2023 US Open Preview Live Odds and Best Bets
Written by Max Gilson
August 28, 2023

2023 US Open Preview: Live Odds and Best Bets

We’ve reached the pinnacle of the American hard court swing with a personal favorite tournament of the year. In the last Grand Slam of the calendar year, it’ll be the last time fans get to see all of the world’s top players in one spot until next winter. Let’s dive into the 2023 US Open Men’s draw at Flushing Meadow Park.

As we’ve done with previous Grand Slam write-ups, we’ll consider the overall narratives heading into Round 1 of the tournament and look to extract value on a quarter-by-quarter basis. As the draw sets up, Djokovic dominates the bottom half, with quite a friendly path to get to his tenth US Open final, as he hopes to extend his Grand Slam record to 24 titles.

Despite being the #2 seed in this tournament, Djokovic is still the man to beat in Queens this fortnite on the heels of a thrilling three-set comeback at the Cincinnati Master’s against Carlos Alcaraz a few weeks ago.

Alcaraz, the reigning champion, will look to do what no man has done since 2008 and become a back-to-back champion at the US Open. Federer won this tournament five years in a row from 2004-2008, but we have to go back to 1998 to find a back-to-back winner before that.

The weather in NYC looks to hold up nicely over the next two weeks with the exception of Tuesday which might see some rain. From a temperature perspective, it’s looking like it will be a cooler tournament than in 2022.

The hotter and more humid the weather, the bigger servers are rewarded as the court plays at a higher pace. Also, the outer courts that are more exposed to the sun and have much more match activity on them play faster than the main courts, Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong.

Q1 Preview

This is Alcaraz’s quarter to lose, as it normally is at this point in his career. He’s -190 to win this quarter with the biggest threats looming in 6 seed Jannik Sinner and 12 seed Alexander Zverev. I have question marks about Carlos’ form following his Wimbledon victory in July. In his first hard court tournament of the summer, Alcaraz lost to an in-form Tommy Paul in Toronto after narrowly defeating Hubert Hurkacz.

Alcaraz did make the final in the Cincinnati Masters, losing to Djokovic, but not before going to a full three sets in every single round. Tommy Paul and Hubert Hurkacz both almost beat Alcaraz once again. It’s possible that over a best of five set in a Grand Slam setting, the level we know Alcaraz possesses will prevail, but this doesn’t overlook the wear Alcaraz has put on his body in the lead-up.

We’ve also seen cramping issues from Alcaraz towards the back end of a slam. I don’t think anyone in his eighth of the draw will provide too much opposition, although it’s always possible for Cam Norrie to grind out a five hour match. Looking at the other eighth in this quarter, we should be getting a collision course between Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev.

Despite being one of the most talented players on tour, consistency and durability issues plague Sinner. Many are hopeful that his breakthrough at Toronto is a sign of better things to come after winning his first Masters 1000 tournament. Despite seemingly cruising through the finals in that tournament, Sinner still looked gassed at his follow up tournament losing to Dusan Lojovic in the first round of Cincinnati.

I’ve backed Sinner before and gotten burned as the talented Italian has yet to get past the quarter-finals in a Grand Slam. I don’t see his body holding up long enough to take on Alcaraz or go any further at this year's US Open. To take a shot at opposing Alcaraz, we’ll instead look to former finalist here, Alexander Zverev.

Best Bets: Alexander Zverev (+4000) to Win US Open & (+900) to Win Q1

Zverev looks to have finally found some form after his devastating ankle injury at Roland Garros in 2022 delayed his chance to win his first Grand Slam even further. Zverev looked healthy in Cincinnati, beating Daniil Medvedev in three sets before losing to Novak Djokivc in the semi-final.

Zverev doesn’t have an easy path, needing to go through both Sinner and Alcaraz to get out of his quarter. That being said, I think his form is just as good if not better than both of those players and I have less question marks about his durability at this point. I’ll take a piece of 40/1 for Zverev to win the US Open and 9/1 for him to win Q1.

Q2 Preview

There looks to be more opportunity for chaos in the second quarter of the draw with 3 seed Daniil Medvedev at the top and 8 seed Andrey Rublev at the bottom. Medvedev should have a decently easy path to reach the quarterfinal in 2023, but I’m not extremely confident in his form.

Medvedev lost a strange match to Alex de Minaur in Toronto, despite de Minaur eventually reaching the final in that tournament. We are used to seeing Medvedev dominate players who lack offensive weapons such as de Minaur and his rally tolerance is generally good enough to get past scrappy defensive players.

Medvedev will face Attila Balazs in round one, who’s only here using protected ranking points. Afterwards, he’ll potentially face: an injured Max Purcell (despite strong form), then potentially Kei Nishikori (near retirement) or Borna Coric (also injured). That would set up a Round 4 re-match with de Minaur, who again surprised me with his results against Medvedev.

If Medvedev uses his first three matches to find his form and get back on track this quarter can be won easily by the 2021 champion. I’d like to see it before I believe, before taking a slight price at +125 for a player who’s only beaten Matteo Arnaldi and Lorenzo Musetti (twice) on hard courts this summer.

Looking lower in the quarter, I like Hubert Hurkacz to come out of his eighth of the draw. While there are a few big names in this section, I don’t think they pose a great threat to Hurkacz in the current form that he’s showing. 11 seed Karen Khachanov has played well here in years past, but hasn’t played a single’s match since picking up an injury in the French Open. He played two doubles matches in Cincinnati despite withdrawing from the single’s tournament.

I would put him on upset alert in his first match in three months on a brand new surface against American, Michael Mmoh. 8 seed Andrey Rublev is not a player who should threaten Hurkacz at the moment as he too has struggled to find form on the North American swing. After winning a clay tournament in Bastad back in July, he lost to Mackenzie McDonald in the first round in Toronto and Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round of Cincinnati.

Rublev will open the US Open with a rematch against Ruusuvuori, which he should win, but I’m not at all confident in his poor form. In his current form, I actually think Hurkacz matches up well against Medvedev with his serve and volley approach to take advantage of Medvedev’s deep court positioning.

Best Bets: Hubert Hurkacz to Win US Open (+8000) & to Win Q2 (+600)

Last time Hurkacz faced Rublev at Indian Wells he was a +150 underdog and was a +200 underdog to Medvedev in their last meeting. Getting +600 for Hurkacz to win this quarter, with the upside that he might not even see Rublev feels like a good price and I’m happy to put a unit on +600.

I’ll also take another flier on Hurkacz to win the tournament at 80/1. If you like Medvedev to round back into form, there’s ways to attack a potential matchup against Hurkacz. Rublev is still a little brother to his Russian compatriot and shouldn’t be a factor against him should he reach the QF.

Q3 Preview

It feels like 5 seed Casper Ruud and 4 seed Holger Rune have found themselves in the same quarter in every slam this year as a rivalry has been forming between the two. Ruud did reach the final here last year but I think he was also the beneficiary of a friendly draw, as Nick Kygrios took out Medvedev before losing to Khachanov.

That being said, Ruud still prefers the clay courts, which are better suited to his topspin heavy approach. He lost to the enigmatic Davidovich Fokina in the second round in Toronto and was ousted by Max Purcell in the first round at Cincinnati. We should be getting Ruud’s best effort here as he looks to protect his ranking points from making the final in 2022, however, I think it could be quite a tall task given his path.

Americans; Emilio Nava, JJ Wolf, and Sebastian Korda could all give him trouble in his first three matches. Korda might be favored over Ruud on a hard court if he were in better form, however, he’s severely struggled to get back to form after his Australian Open run. Korda looks like he’s lost all confidence in his game at the moment and isn’t a player I want to put my money behind at this point.

That being said, he does have the ability to outplay Ruud in a five-set match. Also in his eighth is Frances Tiafoe, who famously beat Rafa Nadal on his way to a semi-final appearance at last year’s slam. While I do think a repeat of that form is highly unlikely for Tiafoe, he still poses a great threat to anyone in this third quarter, despite my avoidance in backing him in the quarter market.

I’ll instead look to the bottom eighth, highlighted by an injured Holger Rune. Rune, similar to Sinner, has struggled physically early in his career, especially in best of five format. Rune regularly has the physio on court and has been nursing a back injury seemingly since Wimbledon. He withdrew from his scheduled appearance in Umag this summer, lost to Marcos Giron in Toronto before retiring injured against Mackie McDonald at Cincinnati.

I don’t have confidence that Rune will magically find his form and get over his fitness issues at this year’s US Open. He might be better suited by packing it in for the season after this appearance to focus on his health before opening up next season in the Australian heat.

Best Bets: Tommy Paul to Win US Open (+15000) & to Win Q3 (+700)

The player I’d like to take a shot at here is Tommy Paul. Tommy Paul has put together a solid North American swing, making a deep run at Toronto before losing in the R16 in a rematch against Carlos Alcaraz. Tommy Paul has shown some of the best form of his career this year and his Hold+Break % at 108 in the last 52 weeks on hard court is second highest in this quarter to only Rune.

With all of Rune’s injury concerns and Tommy Paul’s ability on this surface, I think 7/1 is too big of a price for him to win this quarter. There are quite a few potential players who can make a run in this wide open section of the draw, but I think Tommy Paul’s current form makes him the most likely candidate.

I’ve also taken a piece of Paul to win it all at 150/1. This number is heavily influenced by the fact that Djokovic is in his half of the draw as Paul will be a massive underdog in that match, despite the form he’s shown. Still, I think 150/1 is a massive number and there should be enough equity in it to play off a potential Djokivc or Alcaraz match. Tommy Paul to win Q3 at +700 is my favorite bet of the tournament.

Q4 Preview

Can anyone slay the dragon? The short answer is…probably not. Novak Djokovic is -500 to win this quarter and for good reason. He doesn’t project to even face a natural hard courters until he potentially plays Mackenzie McDonald or Felix Auger-Alliasime. FAA can make himself live in any match with his massive first serve, but he’s in some of the worst form we’ve ever seen from him.

He has virtually no shot against Djokovic and I find it far more likely for him to lose Round 1 than make it up to a Round 4 matchup with Novak. In the top eighth of the draw we find Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has also seen his struggles in 2023. On top of this, Tsitsipas has had a particular struggle here at the US Open where he’s never made it past round four.

Any of Tsitsipas’ matchups are live to take him out and I think you are better suited to fade him match by match than try to pick off a big priced quarter finalist and hope Novak Djokovic accidentally hits a line judge again. Barring any unfortunate circumstances like the 2020 fiasco or injury, Djokovic should cruise to another US Open victory in 2023.

Djokovic knows this is his best shot at another US Open as the future has arrived in Carlos Alcaraz and we’ve quietly seen a little bit of Djokovic’s age popping out in some of his matches. Djokovic also has a bone to pick with this tournament as it’ll be the first time in two years that he’s been allowed to play because of COVID rules plus his 2020 lines-judge mishap.

+125 just isn’t enough to wager significant capital as despite the ease of the draw, Djokovic still needs to play seven best of five matches to win this event. However, given the ease of his quarter and the potential for a surprise winner in Q3, you can consider a +125 pre-tournament bet as having +125 in pocket as a finalist.

There isn’t a player on Earth that Djokovic would be an underdog on a hard court in 2023, especially on the heels of his defeat of Alcaraz at Cincinnati. I’m not personally betting on the +125 outright, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did.

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