Australian Open Best Bets, Day 5: Risk on Riske, Fognini and Sandgren

Australian Open Best Bets, Day 5: Risk on Riske, Fognini and Sandgren

The red-hot Alison Riske is an unexpected underdog against Julia Goerges, while Fognini should capitalize against Guido Pella.

All figures from DraftKings Sportsbook.

[12] Fabio Fognini to defeat [22] Guido Pella (-125)

Fognini should have a new lease on life after two consecutive five-set thrillers against Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson. Monday’s rain saved him against Opelka, who lost all three sets on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Fognini went ahead by two sets, but almost coughed up the lead, prevailing in a deciding super-tiebreak.

All that is to say that trying to predict Fognini is a fool's errand, but this line is begging to be hammered. After spending nearly eight hours on court, Fognini must be tired, but even so, he has more than enough game to handle Pella, whose trending UTR rates a few spots behind Fognini, at No. 44. At -125, it seems the oddsmakers have already accounted for Fognini’s fatigue factor, as well as his 1-2 career record against the Argentine. The temperamental Italian feels like a safe bet—with surprisingly good odds—in his first hard-court matchup against Pella.


[18] Alison Riske to defeat Julia Goerges (-103)

Riske has done nothing in the past six months to warrant underdog status against Goerges. The fast-rising American won her last match against the German in straight sets last season in Dubai, and is playing the best tennis of her career. This line sticks out more than any third-round match. In the last six months, Riske has beaten Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina, and Wang Qiang, and her trending UTR rates her as the 16th best player in the world. Goerges sits at No. 30.

This is one of the strongest plays of the Australian Open. Bet this one accordingly. 

Tennys Sandgren to defeat Sam Querrey (+135)

In gambling, you try and bet the numbers, not the names. But there’s something about Sandgren this season you have to like. First off, he clearly put in work over the offseason. He showed up to Melbourne looking more like an MMA fighter than a tennis player. If physical intimidation isn’t enough for you, Sandgren has fond memories Down Under. He reached the quarterfinals here in 2018 and won Auckland in 2019, while Querrey has never made it past the third round in Melbourne.

The UTR data points to a Querrey victory, but their last meeting last year at Wimbledon—Querrey’s favorite tournament—was a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) dogfight. For +135 your money could go worse places. This should be an extremely close encounter.