The 2016 US Open is underway in New York and so far things seem to be going as expected with the men. It is the 136th time that the tournament has been held and it is one of the four Grand Slams on the international tennis calendar.
Looking at the action so far I don’t see many surprises other than the early exit of #6 seed Milos Raonic. One of my rules for tennis betting is to rarely bet against heavy favorites early- but you always have to double check the handicapping. Let’s take a look at some of the favorites and see if there is any opportunities for value.
2016 US Open Betting – Novak Djokovic
As mentioned in a previous blog on Aaron Rogers, we also need to handicap athletes as humans and sometimes that means taking a look their personal life. In the case of the Serbian tennis great, things seem to be off for him at the moment. No one is sure what the problem is, but there seems to be some marital tension which appears to have contributed to his unexpected first round exit from the Olympics.
Djokovic’s first match at this year’s 2016 US Open saw him looking stiff and out of form. Rumors continue to circulate about disruptions in his personal life which may in turn affect his performance in New York. As always we never wish ill for anyone, but a serious bettor has to factor in all angles.
I suspect that if any of this is true that it won’t derail the Serbian’s world class talent in any matches with non top ten seeds. Wait for his first matchup with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, or Marin Cilic and then there might be value in betting against him. Djokovic is currently -1500 in his next match against Mikhail Youzny.
US Tennis Open Lines – Andy Murray Odds
Coming off his second win at Wimbledon, and a gold medal in Rio, Andy Murray is in fine form and has dominated all of his early matches at the 2016 US Open. The Scotsman seems to be firing on all cylinders, and is on familiar ground at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre having won the 2012 US Open. And most importantly for our purposes he beat Novak Djokovic to do it.
I like Andy Murray to win this year’s US Open. Bookmakers are shading Djokovic already and if the two should meet I would look seriously at taking Murray. Although Djokovic has owned Murray in their matchups to date, I sense Murray might be the stronger of the two at the moment. Regardless of who he faces for the rest of the tournament consider taking Murray from here on in as I think there is lots of value there.
Best Tennis Lines – Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic
I think ultimately the 2016 US Open comes down to Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic but both Nadal and Cilic are worth consideration. I think ultimately Cilic holds the most promise of the two as Nadal is nearing the end of his career and is fighting chronic injury. If this is the French Open it would be a different matter, but the hard court in New York might be just too much for Nadal at the moment despite his two previous US Open wins. However, he is -1200 for his next match against Andrey Kuznetsov so wait to count him out against a more superior opponent.
Marin Cilic on the other hand presents more of an opportunity I think. Cilic won the US Open in 2014, and while it’s his only Grand Slam win he is primed for another deep run. Should he face either Nadal or Djokovic look at upset value, but against Murray I would sit on the sidelines. The #7 Cilic is -280 in his next match against the #27 Jack Sock which I think is value.
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