Indian Wells 2023: Tennis best bets, odds and predictions for Saturday, March 18th

By Zachary Cohen  ( 

March 18, 2023 07:20 AM

Tennis best bets for the men's semifinals at Indian Wells

If you're looking to bet the men's semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, then you came to the right place. We have a pair of tennis best bets for the "fifth major" for Saturday, March 18th, and we're hoping that you decide to tag along. These picks have been very profitable to this point in the tournament. Keep reading for our tennis predictions for the day and make sure you keep coming back for more! 

MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on March 18

Frances Tiafoe vs. Daniil Medvedev 

Medvedev and Tiafoe have met four times on the ATP Tour since the start of the 2019 season. In those matchups, Medvedev is 4-0 and has dropped just one out of the 11 sets that they have played. Now, the Russian is at the absolute peak of his abilities, making it hard not to like him in this spot.

Medvedev came into this tournament after having won three titles in a row, and he has already had some impressive victories in the desert. Two matches ago, Medvedev won a tight one against Alexander Zverev, who appears to be back to playing at a top-15 level after suffering a serious ankle injury last year. Then, Medvedev went out and earned a straight-set win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarterfinals. Davidovich Fokina is a very good clay-court player, so it was big for Medvedev to beat the Spaniard in these similar conditions.

With Medvedev cruising even in a tournament that doesn’t suit his game very well, it’s hard not to take him to beat Tiafoe in straight sets. The value simply isn’t there to back the Russian on the moneyline, and there really isn’t much preventing Medvedev from making quick work of Tiafoe. Not only does Medvedev have the better serve between these two, but he’s also the better returner. And he happens to play some of the best defense on tour, so he could frustrate Tiafoe with his ability to force opponents to play extra balls — even on should-be winners. 

We should also point out that clay is the only surface in which Tiafoe has a losing record in his career. With that said, the fact that Medvedev won’t like these clay-like hard courts isn’t exclusive to just him.

Bet: Medvedev To Win 2-0 (-120) 

Jannik Sinner vs. Carlos Alcaraz

This matchup is one that all tennis fans and bettors should be excited about, as this has the potential to be the best rivalry in this sport for a decade. These two played in an absolute classic at the 2022 US Open, where Alcaraz grinded out a 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-3 victory and eventually won two more matches to claim his first Grand Slam title. But Sinner had won two matches in a row against Alcaraz heading into that one, and the Italian has won at least one set in all but one of the five matches they’ve played against one another — which includes one meeting at the Challenger level.

Considering Sinner has stood tall in this matchup in the past, it’s hard not to take him to win a set in this one. Alcaraz is the more talented player between these two, and he is the one that has had more success early in his career. But you’d get the same -175 odds for him to win outright that you would get to take Sinner to just win one set. And this is a matchup that has given Alcaraz trouble in the past, so why not play it a little safer?

Alcaraz’s combination of speed, power and touch is something that not a lot of players can deal with, but Sinner is one of the best pure ball-strikers on the planet. His power from the baseline makes Alcaraz a little uncomfortable, and his ability to hit passing shots makes it difficult for the Spaniard to come to the net.

Ultimately, we’d lean Alcaraz if we were just trying to pick a winner here. But it’s a lot closer than you might think, so the best play is giving yourself a chance to win before a deciding third set.

Bet: Sinner +1.5 Sets (-175) 

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