Tennis

Indian Wells Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/12/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
Indian Wells Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/12/24

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."

We're into the second week of the event, 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 matches in the round of 16 could have the most betting value on Tuesday.

Indian Wells Best Bets

Ben Shelton vs. Jannik Sinner

Sinner -4.5 Games (+102)

This is a fairly high spread for a best-of-three match, but it's not quite to the point where it starts to get truly uncomfortable, and the plus odds are appealing. It doesn't hurt that Jannik Sinner has covered this mark in both of his Indian Wells matches thus far.

It also doesn't hurt when we're backing perhaps the hottest player on the ATP Tour.

Including this tournament, Sinner is a perfect 14-0 in 2024, most notably winning his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January. As the record suggests, he suffered no letdown following that career milestone, adding a title in Rotterdam in February.

If we expand out to the last 52 weeks, no one has put up a better winning percentage on hard courts (88.9%) -- not even Novak Djokovic (88.2%).

Ben Shelton is capable of hanging with the best when he's on his game, and the two split a pair of close matches in late 2023. This season, Shelton is a solid 10-5, but the wins haven't necessarily come easily, with his matches often going to a final set. In fact, six of his last seven matches have gone three sets.

While that could suggest that Shelton can pull the same trick in this match, Sinner is playing on another level these days, and the American is 0-3 facing top-20 opponents this year.

Tennis Abstract's Elo ratings see Sinner winning this match a stunning 89.2% of the time, and if that sounds outlandish, he's actually at 86.7% implied odds as a -650 favorite. Perhaps Shelton proves to be feisty after all, but I'm more willing to bet on a routine win from Sinner, the guy who's beaten Djokovic three out of the last four times he's faced him.

Alexander Zverev vs. Alex de Minaur

Over 2.5 Sets (+112)

Although Alex de Minaur is a slight favorite over Alexander Zverev, this might as well be a toss-up.

There's no question that de Minaur has been in great form, most recently winning a title at Acapulco for the second year in a row. He's 17-4 on the young season and is in the midst of a seven-match win streak.

But Zverev is enjoying a positive 2024, as well. Although he came into Indian Wells off back-to-back losses, Zverev was a semifinalist at this year's Australian Open -- de Minaur made it to the round of 16 -- and he played a pivotal role in Germany's team win at the United Cup.

Over the past 52 weeks, both players are top-10 in winning percentage on hard courts with Zverev barely edging out de Minaur 70.0% to 68.4%.

The German has a sizable 6-2 advantage in their head-to-head, but they've split their last four meetings 2-2, and de Minaur was victorious most recently at the aforementioned United Cup. It's also worth noting that de Minaur cracked the top 10 for the first time ever in January after being stuck as a borderline top-20 player until late last year; early losses to Zverev from five-plus years ago probably hold far less weight now.

Further demonstrating how close this matchup looks, Tennis Abstract forecasts de Minaur to have a 51.2% win probability.

Given the thin margins, it's difficult to pick a winner, which is why it feels better to pick this matchup to go to a final set. Their more recent matches back that up, too, as each of their last hard-court matches have gone three sets dating back to 2020.


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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.