2020 Australian Open ATP Day 6 Betting Picks & Odds: Back Wawrinka to Defeat Isner?

2020 Australian Open ATP Day 6 Betting Picks & Odds: Back Wawrinka to Defeat Isner? article feature image

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images. Pictured: Stan Wawrinka

Saturday features the eight remaining ATP singles matches in Round 3. Still, since the tournament is played in Australia, the slate kicks off at 7 p.m. E.T. on  Friday evening in North America — so you’ll need to get your bets in early.

Let’s examine some more third-round bets in the men’s singles draw.

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 Day 6 Australian Open Best ATP Bets

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Stanislas Wawrinka (-124) vs. John Isner | O/U: 45

  • Time: 1:30 a.m. ET
  • Where: Court 3
  • H2H: Isner leads 3-1

Oddsmakers have set a high total here and are expecting a grueling four or five-set match, but I see Wawrinka as a pretty substantial favorite even though the matchup history points to Isner.

The tall American hasn’t looked to be in peak form this season, losing all three of his matches at the ATP Cup before squeaking by Tennys Sandgren and Kyle Edmund in Auckland despite showing subpar movement, even by his standards.

He has also benefitted from an easy draw through the first two rounds in Melbourne, defeating a couple of clay specialists in Thiago Monteiro and qualifier Alejandro Tabilo; but he did land his first serve with success (76% and 79% first serve in, with 82% and 86% of first points won).

Meanwhile, Wawrinka has been tested by Damir Dzumhur and Andreas Seppi, who took the Swiss to five sets in the second round, but it’s not uncommon to see Stan coasting through the early stage at majors.

Now the true test begins as Wawrinka, the 2014 Aussie Open champion, hopes to achieve his best result in Melbourne since a semifinal loss in 2017. 

Wawrinka’s block return from both wings will be the crucial shot to break Isner, but the American’s accuracy with his first serve could prove to be the difference-maker in a tight battle.

However, I remain unconvinced by Isner’s form and skeptical of his health — and I think Wawrinka’s blocking and big returns are the right combination to beat Isner, especially when he’s at less than peak form.

Ths Swiss should dominate with groundstrokes and have the better of the rallies, so Isner’s first serve quality should be the determining factor in the length of this battle.

I would bet Wawrinka up to -150.

Gael Monfils (-180) vs. Ernests Gulbis | O/U: 39

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Where: Melbourne Arena
  • H2H: Monfils leads 3-0

I’m not sure what to make of this line, as I expected Monfils to open as a substantial favorite — Gulbis has never made it out of the second round in Australia, and he’s coming off a season where he went a combined 4-20 between the tour and challenger levels.

The stats all point to the Frenchman, as does history — they have played three times, and Monfils has only dropped one set — in a tiebreak at the 2013 French Open.

But they also last played since 2016, and Gulbis’s level is more mental than physical — and right now, he appears to want it.

The Latvian is talented, and not without success. He’s a former World No. 10 (2014), a semifinalist at the French Open, and he’s made the fourth round at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Monfils also admitted to injuring his hand while playing video games, and he’s no stranger to mysterious ailments — but after the first service game of his second-round match against Ivo Karlovic, he never faced another break point.

I’m expecting Gulbis and his ferocious backhand to have his moments, but Monfils’ counter-punching should prove too much in the end.

I included Monfils in a parlay with the next player on this list, but this line is so suppressed is has me a bit concerned.

Daniil Medvedev (-785) vs. Alexei Popyrin | O/U: 33

  • Time: 4:15 a.m. ET
  • Where: Rod Laver Arena
  • H2H: Medevedv leads 1-0

This is a rematch from Wimbledon, which Medvedev won in four sets after losing the first-set tiebreak. The Russian only faced two break points in the match.

Moreso than any other player, Daniil will be unfazed by the Aussie crowd, who will be pulling for the 20-year-old Popyrin. If anything, it might serve to egg the Russian on — few athletes feed off of negative energy in the same was as Medvedev, as evidenced by his run at the US Open.

Popyrin is exceptionally talented, with significant power and excellent speed and movement for a player of his size, but the same could be said for Medvedev, who is the fair superior defender and tactician.

I think Medvedev should be an even more substantial favorite than he is, and I’m expecting him to flatten Popyrin in securing at least one of his sets.

As a result, I like Medeved in a parlay with Monfils, as I think both lines are way off target, but I also took Meddy on the game spread. 

Other Matches to Watch

Dominic Thiem could be tested a bit by Taylor Fritz. Regardless of his favoritism, Thiem rarely has an easy time of it, but he’s improved on hard courts in the past year, and I like his chances to get by Fritz, who has had to battle through two grueling five-setters already.

Thiem hasn’t played at his best in this tournament, but I still think he should be a more substantial favorite against the American, and I would line him closer to -400 than -200 in this match.

Nick Kyrgios is always challenging to handicap, and if you went purely by the numbers, then Karen Khachanov is the one with line value. The Russian scored a win over Kyrgios at the Cincinnati Masters in August, but he struggled with his serve and was broken six times against Mikael Ymer in the second round in his last match.

The Russian is yet to find his best form thus far in 2020, making a motivated Kyrgios, who will legitimately be buoyed by the home crowd in prime time, a tough opponent.

I always like to bet on “Nick at Night” — when you typically get peak Kyrgios — and his motivation will not be a question as a win would likely secure a fourth-round matchup against his main rival, Rafa Nadal.

In my mind, the Thiem-Kyrgios parlay is riskier than my Medevedev-Monfils parlay, but remains one that I think offers similarly actionable value.

Bets (So Far) for Jan. 24-25

Odds swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Tennis betting card for Jan. 24.

  • Daniil Medvedev, -7 Games (-111, 0.5 units)
  • Stanislas Wawrinka (-120, 1 unit)
  • Parlay: Daniil Medvedev / Gael Monfils (-120, 1 unit)
  • Parlay: Nick Kyrgios / Dominic Thiem (+100, 1 unit)

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