The draws for the US Open have been revealed, which means the last major of the year is right around the corner. The Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal aim to win the 12th consecutive Grand Slam title between them. If you’re looking for a winner outside the Big Three, this may be the tournament it happens. Three of the last seven winners of the US Open have come from someone other than one of these favorites (Stan Wawrinka in 2016, Marin Cilic in 2014, and Andy Murray in 2012). Here are the odds for the top players in this tournament, as well as the best bets for the tournament in each price range.
Odds to win the Men’s 2019 US Open
(odds courtesy of Fanduel)
Best Bet (The Favorites): Rafael Nadal (+300)
It may be a surprise not to have tournament favorite Novak Djokovic listed here. Though Djokovic has won four of the last five grand slams, I am eschewing him in favor of Nadal for two reasons: the draw and recent form. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic is set to meet Roger Federer in the semifinals if seeding holds. In addition, Djokovic’s quarter is filled with a plethora of big servers who may be challenging to overcome on the hard surface. Kevin Anderson, Stan Wawrinka and Reilly Opelka are all capable of riding a hot serve to an upset. Daniil Medvedev is also coming into the tournament playing the best tennis of his career. Medvedev upset Djokovic in their last meeting in the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters. For another betting quirk, there has not been a defending Men’s US Open champion since 2008. Novak Djokovic won the US Open last year.
Rafael Nadal is well-rested since his impressive victory at the Canadian Open. Nadal has to navigate a quarter with Alexander Zverev, Karen Khachanov, Diego Schwartzman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and big-serving John Isner. Former US Open champion Marin Cilic poses another potential obstacle, though he has not been in great form of late. Awaiting Nadal in the semifinals could be Dominic Thiem, who Nadal beat in four sets to win the French Open.
Nadal’s path seems much less ominous than those of the other contenders. One could argue that Roger Federer has an easier quarter to navigate, but there is the obstacle of having to beat Djokovic in the semis. Interestingly enough, if Nadal and Federer were to meet in the finals, it would be their first-ever meeting at the US Open. Rafael Nadal has won three US Opens (most recently in 2017) and is good value at +300 to win his fourth.
Best Bet (Outside of the Big Three): Dominic Thiem (+3600)
Taking a chance on Dominic Thiem at +3600 odds may be smart for a couple of reasons. First, Thiem is the favorite to win the lone quarter that doesn’t possess one of the Big Three. He would have to navigate a quarter of Roberto Bautista-Agut, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nick Kyrgios, Gael Monfils and Denis Shapovalov. Second, if Thiem were to make the semifinals, this bet could act as some hedge with a Rafael Nadal bet as the two are seeded to face each other. You’d have a winning ticket as long as the winner of that match went on to win the final.
Outside of the French Open (back-to-back runner-up finishes), this is Thiem’s best tournament. He is 15-5 in his career at the US Open, and he lost a thrilling five-hour and five-set match in last year’s quarterfinals to Rafael Nadal. In 2017, he lost arguably the best match of the tournament to another former US Open champion: Juan Martin Del Potro. Thiem is on the precipice of a huge breakthrough at the US Open. He has proven he can play with and beat the best in the world, and +3600 odds for someone favored to reach at least the semifinals are too good to ignore.
Other Bets: Kei Nishikori to win his quarter (+700)
Kei Nishikori has the second-best odds in his quarter behind Roger Federer (-140). The US Open is one tournament where Federer has shown some vulnerability of late. He has not made a US Open semifinal since 2015. Kei Nishikori, meanwhile, has made two semifinal appearances in the last three years. He was also the runner-up in 2014. Though Nishikori is 3-8 against Federer in his career, two of these wins have come on the hard court. Given his more recent success in the tournament, Nishikori is a great value at +700 to make the semifinals.