Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Amanda Anisimova/Paula Badosa over 21½
Best Odds: -103 at Pinnacle
7:00 PM EST. The opening women's matchup of tonight's Australian Open card features two great stories. Spaniard Amanda Anisimova has returned to the tennis world after a full year off, while her opponent, American Paula Badosa, is back on the court after a long layoff from injury. The two have looked sensational leading up to this contest, with neither of the two dropping a single set thus far.
It makes it a good watch not only because of their stories, but because of the contrasting styles of two players who were once ranked among the best in the world (Badosa has owned a top rank of #2 in the world, while Anisimova has ascended as high as 21st). Badosa is a more versatile player, part of the reason why she's favored Thursday night (local time, of course - that's near lunch-time Friday morning in Australia) and she prefers to use her athletic ability and moxie to outlast her opponents. In that sense she has more room for errors, since she has more ways to recover and out-savvy her opponent.
Anisimova might be more limited, but her power is fluid and constant. The 22 year old already has 7 aces in just two matches, and the eye-test suggests she's right back in elite shape and well-equipped for what could be an eventual marathon against a tenacious opponent tonight. Both Anisimova and Badosa stand at a commanding 5'11", more fodder that this matchup is probably closer to even than the oddsmakers suggest.
But sportsbooks are right to list Badosa as chalk since she's defeated better competition through two Aussie-Open matches and she's the more proven player. What oddsmakers are underestimating is the length that this contest will go. Listing tennis matches around 21-22 games is pretty standard, but there's plenty to suggest that both of these two tough-gals are ready to battle way longer than expected. We love that this is the very first time they've faced off, since they'll both need to make in-game adjustments as they feel each other out, and their contrasting strengths create a recipe for a back and forth war. Badosa and Anisimova don't want to lose their momentum, understandably so, and we think they'll rally long and hard to ensure that doesn't happen.
Anisimova/Badosa over 21½ -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)
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