This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The second round of the US Open continues Thursday from the hard courts of the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. A pair of Americans will look to keep rolling after impressive first-round performances, while favorable recent head-to-head history has one favorite and one underdog both feeling good about their chances of advancing to the third round. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but occasionally you can find more favorable odds by searching other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the 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.
Cirstea's powerful groundstrokes have allowed her to pull off plenty of upsets over the years, as Bencic has learned the hard way. Their head-to-head is 2-0 for Cirstea, with the most recent win for the 37th-ranked Romanian coming less than three weeks ago in Cincinnati. The 13th-seeded Bencic also wasn't at her best in the opening round, getting pushed to 6-4 in the third set by 92nd-ranked Andrea Petkovic.
Schwartzman would likely be packing his bags already if not for some good fortune in the first round, as he dropped the first two sets to Jack Sock before a combination of fatigue and a back injury incapacitated the American. That poor performance continued a recent trend for Schwartzman, who has won only seven of his last 20 full sets, including the 6-0 third set he won against the barely mobile Sock on Tuesday. If Popyrin's big serve is clicking, he should be able to replicate Sock's pre-injury success by holding comfortably while forcing the 5-foot-7 Schwartzman to work much harder for his service games.
Lock It In
Collins' 2022 season has been derailed by injuries after she made the finals of the Australian Open in January, but the American looked to be back to full health in the opening round here, dispatching four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka 7-6 (5), 6-3. After a tough first-round draw, Collins has a much more comfortable second-round match on tap against the 118th-ranked Spanish qualifier Bucsa, who is just 1-4 against top-50 opponents in 2022.
Gasquet has had a nice career, but the 36-year-old Frenchman's barely in the top 100 at this point, ranked 55 spots below Kecmanovic at No. 91. Kecmanovic beat Gasquet 6-0, 6-3 on clay earlier this year, and the 22-year-old Serb is more effective on hard courts, where Kecmanovic has gone 16-7 this year.
Isner's serve has been firing on all cylinders recently, and the towering American's a tough out when that's the case. He had 19 aces without a double fault in his straight sets first-round win over Federico Delbonis, carrying over his strong play from Cincinnati, where Isner defeated Hubert Hurkacz en route to the quarterfinals. Rune's a talented young player, but the 19-year-old Dane strongly prefers clay, having gone just 5-10 on other surfaces in 2022.
Coric is a nice value as a slight underdog here. Whether you take a long-term or short-term view, Coric is the far more accomplished of these two players, most recently winning the Cincinnati Masters 1000 in August. The 25th-seeded Croat was pushed to five sets by Enzo Couacaud in the opening round while Brooksby dropped just two games against an injured Dusan Lajovic before getting a walkover in the third set, but that single round shouldn't outweigh the greater body of work that points in Coric's favor heading into the first career meeting between these two.