Expert French Open Betting Picks | Popyrin vs. Kokkinakis, Evans vs. Rune

Expert French Open Betting Picks | Popyrin vs. Kokkinakis, Evans vs. Rune article feature image

Franco Jones/Getty. Pictured: Holger Rune.

Tuesday marks the end of the first round of the French Open, but there's still plenty more action to get down on in Paris. I'll be looking towards an exciting all-Aussie matchup for my first bet and backing a pesky underdog to unnerve one of the best players in the world to close things out.

Here are my expert French Open betting picks for Popyrin vs Kokkinakis and Evans vs Rune.

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

Expert French Open Betting Picks

Alexei Popyrin (-110) vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis (-110)

7 a.m. ET

While Alexei Popyrin enters this match ranked 51 in the world and Thanasi Kokkinakis comes in at No. 100, oddsmakers have set the first-round encounter as a pick 'em. It speaks volumes about the way both are playing at the moment.

Popyrin has win just one match in five trips to Roland Garros, and around a solid clay season in 2023 has been a very uninspiring player on the dirt, where his big serve doesn't play up quite as much. He began his clay season with two big wins in Monte Carlo over Corentin Moutet and Andrey Rublev, but has now fallen in four straight to (mostly) players he should be beating.

Kokkinakis, on the other hand, should be ripe with confidence after winning on the green clay in the Sarasota Challenger a month ago and coming through a tough qualifying draw in Madrid to nearly unseat the talented Jack Draper. All told, he has nine wins in 14 matches and seems to be raising his level.

The talent is undeniable with Kokkinakis, and it's always about been catching him at the right time. I'd wager that this is said time, with the 28-year old winning matches and limiting the errors which plagued him early in the season.

Pick: Kokkinakis ML (-110)

Dan Evans (+650) vs. Holger Rune (-900)

10 a.m. ET

This will be the first meeting between these two players, and it's been a long time coming for me personally. Both players wear their heart on their sleeves and regularly draw the ire of their opponents with their antics which should make for a highly-watchable match.

Evans hasn't always been the easiest player to back on clay, and this year he's won just twice in six tries on the surface. It doesn't mean that his defeats haven't been close, however, and his play style could limit the ability of Rune to go for big shots here.

Rune's game is predicated on getting high balls and ripping his groundstrokes into the corners, and the backhand slice of Evans should make that downright impossible. The Brit is also an expert player at the net, where Rune loves to bring points, so while the odds may indicate we're in for a slog I think Evans matches up quite well against the World No. 13.

I'm going to back Evans to cover the games here, something he has done routinely against players like Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, who devastate with their overwhelming power. His crafty play and wide variety of shots should make this one interesting.

Pick: Evans +7.5 Games (-110)

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