US Open Odds | Picks for Gauff vs Mertens, Bencic vs Zhu

US Open Odds | Picks for Gauff vs Mertens, Bencic vs Zhu article feature image

Tim Clayton/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff.

The flurry of matches that comes with the opening four days at a major is behind us, and we're getting into the business stage of the US Open. Sure, there may not be eight matches to choose from at any given hour during the day, but now we're able to consume almost all of the matches on offer and we're likely to get a higher level of tennis in each given match.

Here's a few I like from a betting standpoint on Friday. Read on for my US Open picks ahead of Gauff vs Mertens and Bencic vs Zhu.

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

US Open Odds & Picks

Coco Gauff (-700) vs Elise Mertens (+475) 

7 p.m. ET

The summer of Coco Gauff continues, as the American teenager has carried over her form from Washington and Cincinnati into New York.

With the crowd firmly behind her, Gauff has come through a tough match that clearly frustrated her against Laura Siegemund and then crushed Russian phenom Mirra Andreeva to set up this encounter with Elise Mertens.

The veteran from Belgium hasn't had nearly as much success en route to the third round. She was clobbered twice by Daria Kasatkina and once by Marie Bouzkova in her three lead-in tournaments (she had just one win – granted it was a good one against Madison Keys – along the way) and her run to the third round has required her to give her best Houdini impression.

In the opening round she had to save three successive match points as a big favorite against Mirjam Bjorklund, and then in the second round she had to recover two breaks in the second set and save a pair of match points in the tiebreak before beating Danielle Collins.

Now she takes on the most well-rounded and in-form opponent yet.

Gauff not only has the rock solid, consistent play from the baseline of players like Kasatkina and Bouzkova, but she has a legitimate weapon in her backhand and a really strong first serve.

Given the divergence in the trajectories of these two, I have this one ending rather quickly and would set the total closer to 18.5 than 19.5.

Pick: Under 19.5 (-115 via DraftKings)

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Belinda Bencic (-280) vs Lin Zhu (+225) 

5 p.m. ET

Well, entering the US Open, I'll admit that I had some concerns about Belinda Bencic's fitness.

She appeared to roll her ankle in Montreal in the match before her loss to Ludmilla Samsonova and then subsequently blew a set and break lead to a middling Cristina Bucsa. It was the way her serve – normally reliable, with one of the better hold rates on the WTA Tour for the year on hard court – completely fell apart that made me wonder if she'd lost some juice thanks to her push off. It turns out that if she did, it's healed, or that it may just have been the wind combined with the defensive abilities of Bucsa that annoyed her into submission.

She has looked really strong so far in New York.

Now, Zhu will be her toughest test yet, but it should also be said that it's also a stylistic matchup that should favor the Swiss.

These women both employ the same style and mentality, but Bencic does it at an elite level, relative to Zhu just being a very solid player.

Flat ball striking, taking it on the rise and counterpunching is the name of the game in this matchup.

I give the edge to Bencic in all those departments, along with having a much better serve.

She won each of her first two matches by a six-game margin, and while Zhu may be stronger than those opponents, it's hard for me to see what she does to distinguish herself from Bencic here to keep things close.

Pick: Bencic -4.5 games (-105 via DraftKings)

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