US Open betting preview

    Former player-turned coach and author Brad Gilbert is an analyst on ESPN’s extensive schedule of tennis programming, including, since 2009, all four majors – the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. He joined ESPN in 2004 and serves as a studio analyst, match analyst and sideline reporter. After leaving to return to coaching rising star Andy Murray of Scotland in 2006, he came back to ESPN in 2008.

The 2022 US Open kicks off on Monday, and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding this year’s event. Serena Williams has announced she will retire following the tournament. Meanwhile, on the Men’s side, Rafael Nadal will look to tie Williams’ Grand Slam record (23). Daniil Medvedev and Emma Raducanu will both try to defend their 2021 titles.

The current odds for winning are as follows:

Men: Medvedev +225, Nadal +400, Carlos Alcaraz +500, Nick Kyrgios +900, Stefanos Tsitsipas +1400, Jannik Sinner +1800

Women: Iga Swiatek +350, Simona Halep +750, Coco Gauff +1400, Aryna Sabalenka +1600, Caroline Garcia +1800, Raducanu +2000

Who do our betting experts think would be the wisest to wager on? Read on to see what André Snellings and Brad Gilbert have to say about things.

Which of the Men’s matchups offers the best betting value in the first round?

Snellings: The best betting matchup in the first round is Dominic Thiem +290 vs Pablo Carreno Busta. Thiem has dealt with major injuries since he won the 2020 US Open, and isn’t all the way back yet from his most recent comeback attempt. With that said, he is still a danger to win a match or two at the only major that he’s ever won. In addition, he’s 7-0 in his career against No. 12 Carreno. Carreno is playing at a higher level, but Thiem’s upside gives him better than a 1-in-3 chance to win this match.

Gilbert: With Novak Djokovic out, Daniil Medvedev is the favorite and No. 1 seed. He hasn’t played well as he did the last few summers and this is the first time he is entering a major as the defending champion. Rafael Nadal is coming off an injury, so there will be more opportunity for guys like Carlos Alcaraz. There’s a little bit of uncertainty surrounding who will win this tournament and that always makes for great options to bet on the guys with longer odds.

What favorite (Men’s or Women’s) has the best chance of winning the U.S. Open?

Snellings: Medvedev, the Men’s favorite, has the best chance of winning the US Open. Medvedev has already proven that he can win in Flushing, as he’s the defending champion. He has also advanced to at least the semifinals in each of the last three events. Beyond that, there’s the fact he has advanced to the Finals of the last two Australian Opens — the other hard court event. Plus, with Novak Djokovic out of the draw, there are only a limited number of players available with the skills to defeat Medvedev on hard court. Sure, Swiatek has been the best player on the Women’s tour this year, but she doesn’t have nearly the same track record of success in New York.

Gilbert: Iga Swiatek was playing unbelievable tennis through the French Open. While I like her as a favorite this year, I might suggest playing the field or taking three or four long shots. While there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the men’s tournament, there’s even more on the women’s side. This could be a great opportunity for Coco Gauff or even Simona Halep. Halep has a great draw in the first round and a good opportunity to play the second seed.

How do you think Serena Williams performs in her last U.S. Open tournament before retiring? Is she worth placing a bet on?

Snellings: Serena (+5000) is a major wild card, in that she has had almost no success in singles competition since her return from injury at Wimbledon. Nevertheless, she still has the raw ability to win this event. Any outcome, from a first round defeat to a championship, is legitimately in play. I haven’t seen enough from her to bet on her to win here — but I won’t bet directly against her, either.

Gilbert: Like I said previously, expect the unexpected this year. If there’s a prop bet with long odds, understand that they have long odds for a reason. Taking someone like Serena Williams to make a run to the round of 16 or the quarterfinals, could be a better bet than taking them straight-up to win. I would look at the field outside the top 15 and unseeded players to make the semifinals.

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