Tennis Betting Advice - August 2018
US Open: Bets of the Day – 28/1 and 66/1 value…
Monday 27th August 2018
In your Ones to Watch email today:
Good morning and welcome to Day One of your US Open 2018 service…
Play starts from 4pm, UK time.
Lights, camera, action…
This year’s US Open sees a few new additions to the tournament. The Louis Armstrong stadium court now has a roof, as well as the main Arthur Ashe centre court which got the upgrade in 2016. Both big courts will now feature the famous New York ‘night sessions’ with evening play under the floodlights.
There will also now be Hawk-Eye for line calls on all courts, instead of just the show courts. And the new Shot Clock comes into play for the first time at a Grand Slam. Players now have 25 seconds to serve and start each point.
Flushing Meadows is famed for its boisterous crowd, and with a new roof to fend off rain delays, more night matches – and the Shot Clock adding some potential controversy to proceedings – this year’s tournament should be lots of fun…
Outright Winner picks…
We’re kicking off today with our first Outright Winner bets. I’m concentrating on the Women’s draw today, with Men’s picks to follow tomorrow.
Having studied the draw, here are the two players that stand out at value prices right now…
28/1 too big for the World No.2…
It’s a strange thing to say about a player who is the World No.2 and the current Australian Open champion – but Caroline Wozniacki arrives in New York with little fanfare and as something of an outsider in the betting…
The 28-year-old Dane might be 2nd in the rankings – and the 2nd seed in the Women’s draw – but she’s not in the top 10 names in the Outright Winner market. Priced as a 28/1 shot, Wozniacki is capable of making a mockery of that price.
On past US Open form, Caro is right up there. Since making the final as a teenager in 2009, she’s gone on to reach another final (2014) and three semi finals – with the most recent coming in 2016.
If you believe in patterns, then Wozniacki is due another strong run at Flushing Meadows. In the last five years her US Open form has fluctuated between first-week failure and second-week success: 3rd Round 2013 – Final 2014 – 2nd Round 2015 – Semi Final 2016 – 2nd Round 2017.
January’s Australian Open win saw the former World No.1 finally shake off the ‘never won a Grand Slam’ tag. That gives an inner confidence to a player, but as we’ve seen several times in the Women’s game in the last couple of seasons, initially following up the first big win is a tough mental task. Along with Wozniacki, the likes of Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens and Garbine Muguruza have all suffered next-event slumps after winning a first Major.
Wozniacki has had two Grand Slams to get that out of the way, coming at what are historically her worst Slam events – the French Open (4th Round this year, best result Quarter Finals) and Wimbledon (2nd Round this year, best result 4th Round). She now returns to New York with the chance to get back in the big-time finals once again.
Since that big Melbourne win in January, Wozniacki’s form has been respectable if not spectacular. Including a semi final on hard courts in Doha and a trophy win on grass at Eastbourne.
This summer’s US Open Series in the build-up to New York was short-lived, losing to Aryna Sabalenka in Montreal and retiring injured in Cincinnati – hence the 28/1 underdog price here. However, 20-year-old Sabalenka has since surged on in form, winning New Haven last week and reaching the Cincinnati semis the week before. In hindsight that defeat was no disaster for Caroline. And as for the knee, she says her fitness is now ‘100%.’
The top half of the Women’s draw is loaded with big names including 1st seed Halep (6/1), returning legend Serena Williams (6/1) and 3rd seed & defending champion Stephens (9/1). In the bottom half, odds of 28/1 for World No.2 Wozniacki look well worth taking.
66/1 outsider value…
I also want to be with a big price contender in the top section, and our pre-tournament ‘One to Watch’ Elise Mertens fits the bill here as a 66/1 outsider…
You can read my full reasoning for the upcoming 22-year-old Belgian in your US Open 2018 – Ones to Watch report here. In brief: hard courts are her best surface, she made the Australian Open semi finals this year and has a new coach on board (who coached a US Open finalist last year). Mertens recently claimed her biggest rankings win (beating World No.3 Sloane Stephens) and has reached a career-high of No.14 this season.
If you’re not already on Elise, then do so now as the draw hasn’t put me off. Mertens beat 1st Round opponent Kurumi Nara in her first tour match of the year, winning 6-0, 6-4 that day and going on to lift the WTA Hobart trophy that week.
Sloane Stephens (9/1) and Elina Svitolina (18/1) are the favourites to come through this 2nd Quarter of the draw – priced around 3/1 each to do so. Mertens has scored hard court wins over both Stephens and Svitolina this year…
As mentioned already, Stephens has a big question mark over whether she can successfully defend her maiden title, and her single-figure price is nothing to get excited about considering she was a 40/1 winning pick for us this time last year.
Svitolina looks in great shape physically but she is still to show that she can deliver at a Grand Slam – having yet to get past the quarter final stage at any of the four Majors (best US Open result to date 4th Round).
At a much more attractive 66/1 in the Outright betting (12/1 at best for the 2nd Quarter), Mertens could prove the value to break through in the Women’s event this year.
We may follow another player or two at big prices as the tournament progresses, but as it stands on day one, 28/1 Wozniacki and 66/1 Mertens are my two big picks for the Women’s title. We’ll look at the Men’s Outright Winner betting tomorrow.
Outright Winner – Women’s:
BET: Caroline Wozniacki @ 28/1 Each Way
BOOKIES: 28/1 (29.00) Skybet, Ladbrokes, Coral, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet
BET: Elise Mertens @ 66/1 Each Way
BOOKIES: 66/1 (67.00) Bet365, Boylesports, 50/1 (51.00) Skybet, NetBet, 10Bet, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook
11/4 for the first upset…
As well as going after the big prices in the Outright betting, we’ll also be hunting for underdog value in the daily Match Winner markets.
There are dozens of matches on the day one schedule. One that catches my eye as an upset-in-waiting is 11/4 (3.75) shot Shuai Zhang to beat Grand Slam champ Garbine Muguruza.
Muguruza won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon 2017, scaling the heights to briefly become the World No.1. The Spaniard has the physique and powerful game to dominate opponents – and many expected her to pull clear at the top of the sport. However since those big wins she’s often looked short on confidence, and has had a bad time of it with several niggling injuries causing her to pull out of multiple tournaments.
In this summer’s North American hard-court swing, Muguruza managed just one match – withdrawing from Montreal before losing in her first match in Cincinnati.
Today’s opponent Zhang is ranked No.34 and has beaten her more illustrious opponent before. Both of their previous meetings came on hard courts last season and they ended with a total of three sets won apiece – Muguruza winning 2-1 in Miami and Zhang winning 2-1 in Doha.
Zhang is at her best on hard courts. She’s made it to the 3rd Round two years running at the US Open and had a Grand Slam career-best quarter final run at the Aussie Open in 2016. Overall, 335 of her 447 match wins have come on hard courts (75%).
The 28-year-old Chinese No.1 arrives here on the back of reaching the final at this month’s Asian Games in Indonesia, where she finished runner-up in the Women’s Singles.
Muguruza is no stranger to a ‘shock’ defeat, going out to 3/1 and 5/1 shots in the early rounds at this year’s Australian Open and French Open, along with five 1st Round defeats to underdogs in WTA tournaments this year alone.
The match is scheduled for around a 6pm start – it’s the second match on Court 17 where play begins from 4pm.
BET: Shuai Zhang to beat Garbine Muguruza @ 11/4
BOOKIES: 11/4 (3.75) Boylesports, 13/5 (3.60) William Hill, Betway, BetVictor, 51/20 (3.55) NetBet, 10Bet, 5/2 (3.50) Bet365
Here are today’s Bets of the Day (see above for full details):
Women’s Outright Winner – Caroline Wozniacki @ 28/1 Each Way
Women’s Outright Winner – Elise Mertens @ 66/1 Each Way
Match Winner – Shuai Zhang to beat Garbine Muguruza @ 11/4
I’ll be back at 10am tomorrow with your US Open Bets of the Day for Tuesday.
Enjoy the tennis…