Saturday Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions | Djokovic vs Mannarino, Sinner vs Khachanov

Saturday Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions | Djokovic vs Mannarino, Sinner vs Khachanov article feature image

Andy Cheung/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic.

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The final 16 have been decided at the Australian Open! It should be a week of fireworks to boot, as the biggest names in the sport have all booked their places in the fourth round.

Let's take a look at the matches featuring two of the tournament favorites that happen Saturday night.

Find picks for Djokovic vs Mannarino and Sinner vs Khachanov in my latest Saturday Australian Open picks.

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Australian Open Odds & Picks

Novak Djokovic (-3000) vs Adrian Mannarino (+1750) 

9:30 p.m. ET

Well, the much-anticipated rematch between Djokovic and young gun Ben Shelton will have to wait. After the drama that ensued following Djokovic's "hang up the phone" celebration in that match, many were hoping and expecting to see that play out again in Melbourne.

Enter veteran backboard Mannarino, whose variety and resilience was able to outlast the firepower of the former Florida Gator.

He spoiled the reunion that could've been electric on one of the show courts, and more importantly, completely changes the handicap of the match, considering how different his game style is to Shelton's.

For me, this is a horrendous match for the Frenchman. I wasn't too concerned by two consecutive five setters heading into his third round tilt against a guy who plays more short points. That changes after he added a third consecutive five setter to the ledger. Now, none of those even went four hours, so I wouldn't ready too much into it, but the accumulation of over 11 hours of tennis could come into play against Djokovic, who can be a wall from the baseline and play 20-ball rallies with ease if need be.

Then there's the actual matchup between the guys on the court.

Djokovic has the better serve, equivalent rally tolerance, is better at closing points with his own offensive play and his defensive abilities completely negate the slice-heavy, early ball taking and flat hitting of Mannarino. His best tool is to end points quickly – the first serve – is also neutralized by one of the best returners of all time and where he may look to break down a righty's backhand with persistent crosscourt southpaw forehands, he ends up playing one of the best backhands of all time.

Finally, those who love head-to-head history may point to close sets or even sets won by Mannarino in the past.

That is fair, but I'd point to the fact that Djokovic has made it clear it's just as likely that dominant, lopsided sets occur in this matchup, alleviating concerns with a fairly low total.

Pick: Under 28.5 games (-107 via PointsBet)

Jannik Sinner (-1000) vs Karen Khachanov (+650) 

12 a.m. ET

In what really should be one of the marquee matchups from either draw in the round of 16, Sinner and Khachanov will go toe-to-toe for a spot in the final eight.

I'm not as convinced that this one will be as close as some may expect (though the market agrees this should be a fairly convincing victory for Sinner).

Khachanov had looked okay up to this third round match against Tomas Machac, but having watched that match cover-to-cover, I will say, he is extremely fortunate to be competing again at Melbourne Park.

I also want to make clear that fading him isn't so much an issue of overreacting to a single match. It's more about how he approached a match in which his opponent decided to seize the reigns and keep applying pressure by being the more aggressive player and the bigger hitter. He turned into a very passive, defensive player that we aren't really used to seeing. More importantly, that is not where he's at his best.

If that was the case against Machac – who committed far too many unforced errors with his low-margin gameplan – he is going to need a similar amount of luck and timing to have any chance in this one.

Sinner has been on a roll (he's yet to drop a set this week), hits the ball as hard than any other player on tour and does so while being able to maintain consistency.

I don't think he moved as well as Machac, but he covers the court more competently than he did in the past.

Considering Khachanov had to fend off break points in eight of his service holds last time around, I have this one ending in straight sets more often than not, with breaks of serve being fairly common for the Italian.

Pick: Sinner -6.5 games (-125 via DraftKings)

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