This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The fourth and final Grand Slam of 2022 begins Monday from the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. Monday's first-round action won't include Novak Djokovic, nor will the rest of the US Open after he wasn't allowed to travel to the United States. There's still plenty of exciting action scheduled in both the men's and women's singles, including two top-five women's seeds who are on upset alert after scuffling recently and two former men's US Open champions who could be facing early exits. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites.
The men play best-of-five set matches at Grand Slams, while women's matches are best of three just like the remainder of the WTA Tour schedule. A mix of players' previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Jabeur has struggled since losing the Wimbledon final to Elena Rybakina, as the world No. 5 went just 2-3 during the US Open Series and saved match points in one of her two wins. The crowd will be behind Brengle here as the American tries to take advantage of Jabeur's vulnerable recent form, and Brengle should have some confidence here after notching a top-30 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova in Cleveland less than a week ago.
Speaking of highly ranked women who have struggled lately, Kontaveit's searching for her first win over a top-60 opponent since April. The Estonian still holds the No. 2 ranking, but she certainly hasn't played up to it while going through a tailspin that included a coaching change and a bout with COVID-19. Luckily for Kontaveit, Cristian is ranked outside the top 60 at No. 77 and is coming back from a major knee injury, but Kontaveit has already lost to two players ranked below Cristian in the past two months.
Lock It In
If you didn't catch the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati earlier this month, you might be wondering who this Shelton kid is and why he's favored in the first Grand Slam match of his career. Suffice to say, there's no question about this 19-year-old college tennis star's talent. Shelton showcased his ability to step up in big moments in a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5 first-round win over Lorenzo Sonego in Cincinnati, then took out world No. 7 Casper Ruud in straight sets before a non-competitive loss to Cameron Norrie. Facing a fellow lefty in Norrie was tricky for Shelton, but he won't have to worry about that against Borges, who is your run of the mill 105th-ranked righty. Borges has yet to win a Grand Slam main draw match himself, and this will actually be the first career ATP main draw hard-court match for the 25-year-old.
Thiem won this title in 2020, but a lot has changed since then. After an extensive battle with a wrist injury, Thiem has dropped out of the top 200 and is just 3-7 against top-100 opponents this year. Given both players' current form, this should be a straightforward result for the 14th-ranked Carreno Busta, who has been to the US Open semifinals twice and just won a Masters 1000 at the Canadian Open, which is considered the most reliable precursor for US Open readiness due to the similar court conditions between the two tournaments.
Cerundolo's ranked 22 spots ahead of Murray at No. 27 in the world, but that's not the only reason the 24-year-old Argentine is a nice value as a modest underdog in this match. He's an underrated all-court player who gave Rafael Nadal all he could handle at Wimbledon before losing in four competitive sets. Murray's far from the player Nadal is at this stage of their respective careers, and the 35-year-old Brit's body has been betraying him recently. He battled cramps in at least three matches throughout the US Open series, and if Murray was running out of steam at the end of three-setters, he'll likely run into more physical issues in a best-of-five match.
Davidovich Fokina is capable of higher highs and lower lows, but the steadiness of Nishioka gives the Japanese lefty a good chance to ultimately prevail in what should be a close one. Nishioka has played some of his best tennis this summer, including a run to the final of the Citi Open that featured five consecutive hard court wins over top-50 opponents. Davidovich Fokina dealt with tough draws but failed to win a match at either of the two hard-court events he played this summer, dropping the Spaniard's hard court record to an uninspiring 4-10 in 2022.