Indian Wells Betting Guide: Saturday 3/9/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
Indian Wells Betting Guide: Saturday 3/9/24

Indian Wells -- aka the BNP Paribas Open -- is one of the world's most prestigious non-major tennis tournaments, often unofficially regarded as the "Fifth Grand Slam."

The opening rounds are already underway, and what better way to get in on the action than by making some wagers on the Indian Wells Betting Odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

Let's see which second-round matches could have the most betting value on Saturday.

Indian Wells Best Bets

Tommy Paul vs. Alex Michelsen

Paul -3.5 Games (-102)

With 17 seed Tommy Paul owning a first-round bye, he enters his opening Indian Wells match coming off back-to-back losses, but his overall body of work has been quite positive lately.

Over the last 52 weeks, Paul has amassed a 30-18 record on hard courts, and his 62.5% win percentage in that sample is tied for the Tour's 17th-best mark. In 2024, he's gone 10-4 -- all on hard courts -- and that includes taking home his second career title (Dallas) and making the final at Delray Beach (finishing runner-up to top American Taylor Fritz).

Alex Michelsen is fresh off a historic first-round victory, becoming the youngest American player to win a Masters 1000 match. While it's a notable achievement for the 19-year-old, his 6-6 record this season demonstrates the consistency isn't there yet, something that certainly isn't uncommon for young players.

It's also worth noting that while Michelsen dominated his first-round opponent, Jaume Munar, in straight sets (6-2, 6-3), Munar was participating in clay tournaments before this event and has a poor 20-46 career record on hard courts. Needless to say, he wasn't the toughest competition.

Paul and Michelsen went toe to toe for the first time earlier this year, and while the match went to a final set, Paul ultimately prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 7-6.

Tennis Abstract's Elo ratings are high on Paul in this matchup, granting him a 72.0% win probability, a mark that's even higher than his 67.2% implied odds as a -205 favorite.

While we can't rule out another tightly contested match between these two, there's much more value in backing Paul to cover the spread at nearly even odds. Michelsen could be developing into a dangerous threat, but my leaning is to still side with the more consistent and established player.

Adrian Mannarino vs. Tomas Machac

Mannarino ML (+148)

We find another seeded player coming in on a bit of a skid, as 21 seed Adrian Mannarino has dropped three matches in a row. But unlike Tommy Paul, Mannarino has a more troubling 6-7 record this season, and at 35 years old, it's always possible the years are catching up to him.

Still, the Frenchman reached the Round of 16 at the Australian Open in January, surviving three straight five-set encounters before getting wiped out by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. One of those victories came against 16th-ranked American Ben Shelton, suggesting Mannarino hasn't lost a step just yet.

Over the last 52 weeks, Mannarino is 29-17 on hard courts, which actually comes to a better win percentage (63.0%) than the aforementioned Paul. Last fall, he won a pair of hard courts titles at Astana and Sofia, giving him three championships on the surface going back to 2022.

The 23-year-old Tomas Machac might be the far younger player, but he's just 5-4 in Tour-level matches to begin 2024 and is just 18-17 on hard courts to begin his career. It took him three sets to defeat a past-his-prime Stan Wawrinka in the first round, which might not be a great sign considering Wawrinka was solely playing clay matches last month.

Tennis Abstract's numbers project this matchup to be closer to a pick 'em, giving Mannarino a 49.6% chance of winning. While it's possible Mannarino's run of bad form continues, I'm inclined to buy low here, as +148 odds imply just a 40.3% win probability.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.