It’s Day 4 of the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., and we’re finally coming off a day that felt very normal to tennis with upsets all over the place on the women’s side. Meanwhile, the higher-seeded men didn’t have much issue expunging the lesser talented. Today’s GPP on FanDuel has shrunk to $2,000 for the top prize, so it’s not as exciting, but that also means less competition and better chance on a return. Let’s make some tennis DFS picks.
So before I 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 tennis odds versus the pricing and where the public’s money is going versus popularity. This will, hopefully, help us create some leverage one way or another against the field with good plays.
As is consistent with most slates, we don’t see much noticeable movement at the top of the pricing grid because they are up there with good reason. So I’ll jump down to the next tier where we can usually snipe a few very nice plays with low ownership and popular opponents — see Jennifer Brady in yesterday’s article.
Tennis DFS Picks: U.S. Open Day 4 | FanDuel | Sept. 3
Felix Auger-Aliassime ($17)
Opponent: Andy Murray
Odds: -165 to -190
Auger-Aliassime is in a very similar spot to that of Brady’s yesterday, and I can’t help but take notice even if the odds jump isn’t much. Andy Murray made a roaring comeback on Tuesday versus Yoshihito Nishioka to likely make fans believe he is back (I was impressed). But not only is Auger-Aliassime a superior player to Nishioka, the comeback for Murray may have taken a lot out of the tank of the 13-years-older Brit, and that could linger over to this match.
Auger-Aliassime is not the cleanest player (5.1 double faults per match) but he is only 20 years old and has shown potential to beat anyone in the world with his overall game carrying no weaknesses (8.5 aces a match and 35% return game). Add his ability along with a nice bit of leverage, and you have yourself a great play.
Victoria Azarenka ($16)
Opponent: Aryna Sabalenka
Odds: +110 to -115
If you just went on the recent form alone with this play, I don’t think I could even argue with the decision to go with the Belarusian Azarenka. Last week she ripped through the tournament, beating Donna Vekic, Alize Cornet, Ons Jabeur, Johanna Konta and Naomi Osaka to win the whole thing while only losing one set.
That is about as “Who’s Who” as it gets, but just as an added bonus, she gets a matchup with the mistake-prone Sabalenka (double faults leader and 6.5% double faults on her serve). At some point, you have to think she will slow down, but Sabalenka looked average against Oceane Dodin, so there’s little doubt in my mind that Azarenka will pounce and advance.
Playing by just the odds often leads you to a lot of the popular plays in the DFS and betting communities, so if we end up with those popular plays, we need something to differentiate ourselves from the competition. The plays below carry big upside to help you get that 1% lineup.
Milos Raonic ($22)
Opponent: Vasek Pospisil
Sweep Odds: Even
Coming off another very good performance in the first round of the tournament, Raonic is primed for another big performance with a favorable matchup in Pospisil. After racking up 14 aces in his first-round match against Leonardo Mayer, I can only see that number going up against Pospisil, who is not adept at returning serves at only a 31.5% clip over the last year. As a fail-safe, even if Raonic does not rack up 20 aces, it’s very likely that he’ll be getting a soft return and score without maximum effort, which is important for the big man.
I don’t see Pospisil as a bad player, but with a similar style and the fourth-worst double fault rate on the slate, he shouldn’t give Raonic too much trouble. And just as a kicker, Raonic was only 12% on the last slate, so if ownership stays low, you can compound the interest for me infinitely.
Iga Swiatek ($21)
Opponent: Sachia Vickery
Swiatek put down Veronika Kudermetova pretty easily in her first-round match 6-3, 6-3, but in my opinion that doesn’t warrant a big price jump against an opponent who just beat her last year in their only matchup. Paying up for WTA players can be a very dangerous game on any slate, and it’s not one I want to play here.
Ugo Humbert ($13)
Opponent: Matteo Berrettini
Both coming off easy first round wins, I like the Frenchman here with his similar style of play and slightly better return game at 34% (which definitely plays after Berrettini had 18 aces in first round).
Both are still pretty young with neither being over 24 and very similar hard court career records, so this is sure to be a close even if Humbert doesn’t get you the big upset score (1-0 Humbert all-time head-to-head).
Others tennis DFS picks I like at hopefully low ownership: Elise Mertens ($24), Johanna Konta ($22), Ekaterina Alexandrova ($18)
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