Australian Open Odds: Day 12 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 12 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 12 Match Analysis and Picks
By Ricky Dimon
Covers.com

NOVAK DJOKOVIC VS. ANDY MURRAY (OVER/UNDER 37.5 GAMES)

With new coach Ivan Lendl in Andy Murray's camp, the question remains when and if he will ever win a Grand Slam. Before he gets a shot at the title against Rafael Nadal, Murray first has to get past World No. 1 and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

Murray has been on fire in Melbourne since losing the first set of this tournament to Ryan Harrison. Blowout after blowout has been the story for the World No. 4. In fact, you could argue that it's almost been too easy for Murray. It's like he’s jumping from five straight, first-round matches right into a showdown with the best player in the world.

Djokovic's ride has been slightly rockier than Murray's, although that’s not saying a lot. The World No. 1 dropped a set to Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round then sustained an apparent hamstring injury in the middle of his quarterfinal match against David Ferrer. The issue seemed to affect Djokovic throughout the second set, but he survived it in a tiebreaker before moving better and dominating the third 6-1.

Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 6-4. That bodes well for Murray's chances of at least making this one competitive, but the result which means the most is the worst one for the Scot. In last year's Aussie final he was humiliated by Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

The good news for Murray is that this is a slam semifinal as opposed to a final. Nothing suggests he can handle the pressure of playing for a major title, but he’s a proven semifinal winner. He is 3-5 lifetime in slam semis, with his latest win coming last year at this event over Ferrer and his losses coming only to Nadal (four times) and Andy Roddick (2009 Wimbledon).

Djokovic will likely be too good for Murray to get all the way over the hump, but another rout doesn’t appear to be in the cards. Count on this one lasting more than 37.5 games in either a tight four or a five-setter. Over 3.5 sets at -175 is also a good play. As for the winner, Djokovic at -250 simply is not good enough value.

Pick: Over 37.5 games

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