Welcome back, Grand Slam tennis! It’s been a while, but it is great to see you. It’s also great to see that the Australian Open will be played as per usual, given that Roland Garros was held immediately after the US Open was.

Among those not playing will be Andy Murray, and Roger Federer, who’s still recovering from double knee surgery. He is expected to return to ATP play in March.

I’ll start with the three top betting favorites on the women’s side, and then work my way over to the men’s side.

2021 Australian Open Odds and Predictions: Women’s Bracket

Naomi Osaka Is The Favorite at +500 

It should come as no surprise that Naomi Osaka is the favorite in this tournament. The 23-year-old has already won three Grand Slams, including being the Australian Open champ back in 2019. Her last appearance here saw her lose to teenage phenom Coco Gauff, so she’s ready to put that behind her and run the table.

Osaka last played in the US Open, where she defeated Victoria Azarenka in three sets to claim the title. She’s a tremendous talent, and when Serena retires, will likely be able to play her way into the permanent top spot.

Ashleigh Barty Next at +600 

24-year-old Ashleigh Barty has seen her career get off to a tremendous start. She’s the #1 ranked Women’s singles player in the world at the moment, so she comes in with a bit of pressure to perform. Her one victory at a major came at Roland Garros in 2019. She did reach the Australian Open semifinals for the first time a year ago.

It has been nearly a year since Barty has played, though. She lost to Petra Kvitova in the semifinals of the Qatar Open on the ATP tour in the final week of February. Hopefully it’s a quick bounce back once she takes the court again.

Serena Williams Follows at +900 

Serena Williams has been as dominant playing tennis as any other athlete has been at the peak in their respective sport. She has won 23 Grand Slams, and won 357 of 408 matches (over 87%) overall when playing in them. A few years have passed since she’s won a major, but she’s looking for a quick bounce back.

Serena has won the Australian Open seven times in her career, most recently in 2017. Now 39 years old, she’s out to prove she’s still got it. Williams lost to Tsvetana Pironkova in the Round of 64 at Roland Garros. That was the last time she played.

Predicting a Winner 

Some other good bets to place would be Simona Halep +1100, Karolina Pliskova +2300, or Bianca Andreescu +1700. The winner of this tournament will be Ashleigh Barty, though.

There’s a lot of unpredictability, but I’m riding with the talented Australian. She’ll win her second major here.

PICK: Ashleigh Barty +600

Over to the Men’s Side of the Australian Open 

Now that you’ve read about the women’s bracket, it’s time to switch gears over to the men’s. The projected favorite should come as absolutely no surprise.

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2021 Australian Open Odds and Predictions: Men’s Bracket

Novak Djokovic Odds-On Favorite At +135 

Of course, the favorite to win here is Novak Djokovic. He has won the Australian Open eight times in his career, including in both 2019 and 2020. He hasn’t lost a match here in a few years, and has been, perhaps, “close to” as dominant as Rafa Nadal has been on the Clay at Roland Garros.

Djokovic was in some hot water over the summer when he ran a tennis clinic and threw a party, all while ignoring CDC guidelines and mask-wearing. That was long ago, and it does seem that he and all others involved learned their lesson. Now he’s back to trying to win majors again. He is three majors behind Nadal and Federer, who each have 20. A win could bring him to 18.

Daniil Medvedev Not Far Behind At +500 

Daniil Medvedev is getting better with every passing year. He hasn’t yet won a major, though he is getting closer and closer to being able to call himself a champ. Even though Djokovic, Nadal and Federer make it look easy, getting to the final and winning is really a tough thing to do. Stan Wawrinka having two majors is a really big deal.

Medvedev will have all the opportunities to win here, coming in at #4 in the rankings. His best chance is to avoid going head-to-head with Djokovic, but if he has to face him, then so be it. He’ll be ready. He’s ascending right now, and this tournament is a way for him to remind folks what he can do.

Dominic Thiem and Rafa Nadal Follow at +650 

2020 was probably the best year of Dominic Thiem’s life. The Austrian proclaimed his first major, though it’s too bad fans couldn’t be there to enjoy it. He knocked off Alexander Zverev in the US Open finals, a match that was going to feature somebody getting their first title. Can Thiem make it two major titles in three tournaments?

It’s really hard to believe that Rafael Nadal is only 34. He’s won at Roland Garros for each of the past four years, though he hasn’t won the Australian Open since 2009. That marked his one and only title here. He could pass Federer with the win here, giving him 21 and making him the all-time leader on the men’s side.

Both of these players will have the chance to win. Nadal comes in as the #2 ranked player, so he could avoid Novak until the final.

Predicting a Winner 

If you’re feeling risky, bet Nick Kyrgios +4700. When he’s focused, he’s an incredible talent. Alexander Zverev +1700 is a nice way for a possible payday. But I’m not personally betting on any of them to win.

The Australian Open could be renamed “The Novak Djokovic Open” with all of the success he’s had here, as Roland Garros could be renamed for Rafa. Djokovic is due for yet another title, and it’s clear he’s hungry to close the gap between himself and Federer and Nadal.

Novak Djokovic +135. That’s it. That’s the bet.

Thanks for Reading 

I hope you all enjoyed this, and that your betting picks are a success as a result of reading.