U.S. Open Betting Tips
by Trevor Whenham - 09/06/2006
The U.S. Open is well into its second and final week. Now that Andre Agassi is gone, it's time to focus on the rest of the field to find the value for bettors. To help you with that search, here are four things you need to know about the men's and women's draw if you're looking to bet:
1) Federer is going to the finals - If you don't know that he is the best player on the planet then maybe you shouldn't be betting on tennis. He has an easy fourth round draw, a match against James Blake, that he can win without a ton of trouble. Additionally, there is no one who will match up in the semifinals that will even make him sweat. The finals could be close (especially if it's Nadal), but no matches before then should be. The prices will be absolutely terrible (-6400 in the round of 16, for example), but if you like to win at any price you might be interested.
2) Fitness will be a factor - It's Wednesday and they are still playing the fourth round. That means that some players (read: Federer) could play four matches in five days. It will be important to look at the players that manage to play fewer sets on their way to the later rounds. Freshness wins in the second week.
3) Nadal will go at least to the semis - He plays Mikhail Youzhny next. Youzhny has had a hot tournament, but he will be playing both singles and doubles on Wednesday. Nadal (-625) is likely too good anyway, but he is almost a lock with Youzhny having so much on his plate.
4) Roddick vs. Hewitt will be a spectacle - Both guys have incredible talent, but neither of them has been mentally together for a long time. It's a minor surprise that both are still alive, though they both have won the tournament before. Each player has had an easy win and a hard fought battle in their last two matches. Roddick (-152) is a favorite over Hewitt (+142). If the game gets away from one of the players we could see a great explosion.
1) Keep an eye on Jankovic - The women's draw at the slams always seems to have an outsider go deep. Jelena Jankovic fits that role this time around. She is unseeded, but she has beaten top ten players three matches in a row to make it to the semi-finals. She is the first one through to the semis, so she will be rested for her next match. She will be a significant underdog against likely opponent Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semis, but she hasn't been afraid of anyone yet, and could be a value play.
2) Watch Davenport's shoulder - Lindsay Davenport desperately wants to win this tournament. That desire makes a great story and it is drawing tons of attention. Don't let it draw your bets. She made the finals of her last tournament, but had to quit because the pain in her should was too intense to continue. That was less than two weeks ago. At this point in her career she is hard up to beat Henin-Hardenne at her best, so she is at a big disadvantage with a gimpy wing.
3) Marat Safin's little sister is hot - Dinara Safina has struggled to make a name for herself, but she has found her game here. She hasn't dropped a set yet. She hasn't even given up more than four games in a set, and she has won sets 6-0 in each of her last two matches. She plays No. 1 seed Amelie Mauresmo next. Mauresmo outclasses her, but she has looked vulnerable throughout the tourney and could struggle with Safina. You'll get a good price, too.
4) Sharapova is hot, too - Maria hasn't had to break a sweat yet. She has looked rough in recent months at times, but she is in fine form now. She's all but guaranteed to win her semi, though the -954 price makes it hard to take advantage of it.