It's Grand Slam time.
The first Grand Slam of the 2024 tennis season begins next week in Melbourne, Australia with the Australian Open. The defending champion Novak Djokovic will look to jumpstart his pursuit of a calendar Grand Slam with another Aussie title. He enters as the favorite in a loaded field with young stars continuing to close the gap between Djokovic and the field.
Here's a full breakdown of the early betting odds ahead of the release of the full draw, a dark horse bet, and our best bet for the 2024 Aussie.
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2024 Australian Open Odds
Australian Open Dark Horse
Alexander Zverev (+2900)
Of course, I'm writing this up before the draw comes out so a tough path could leave this drawing dead early, but Zverev started the 2024 swing with a strong showing at the United Cup, knocking off top 10 opponents including Hubert Hurkacz and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The big-serving Zverev has struggled late in tournaments, yet to win a Grand Slam, but is the 2014 boy's champion and made the semis in 2020 on the main tour.
After his 2021 season was foiled by an injury in the French Open semifinals, Zverev ramped it up in the back half of the 2022 season, performing well in a quarterfinal finish at the U.S. Open and can hit the ground running in 2023.
With some injury concerns to Novak Djokovic (wrist) and Rafael Nadal not fit to play, there can be an opening for one of the younger players to break through. It feels that the market is shaded toward up-and-comer Jannik Sinner, but Zverev is off-market given how he finished the 2023 season and his capability in Melbourne.
Australian Open Prediction and Pick
Carlos Alcaraz (+340)
Alcaraz doesn't have a ton of experience at the Australian Open, only playing in the Grand Slam twice, after withdrawing last year due to a leg injury. However, we know that Alcaraz is the next great player, winning at Wimbledon and making the semifinals at the French Open and US Open.
I'm a bit concerned about the fitness of Djokovic with his nagging wrist issue, but he is rightfully the favorite. To me, though, this is a price play. Alcaraz will be a heavy favorite over any player but Djokovic and I believe that a collision course in the Finals is possible, meaning the No. 1 player in the World can outperform his price tag here and possibly look like a favorite when we get to the Finals.
Players are on the rise like Sinner, Daniil Medvedev, and Zverev, but I'll trust the fitness of Alcaraz to continue to grow and we get him north of +300 for the last time in his prime.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!