After a relatively boring Super Wild Card weekend, we head to the NFL Divisional Round where the favourites could once again dominate. The chalk went 5-1 last week with the only upset coming by way of San Francisco over Dallas, the closest matchup per the NFL betting odds. Our parlay got snapped before it got started and we went 3-3 as we look to tighter games this week.
Australian Open 2022 Picks: Open Field With Several Pullouts
Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka lead a hefty list of players that will not be participating in this year’s Australian Open. With just days before the first round (on Monday, January 17), Djokovic’s and Osaka’s status are up in the air. If they cannot play, the tennis betting odds will be impacted as we break down the outlook of this year’s first tennis major.
As of Thursday, the latest sports betting odds still have the likes of Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka listed on the odds tables. Djokovic is installed as the slight favourite. Depending on his tournament status, this can either shorten considerably or drop out entirely. Osaka hurt herself in the Melbourne Open and is second in the outright odds behind Ashleigh Barty.
|Australian Open Men’s Odds|
Denis Shapovalov 🇨🇦
Felix Auger Aliassime 🇨🇦
Australian Open Women’s Odds
Leylah Fernandez 🇨🇦
2022 Australian Open Preview: Who’s In? Who’s Out?
Djokovic will likely still play in the Australian Open despite public sentiment. He will immediately be a villainous figure outside of his Serbian fans, but that may just give him extra motivation.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 12, 2022
For Osaka, it’s unclear if she will play in the Australian Open though it is possible as she did not rule out this possibility. Osaka joins a star-studded cast of players who may or may not play in the tournament including US Open finalist and Canadian darling, Leylah Fernandez, Polish upstart Iwa Swiatek, and French Open semi-finalist Maria Sakkari.
Those who already pulled out include the Williams sisters, Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova, and another Canadian fan favourite, Bianca Andreescu.
On the men’s side, the biggest name that will be missing this year’s tournament is six-time winner Roger Federer. Compatriot and 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka will also be absent along with 2020 finalist Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, and Canadian Milos Raonic.
Local favourite Nick Kygrios is also doubtful thanks to contracting COVID while Stefanos Tsitsipas, who came so close to beating Djokovic in the French Open, is also unsure to play. The betting odds should still hold several of these players “doubtful” players until the word is official that they are not participating.
But with this long list of absent or uncertain stars, it may be worth looking into what sports betting hedging is as bettors may need to look to alternative options. Among these choices are Canadian longshots who could pull a surprise or two.
2022 Australian Open Picks: Can A Canadian Win?
With Djokovic (2.25) still playing, the odds of anyone outside of him winning got a bit slimmer. But beyond the “Djoker”, there are several notables worth looking into from the best sports betting sites in Canada:
Daniil Medvedev (2.62)
Medvedev trails Djokovic by a narrow margin. This 25-year-old Russian broke out at the end of 2020 by reaching the US Open semifinals then the 2021 Australian Open finals. He won his first major in the US Open by ousting Djokovic in straight sets. He specializes in hard courts and as a baseliner, is wise beyond his years.
Rafael Nadal (8.50)
The “King of Clay” deserves a mention here but mainly because he has not won the Australian Open since 2009. Nadal did not win a major in 2021 thanks to injuries. He may be nearing the end of his prime though beating him is still a nice feather on any competitor’s hat.
Denis Shapovalov 🍁 (41.00)
Slowly but steadily, the Canadian continues to make strides. It’s easy to forget he is only 22 and yet he’s already made a Wimbledon semi-final. Shapovalov plays an exciting and aggressive style, which can also be his weakness as more experienced players can expose him. He has yet to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Felix Auger Aliassime 🍁 (41.00)
Canada’s other prospect has overtaken Shapovalov as the nation’s most promising young player. One year younger, Aliassime broke out in 2021 by reaching the US Open semifinals and the Wimbledon quarterfinals. He is a fast and powerful player who is well-rounded. With similar odds to Shapovalov, he has considerable value.
Moving to the women’s side, Osaka (6.00) is behind Barty on the odds despite being a two-time winner. She has been inconsistent as she either wins a tournament or gets ousted before the quarterfinals.
Ashleigh Barty (3.75)
Barty is the WTA’s number-one player and a winner of two major titles. She may not have two Australian Open titles like Osaka, but she’s reached the quarterfinals in three straight tournaments and as an all-court player, she is almost a “safe” bet.
Garbine Muguruza (11.00)
Muguruza has two major titles like Barty but has only made it past the fourth round twice since winning the 2017 Wimbledon. still, she ended 2021 on a hot streak and is now as high as the third-ranked player. She has plenty of momentum, which can be an x-factor here.
Leylah Fernandez 🍁 (21.00)
Fernandez has a tough act to follow after she reached the 2021 US Open final by defeating three top-5 players including Osaka. As a player, Fernandez’s greatest asset is her tenacity. If she can maintain this focus, she may just wear down more skilled or experienced players and “shock the world” again.
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