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Odds and Ends

US Open Best Bets for September 11

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: September 11, 2022, 3:30 pm ET

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We've arrived at the final of the US Open on the men's side, and there is a lot on the line. In fact, the World No. 1 ranking is on the line, and a first career Grand Slam title for each man.

Let's get into some picks.

Casper Ruud (+175) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (-215)

These two have met twice on tour, and in both matches Alcaraz was able to come through in straight sets. While this may not be as clean, I have a hard time believing Alcaraz loses to Ruud.

The Spaniard is downright better at tennis than Ruud, and he is miles ahead of where he was last season when he beat Ruud 2-0 on his beloved clay, Earlier this season in Miami, even, Alcaraz was a bit behind where he is now — and in that match he came through comfortably.

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While Ruud's backhand has improved dramatically and can no longer be called a weakness, it still lacks any pace and should get clobbered by Alcaraz. On top of that, the pace coming at him from Alcaraz on the backhand and inside-out forehand should really test and break down the Norwegian's backhand.

Ruud's nerves have gotten the best of him in most big matches he's played, and I think that should be the case once again here. He came out shaky against Karen Khachanov, and if he does that again in the biggest match of his life, it could be over quickly.

Alcaraz has come out strong in every first set he's played this tournament and if he can grab a lead there's no way in for Ruud.

Edge: Alcaraz -2.5 Games

Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.