Tennis best bets for Day 9 of the action at Indian Wells
If you're looking for more BNP Paribas Open tennis best bets for the "fifth major," you're in the right spot. We're diving into three of our favorite picks at Indian Wells for Thursday, March 16th, 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 16
Karolina Muchova vs. Elena Rybakina
We originally planned on playing only the two men's matches today, but it's a little hard to lay off Muchova to win a set in this meeting with Rybakina. At this point in her career, Rybakina has clearly established herself as the second-best player on the WTA Tour. However, she's at her absolute best when she's playing faster surfaces, like grass or hard courts. And while this is a hard-court tournament, it doesn't play like one.
On the other hand, Muchova has a 14-9 record on clay in her career, and she can be a tricky opponent to defeat. This week, she has already earned wins over Yulia Putintseva, Victoria Azarenka, Martina Trevisan and Marketa Vondrousova. Vondrousova had earned a win over Ons Jabeur earlier in the tournament, so that's a hard victory to ignore.
Muchova is also 1-0 in her career against Rybakina, with the Czech winning their encounter in the 2019 US Open. And overall, it feels like people have been writing her off. But she's in the midst of a nice little comeback, and we see her going down swinging here.
Bet: Muchova To Win A Set (-125)
Jannik Sinner vs. Taylor Fritz
It can be a little hard to bet against Sinner at the moment, as the Italian has played some flawless tennis in the desert thus far. Sinner has won three matches in a row in straight sets, and he has done so against Richard Gasquet, Adrian Mannarino and Stan Wawrinka. None of those players are lousy whatsoever, so this run says a lot about Sinner's form. The problem is that he's playing Fritz, who has a few things working in his favor here.
One thing that you have to like about this matchup is that Fritz earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sinner at Indian Wells two years ago. That was before the American truly broke out, and it speaks to the conditions in this tournament. These slower hard courts don't play into the hands of a lot of powerful players, but they do suit Fritz's game perfectly — with part of that having to do with the American being a California kid. And not only does Fritz enjoy playing on these courts, but he'll also have a massive home-court advantage here — to the extent that it could have a Davis Cup feel.
Fritz also has a little more to play for in this matchup, as he won this event in 2022. That means Fritz is defending 1,000 points at this tournament, and those are absolutely crucial for his place in the ATP rankings. With that said, Fritz has more motivation, a head-to-head edge and a slight advantage on the playing surface. That makes it impossible not to back him as a small underdog here.
Bet: Fritz ML (+105)
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Carlos Alcaraz
There was some concern for Alcaraz coming into this tournament, but the Spaniard is looking as good as ever. Despite having dealt with a bad hamstring over the past couple of months, Alcaraz has earned straight-set wins over Thanasi Kokkinakis and Tallon Griekspoor. He was also demolishing Jack Draper in his most recent match, but the Brit had to retire with an injury after having gone down 2-6, 0-2.
With Alcaraz having run through some decent competition without any hiccups, it's pretty clear that the hamstring is holding up just fine. That makes it hard to believe that Auger-Aliassime will find a way to keep things close against him. Auger-Aliassime would likely be able to compete with Alcaraz in an indoor hard-court event, but these conditions really don't suit him well.
Auger-Aliassime had a hard time hitting the ball by Tommy Paul in his last match, and that will only be amplified against Alcaraz. The Spaniard is better than Paul in every way imaginable, and his combination of speed and power will give Auger-Aliassime fits in this one.
Alcaraz is too heavy of a favorite to justify betting on the moneyline — unless you're parlaying it with something else — but he should be able to cover a 3.5-game spread here. Auger-Aliassime has done well to tough it out and make it deep in a tournament that isn't a great fit for him, but that should end here. And Alcaraz should put on a show in eliminating him.
Bet: Alcaraz -3.5 Games (-150)