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Bet on the Australian Open
World Number One Andy Murray holds the record for most final defeats without winning the Australian Open.
Murray, 29, has lost this tournament five times in the final. In 2016 he lost in three sets to Novak Djokovic, who has won this tournament six times.
Can Murray get one over his rival and finally clinch the title in Melbourne? Or will someone else emerge from the men’s draw to challenge the Big Two?
Let’s take a look at the best Australian Open tennis bets.
Andy Murray to make the final
Murray will be World Number One at a Grand Slam for the first time in his career and he is in fine shape heading into the first major of 2017. The Scot won Wimbledon, gold in Rio and the ATP World Tour finals last year. Statistically he is the best in the business but his track record in Australia is worrying.
Murray has lost all five of his Australian Open finals. In fact, he has won just three of his 11 Grand Slam final appearances. He is hoping to win in Melbourne on his 12th attempt, having won 45 matches at this tournament over the years, without claiming the title.
However, the two-time gold medalist is in position to rewrite history. As first seed he will avoid Djokovic until at least the final and he is 2.75 to win the Australian Open. That isn’t a bad bet. But it may be worth backing him at 1.30 to make the semis instead. Murray’s form in the latter stages of Melbourne is just too concerning to warrant backing him for the title.
If you’re determined to bet on Andy Murray then back him at 3.50 to win two Grand Slam titles this year. He has vastly improved on clay and the French Open could be his year, while Wimbledon is now his domain.
Novak Djokovic to win
This really is the smart bet that your head will force your heart to make. Djokovic is a lovable character in the tennis world but sports betting fans would love to see him defeated in Australia. It doesn’t happen too often and Djokovic is 2.50 to win this tournament. That is the smart bet.
Furthermore, Djokovic has already beaten Murray to win in Qatar this season and appears determined to regain his status as World Number One. He is 1.50 not to win the trophy in the Unibet tennis betting specials. Those odds aren’t worth it for a man on fire right now.
Stan Wawrinka ready to surprise
Outside the Big Two, punters should be looking at Stan Wawrinka to challenge for the title. The Swiss won this tournament in 2014 and has claimed French Open and US Open titles since then. Wawrinka is a gritty, smart player whose endurance means he can match it with the very best, even if his serve is not as strong as those right at the top.
Wawrinka has not lost any of his three previous Grand Slam final appearances. That is impressive in this era of Murray and Djokovic. He is 13.00 to win in Australia, which is a great price considering he can beat anyone on his day.
Rafa Nadal is still fighting
This is a make-or-break season for Rafa Nadal. The Spaniard has not won a Grand Slam since 2014 and injuries are serenely affecting his game. Nadal has lost the endurance that was the keystone to his physical, robust style that won him so many Slams in the mid-to-late-2000s. It is always a disappointment when he has to retire from or during tournaments due to injury.
Nadal offered a glimmer of his former self when reaching the US Open fourth round late in 2016 but the ninth seed has already lost one tournament this year — crashing out in three sets to Milos Raonic in the Brisbane quarters.
Raonic, in fact, is the benchmark Nadal now has to meet. The men’s game has changed from the diminutive back-court grinding power play of Nadal’s era. It is now dominated by the giant, technical and powerful battle of strength that Murray and Djokovic have spearheaded. Raonic (18.00 to win the Australian Open), Kei Nishikori (31.00) and Gregor Dimitrov (38.00) are part of the Murray and Djokovic mould. It’s hard to see where Nadal, at 13.00 to win in Melbourne, can compete.