Australian Open Second Round Betting Guide: Tuesday 1/17/23

Rafael Nadal hasn't been in the best form lately, but he's still one of favorites to win the tournament. Will he roll in the second round, or could he run into some adversity?

The first tennis Grand Slam of 2023 is already upon us! The second round of the Australian Open begins on Tuesday, and what better way to get in on the action than by making some wagers on the tennis odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Which matches offer the most betting value?

Corentin Moutet (+100) over Francisco Cerundolo

While the odds point to this match being a close one, the data suggests that there could be a fairly big advantage for one side.

Corentin Moutet's 14-11 record in 2022 doesn't exactly leap off the page, but he finished last year's campaign on a high note. At the US Open, Moutet snuck his way into the main draw as a "lucky loser," and he made the most of it, defeating three opponents to reach the Round of 16 before falling to eventual runner-up Casper Ruud.

He also fared well at the Paris Open -- an ATP Masters 1000 -- in October, working his way through qualifying and once again getting to the Round of 16 before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. That tournament run included a victory over 12th-ranked Cameron Norrie. Moutet's efforts ultimately landed him a career-best ranking (51st).

On the other hand, Francisco Cerundolo's recent play has left a lot to be desired. Dating back to August 2022, he's struggled mightily on hard courts, going just 3-12 prior to the Australian Open, which not only included a first-round loss at the US Open but also opening defeats at Montreal, Cincinnati, Astana, and Paris.

Although Moutet is the slight underdog, he has the higher Elo rating of the two on this surface, per Tennis Abstract, and that site gives him a whopping 74.1% win probability. That's significantly higher than the 50.0% implied odds that he's getting, making Moutet one of the better values tonight.

Botic van de Zandschulp (-124) over Tallon Griekspoor

The No. 34 player in the world, Botic van de Zandschulp is a slight favorite over his fellow countryman, Tallon Griekspoor (No. 63).

Not only is van de Zandschulp the higher-ranked player, but he's the far more accomplished one on hard courts. Over the last 52 weeks, van de Zandschulp has a solid 22-18 record on the surface, whereas Griekspoor has gone just 11-16. If we expand out to their career tour-level splits, we see similar results, with the former going 37-29 on hard courts and the latter still showing a losing record at 18-28.

While it's worth acknowledging that Greikspoor is coming off a championship win at Pune earlier this month -- a hard-court tournament -- his overall record speaks for itself.

These two players faced each other last year at Winston-Salem, and van de Zandschulp won in straight sets.

Based on their respective histories, it's of little surprise to see van de Zandschulp earn the higher surface-adjusted Elo rating, per Tennis Abstract. He's projected to win 63.3% of the time, compared to implied odds of just 55.4%.

Mackenzie McDonald (+900) over Rafael Nadal

It's never fun to pick against one of the sport's GOATs, but the truth is that Rafael Nadal has been in shaky form lately.

Dating back to his loss at the US Open, Nadal entered the Australian Open with just one win over his last seven matches. Although he managed to get by a tough first-round opponent in Jack Draper across four sets, the match lasted 3 hours and 41 minutes -- hardly smooth sailing for the 36-year-old.

Make no mistake, Nadal is still the third-highest favorite to win the tournament, per FanDuel Sportsbook. That being said, his +1400 odds to win it all are significantly longer than the odds for Novak Djokovic (-115) and Daniil Medvedev (+480), and they aren't all that different from Taylor Fritz (+1600) or Stefanos Tsisipas (+1800), two players who have never won a Grand Slam.

Admittedly, Mackenzie McDonald isn't some elite hard-court player, recording a 22-21 record on the surface over the last 52 weeks, and he has just one career win over a top-10 player. This isn't a spot to go overboard. But Tennis Abstract is giving him a 22.6% chance of advancing over Nadal, suggesting that there's some dart-throw value here. As of this writing, McDonald is a +900 underdog, which implies a mere 10.0% win probability.