Indian Wells Betting Guide: Wednesday 3/13/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
Indian Wells Betting Guide: Wednesday 3/13/24

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 Wednesday.

Indian Wells Best Bets

Casper Ruud vs. Gael Monfils

Over 2.5 Sets (+124)

On paper, this is a mismatch between World No. 9 Casper Ruud and a 37-year-old Gael Monfils sitting outside the top 50. A quick glance at Ruud's 2024 record (13-3) compared to Monfil's (5-6) entering the event further backs this notion.

And yet, the Frenchman has turned back the clock at Indian Wells, knocking out 8th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz and 28th-ranked Cameron Norrie in the last two rounds. And he's done so while reminding everyone that he's still capable of winning points out of nowhere:

Highlights like this are why Monfils has been such a crowd favorite over the years. He combines athleticism, creativity, and flair like few -- if any -- can match on Tour, all while looking so effortless and nonchalant about it.

That being said, he needed three sets to defeat each of those opponents, and fatigue could be a concern at his age. Even at his peak, Monfil often came up short in the latter stages of big tournaments, and besting Ruud today will be no easy task. Despite turning pro in 2004 and winning 12 singles titles, Monfils has never won a Masters 1000 tournament (0-3 in those finals).

Nine of Ruud's 10 singles titles have come on clay, but he's still quite capable on hard courts, which includes being a finalist at the US Open in 2022. While he hasn't added to the trophy case in 2024, making the finals at two hard-court events (Los Cabos and Acapulco) shows that he's in good form. He also hasn't dropped a set in his two Indian Wells matches thus far.

And yet, if we look at Tennis Abstract's Elo ratings, Monfils is still being given a 40.8% chance of victory, and that isn't even taking into account his Indian Wells wins. Although this does suggest that Monfil is a value as a +200 underdog (33.3% implied odds), I have a hard time seeing him beating his third ranked opponent in a row, particularly against one who's performed well.

However, Gael's run at this tournament suggests he won't go quietly into the night, either. I like this one to go to a final set before the Frenchman ultimately fades versus a younger opponent.

Luca Nardi vs. Tommy Paul

Under 20.5 Total Match Games (-128)

In the last round, Luca Nardi delivered the shock of the tournament by upsetting Novak Djokovic.

As a player entering almost exclusively Challenger events, not only did the 20-year-old Nardi come into this tournament with a poor 3-12 ATP Tour career record, but he lost in qualifying, only making it into the draw as a "lucky loser" when Tomas Martin Etcheverry withdrew due to injury.

But that surprise result gives Tommy Paul a golden opportunity to advance to the quarterfinals. Paul has been incredibly efficient in his two Indian Wells matches, defeating Alex Michelsen and World No. 14 Ugo Humbert in straight sets while facing just two total break points. Paul not only sports a 30-18 hard-court record over the last 52 weeks, but he's been to two finals this season, winning one of them (Dallas).

This is an obvious letdown spot for Nardi after delivering what is easily the biggest moment of his tennis life. He may very well have a long career to look forward to, but there's nothing to suggest this dream run will continue. Before facing Djokovic, Nardi's win over World No. 50 Zhizhen Zhang in the prior round was his lone career victory over a top-50 opponent.

Unsurprisingly, Paul is a massive favorite (-800), so it's a little tricky to dig up value. While we're seeing +104 odds on the game spread (Paul -5.5), that's a pretty big number to cover. Therefore, my lean is to pick under 20.5 total match games, as that would mean a standard 6-4, 6-4 win for Paul would hit.

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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.