Australian Open Second Round Betting Guide: Wednesday 1/18/23

Andy Murray proved he can still bring it in the first round, upsetting the No. 13 seed in five sets to advance. Does he have another win in him tonight?

The first tennis Grand Slam of 2023 is already upon us! The second round of the Australian Open continues on Wednesday, 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?

Ben Shelton (-124) over Nicolas Jarry

With limited tour-level matches under his belt, 20-year-old American Ben Shelton probably isn't quite ready to make deep runs at Grand Slams, but his dominant play at the Challenger level last season is a promising sign that he'll be able to dispatch qualifier Nicolas Jarry tonight.

In 2022, he amassed a 35-8 record in Challenger matches -- all on hard courts -- reaching the finals in six different tournaments and taking home the title in three. Coming off an NCAA singles title in the spring and going pro in the summer, all of his finals appearances came from July onward, and he finished the year on a 15-match win streak.

Although Shelton is just 5-5 in tour-level hard court matches over his young career, it includes a top-10 win over Casper Ruud -- the 2022 US Open and French Open runner-up -- at Cincinnati last August. In the first round, he demonstrated grit in his first Grand Slam victory by outlasting Zhizhen Zhang over five sets and 3 hours and 31 minutes, another promising sign that he won't be an easy out despite his lack of experience.

Jarry may be the veteran, but he's ranked outside the top 150 and has a poor history on hard courts. In tour-level matches on the surface, he has a 13-31 career record and has gone 2-4 over the last 52 weeks. Even at the Challenger level, he's gone winless over his last four hard court matches dating back to last year.

The Chilean does deserve credit for his recent play, though, working his way through qualifying and pulling off a surprise upset of No. 26 seed Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets -- his first-ever Australian Open win.

Still, the larger sample points toward the up-and-comer, and oddsmakers are in alignment. However, there's still value in backing Shelton at this number.

Tennis Abstract is quite high on the American in this matchup, giving him roughly a 200-point advantage over Jarry in their surface-blended Elo ratings. The result is Shelton getting an 80.6% win probability, and even if we take that with a grain of salt, that's a lot of wiggle room over the implied win odds of 55.4% at -124.

Andy Murray (+138) over Thanasi Kokkinakis

This projects to be a close matchup, so this is all about scooping up value by backing the underdog. Andy Murray is long past his peak, but he proved he still has something left in the tank by edging out No. 13 seed Matteo Berrenttini in a five-setter that would last almost five hours.

Murray's gone just 14-16 in hard courts over the last 52 weeks, but that's actually a step up from his opponent. Thanasi Kokkinakis is only 11-16 on the surface over that span, and his ranking at 159th speaks for itself. Despite this being his home slam, Kokkinakis has never made it to the third round in his six prior appearances in the main draw.

Yet, in contrast to all this, the Australian has actually played quite well this month, making the seminals in Adelaide 2, a run that included a top-10 win over Andrey Rublev. He'll also be the fresher of the two players, as Kokkinkas comfortably won in straight sets over Fabio Fognini, a match so lopsided that Fognini was accused of tanking.

But at the end of the day, the overall resumes suggest that these two are pretty evenly matched at this stage in their careers, and Tennis Abstract gives the slight nod to Murray (52.7% win probability). With his plus odds implying just a 42.0% chance of victory, backing the five-time Australian Open runner-up is the value play.

Ons Jabeur (-136) over Marketa Vondrousova

Considering No. 2 seed Ons Jabeur is coming off a finals appearance at the US Open, it's a little surprising to see her as just a slight favorite over 86th-ranked Marketa Vondrousova, a player who's still finding her form after missing roughly six months due to injury last year.

While hard courts have been Jabeur's weakest surface historically, she's achieved a 20-13 record over the last 52 weeks on the surface, and her US Open run included an emphatic win over the hottest player at that time in Carolina Garcia. Had she not faced world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the final, she may have finally claimed her first Grand Slam title.

Last year was the best overall campaign of her career, too, with Ons going 47-17 overall, winning two singles titles, and finishing runner-up at two majors (US Open and Wimbledon).

Vondrousova is someone who's had plenty of success in the past, so she could be a tougher out than her low ranking would suggest. However, she's lost three straight matches to Ons, two of which came in the past two years, and it will no doubt be a daunting task to hang with someone at the peak of their game.

The 23-year-old is coming off a promising run to the quarterfinals at Adelaide 1, but she would ultimately fall to Aryna Sabalenka, the only top-10 player she's faced since her return last October. Generally playing in lower-level tournaments lately, she's had limited reps against the type of player she'll be facing tonight.

According to Tennis Abstract, Jabeur has a 64.1% win probability compared to implied odds of 57.6%.