| Sun 14/01/2018 - 09:26 EST

2018 Australian Open Odds: First Round Best Value Picks

2018 Australian Open Odds: First Round Best Value Picks

Australian Open Pre-Tournament Odds

There's no Serena Williams, no Andy Murray and several stars are nursing injuries despite it being the start of a long season. For this reason, 2018 promises to throw up a few surprises, and whenever there's uncertainty there's a big chance of making big wins. Tennis is alway a favourite in the betting community, as it offers so many different lines and markets. 

Australian Open 2018 Men's Pre-Tournament Odds
Federer +175 +185 +175 +175
Nadal +450 +400 +450 +500
Djokovic +525 +450 +500 +500
Zverev +1000 +900 +900 +900
Dimitrov +950 +900 +900 +1000
Del Potro +1425 +1400 +1400 +1400
Kyrgios +1475 +1600 +1400 +1400
Goffin +1750 +1800 +1800 +1800
Warwrinka +2500 +2200 +2200 +2500
Thiem +2500 +2200 +2200 +2500

In the men's draw, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are both carrying injuries, while Roger Federer is the heavy favourite despite being 36 years of age. This could finally be the year that someone outside the big four emerges as a new tennis powerhouse. Local hope Nick Kyrgios has always had the talent but lacked the resolve and discipline, while names like Raonic, Dimitrov and Thiem are on the cusp of greatness but can't quite get over the line.

Meanwhile women's tennis continues to be all about Serena Williams, and when she is absent from a tournament there is no telling who will dominate in her place. At last glance, the top chances for the women's title were priced at over +700, with no clear favourite. The top twenty chances are all under +2500, which gives you a pretty good idea of how tight it's going to be.

Australian Open 2018 Women's Pre-Tournament Odds
Muguruza +650 +600 +650 +700
Pliskova +700 +700 +650 +700
Halep +775 +900 +800 +800
Svitolina +900 +900 +900 +900 
Sharapova +975 +800 +1000 +1000 
Wozniacki +1000 +1000 +1000 +1000 
Kerber +1175 +1200 +1200 +1200 
Kvitova +1575 +1600 +1600 +1600
Konta +1675 +1600 +1600 +1600
Keys +1775 +1800 +1800 +1800

What's absolutely certain is that you can't win a grand slam without emerging victorious from the first round. A number of big names have crashed and burned in the early rounds of major tournaments in the past, and it's our job to help make sure your bet doesn't meet a similar fate. Below we have listed the best sure things and hidden value bets from all 128 matches in the first round across both the men's and women's draws.

Men's Tournament First Round Singles Picks

While the ladies draw is often riddled with mishaps in the first round, the top men's seeds are pretty much a sure thing to make it into the second round. As a result, you'll only get odds of between -10000 and -3333 for most of the top twenty, so your only option is to try an elaborate parlay if you want to get any sort of value out of the big names. Thankfully, there are a few head to head options that we like, and we have done the hard work for you by selecting the following bets:

David Ferrer vs Andrey Rublev Ferrer (-116)

This match is the classic youth versus experience fixture, and it will be really interesting to see how it pans out. Ferrer is world class and although 35 years old is still one of the best players on the tour, while Rublev is one of a number of Russian up-and-comers, reaching the top 100 in the world before the age of 21. We think Ferrer is still good enough for at least a run to the third round, where he may face third seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Kevin Anderson vs Kyle Edmund Anderson (-266)

Anderson is one of the few top seeds to offer decent value in the first round. Although facing a top-50 opponent in Kyle Edmund, who is one of Great Britain's best hopes after the withdrawal of Andy Murray, Anderson is seeded eleventh for good reason, and we think he will be too strong here.

Ricardas Berankis vs Stanislas Warwinka Warwinka (-200)

Warwinka is another aging great who we think will still have enough in the tank to beat a younger opponent. Seeded ninth overall, it's strange to see this one so close in terms of odds, as we believe the Swiss grand slam winner will be far too good for the Lithuanian Berankis, whose ranking has slid over the past twelve months.

Matthew Ebden vs John Isner Isner (-401)

Isner appears in the draw as the sixteenth seed and the giant American looks likely to be too strong against his Australian counterpart. Ebden has only twice made it to the second round at the Australian Open, which is also his best result, and although Isner is the heavy favourite, we believe he is still good enough value thanks to the fact he's playing a hometown player. 

Women's Tournament First Round Singles Picks

If you're looking for certainty when betting, you're probably not going to enjoy women's tennis. This option is more for the thrill seekers looking for the big upset victories that will make plenty of money. Form and head to head matchups are not often an indication of success leading into the first grand slam of the year, and often your best option is to play live betting to get the feel of a player's performance before throwing your money down. There are, however, still a few matches where we are confident of gaining a win. Below are our picks for the first round:

Sloane Stephens vs Shuai Zhang Zhang (-255)

While Shuai is the clear favourite here, we have included this match because we don't want you to fall into the trap of taking the tempting odds available for Sloane Stephens. The American is the most recent winner of a grand slam, tasting victory in the US Open, yet has not won a game since. According to former great Chris Evert, Stephens appears to have lost motivation after her victory. Zhang is ranked well below Stephens, but will succeed here.

Eugenie Bouchard vs Oceane Dodin Dodin (+182)

This match features two women who have a recent slump in form, although it is Bouchard's fall that is the more dramatic. The Canadian peaked in the top five but has since dropped out of the WTA top 100 ranked players, while her French opponent remains slightly higher. We are confident that Dodin can address her issues, while Bouchard is reported to have a minor injury which is another reason to bet against her here.

Ashleigh Barty vs Aryna Sabalenka Barty (-303)

Barty has been building for a while, and is now ranked in the top twenty according to the WTA rankings. The best hope for the home side in the women's draw has a great chance of making it through to the quarter-finals, and should win her first match comfortably.

Australian Open 2018 Betting Tips

Another method of betting on Australian Open matches is to pick the number of sets required for victory. While one of the top players may not be worthwhile betting on because of their overwhelming superiority and low return potential, taking on the number of sets may be a useful pick. There are more options available in the mens draw as they play five sets, although it's not uncommon for women's matches to go to three sets even when the top seeds are involved.

You could also try your luck by checking out the over/under market. This is much more difficult to predict, and as such a reward is much greater. Your options may include betting on the total number of games in a set or total number of games in a match, which again is easier if you are watching the match and betting live. There will always be the option of betting on the exact score of a set. This is actually not as difficult as it sounds as there are only a handful of different possibilities, so why not have a punt on this in the next match you put your money on.

Betting on the Australian Open is easier than ever, and with so many companies vying for your betting cash there are always a number of exciting deals on the table. Make sure you explore our sportsbook partners and check out all of the different options available. As always, you can also join in the discussion on our Twitter page to connect with other bettors and convey your thoughts on this year’s likely winner.

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