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2017 Australian Open Men’s Singles Winner Predictions

TBD(0-0-0) @ TBD(0-0-0)

  • Where: Melbourne Park. Melbourne, Australia
  • When: January 15, 2017 7:00 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Djokovic (+150), Murray (+150), Wawrinka (+1100) & Nadal (+1200)

Cheering for a tennis wager to pay off can be a time-consuming proposition. Betting on Jimmy Connors in the 70s and 80s wasn’t so bad – Jimmy would rush the net and bring every set to an exciting, fast conclusion. But as soon as baseline power players like Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker arrived on-scene, championship tennis matches often became marathon-length slogs of one forehand-return after another.

If you don’t have four hours to kill on one match, consider a futures bet. Picking an out-right tourney winner and sticking with them, the cash player can pick her favorite athlete and follow the daily highlights. Top players rarely lose in early rounds, so if you gamble on a consistent winner and not a long-shot, chances are they will be right there when the real play gets going.

The court game’s first Grand Slam championship of 2017 begins this Sunday night (Monday AM in Melbourne) with the 105th playing of the Australian Open. Men’s singles money line odds include two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic and World #1 Andy Murray at (+150) each, but a couple of household names with intriguing big-payoff odds also highlight the betting board.

Is there value in a long-shot? Or will the crown go to one of the two prohibitive favorites? Read ahead for MSB’s preview of the 2017 Australian Open men’s singles.

Djokovic – Getting back on top?

Bet on 2017 Aussie Open futuresIt is ironic that Novak Djokovic has at least temporarily given up his #1 ranking to Andy Murray, considering that the Serbian has shown a knack for whipping the Brit in big matches. In last year’s Aussie Open, Djokovic’s strong baseline play and two-handed backhand put down Murray three sets to love.

The World #2 has beaten Murray in the 2015 Australian Open final, the 2015 French Open semi-final and again in the 2016 French final. In their only meeting this year, Djokovic bested Murray two sets to one in the Qatar Open final, snapping the UK star’s five-tournament winning streak.

Looking for weakness? Good luck. Djokovic has been called the best complete player of the modern era, comfortable rushing the net and blessed with a powerful, accurate serve. In a long tournament, players can be hoodwinked along the way by an unorthodox opponent. But the chances of a surprise upset go way down with a superstar as versatile and resilient as The Serbinator.

Murray – Why the optimistic odds? 

The fact that Andy Murray’s odds to win are level with Djokovic (+150) at the Bovada Sportsbook can only be attributed to two things – his current #1 ranking, and his being a more familiar and beloved name to casual fans.

Murray is no slouch – in 2016 he became the first athlete ever to win Grand Slam, ATP World Tour, Olympic and Masters 1000 titles in the same year. Working with Lendl (now a coach), the defense-minded Britisher has improved his second serve and offensive play. Murray won his second Wimbledon title on the grass in 2016.

But there is no substitute for head-to-head statistics. In the rivalry, Djokovic leads “Muzza” 25-11 and 11-8 in Grand Slam meetings. Murray has only been proficient against Djokovic in three-set matches, winning on clay at the 2016 Italian Open and ATP World Tour Finals in straight sets.

The issue in five-set matches has not been fatigue, as Murray has recently mounted potential come-backs late in the pair’s longer meetings.

Spoilers – Wawrinka, Nadal, Federer

Three intriguing Australian Open picks come with 1000+ money line odds at Bovada Sportsbook. In the 3rd round, Rafael Nadal (+1200) could potentially meet Roger Federer (+1600) in a match between a talented head case (Nadal) and an oldie on the comeback trail (Federer).

Federer reached the semi-finals at last year’s Aussie Open, and at Wimbledon. But the rigors of a grueling hard-surface tournament will wear on his 35-year old frame. Nadal could provide tasty value in a futures bet as a guy who can get hot and race to the finals of any Grand Slam. But it appears as though he will face Federer while the aging veteran is still relatively fresh, making the 3rd round dangerous for both contenders.

Finally, there is Stan Wawrinka, defending U.S. Open champion and winner of the Australian Open in 2014. Wawrinka owns a legendary one-handed backhand and has beaten Djokovic five times. The Swiss 31-year old holds a striking two-love record over Djokovic in Grand Slam finals.

By any other name, Djokovic is still the value

Known as The Joker, The Serbinator and other playful handles, the Serbian defending champ is the value bet over his equal-odds rival Murray. While the Brit still holds an advantage on grass courts, Djokovic’s record vs Murray on hard surfaces is simply too dominant to overlook.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a long-shot at a big payoff, Wawrinka is your Swiss chocolate. Nadal and Federer will play one another early, decreasing the value of a gamble on either. And despite not having the overall skills of Djokovic, Wawrinka has a hex on the Serb in big matches and could easily triumph again.

Place your bet on the 2017 Australian Open at the Bovada Sportsbook.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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