This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The third round of the US Open begins Friday from the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens, New York. A stomach bug that's been going around the field has contributed to some unexpected results over the past couple days, but hopefully every player will be at their physical best Friday to decide matters on the court. A pair of previously unheralded players in the men's draw have golden opportunities to add to their momentum after notching career-best wins, while an American woman will look to keep her impressive US Open run going by pulling off another upset. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites. We offer exclusive sign-up bonuses for some of those sportsbooks in states where sports betting has gone live.
All men's singles matches at Grand Slams such as the US Open are best of five sets, while women's singles matches are best of three sets. A mix of players' previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bets section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
US Open Picks: Upset Alert
Injuries have prevented Vesely from living up to his full potential, and the 30-year-old plays a truncated schedule at this point in his career, but Vesely's No. 437 ranking certainly doesn't do his true ability justice. He has beaten Novak Djokovic before, and Vesely has a displayed some surprisingly strong fitness in this tournament, pulling out five-set wins over Enzo Couacaud and No. 20 seed Francisco Cerundolo. This is the eighth time that Vesely has made the third round or better at a Grand Slam, but it will be the first such occasion for the 25-year-old Gojo, who hasn't faced a seed to get to this point. If Vesely can replicate the form he showed against Cerundolo, this should be his match to lose against the 105th-ranked Gojo.
Both of these players love to get to the net, which is unusual on the WTA Tour. Townsend's aggressiveness took world No. 40 Varvara Gracheva and 16th-ranked Beatriz Haddad Maia out of their comfort zones, as the American knocked out both players without dropping a set. Her focus on doubles -- in which Townsend is ranked fifth -- detracts from her singles ranking, but the 132nd-ranked Townsend has been dangerous at the US Open before, making the Round of 16 back in 2019. Muchova has generally maintained a high level of play in 2023, but she's been susceptible to the occasional head-scratching loss, falling to a player ranked outside the top 100 in two of her previous four tournaments.
US Open Odds: Lock It In
Bencic loves to play in Flushing Meadows, as her three best Grand Slam runs have all come at the US Open. She was a quarterfinalist in 2014 and 2021, in addition to making the semis in 2019. The No. 15 seed will be happy that Zhu knocked off Victoria Azarenka, who has a 2-1 career head-to-head edge against Bencic. The 29-year-old Zhu is currently ranked No. 44 and has never broken into the top 30, so this has become a far more comfortable draw for Bencic as she looks to put together another deep run in New York.
Ostapenko's edge in power off the ground should allow the No. 20 seed to control play against the 73rd-ranked Pera as Ostapenko tries to finally get past the US Open third round in her fourth trip to this stage. She has been to the quarterfinals or better at each of the other three Grand Slams and won the 2017 French Open, so Ostapenko's comfortable in matches of this magnitude. Pera's just 15-22 in Grand Slams, including 1-2 in third-round matches.
US Open Predictions: Value Bets
Zhang's coming off a career-best win, as he took out No. 5 seed and 2022 US Open finalist Casper Ruud in five sets Wednesday. The world No. 67 has the opportunity to follow up that signature moment with another one, as a victory here would propel Zhu to his first Grand Slam fourth round. Hijikata's in his first Grand Slam third round, and this is only the third Grand Slam main draw for the 22-year-old Australian, who has spent most of his career thus far toiling on the challenger tour. Zhang's among the tournament ace leaders with 33 through two matches, and his big serve should be the difference here against his 110th-ranked opponent.
Like Zhang, Stricker's brimming with confidence coming off a career-best win. The 21-year-old got into this tournament the hard way, winning three qualifying matches before adding two wins in the main draw, with the latter coming against No. 7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Stricker has a golden opportunity to add to this breakout tournament against Bonzi, who has dropped outside the top 100 and came into this tournament with a 2-9 record in his previous 11 matches.