Best tennis prop bets for the Australian Open women’s singles final: Osaka vs. Brady

Naomi Osaka
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis· 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

After all of the quarantining in Melbourne, a one-day pause for coronavirus testing during smaller tournaments the week before the Australian Open, and a five-day lockdown in the state of Victoria that temporarily prevented fans from attending Melbourne Park, the season’s first Grand Slam has reached the final weekend. The women’s singles final is set for Saturday night, and it features three-time slam champion Naomi Osaka going up against first-time slam finalist Jennifer Brady.

Let’s take a look at the four best prop bets for the women’s final, and be sure to check out our Osaka vs. Brady outright picks as well.

Brady to hit more aces than Osaka (+200)

There is great value on doubling your money if Brady hits more aces than Osaka on Saturday. There’s just no way the American should be this much of an underdog in this particular prop bet. They also faced each other in the 2020 U.S. Open semifinals (won by Osaka 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3) and Brady took the ace battle 10 to nine. Moving on to the current tournament, Osaka leads the field with 44 aces but Brady is not far behind—in third place with 32. Yes, a 12-ace difference is significant. But you also have to consider how many times each one has been aced. Osaka has been aces 23 times and Brady has been aced just nine times. That more than makes up for the difference in their own aces. Osaka generally returns more aggressively, standing closer to the baseline. Brady is often more defensive on return, standing farther back in an effort to get it back in play as opposed to ending the point early with a clean return winner.

Jennifer Brady

Most double-faults: Draw (+500)

Both of these women have been serving incredibly well this fortnight. Osaka is double-faulting a little more than three times per match, while Brady is double-faulting just more than two times per match. In their U.S. Open showdown, they combined for a mere three doubles (Osaka one, Brady two). The underdog has had a slightly steadier hand throughout this tournament, but you have to take into account that she is in her first major final and Osaka has already played in three. Brady is going to be more nervous. All of that means the value at +500 on an equal number of double-faults is too good to pass up. Two apiece would be well within reason.

Under 6.5 total service breaks in the match (-105)

As referenced above, Osaka and Brady are two of the best servers in the game. The court surface at this year’s Australian Open is playing faster than usual—perhaps even rivaling that of the U.S. Open. In their 2020 meeting in New York, they each dropped serve only once. A faster surface obviously helps the server more than a slower surface like clay. At this event, Osaka is No. 2 in percentage of first-serve points won and Brady is fifth in that category. Even if this match goes three sets, the number of breaks can stay under this 6.5 quota.

Set two to have more games than set one (+140)

The first set having more games than the second is a +100 favorite, so you have to like the value on the second set at +140. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of the two players—if not both—come out nervous and struggle in the early going. There is more likely to be a service break or two in the opening frame of play, whereas a tiebreaker is more likely in the second when they both get into a serving groove. In six of Osaka’s matches this fortnight, three times the second set has had more games than the first; two have been pushed; only once has the first set had more than the second. Four of Brady’s six contests have had more games in the second than the first.

Pickswise is the home of free tennis predictions. Make sure to check out our daily previews and picks throughout the 2021 Australian Open—and during all of the Grand Slams.

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