Friday French Open Odds, Predictions, Preview: Auger-Aliassime, Zverev in For Different Third Round Proceedings
NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Alexander Zverev.
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Men's third round action is set to begin at Roland Garros, and the top half gets things going on Friday as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz still appear to be on a collision course.
This article will focus on a pair of other matches – also featuring some of the bigger names in the sport – though, where some value may be had. Each match has a total that looks appealing, so let's get into it.
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Felix Auger-Aliassime (-375) vs. Filip Krajinovic(+290)
7:30 a.m. ET
After a relatively simple second round performance, Felix Auger-Aliassime could be in for another test against Filip Krajinovic.
The Serbian ball striker tends to fly under the radar, but his ability has never really been in question.
It's been fitness issues, consistency questions and resolve problems from the mental standpoint that have held Krajinovic back from that top-25 breakthrough (his career high is an oh-so-close 26th).
While the market isn't wrong to price Auger-Aliassime up as the strong favorite, it's at a point where the total has been depressed from the expected 38 games down to 36.5.
There are a few reasons this total has a fair chance of going over. The first is the aforementioned undervalued Krajinovic talent. While his record doesn't stand out as anything special, he's got excellent pop in his serve and forehand.
Winning over 70% of his first serve points and over 53% of his second serve points the last 52 weeks on clay should help, considering the Canadian isn't the strongest returner on tour. His comfort on the surface should also help him snag a set off of the ninth seed.
The other reason is Auger-Aliassime's frustratingly inconsistent game. When on, he looks nearly unstoppable. A huge serve, elite forehand and movement that is impressive for someone of his height, yet the backhand can completely disappear at the drop of a hat and his forehand also tends to start sailing long for stretches of time.
That bit of inconsistency may be all Krajinovic needs to push his way to claiming a set, which should be enough to reach a relatively low four-set total of 36.5 games.
Pick: Over 36.5 games (-110 via PointsBet)
Alexander Zverev (-1250) vs. Brandon Nakashima(+750)
10 a.m. ET
Closing out what will be a day of incredible matchups on Court Suzanne Lenglen is third seed Alexander Zverev, as he takes on surprise American Brandon Nakashima.
While it's incredible to see Nakashima battle to this point, his clay-court abilities are still left wanting, and against a formidable opponent like Zverev, are wont to be exploited.
Nakashima's game is rock solid. It's why he was able to upset Tallon Griekspoor, who's much more comfortable and has the more natural clay game.
The problem is, solid from the baseline doesn't cut it against Zverev.
Nakashima's backhand is fine, but it doesn't really hold up to one of the best on the men's tour. Switch to the other wing, and his forehand is also decent, but lacks the power to really rush Zverev, something opponents will want to do.
Finally, the young American's serve is going to be in tough against one of the tour's top returners. Zverev's ability to get a ton of balls back – with depth – and get himself into neutral positions in the rally, before finding a short ball he can use to take control is among the best in the game.
Even in a clay season that fell short of the normal expectations, he's broken opponents about 28% of the time. It's going to be an uphill battle for Nakashima to hold him off game-in, game-out.
The talent discrepancy on clay between these two is too large, and the matchup favors Zverev too much to see Nakashima taking a set, or avoiding a lopsided scoreline along the way. With this total set above 31 games, the under is the play.
Pick: Under 31.5 games (+100 via DraftKings)