U.S. Open Tennis Day 12 Predictions, Picks & Best Bets: Will Alcaraz and Djokovic be tested in semifinals? 

Novak Djokovic celebrates a win at the 2019 U.S. Open.
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Ricky Dimon


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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. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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It is quite the semifinal lineup on the men’s singles side at the 2023 U.S. Open – especially if you hail from the host nation. In addition to having the top 3 players in the world still alive, 20-year-old American Ben Shelton has made an incredible and improbable run in New York. Up next for Shelton is a showdown against 23-time major champion Novak Djokovic, while the semifinal matchup on the other side of the draw features Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev. Each of the 3 semifinalists other than Shelton has won the U.S. Open at least once (Djokovic 3, Alcaraz 1, Medvedev 1).

Who will end up going head-to-head for this year’s title? Let’s take a look at the best bets to be made on Day 12 of the season’s fourth and final Grand Slam.

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Novak Djokovic vs. Ben Shelton Under 32.5 games (-130) 

Shelton has been the toast of the town in New York City this fortnight, and for good reason, but there are causes for concern — beyond just having to go up against Djokovic. Although it’s obvious that this run isn’t a fluke (Shelton also reached the Australian Open quarterfinals), it hasn’t come against the toughest competition. The 2022 NCAA singles champion (University of Florida) has not faced anyone ranked better than #10 in the world (Frances Tiafoe). Moreover, prior to this tournament Shelton’s match record for the season was a dreadful 12-20. As for Djokovic, four of his five U.S. Open matches have been straight-setters that featured 30 games or fewer. Three have included no more than 27 games. The second-ranked Serb is simply dominant and there is little reason to think he won’t be against an opponent ranked #47. Keep in mind, too, that Shelton can be somewhat competitive and still see this match stay under. Even a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 result would cash an under bet.

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Daniil Medvedev +5.5 games over Carlos Alcaraz (+100) 

When you can get this many games with Medvedev and also get it at plus money (albeit right on the number), it’s an opportunity that should be taken. Yes, the Russian got shellacked by Alcaraz earlier this season in Indian Wells and at Wimbledon. But I’m not overreacting to those results; the Indian Wells surface was too slow and the grass of Wimbledon is too fast and low bouncing. The U.S. Open is just right for Medvedev, who finished runner-up in 2019 (lost to Rafael Nadal in 5 sets) and won the title in 2021 (crushed Djokovic in 3 sets). So far this year the Russian has dropped only 2 sets through 5 rounds. He knows he can compete with anyone at this particular event — Alcaraz include. I would give the Spaniard a slight edge, but Medvedev should cover.

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