Wednesday U.S. Open Morning Round 2 Odds & Picks: 4 ATP Underdogs Worth Betting
Credit: Al Bello, Getty. Grigor Dimitrov executes a backhand at the 2021 U.S. Open.
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Day 2 of the U.S. Open was simply remarkable — 2-0 comebacks were manufactured all over the place, fifth-set tiebreakers rocked outdoor crowds and even Novak Djokovic dropped a set as a -600 favorite to win 3-0.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say the level of drama the tournament has seen is typical for about a week of grand slam tennis, rather than just in round one. Better yet, the drama has translated into opportunities for bettors to capitalize.
Here’s how we’re looking to do that again on Wednesday.
All match times are subject to change, and with today’s forecast, you can expect a number of delays.
Grigor Dimitrov (-200) vs. Alexei Popyrin (+160)
11:00 a.m. ET
Avery Zimmerman: In a lot of ways, Alexei Popyrin reminds me of a young Grigor Dimitrov. The Australian plays with flair, has strong power off the forehand wing and has a sincere passion for the game.
He does not remind me of the 30-year-old Dimitrov, who he’ll face Wednesday. His one-handed backhand doesn’t have nearly the same consistency it had in earlier years, and though Dimitrov has found a bit of form in recent weeks, the favorite is in for a massive test on Wednesday.
Popyrin has had immense success on hard courts this year, garnering an impressive 12-7 record. There are two caveats to this success, likely playing a reason in why the line appears as it is. One, that success came in a more substantial manner earlier in the year. Two, a chunk of those wins came from an indoor hard tournament, played in different conditions than a steamy outdoor U.S. Open.
Nevertheless, there are a thousand different ways that this match can go, and it all depends on what type of player each shows up as tomorrow. Dimitrov, however, is the one far more capable of putting in a disappointing performance. At this stage in his career, you never know what you’re going to get, and Popyrin will be looking to seize on that possibility.
If Popyrin gets rolling on serve, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for Dimitrov to stop him. If Dimitrov can’t find a solid level in the first place? The Australian will thrive.
Go with the dog here.
Pick: Alexei Popyrin +160 (Caesars)
Dan Evans (-125) vs. Marcos Giron (+100)
11:00 a.m. ET
Kenny Ducey: It may have taken 28-year-old Marcos Giron a while to round his game into form, but he appears to be at the height of his powers now and ready to make an impact on the main draw. After a win at the U.S. Open last year, Giron backed that up with a first-round win over a pesky Antoine Hoang in straight sets, and should move to the third round for the first time in his career.
Dan Evans isn’t a guy we can trust right now. He needed to reach deep and go four sets to take down clay-court specialist Thiago Monteiro (another out-of-form player) in the first round, and prior to that had recorded one win in his last six matches. That’s a pretty awful losing streak in tennis, and one which is especially eye-popping for a player of this caliber.
We haven’t seen that world class form from Evans, who looks unsure of his backhand at the moment and stumped as to how to construct points. Giron, on the other hand, seems as confident as ever in that flat forehand, using his power to reach the quarterfinals in Winston-Salem where he was taken out by a freight train in Carlos Alcaraz.
Giron has really only played on hardcourts over his entire career; this is his home. He lost an incredibly tight match to Evans back in January, which was the only meeting between the two, and the recent form here should flip the script and give the American a big win.
Pick: Marcos Giron +100 (Caesars)
Cristian Garin (-200) vs. Henri Laaksonen (+164)
11:00 a.m. ET
Avery Zimmerman: This battle features a consistent hitter going up against someone who despises hard courts. The former, Laaksonen, is on a really nice run thus far that includes three qualifying draw wins and a first round victory over the ever-steady John Millman. The latter, Garin, has a 33% career record on hard courts, and his lone win on the surface this year came in the first round.
Though Laaksonen’s hard court stats are similar, and he prefers clay as Garin does, Laaksonen’s game matches up with the Chilean far better than his first round opponent, Norbert Gombos. Laaksonen is capable of playing long points and displaying patience with flat strokes that will trouble Garin.
If the two get into a battle where they’re consistently engaging in long points, I favor the elder Laaksonen. If Garin is able to execute on serve, he may have more success. A repeat of his 80% first serve points won from the first round would do wonders for him, but that’s an incredibly hard number to sustain for someone without a big serve.
Laaksonen has nearly done it in all of his first four matches in Queens, eclipsing the number in all but one match, where he won 66% of his first serve points.
This is another situation where it’s worth tailing a dog that wins the match in a number of scenarios.
Pick: Henri Laaksonen +164 (FanDuel)
Dusan Lajovic (-150) vs. Peter Gojowczyk (+125)
11:00 a.m. ET
Avery Zimmerman: Some players just know how to carry form throughout a tournament. Peter Gojowczyk is one of those players. The German tends to have boom or bust tournaments, stringing together a number of wins or coming out flat in the first round.
For example, at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, Gojowczyk lost his first round qualifying matches. At the French Open Gojowczyk strung two wins together, and thus far at the U.S. he’s put four solid performances together, notably his first round main-draw win against Ugo Humbert.
Lajovic plays with a stark contrast to Gojowczyk. The Serbian likes to draw out points and play with more depth behind the baseline, while Gojowczyk loves to step in and rip the ball. It should suit the German qualifier, who will look to play attacking tennis.
If he can continue to play the way he has been, Lajovic will be helpless, as it largely comes down to Gojowczyk’s racquet, and there is a good chance he’ll be able to convert.
Pick: Peter Gojowzyk +125 (FanDuel)