Australian Open Picks Today | Sinner vs Baez, de Minaur vs Cobolli

Australian Open Picks Today | Sinner vs Baez, de Minaur vs Cobolli article feature image

Martin Keep/Getty. Pictured: Jannik Sinner.

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Round 3 at the Australian Open kicks off and plenty of favorites have survived thus far. I will be diving into two heavy favorites and their opponents.

Jannik Sinner has continued his tantalizing form and faces the steady Sebastian Baez. Meanwhile, home favorite Alex de Minaur faces another Italian up and comer as he looks to continue his phenomenal Australian swing.

Can these favorites win as handily as the sportsbooks are suggesting? Here are my Australian Open picks today.

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Jannik Sinner (-3500) vs. Sebastian Baez (+2100)

8 p.m. ET

Sinner takes on Baez in an encounter that will pose an onslaught of powerful shots from one side of the court to the other.

The Italian arguably has the most powerful groundstrokes on tour. From topspin, speed and depth, he excels in all three. Sinner has been broken only once in his first six sets of tennis at the Australian Open. His serve his as lethal as ever and despite his height being listed as 6 foot 2 on the ATP website, do not be misled as he is much closer to a true 6 foot 5. Competing with Sinner from the back of the court is nearly impossible. Just ask the likes of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev. In my opinion, the best baseliner in the world is facing an opponent who will have no weapons to slow him down.

Baez – who is ultra consistent from the back of the court and can cause issues for so many opponents – will not be able to keep up with the heat Sinner brings. He has done well to manage the hard hitting J.J. Wolf and tame Daniel Elahi Galan, but this is a huge ramp up in competition. Yes, Baez took a set off Sinner in Shanghai this fall, but that was following a title run for Sinner in China where he consecutively took down Dimitrov, Alcaraz and Medvedev, so he was rightly exhausted. And even since the fall, it seems as though Sinner's game has reached a whole new level.

The courts in Melbroune are on the quicker side which will only give Sinner even more of an advantage. I expect Sinner to be in every single return game as Baez won't receive many free points on his serve, and for Baez to only catch a glimpse at breaking if at all. This match should be as straightforward as they get and the sportsbook line is accounting for that as well.

Baez is a top 30 player in the world, but this matchup in these conditions are not in his favor. It's hard for the sportsbook to lay more than 9.5 games between such a respected competitor in Baez, but I do not think it is nearly enough.

Sinner is not just better in every facet of the game, but he is miles ahead. The Italian will cruise.

Pick: Sinner -9.5 games (+115 via DraftKings)

Alex de Minaur (-1200) vs Flavio Cobolli (+700)

3 a.m. ET

De Minaur is on fire to start 2024. Debuting in the top 10 for the Australian Open, he has earned it. So far this year, he has beaten Djokovic, Zverev and Fritz while dropping only six games to the talented Italian Arnaldi in the previous round. The Australian's speed, counterpunching and crowd involvement are all producing at the highest level. Searching and searching for your way through relentless defense knowing the crowd is praying you miss is not an easy challenge to tackle. And with every opponent miss, the crowd lets them hear it.

Cobolli is another extremely talented Italian youngster. He came through qualifying without dropping a set and then beat two quality opponents in Jarry and Kotov. Cobolli will be a force on tour soon enough, but he is facing a battle that he has not experienced in the past. Facing de Minaur will be a completely different play style than what he has gotten so far at this tournament. He won his first and second Grand Slam matches of his career this week and is now well into uncharted territory.

Sometimes, a match is won before it has even begun. The mental aspect of a tennis match is just as important as the skill and in this situation, and de Minaur has the upper hand in both. The only question left is: how much will de Minaur win by?

After demolishing Cobolli's compatriot, I can see this match going very similarly. The lights will be too bright for the Italian. I have already backed de Minaur in both of his first two matches and I am not going to stop there.

Pick: de Minaur -7.5 games (-130 via DraftKings)

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