US Open Second Round Betting Guide: Wednesday 8/31/22

Serena Williams took care of business in the first round, but she gets a far tougher test on Wednesday. How should we bet her match against Anett Kontaveit?

The US Open is underway, and all eyes will be on Serena Williams in what's expected to be the last tournament of her career.

But we should see plenty of other storylines emerge over the next couple of weeks, and what better way to get in on the action than making some wagers on FanDuel Sportsbook.

The second round begins on Wednesday. Which matches have the most betting value?

Marton Fucsovics (+184) over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Neither of these players come in with amazing recent form, but this should be a far closer match than the odds suggest.

Although Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has the much higher ranking (39th) compared to Marton Fucsovics (98th), both players actually have losing records in 2022. However, when it comes to hard courts, while Fucsovics' 7-10 record may not look like much, it's very much a step up from Fokina's 4-10 record this season.

The two players have faced each other just once, and it was Fucsovics who was victorious in straight sets. Not only was the match just last year, but it also came on an indoor hard court.

Both players shouldn't be particularly fatigued from their first-round matches, either. Fokina took care of business by defeating Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets, while Fucsovics was on the verge of taking a 2-1 sets lead over Maxime Cressy before Cressy would ultimately retire.

Per Tennis Abstract, these two players have nearly identical Elo ratings when factoring in the surface, and it gives Fucsovics' the slight advantage at 52.8% win odds. Given that he's a sizable underdog, this looks like a great spot to back the Hungarian.

Jordan Thompson (+116) over Daniel Elahi Galan

Daniel Elahi Galan is coming off the biggest win of his career after ousting fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round. On the other side, Thompson needed a comeback from two sets down to get past Lorenzo Sonego in five sets.

Galan is rightfully being pegged as the favorite after his shocking victory, but this is another match that could go either way.

Despite that first-round outcome, Galan simply hasn't played many non-qualifying matches on hard courts this year. In fact, prior to the US Open, he played just two ATP-level hard court matches all season, and those came way back in March when he split a pair in Miami.

And speaking of qualifying, Galan needed to work his way through three qualifying matches just to earn a spot here, so mental or physical fatigue could always become a factor, particularly after an emotional win.

Thompson doesn't have amazing credentials, but he does have more hard-court experience in 2022, going 7-9 in ATP-level matches. While he mainly played on the surface at the Challenger level in the lead-up to the US Open, he certainly got more reps in than Galan, who only played on clay this summer.

When going by Tennis Abstract's Elo ratings, it's Thompson who comes out on top 61.2% of the time. At +116, he's getting just 46.3% implied win odds, making him the better value in this matchup.

Serena Williams (+180) over Anett Kontaveit

If you look at Serena Williams' limited play in 2022, there's no question that she should be the underdog against Anett Kontaveit. Kontaveit is the No. 2 player in the world, whereas Williams entered the tournament with a shaky 1-3 record dating back to her return at this year's Wimbledon.

Instead, this just boils down to a rare opportunity to bet on the greatest of all time as a significant underdog.

While Williams looked much improved in her first-round win, there's really no telling what her peak form is at age 40, particularly with limited matches under her belt after sitting out a year.

But if Monday's match was any indication, Serena will have a massive home-court advantage that rarely comes around in this sport, and if this is to be her last ever tournament, it's hard to see her bowing out quietly.

It also can't hurt that she could be facing her higher-seeded opponent at just the right time.

Kontaveit may be one of the top-ranked players in the world, but she's been inconsistent since contracting COVID-19 earlier this year, which included a first-round exit at the French Open and a second-round loss at Wimbledon. In the summer hard court season, she's gone just 3-3.

It's always possible that Serena simply doesn't have enough left in the tank, but she's proven her resiliency time and time again. If she manages to beat a top seed, we likely won't see odds like this again for the rest of the tournament.