2020 Australian Open ATP Day 5 Betting Picks & Odds: Can Tommy Paul Pull Another Upset?
Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images. Pictured: Tommy Paul
Friday features eight of the 16 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 Thursday evening in North America — so you’ll need to get your bets in early.
Let’s examine some third-round bets in the men’s singles draw.
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Day 5 Australian Open Best Bets
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Tommy Paul (+129) vs. Marton Fucscovics | O/U: 39.5
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
- Where: 1573 Arena
- H2H: First Meeting
Tommy Paul looked exhausted in the middle third of his five-set encounter with Grigor Dimitrov in Round 2, losing a two-set lead and falling behind a break in the final set, before digging deep down 4-5* with the match on the line.
Paul’s unwillingness to give in to Dimitrov, after blowing what looked like a straightforward win, was incredibly impressive.
But the question is whether the American has anything left in his legs for Round 3 after playing for four hours and 22 minutes on Tuesday.
His opponent, Marton Fucscovics. has also surprised in this tournament — dispatching Next Gen stars Denis Shapovalov and Jannik Sinner with relative ease. And the Hungarian should have the edge here if he can force Paul into another long affair.
As a result, I’m expecting to see the American redlining in the first set, hoping to get an early edge to win this match in four sets or less.
His serve and forehand have been extremely impressive. At the same time, Fucscovics has been buoyed by some poor play from his opponents — with Shapolovalov hitting 38 winners and 62 unforced errors, and Sinner struggling with 16 winners to 47 unforced errors.
I’m expecting Paul to be much more reliable than that, even when he tires and needs to play first-strike tennis.
Without the rest factor, I would favor Tommy Paul in a vacuum and would recommend betting him at +110 or better.
But my preferred bet is for Paul to win just the first set, at the same cutoff, which you can find at a price similar to his full match moneyline.
Roberto Bautista-Agut (-265) vs. Marin Cilic | O/U: 40
- Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
- Where: Melbourne Arena
- H2H: Cilic leads 4-2
This is a rematch from the 2019 Australian Open, which Bautista-Agut (RBA) won in five sets as a +114 underdog.
And while the Spaniard’s level continued to improve during what ended up as a career year, Marin Cilic appears to have declined since then.
The 2018 finalist experienced a 10% drop in his combined hold/break number from 2018 (111.1) to 2019 (100.4). Meanwhile, RBA improved his own by 2.4%.
Now he comes in as the favorite, with two head-to-head wins over Cilic in Melbourne (straight sets in 2016), and with significantly better metrics over the past year.
RBA’s accuracy and consistency should serve to frustrate the Croatian, who will need to hit a bevy of winners and likely nail down a tiebreak to advance.
There should be a lot of long rallies in this one, but RBA should have the best of it, and his accuracy and ability to hit an extra ball back should help to see him through.
I like RBA on the game spread here, expecting him to win his sets decisively while Cilic’s path to victory would be much more of a grind.
Other Matches to Watch
Money continues to come in against Fabio Fognini, who has seen the line move against him in all three matches thus far. He’s now listed as an underdog to Guido Pella, who has beaten the Italian in two of three meetings, all on clay.
Fogna can be frustrating to bet on, with his motivation seemingly waning from match to match and even during events; but he’s proven to be a tough out in Slams (56-48, 55.3%), whereas Pella has generally struggled (17-22, 43.6%).
This is the furthest that Pella has advanced in Melbourne, as the hard/fast surface is the one least suitable to his game. Perhaps I’m on the wrong side of some big money, but I like Fognini down to -110.
The all-American affair between Sam Querrey and Tennys Sandgren also intrigues me. Sandgren, a 2018 quarterfinalist, continues to find his best form in Melbourne, and the pair play a similar style.
They met last year at Wimbledon, their only previous meeting, and played three tiebreaks in four sets — with Querrey securing the single break of the match.
Querrey was a -588 favorite on the grass, and his reduced pricepoint here has me leaning his way.
But he’s never been past this round in Australia, and I’m often on the wrong side of Sandgren’s matches.
If you can get it, Over 41.5 or even 42 games might be the best play here.
I also might look to jump in on Querrey prematch – otherwise, I’ll wait to see if he drops the first set and possibly look to bet him live.
Bets (So Far) for Jan. 23-24
Odds swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Tennis betting card for Jan. 22.
- Tommy Paul 1st Set (+121, 1 unit)
- Tommy Paul (+145, 0.5 units)
- Roberto Bautista Agut -4 Games (-120, 0.5 units)
- Fabio Fognini (-102, 0.5 units)
- Sandgren / Querrey, Over 41.5 Games (-125, 0.5 Units)