draw match at Slam. Mayer is 36-38 career in best of five and has won nearly 50% of his sets. I’ll take a chance on the veteran clay-courter winning off of his best surface.

I also included three favorites that I had projected at steeper prices in a parlay, with Gregoire Barrere, Mikhail Kukushkin, and Jannik Sinner. My odds project the parlay to win 64% of the time, and I’m pleased to get it over plus-money.

As for a couple of matches that I didn’t bet:

A healthy Mackenzie McDonald would represent excellent value at over 7-1 against Dan Evans. But the Englishman has been in top form, and the American has only played one competitive match since last May.

Feliciano Lopez is also a steal at a similar price point but he’s lost his previous two matches against his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut, who should excel on this fast, low-bouncing surface.

Bets (So Far) for January 19-20

Odds, especially live odds, swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Tennis betting card for January 19.

  • Pablo Andujar (+138, 1 unit)
  • Sam Querrey (+128, 1 unit)
  • Radu Albot (+360, 0.5 units)
  • Kyle Edmund (-145, 0.5 units)
  • John Millman (+106, 0.5 units)
  • Leonardo Mayer (+250, 0.5 units)
  • Parlay (+108): Barrere / Kukushkin / Sinner (1 unit)
  • Parlay (-111): Kohlschreiber / Nishioka (1 unit)
  • Over 37.5 Games, Hurkacz/Novak (-118, 0.5 units)

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