Wednesday Australian Open Odds, Picks: Djokovic Will Keep Rolling in Melbourne
Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic.
- Novak Djokovic continues his Australian Open campaign early on Thursday morning.
- The 21-time Slam champion plays Enzo Couacaud.
- Read on for Luke Holmberg's betting breakdown.
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Star power will be on full display in Australia as the players fight for a place in the third round. Enzo Couacaud and Alexei Popyrin will be looking to eliminate the highest level of opponents in Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz.
Will we see any long shot spoilers competing on this evening?
Here are my picks and best bets.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Australian Open matches.
Novak Djokovic (-8000) vs. Enzo Couacaud (+3000)
3 a.m. ET
There is not much to say that everyone does not already know about Djokovic in Australia. With a 35-match winning streak down under, his game does not have a single crack within it.
The one thing that may be able to stop him is injury. After ending a practice match early and talking to the press after the first match, it is clear that he could be dealing with a hamstring problem. Regardless, Djokovic wrapped his first round matchup up with a third set bagel, so I would not be too concerned just yet.
Couacaud is an excellent player. His serve is underrated and his backhand is world class. He lacks a bit of pop behind his forehand when compared to the top players, but the flaws he displays are few. After qualifying, he was gifted a phenomenal first round match, which he took advantage of.
The Frenchman has pushed some highly ranked players before. He was in position to serve for the match over Borna Coric at the US Open last year before nerves took over and saw him crumble under the pressure. For a man ranked around the 200 mark, his game is dangerously undervalued. But hanging with Djokovic is an ask of a different caliber.
Couacaud's solid game does not boast any tremendous weapons. Especially here in Australia, you don't want to rely on baseline exchanges to take out the nine-time champ. I expect Djokovic to cruise through the second round and dismantle the French qualifier. If Djokovic is as healthy as his first round scoreline shows, it takes a little more than what Couacaud has to put Djokovic under pressure.
Pick: Djokovic -9.5 games (-145 via DraftKings)
Taylor Fritz (-1000) vs. Alexei Popyrin (+600)
11 p.m. ET
The top American Fritz has high hopes for 2023 and is looking to make a deep run here in Australia. Fritz possesses a cannon serve that is backed by heavy, consistent groundstrokes. He has high hopes of winning a major, and although his odds are slim, he has shown he has the ability to beat anyone.
Entering as a nine-game favorite against Basilashvili, Fritz did well to handle the onslaught of groundstrokes that the Georgian fired. While setting a career high in aces, Fritz appears in form and ready to make a statement.
But, the Australian Popyrin stands in his way.
Popyrin looks to be returning to his top form here in Australia. After struggling for a while in 2022, he was in need of a big turnaround. He came through his first round match in dramatic fashion, playing well into the night and staying mentally strong through the fifth set. When serving well, Popyrin can hold at ease and put real pressure on any opponent.
With support of the home crowd coming for Popyrin, I do not think this match will be straightforward for the American. Coming in as a huge underdog takes the pressure off Popryin.
He will be able to swing freely and unleash his potent serve. Asking Fritz to stay solid and focused for three consecutive sets is a tall task. Expect the Australian to sneak at least one set out while riding the crowd.
Pick: Popyrin +2.5 sets (+100 via DraftKings)