Tennis Betting Advice - August 2018

US Open: Bets of the Day – a dark horse at 150/1…

Thursday 30th August 2018

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • US Open Day Four – play starts 4pm…
  • Outright Winner picks...
  • 20/1 and 150/1 outsiders…

Good morning and welcome to Day Four of your US Open 2018 service…

Play starts from 4pm, UK time.

Muchova takes out Muguruza…

After top seed Simona Halep was sent packing on day one, we saw a second big upset in the Women’s last night. With 22-year-old qualifier Karolina Muchova knocking out World No.12 Garbine Muguruza in the 2nd Round…

Muchova, ranked No.202 in the world, was a 9/2 (5.50) shot to win that match. In the 1st Round we backed an 11/4 (3.75) underdog to take out Muguruza, but where Shuai Zhang failed, the unheralded Muchova prevailed. No payout for us then, but we were most definitely hunting in the right patch.

I’m also not convinced by World No.7 Elina Svitolina. She got the job done against 4/1 (5.00) pick Tatjana Maria yesterday, but Svitolina gave the German underdog plenty of chances. Like Muguruza, she stays with a question mark over her head for me right now.

The match between Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco was, as anticipated, a long one. Three hours and 26 minutes to be precise. However the score-line was the mirror of my 18/5 (4.60) 3-1 Set Betting pick for Murray, with Verdasco saving a set point in the first set before going on to win 3-1.

Yesterday’s other news for us is that Elise Mertens (66/1) and John Isner (50/1) are both through to the 3rd Round…

Mertens was the first name through to the next round after a speedy 6-2, 6-0 win over Vera Lapko, who is one of just two teenagers in the Women’s Top 100.

Isner came back from two sets to one down to record what could be a significant five-set victory over the upcoming Nicolas Jarry. Isner’s reaction at the end was one of the most ‘pumped up’ and happy I’ve ever seen him. Afterwards he spoke of having the American crowd on his side as an advantage. Call this wishing thinking on my part if you like – but I reckon John has a twinkle in his eye here. He believes he has a chance.

The big prices are where we want to be in this tournament and there are two more that stand out today…

Outright Winner picks…

The Outright Winner market is where the really big returns are to be found. And not for the first time it’s the Women’s event that looks the most likely source of a big-price winner…

We’re already on two players in the Women’s draw, 66/1 Elise Mertens who is in the top half (2nd Quarter) and 28/1 Caroline Wozniacki in the bottom half (4th Quarter).

Today, with the draw panning out as it is after the early matches, I’m adding players from the 1st and 3rd Quarters. I’m not doing this just for symmetry – these are players that stand out on their own merits at the prices available. Although of course the dream situation with this tactic is the potential for semi finals featuring our picks taking each other on, if we were to dare to allow ourselves to look that far ahead…

20/1 Karolina flying under the radar…

Earlier this summer, Karolina Pliskova was a general 16/1 shot for the US Open. A slump in form in the North American hard-court swing saw her drift to 25/1 on the eve of the tournament. Two rounds in and with two convincing 2-0 wins under her belt, the steely-eyed ice woman from the Czech Republic is looking good at 20/1

Pliskova is a good friend of ours having reached the US Open final as our 33/1 Each Way pick in 2016. That year she beat both Venus and Serena Williams en route to the final. This time she’ll only have to play one of them – and that would be a potential quarter final.

Venus & Serena play each other in the 3rd Round; it’s a sibling rivalry match-up that neither of them really enjoy – and after that, dangerous fellow veteran Kaia Kanepi could be lurking in their path. With Halep and Muguruza out of the top half, Serena is now as short as 3/1 for the title. I don’t like that price. Serena is respected of course, but she hasn’t made the final here since 2014, and she doesn’t look to be moving great to me.

World No.8 Pliskova is a constant fixture in the WTA Top 10 for Most Aces (five seasons running) and is in the Top 10 so far here at the US Open 2018, too. Standing 6’1”, Karolina’s serve is a major weapon and gives her a genuine edge on any surface.

Crucially, she also looks to have found some calm and good vibes in her coaching box at just the right time. Recently teaming up again with Rennae Stubbs, then adding Conchita Martinez specifically for this New York campaign, is looking like a good move.

No-one really seems to be talking about Pliskova right now. She’s a quiet character. She means business. And she looks set for another tilt at a first Grand Slam title here.

Women’s Outright Winner:

BET: Karolina Pliskova @ 20/1 Each Way
BOOKIES: 20/1 (21.00) William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Boylesports, 18/1 (19.00) general

Latest odds here

  • Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places

A dark horse at 150/1…

To complete our Women’s set we have a genuine outsider available at odds of 150/1 and 100/1 in the Outright Winner market.

Monica Puig is a great underdog to back – she always gives 100%, fights for everything and has the ability & spirit to raise her game against the big opponents.

She catches my eye here for two reasons. Firstly, a semi-final run at WTA New Haven last time out. And secondly, because she’s drawn against Carolina Garcia in the 2nd Round today…

That New Haven run was cut short by an injury scare (abdominal strain). But the early signs are that Puig is looking good here in New York – as 1st Round wins go, it’s simply not possible to win in tennis by a score better than the rare ‘double bagel’ of 6-0, 6-0.

Puig beat today’s opponent Garcia in New Haven and that win extended their career head-to-head to 3-0 in favour of the World No.55 from Puerto Rica. World No.6 Garcia is the favourite today but is another young player on the Women’s tour who is frequently tipped for big things but seems to be held back at times by mental fragility in her game. Puig is a fighter and will give this her all, against an opponent she knows how to beat.

If she comes through today, then the next round would be a very winnable tie against either Carla Suarez Navarro or Kristina Mladenovic. Looking ahead, after that could come the inconsistent Maria Sharapova or Jelena Ostapenko.

After that, if we follow the draw-sheet by the seeds and big names (which is no given), Angelique Kerber or Madison Keys would be a potential quarter final opponent. By that stage, if it were to happen, we’d have a massive price to play with in terms of trading our position. Puig and Kerber have a bit of history, with the Puerto Rican beating Kerber to the gold medal in the 2016 Olympic final…

There are a few prices and options to consider today. Puig is 13/8 (2.63) to beat Garcia. She is a best price 28/1 to win the 3rd Quarter (eg. to reach the semi finals). If you prefer those markets, then don’t let me stop you.

My preference is to work backwards from the Outright price and odds of 150/1 and 100/1 offer the greatest ultimate reward, as well as room for manoeuvre if Puig does put a run together here.

There are plenty of Puerto Rican fans in the US Open crowd cheering on Puig. Having mentioned her as ‘One to Watch’ a couple of times back in summer 2016, I didn’t pull the trigger and get Puig in the book at 250/1 for the Rio Olympics. This time I’m not going to miss out on the triple-figure price.

Women’s Outright Winner:

BET: Monica Puig @ 150/1 Each Way
BOOKIES: 150/1 (151.00) William Hill, 100/1 (101.00) Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Ladbrokes, Coral, Boylesports

Latest odds here

  • Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places

In summary…

Here are today’s Bets of the Day (see above for full details):

  • Women’s Outright Winner – Karolina Pliskova @ 20/1 Each Way
  • Women’s Outright Winner – Monica Puig @ 150/1 Each Way

I’ll be back at 10am tomorrow with your Bets of the Day for Friday.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch