It’s Day 3 of the U.S. Open, and the field has thankfully been cut in half along with the slate — 32 matches to enjoy. FanDuel had another day with overlay, so today’s top score in the main “only” takes down $3,000. So far we haven’t seen many upsets on either men’s or women’s sides, but that should take an uptick this round with a more talented pool overall to face the likes of Novak Djokovic and Anna Kontaveit. The following tennis DFS picks are for FanDuel’s U.S. Open slate on Sept. 2.
Before we get into the stats we like to look at for hard court matches (aces, double faults and return percentage for myself), I’ll take a quick look for any discrepancies in the odds versus the pricing and where the public’s money is going versus popularity. As the field dwindles down ownership becomes increasingly important, so pinpointing those spots can get you much-needed leverage on the field.
As usual with the players at the top of the popularity grid, you won’t see enough action to sway the odds. I wouldn’t expect to gain much there with playing any dogs, but just to throw a popular name into that group, Naomi Osaka ($20) is losing a slight bit of ground in the odds, while Camila Giorgi ($12) is gaining — both about 50 points in opposite directions.
This next group is where I’ll look to hopefully get different and make a splash.
U.S. Open Tennis DFS Picks on FanDuel
Cameron Norrie ($25) | Opponent: Federico Coria
Odds: -800 to -1000
I think we all will agree that unless it’s a Challenger tournament, Norrie should not be the second-highest-priced player in the field. But that’s what he is here because of a great comeback against Diego Schwartzman and an opponent who was getting handled until Jason Jung got hurt and eventually retired.
Norrie won’t wow us with any big numbers — 5.3 aces per match (11 against Schwartzman) and 3.3 double faults a match, but where his advantage lies is the style of play against the clay courter Coria. He is a losing player on hard court in his career, while Norrie is 154-65 on this surface. Norrie won’t get the action because the name doesn’t match the tag, but he could absolutely run wild in this one.
Jennifer Brady ($18) | Opponent: CiCi Bellis
Odds: -185 to -213
This is one I like a lot for multiple reasons but initially because Brady is a very good tennis player and doesn’t make many mistakes in her service game (3.2%) versus a very fleet-of-foot Bellis. On top of that fact, Bellis, a younger player that America had a lot of promise for, will definitely get clicks on her name as a dog at only ($14). Getting a favorite that carries some leverage in tennis is not easy to come by, but Brady should provide that and give you a good floor with her clean game.
Making tennis DFS lineups on a slate this size is difficult from an odds standpoint, so to help clear it up a bit, we should be looking for players with that carry big upside (aces, sweep potential) and a game that translates well to hard courts. For a U.S. Open slate, we actually don’t have many ace machines, but there are definitely some really good plays out there to compensate the lack of power.
Karolina Pliskova ($20) | Opponent: Caroline Garcia
Sweep Odds: -128
I am not sure why the former No. 1 player on the WTA is only $20 on this slate, but I am definitely OK with it. After handling her first-round opponent 6-4, 6-0 Pliskova comes into a more difficult match with Garcia. But with her unique combination of size, speed and 94 aces in 13 matches this year, the upside is there in all aspects.
Pliskova is only 3-3 versus Garcia all-time, so the odds make sense, but the price doesn’t match the talent. That’s the game we’re playing here.
Stefanos Tsitsipas ($25) | Opponent: Max Cressy
Sweep Odds: -385
So this may be a bit of a cop out going with Tsitsipas again, but you won’t get many better spots on a tennis DFS slate of any kind going into the second round of a Grand Slam. Being a high seed has its benefits, but in comparison to Novak Djokovic (playing Kyle Edmund), I think Tsitsipas can put up a monster score with little resistance from the American Cressy.
His aces-to-double-faults ratio of 4-to-1 is just icing on the cake with the great sweep potential. Dropping down from Djokovic to him makes all the sense, even if it’s just a few percentage points in ownership.
Filip Krajinovic ($24) | Opponent: Marcos Giron
The price is a big ask for a player who isn’t very consistent year-to-year or even game-to-game like Krajinovic. He has been playing well since we’ve come back from break and looked poised to make the quarterfinals last week in Cincinnati but fell apart. When you are paying this kind of price, you need a player who can still win even when they are off their game.
To go along with that, Giron is a decent all-around player with an above-average return game (36%). I don’t hate Krajinovic’s odds to win, but with just 5.4 aces per match over the last year, I’m certain I can find bigger upside plays at the top, even on this slate.
Michael Mmoh ($11) | Opponent: Jan-Lennard Struff
Coming of a solid win in the first round against Joao Sousa, Mmoh will look to continue to his run against the German Struff. After looking through stats and recent form, it took me a bit to land on a dog I really felt good about. But when you get an American at home with a fantastic return game (41%) and feet that never stop, you have to think they’ll play it tough. Struff has been in strong from as well (first-round sweep of Pedro Martinez and made third round of Cincinnati masters), but if Mmoh makes the match about exchanges, he will have his work cut out for him.
I nearly put Kirsten Flipkens’ ($12) name down for this, but Jessica Pegula is beating some big names very recently, so let’s make her honorable mention.
Other tennis DFS picks I like at hopefully low ownership: Borna Coric ($22), Angelique Kerber ($19), Adrian Mannarino ($17)
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