Australian Open Tennis Qualifier Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Best Bets for Day 3 Action (Jan. 12)
Graham Denhom/Getty Images. Pictured: Roman Safiullin hits a backhand at the Australian Open qualifying tournament.
Summer tennis in Australia keeps moving along, with tournaments continuing on the ATP Tour, as well as the Australian Open qualifying draw.
On Wednesday, I’ll be focusing on the latter, as there are two matches I believe have serious betting value to look at, including a familiar face in Roman Safiullin.
Here is how I’ll be playing the third day of Aussie Open qualifiers.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Roman Safiullin (-220) vs. Christopher Eubanks (+162)
8:30 p.m. ET
The Russian Safiullin comes into this match with all of the confidence in the world, as the 24-year-old had an excellent showing at the ATP Cup for Russia before beating his first round qualifying opponent, Bernard Tomic.
While the Aussie didn’t put up much resistance, in part due to his issues with the Australian Open’s testing protocol, Safiullin took care of business.
Eubanks won his opening-round match with Australian youngster Tristan Schoolkate, who mainly competes on the Futures level, but has performed well when given the opportunity at Australian events.
The American closed out his season with quality results at American Challenger events, including a title in Knoxville and three wins at the Indian Wells Masters, but he’s coming up against an incredibly solid and in-form player in Safiullin.
Ranked just No. 146 in the world, Safiullin is playing like a top-50 type player, with wins against Arthur Rinderknech and James Duckworth on the year in addition to strong battles with Jannik Sinner and Denis Shapovalov.
To his credit, Eubanks is a significantly better player on hard courts than any other surface. His Elo rating on hards is 1609, whereas he’s 1295 on clay and 1328 on grass, but Safiullin is just hitting the ball so well right now that he can neutralize Eubanks’ power.
Each player will be able to get a number of free points on serve, so it’s the domination that I anticipate Safiullin having on the ground that will be the big difference.
Pick: Safiullin -2.5 Games (-120 via FanDuel)
J.J. Wolf (-140) vs. Liam Broady (+115)
8:30 p.m. ET
An interesting stylistic battle will ensue when Broady and Wolf square off. Wolf, a former Ohio State player, looks to dominate with easy power, while Broady will likely be far more conservative and look to draw errors out of his opponent.
Each player had a solid 2021 in terms of hard-court results, though Broady was able to play far more matches as Wolf battled injury throughout the year. I believe experience will be vital for a player in Broady, who has the physical tools to compete well and excellent composure.
He was named to Britain’s Davis Cup team at the end of 2021 and named captain of Britain’s ATP Cup team earlier this month, so it’s clear the type of respect that he has. The question is, will Wolf have the consistency to break down the rock that is Broady?
A quick look at the stats from Broady’s opening qualifying win against Zuk shows the strategy he needs to beat these types of players. Broady hit just 28 winners, but only hit 24 unforced errors, allowing Zuk to hit 23 winners versus 37 unforced errors.
Wolf’s 27-to-23 ratio against Sergiy Stakhovsky got him to this point, but he’s going to need to press much more to get by Broady. That’ll put him in a tough position, and getting Broady at plus-money price is worth it.
Pick: Broady (+115 via DraftKings)