Thursday Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions | Badosa vs Anisimova, Frech vs Zakharova

Thursday Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions | Badosa vs Anisimova, Frech vs Zakharova article feature image

Shi Tang/Getty. Pictured: Paula Badosa.

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We're into the third round from Melbourne Park and that means players are just one win away from reaching the second week. For some, that may not be a big feat, but for many others, it is a pretty meaningful accomplishment – not to mention, it can help pay for a good chunk of time on tour and buy you a decent amount of points for one's ranking.

Let's take a look at a pair of women's matches going on at the Australian Open.

Find my Thursday Australian Openpicks for Badosa vs Anisimova and Frech vs Zakharova below.

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

Thursday Australian Open Odds & Picks

Paula Badosa (-150) vs Amanda Anisimova (+120) 

7 p.m. ET

It's great to see these two back playing at the highest level and competing for a spot in the second week after prolonged absences, but I don't think the market has this one priced up properly.

I have Badosa as a larger favorite in this tilt for a few different reasons.

For starters, she's been playing some great tennis this month after battling injuries for a large swath of last season. Yes, she lost from a set up against Bernarda Pera, but when the American is hitting her spots, she can beat just about anyone (the problem is that she so rarely hits her spots for long enough).

This past week, she's replicated the form we saw in the offseason exhibition play, with dominant over both Taylor Townsend and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – herself looking like she's ready to surge back up the ranks in 2024.

I also think that Badosa is simply a more well-rounded player. She may not have the raw power of Anisimova, but she's by no means underpowered and she's far more efficient moving around the court than her American opponent in this one and I'd say that she plays with more margin for error as well.

Finally, her win over Pavlyuchenkova should have her well prepared for another big ball striker in Anisimova, and I'm not sure what the 22-year old does all that much better than Badosa, outside of her peak, redline level.

Anisimova has impressed relative to expectations so far in 2024 as well, but her wins this week have come against an incredibly out-of-form Ludmilla Samsonova and a clay courter in Nadia Podoroska.

Pick: Badosa ML (-150 via Caesars) | Badosa -2.5 games (-115 via DraftKings)

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Magdalena Frech (-215) vs Anastasia Zakharova (+180) 

9 p.m. ET

If we want to look at two players that would consider a second week appearance at a Grand Slam as a pretty big accomplishment and important for their ranking and earnings, this match would fit the bill.

Zakharova, for instance, has never cracked the top 150 in the world rankings. Making the final 16 of one of the biggest events on the schedule – regardless of how weak the path to get there may be – would be monumental for the 21-year 0ld.

Matchup wise, this is a big overreaction to a win over Caroline Garcia when it comes to Frech, in my estimation.

Simply put, Garcia plays a hyper-aggressive style that assists mediocre and subpar servers in finding consistent, and sometimes easy, service holds.

The Pole does have a decent serve and an incredibly effective backhand slice that works well on low-bouncing courts.

Zakharova plays a fairly consistent and well-rounded style though and shouldn't be nearly as trouble by the sliced backhands and she should have no trouble starting points on return.

She's now come through qualifiers and dispatched Yulia Putintseva and Kaja Juvan in the opening rounds. She hasn't beaten anyone all that noteworthy, but it's not like Frech resides in the upper echelon of the women's game, and she too lacks marquee wins (no, I do not consider a close win over Garcia, who makes herself an eminently beatable opponent noteworthy).

Give me the plus money in this one.

Pick: Zakharova ML (+180 via FanDuel)

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