US Open Odds, Picks, Predictions: Long Shots Valuable in Men's Draw
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US Open Odds, Picks, Predictions: Long Shots Valuable in Men's Draw

Feb 27, 2024

Vaughn Ridley/Getty. Pictured: Daniil Medvedev.

Carlos Alcaraz is set to make his first-ever Grand Slam title defense, and he'll do so against a US Open field which includes Novak Djokovic for the first time since 2021. Can the 23-time Grand Slam champ hoist the trophy in Queens for the first time in four years?

Let’s dive into each quarter and find some betting value in the futures market as I look at the US Open odds and deliver my picks and predictions for the men's draw.

Note: All odds came from BetMGM. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches. The full men's draw can be found here.

I hat to say it, but I don't think we're going to see the eighth edition of "Jan-Carlos" take place at this year's US Open. While I do think Alcaraz should have a pretty easy path to the quarterfinal, the other half of this quarter is a mess.

There are two men who just played each other in Cincinnati, and who may met in the third round, who are great options here in the futures market. Those guys would be none other than former US Open finalist Alexander Zverev and former semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov.

Both men have had excellent runs on the hardcourts this summer, with Zverev pushing Djokovic in the Cincinnati semifinal and Dimitrov looking strong in Washington, D.C. He's quietly putting together his best season in some time, and Zverev has raised his level nearly back up to where it was before his devastating injury last spring.

While I would expect Alcaraz to take this quarter easily, I do think there's value in both of these guys as long shots. Keep in mind that Zverev owns a 5-0 record against Dimitrov, a 3-2 record against Alcaraz and a 3-1 record against Sinner, which includes a dominant win on Arthur Ashe a couple years ago.

Zverev should theoretically have the ability to beat anyone in this quarter, so I'll gladly take him with a small sprinkle on Dimitrov considering I see plenty of value there.

I don't really love to bet against Daniil Medvedev, but I feel forced to here. The Russian is in a terrible run of form with two losses in his last three matches, marking the first time in many years he's entered the US Open without some momentum. While I'd say the chances of a defeat in even the first three rounds are slim, the bottom half of this draw has to be a little scary for him.

Hubert Hurkacz is my personal favorite bet here considering he enters this tournament with two wins over Medvedev in their last two meetings and considering there aren't very many challengers surrounding him. Karen Khachanov has hardly played any tennis over the last few months, Andrey Rublev looks flat and the likes of Matteo Berrettini and Gael Monfils don't really scare you based on their recent performances.

The dark horse here, of course, is Jack Draper. He looked dominant here a year ago before he was forced to retire due to injury in his third-round match against Khachanov, and after taking some time off due to injury this year he's gained some form on the hardcourts in the last couple of weeks. He is, without a doubt, one of the most talented players in the field with an incredible serve and all-around game, but early in his career he's been held back by injury and, in turn, inexperience. He's still just 21 and will surely have a breakout at a slam soon.

Draper will likely face Hurkacz in the second round, and I like the winner of that match to win this quarter.

There's only one man to bet on in this quarter, and it's Tommy Paul. That's right – there are probably seven guys who could emerge victorious in this section of the draw and I've narrowed it down to just one player.

Let's start with the headliners of this quarter, Holger Rune and Casper Ruud. Rune has lost five straight matches entering this tournament if you count his two defeats at the Hopman Cup, and therefore hasn't won a match since July 10th. It's entirely possible that at his age, his body simply isn't yet ready to deal with a season this long, and his level appears to be fading. Then there's Ruud, who is 1-3 in his last four matches and just 6-8 on hard courts this season. He lost to Max Purcell last week in Cincinnati which might mark rock bottom.

I really want to believe in Frances Tiafoe here, but again his form very much scares me. Like Medvedev, Tiafoe generally enters the US Open with a head of steam after some decent hard court results, but he's looked very flat with three losses in his last four matches to inferior competition. Even his win over Tallon Griekspoor was a bit sketchy, with the win coming as the result of a donated service game late in the third set.

Paul has the best form of anyone in the field not named Carlos, Novak or Jannik. He defeated Alcaraz just a couple of weeks ago in Toronto and nearly took him out again in Cincinnati last week, accenting an excellent few weeks leading up to the US Open. He didn't have a great showing here last year, but these slightly slower court speeds this year should really make him a hard man to beat.

I really want to do something fun here. I want to believe Lorenzo Musetti can make an improbable run to the quarterfinals. I want to believe Taylor Fritz can finally exorcise his demons and make a memorable US Open run. The fact of the matter is that the projected Djokovic-Tsitsipas quarterfinal is likely certain, as is the result of that match.

Musetti is the only guy in this quarter I'd consider after Tsitsipas, but I'm pretty hesitant to bet him considering he's 0-5 lifetime against Tsitsipas and lost to him twice this season. Felix Auger-Aliassime has won just three of his last 13 matches and Christopher Eubanks has significantly slowed down after his dream run at Wimbledon.

I'm going to recommend just sitting this one out. Tsitsipas is poised to have the best result here of his career thanks to a change in coaching, but he's still got some obvious demons at this tournament having never made even the fourth round.

I'm a much bigger fan of betting the quarters here, but I think if you want to take a couple of shots it's on these two guys. Medvedev has produced form out of nowhere at the Grand Slam stage, and he should have a pretty easy path to the semifinals with just one potential landmine lurking in Hurkacz.

Medvedev owns a win over Alcaraz in his career, albeit at Wimbledon a couple of years ago, and he's beaten Djokovic in the final of the US Open. It's certainly not unfathomable that he could topple one or both of those men en route to a title.

Zverev's prospects are a little tougher, considering the one time he did make it to the final of a Grand Slam here at the US Open his nerves got in the way. Still, I think there's a decent chance he could be a surprise semifinalist out of the Alcaraz quarter, and if that happens he would have to be considered one of the favorites. He may not beat Djokovic in the final, but you should be able to hedge off this massive number.

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US Open Odds, Picks & PredictionsQuarter 1: Alexander Zverev (+900), Grigor Dimitrov (+2800)Quarter 2: Hubert Hurkacz (+600), Jack Draper (+2500)Quarter 3: Tommy Paul (+700)Quarter 4: No BetOutrights: Medvedev (+1000), Zverev (+4000)