Australian Open tennis Day 6 predictions, picks & best bets: What will Andy Murray do for an encore?
A Grand Slam is a marathon, not a sprint – just ask Andy Murray! — but we are already racing into the first weekend of the Australian Open. When play concludes on Saturday, the fourth-round lineup on both the men’s and women’s sides will be set. Murray is among those hoping to punch their tickets, while a whole host of American men are also taking the court along with the likes of Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka and Belinda Bencic in the women’s draw.
Let’s take a look at the best bets to be made on the Day 6 schedule.
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Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Andy Murray Over 35.5 games (-120)
Is it risky betting on Murray — 36 years old and owner of a metal hip — on the heels of 2 consecutive five-setters (the second of which ended after 4:00 in the morning)? Sure. But how big of a risk is taking the over on 35.5 games? This isn’t a big number at all, so it’s one that Murray and Bautista Agut should exceed. Their 1 previous Grand Slam match came at the Australian Open in 2019, when Murray was also running on fumes physically but still pushed the Spaniard to five sets (Bautista Agut prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(4), 6-2). Keep in mind that Bautista Agut also played 5 sets on Thursday and the week before this 1 he went all the way to the Adelaide title match. It’s not like he is on a full tank of gas, either. I expect a competitive battle between 2 tenacious veterans.
Nuria Parrizas Diaz +4 games over Donna Vekic (-115)
Parrizas Diaz was an easy winner for me on Thursday; she disposed of Asnastasia Potapova 6-3, 6-2 as a 4-game underdog. The 31-year-old Spaniard is getting 4 games again on Saturday and I will happily go right back to the well. Vekic played admirably in her second-round match, but the 64th-ranked Croat needed a third-set tiebreaker to get past qualifier Oksana Selekhmeteva in her opener. Parrizas Diaz is a great hard-court performer and is playing too well at the moment to get completely run off the court. NPD might even win this outright.
Parlay: Alex de Minaur over Benjamin Bonzi and J.J. Wolf over Michael Mmoh (-131)
Before the tournament started, Nick Kyrgios was supposed to be the host nation’s biggest hope for success. Instead, Kyrgios withdrew due to injury and now it’s up to some other Aussies to pick up the slack. Alexei Popyrin delivered with a second-round upset of Taylor Fritz, but it’s De Minaur who has the best chance of making a real run at Melbourne Park. De Minaur is in great form, always seems to play well in Australia and now faces an opponent in Bonzi who is coming off back-to-back five-setters. That match should be straightforward, and I expect Wolf vs. Mmoh to be the same. Opinions of Mmoh are inflated because he upset Alexander Zverev on Thursday, but Zverev has been out since the 2022 French Open and is a shadow of his real self. Mmoh needed a lucky-loser spot just to get into the main draw; his second life Down Under will likely come to an end on Saturday.
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