Australian Open 2022 Free Picks for January 18

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Amanda Anisimova of the United States. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

The Australian Open continues with plenty of tennis action Down Under. The second round begins today. What are the best ways to attack these matches to find winning tennis picks?

Amanda Anisimova vs. Belinda Bencic

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 – 10:15 PM EST at Show Court Arena

Amanda Anisimova has yet to lose a match in 2022. She started her season by winning the Melbourne Summer Series 2 event. She racked up impressive wins on her way to the title. Anisimova defeated Alison Van Uytvanck, Sorana Cirstea, Irina Begu, and Daria Kasatkina. She then beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets in the finals. Anisimova has always been a talented player, but she has dealt with adversity the past couple of seasons. This year she looks rejuvenated and focused on tennis, and the results are apparent.

Belinda Bencic had a successful 2021, highlighted by her Olympic gold medal. Bencic is focused on building on that success, but she faces a tough draw here in the second round. Bencic is 3-1 so far in 2022 with her lone loss being to Paula Badosa. She has accumulated wins over Kiki Mladenovic, Oceane Dodin, and Beatriz Haddad Maia.

This will be an interesting matchup because out of all the players on tour Bencic is well suited to deal with Anisimova's power. Bencic has the skills and defensive ability to redirect the pace generated by Amanda and put Anisimova into some trouble. Yet in the form that Anisimova has been playing lately, it will be a tall task for Bencic, and she must be in her best form.

Because Anisimova has struggled over the past few seasons, I believe she's being undervalued by the sportsbooks. While Bencic does have a game well-suited to defeat her, the fact that we are getting underdog WTA odds on Amanda Anisimova is a value that we cannot pass up. Our first play for the second round will be Amanda Anisimova ML +146.

WTA Pick: Amanda Anisimova ML (+146) at Heritage Sports (Visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Amanda Anisimova ML (+146)
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Qiang Wang vs. Alison Van Uytvanck 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 10:15 PM EST at Court 17

Qiang Wang has not played well the last season and to start 2022. That's why her first-round upset over American upstart Coco Gauff took people by surprise. Yet those who are familiar with Qiang Wang's game were not surprised, as it is quite suited for hard courts. Wang made a nice run in the US Open two years ago but has since failed to replicate her success. The pandemic robbed her of viable practice time and rendered her unable to travel.

Alison Van Uytvanck is one of the best indoor players in the world. This would lend itself well to the quick surface here at the Australian Open. She did well in her opening match over Cristina Busca. Van Uytvanck won 6-3, 6-4. Van Uytvanck has a big serve and plays a power game. 

I don't think Alison Van Uytvanck's power will be enough against the mobile Qiang Wang, who can play defense and offense. Wang can play defense well enough to stretch the rallies with Van Uytvanck. But when Van Uytvanck gets too conservative, Wang has the power to punish a weak shot. Wang's level against Gauff shows that she could be close to being back to her top form, and in which case she will be a force to be reckoned with on the WTA tour. Once again we are taking underdog WTA odds. We will get value from Qiang Wang.

WTA Pick: Qiang Wang ML (+142) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review

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Qiang Wang ML (+142)
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Aslan Karatsev vs. Mackenzie McDonald

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:30 PM EST at Show Court Arena

Aslan Karatsev has had a stellar start to 2022 winning the Sydney tournament before the Australian Open. Aslan Karatsev has wins over Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Lorenzo Sonego, and Miomir Kecmanovic to start the season. It took him five sets and an astounding 107 unforced errors but he surpassed Jaume Munar in a thrilling opening-round Australian Open match.

Mackenzie McDonald is an excellent young American who started his tournament with a win over Nikolo Melijovic. The win moved McDonald to 2-2 on the year. He started the year with a win over Peter Gojowczyk but then fell to Botic van de Zandschulp and Arthur Rinderknech in the tournaments before the Australian Open.

These two have the hearts of fighters who should put together a close match today. Aslan Karatsev is the favorite by ATP odds, yet that's not the best way to approach this match. We will play the Over 38.5. This will be a tightly fought match that will go more than three sets. When you have big servers who play with a never-say-die attitude, the over is often a good play. That is the case here. Today's tennis pick is Aslan Karatsev/Mackenzie McDonald over 38.5 games.

ATP Pick: Aslan Karatsev/Mackenzie McDonald Over 38.5 games (-110) at BetOnline

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.