Australian Open Picks Today | Ruud vs Norrie, Hurkacz vs Humbert

Australian Open Picks Today | Ruud vs Norrie, Hurkacz vs Humbert article feature image

William West/Getty. Pictured: Casper Ruud.

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The seventh day of action at the Australian Open wraps up the first week of action.

After Friday night's action concludes, it's into the business end of the tournament, as the world's best hunt the first major trophy of 2024.

Find picks for Casper Ruud vs Cam Norrie and Hubert Hurkacz vs Ugo Humbert in my latest best bets today.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.

Australian Open Odds & Picks

Casper Ruud (-280) vs Cam Norrie (+225) 

1 a.m. ET

Each of these guys came through a tough five-set battle last round, with Norrie flirting with disaster more than his counterpart in this one, who simply couldn't string a pair of set wins together.

All in all, I like the look of Ruud so far this Australian summer far more than what I've seen from Norrie.

When it comes to the form department, Ruud looks like his decision not to play through the offseason this year has done him wonders. His serve and forehand both look absolutely incredible, and while he had a tough time in some service games against Max Purcell in the second round, that had a lot to do with Purcell leaving nothing on the court and playing a free-swing style than anything. Purcell also possesses a lot more variety than Norrie does and he had a much larger serve than Ruud will have to deal with on this occasion.

That leads me into the matchup analysis.

We'll start back with the serve. Ruud has only been broken twice so far in 2024, despite playing five sets last match. His first serve win percentage is over 80% and his forehand not only had far more power than Norrie's, but it's also one of the heaviest forehand in terms of topspin in all of tennis.

Contrast that with Norrie, who has had trouble with sailing his forehand long, despite not really having much power on that wing. His serve isn't nearly as powerful, and we should see Ruud pressing in more return games than Norrie as a result.

If Ruud can look to construct points that afford him the chance to hammer inside-out forehands to Norrie's lefty forehand, he should find plenty of success.

With Ruud more likely to generate break chances, and thus breaks of serve, I'm happy to lay the games.

Pick: Ruud -4.5 games (-115 via DraftKings)

Hubert Hurkacz (-170) vs Ugo Humbert (+140) 

9 p.m. ET

I'm torn on whether this will be an exciting contest of two big servers that play a close match, or a dull match that won't be short on quick points that are ended almost exclusively by the server.

These two are among the better servers on the men's tour (Hurkacz being the best in the world), and neither is particularly apt at constructing points in opponent's service games – much less against a fellow big server and on a quicker surface.

While Hurkacz does possess a decent backhand, his forehand his lacking and it could be tough to really find a way into rallies against the lefty with a flat ball and pretty powerful groundstrokes.

He also plays as many tiebreaks as anyone out there. With the conditions and opponent thrown into consideration, this seems to be a very cheap price for the opening set to head to a tiebreak.

I also like the second set price on a tiebreak, perhaps splitting one's stakes. As much as players may find more rhythm on return as they acclimate to their opponent's service speeds and patterns, we also tend to see many matches have someone rusty to start the match on serve, before finding a groove and settling in to generate much easier service games.

Picks: 1st set over 12.5 games (+225 via PointsBet) | 2nd set over 12.5 games (+240 via PointsBet)

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