The US Open begins the second round Wednesday and while there are fewer matches to choose from, there will be more competitive ones. That means more bettable lines and fewer -1200 favorites! I’ve picked out the five matches I see the most value in on DraftKings Sportsbook, and I even think a +395 dog has a real shot of upsetting one of the world’s top 10 players.
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Brandon Nakashima vs. Alex Zverev
Let’s get right to the match I’m most excited about on Wednesday featuring Brandon Nakashima, one of my favorite players on tour. At 19, he has a level of consistency and composure that is hard to find in young players and because of this, I actually think he has the brightest future of any American on the ATP Tour.
His first real test on the big stage will come in just his second Grand Slam match, against the tall, powerful world No. 7 Alex Zverev. He comes into this one a +395 underdog, which is the correct price but I will absolutely be sprinkling on that line. Zverev has a knack for folding under pressure and I think Nakashima’s groundstrokes will just wear him down and force him to go for big shots, which will lead to errors. He should be able to re-direct the power coming from Zverev and his backhand is a good enough weapon to compete with his opponent’s. Nakashima can absolutely win this match and if he doesn’t, he will come awfully close. I like the game spread (+5.5) as well, but Nakashima to take a set at -150 is an absolutely delicious price.
Egor Gerasimov vs. Jordan Thompson
There has been a lot of talk about the new surfaces in New York and how they’ve increased the speed even more in this year’s tournament. I’m going to bet on a big serve here in Gerasimov, who should be too big for Thompson to handle. I just do not see much in Thompson’s game that makes him all that good — he wasn’t impressive in his last match and he hasn’t been all that impressive in the last year. He should be out of the Open by the weekend if he doesn’t lose tomorrow.
Cici Bellis vs. Jen Brady
Cici is returning to the U.S. Open where she had a Coco Gauff-like breakout in 2016, reaching the third round at the young age of 17. She followed that up with a first-round exit in 2017 and hasn’t been back since, battling injuries for years and trying to return to match shape.
Well, she is just about back now. Bellis delivered two victories at the Australian Open, has won 10 matches in 16 tries and comes into the U.S. Open looking to make another run. Jen Brady is equally as hot at the moment and a popular longshot pick to mess around and win this tournament. I see this staying close throughout, going three sets. I’m backing the over at a decently low number.
Adrian Mannarino vs. Jack Sock
From one player on the comeback trail to another. Sock, a former top-10 player in the world, has had his fall from the top of the game due to injury well-documented. He was well on his way up the ranks before the shutdown started and he picked up right where he left off on Monday with his first U.S. Open win in two years, outlasting a grinder in Pablo Cuevas.
Sock has shown flashes of the player he once was, going God mode in the second set, and has the tools to win a couple more matches in New York if he can put those spurts closer together. I think at +165, it’s worth throwing a unit on Sock and being a part of the comeback story, especially when his play style should match up well with Mannarino’s. He won’t have to play too much defense and should have time to set up for some of his electric forehand winners.
Mikhail Kukushkin vs. Christian Garin
Kukushkin is a very skilled hardcourt player, while Garin is a very skilled clay court player. That’s what we have here. Garin was on life support in the first round, nearly going out in straight sets to a Challenger-level guy in Ulises Blanch. Kukushkin is the same guy who just one year ago took out Roberto Bautista-Agut in a five-setter on Day 1 of the Open. I think he should be able to handle a clay player who struggled in his first match against a much worse opponent.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.