Djokovic is too short at 1.454/9
Medvedev is the value call @ 3.1511/5 given hard-court prowess
Backing a short match is where the value lies in the side markets
In the semi-finals, pre-tournament 12/1-tip Daniil Medvedev overcame the world number one, Carlos Alcaraz, to reach his third US Open final. When he last made the final, in 2021, he won the title, easily swatting aside his rival here, Novak Djokovic.
And Medvedev, at 3.1511/5, is value to repeat the trick.
Whilst Djokovic is the rightful favourite, his odds of 1.454/9 are too short, certainly if going purely off Elo ratings. As I've written about before, there's always a danger that with Djokovic's reduced schedule in recent years and big-game mentality, his Elo rating will not always reflect his true chances when it comes to Major finals.
Nonetheless, the disparity between the two players is not as vast as the market would have us believe, especially when only considering hard-court form. It's right to be nervous about doing this - the data sets are smaller, meaning that overall form on all surfaces can give a better indicator of relative form - but it should at least give us confidence that, if Medvedev is going to overturn Djokovic's slight numerical advantage, it's going to be on the tough stuff. In my book, Djokovic should be the 1.84/5 favourite, but no shorter.
With this in mind, I will not be in a hurry to trade out of my pre-tournament position, although I might change my mind in-play if Medvedev takes an early lead. Elsewhere, the side markets provide some value.
To date, head-to-head, the pair have used 76% of the sets available to them. This highlights a surprising feature of Djokovic and Medvedev matches: although there is little between the pair in terms of form, their encounters are frequently over quickly; eight of their 14 matches have been done in the minimum number of sets, including two this year, both on hard courts.
Backing Three Sets @ 2.89/5 is the value call.
Given this, supporting Medvedev to win 3-0 at around 11.010/1 makes sense.
Although Djokovic has seemed more dominant at this US Open than Medvedev, their routes to the final have been very different. Djokovic's draw has been fortuitously straightforward, and he might struggle against the higher intensity that Medvedev brings.
Sportsbook odds of 5/6 that the pair will play under 38.5 games looks value. Using a percentage-of-available-games measure, the pair use an average of 57% of the available games. That suggests an over/under midpoint of around 37 games.
This might turn into a long-fought classic, but the stats suggest it's more likely to be over quickly.