Betting Value on Day 5 at the Australian Open
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There were more upsets in Melbourne, as Day 4 of the Australian Open saw the likes of Stan Wawrinka, David Goffin and Sam Querrey all out on the men’s side. Unfortunately for our hitters, Lesia Tsurenko couldn’t serve out the match and Jiří Vesely blew set points in the swing second set before blowing the breaker. I did hint Querrey and Goffin were vulnerable ahead of their third-round matches, but I did not expect Tennys Sandgren to knock out Stan the Man even with all the question marks surrounding the Swiss player. With extreme heat in the forecast for Day 5, conditions won’t get any easier for top players tonight. Let’s take a look at the card.
Kyle Edmund (-450) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili
I give the Georgian Basilashvili more of a shot than the oddsmakers, especially given how much Edmund has struggled with extreme heat in the past. Expect a long, physical match — both men protect their serves well and have power games from behind the baseline. I think Edmund will ultimately get across the finish line against Basilashvili, but don’t be surprised if we see another upset.
Value with the underdog, but I prefer the over (35 games) more.
Pablo Carreño Busta (-167) vs. Gilles Müller
Defensive baseliner Pablo Carreño (-167) takes on the precise-serving Gilles Müller. PCB came into the tourney in horrible form, having lost nine of his last 10 matches dating back to the US Open. However, he seems to have gained back some confidence after coming through Jason Kubler and an injured Gilles Simon in the first two rounds.
Müller has had a similar story. He struggled for the better portion of the past six months before regaining a bit of form here in Melbourne. From a style perspective, I think PCB’s defense should have the edge over Müller’s serve. In order for Müller to win this match, in my mind, he will need to dictate points from behind the baseline over the course of five sets. That is a large ask of the 34-year-old Muller in 100-plus degree heat. Mind you, Müller had to come through a five-setter in his last match to defeat Malek Jaziri.
Lean PCB, but no value in the Spaniard at his current price.
Grigor Dimitrov (-250) vs. Andrey Rublev
Set for around 10:30 at Rod Laver Arena, Grigor Dimitrov (-250) squares off against young Russian Andrey Rublev in a rematch of last year’s US Open clash, which saw Rublev upset Dimitrov. If Dimitrov comes out tonight looking as shaky as he did for most of his second-round match against Mackenzie McDonald, lightning can strike twice for Rublev.
Rublev has been one of the most impressive prospects over the past year and should feel confident after coming through David Ferrer and Marcos Baghdatis in the first two rounds. He has served well and kept the unforced errors (relatively) low recently. I think HIS forehand (not Dimitrov’s) will be the biggest shot on the court tonight.
Value with Rublev at +200 against a player he beat at the last hardcourt Slam.
Andreas Seppi (-182) vs. Ivo Karlović
Over at Hisense Arena, Italian Andreas Seppi will face Ivo Karlović. The two have met three times over the years, with the big-serving Croat taking both of the matches away from the clay (2015 Vienna; 2008 Nottingham). At +154, I see value with Karlović; but after his five-set marathon against Yuichi Sugita in the last round (which Karlović won 12-10 in the decider), Ivo might not have much left in the tank.
Slight value with Karlović at +154 (who was -222 the last time these two met).
Alexandr Dolgopolov (-133) vs. Diego Schwartzman
I think Diego Schwartzman has a decent shot after getting some hard court wins tucked under his belt. The two met in similar conditions (minus the extreme heat) a few weeks back in Brisbane, where Alexandr Dolgopolov ousted Schwartzman in straight sets. It was a closer match than the scoreline may suggest, though, and if Schwartzman would have pulled out that second set breaker, the match could have easily flipped.
So far in Melbourne, Dolgopolov has not faced an opponent who has made him sweat from behind the baseline (coming through Andreas Haider-Maurer and Matt Ebden), but that will change tonight. An in-form Schwartzman plays like a ball machine from behind the baseline — exactly the type of opponent who has given Dolgopolov fits over the years.
Value with at plus money with Schwartzman, who was -140 against Dolgopolov in Brisbane recently. But I haven’t been impressedd with Schwartzman so far in 2018.
Marin Čilić (-625) vs. Ryan Harrison
Marin Čilić owns a 5-1 head-to-head record over Ryan Harrison, with the only loss coming in much slower conditions in Acapulco. When the two met last year in Tokyo (similar conditions), Čilić dogged Harrison 6-2, 6-0. I expect Čilić to move on in three (maybe four) relatively comfortable sets.
No value here. The price is right.
Nick Kyrgios (-278) vs. Jo Tsonga
I’m kind of surprised at how big of a favorite Nick Kyrgios is against Jo Tsonga. Sure, Tsonga faced a tough test in his last match against the shotmaking Denis Shapovalov, but Jo didn’t really look as bad as Shapovalov just looked, well, amazing. I think Tsonga played a much better match than the scoreline shows — and I don’t think this match will be one-way traffic for Kyrgios.
Tsonga won the only match these two faced each other in over the years — last year in Marseille. Granted, that was an indoor hard match (Tsonga’s best surface), and Kyrgios very well could’ve won. Nick should flip the script on a fast outdoor court (Laver) in front of the home fans.
I fancy Nick to win this match, but — if you’re a bargain hunter — it’s hard to dispute the amount of value with the experienced Tsonga at +210.
Rafa Nadal (-3333) vs. Damir Dzumhur
Nadal should move on. Nothing to see or bet here.
Daily Hitters: Pass
Nothing worth forcing on either the men’s or women’s side after combing through the card with fellow Action Network tennis expert Stuckey. Check back in tomorrow for a juicier looking betting slate.