Tennis best bets for Day 1 of the action at Indian Wells
The BNP Paribas Open kicks off at Indian Wells on Wednesday, March 8th, and VSiN will be providing tennis bettors with daily best bets for the sport's "fifth major." This is one of the biggest tournaments on the tennis calendar, as all the stars try and make their way out to Tennis Paradise. Keep reading for our favorite tennis picks of the day and make sure you come back for more!
MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on March 8
Brandon Nakashima vs. John Isner
Indian Wells is a hard-court tournament, but it plays a little more like clay. The ball flies through the desert air rather fast, but the court itself can best be described as slow and sluggish. That will give Nakashima, who is 2-1 in three career meetings with Isner, the chance to put some returns in play against one of the game’s all-time great servers. If he can, that would be massive because Nakashima should have a massive edge in long rallies. One of the previous meetings between these two was at Los Cabos in 2021, when Nakashima earned a 7-5, 6-4 victory. The young American has only gotten better since then, and those conditions are somewhat like what we’ll see in Palm Springs. With that said, we’re rolling with Nakashima as a small favorite. Isner’s two-match losing streak coming into this one made it an easier decision.
Bet: Nakashima ML (-120)
Federico Coria vs. Diego Schwartzman
This play has nothing to do with Coria and everything to do with how poorly Schwartzman is playing right now. The former world No. 8 comes into this one after having lost 13 of his last 14 matches, while Coria is 10-6 since the start of the 2023 season — with some of those matches coming below the ATP level. Schwartzman might get up a little bit for a match against his fellow countryman, but it’s truly hard to see this one going his way. Schwartzman’s hold percentage on his serve is down below 70.0 percent this season, which would be the first time he’s had a mark that poor since the 2015 season. That would be somewhat palatable if Schwartzman was still an elite returner, but his 14.8 percent hold percentage this season is the lowest of his career, by far. He’s just not doing anything at professional level right now, and his confidence is completely shot.
Bet: Coria ML (+150)
Jordan Thompson vs. Gael Monfils
If Monfils were in better form right now, this is a match in which we’d be running to back him. But we haven’t seen Monfils win a match since defeating Maxime Cressy in Montreal in August of 2022. Monfils then retired from his next match against Jack Draper at that same tournament and we haven’t seen him since. With Monfils having not had time to get his legs under him, it’s hard not to back Thompson in this spot. The Australian comes into this match with a 7-5 record in 2023. Five of those victories came last week at the Rome US Challenger. That’s not a high-level tournament, but it was at least something. Thompson should be feeling confident when he gets on the court for this match, and conditioning should play a role here. Monfils, who hasn’t played a legitimate match in months, might struggle to catch his breath in the desert.
Bet: Thompson ML (-150)
Anna Kalinskaya vs. Alycia Parks
Parks burst onto the scene by winning a title in Lyon back in February, defeating Caroline Garcia in the final. It was a massive win for an American that is now looking like a very promising player on the WTA Tour. However, since winning that title in February, Parks is just 1-3 in the four matches she has played. Now, the American heads to an event in which her biggest weapon will be neutralized by the court conditions. Parks is one of the best servers that the women’s game has to offer, but she might not be able to hit through Kalinskaya in the desert. And unfortunately for Parks, her game from the baseline is nowhere near Kalinskaya’s. Look for this to be a somewhat straightforward win for the 24-year-old. At the very least, there could be a lopsided set that allows us to cover.
Bet: Kalinskaya -2.5 Games (-150)
Bonus: Indian Wells Futures
Carlos Alcaraz to win (+650): Alcaraz is dealing with some health concerns entering this tournament, but his team clearly feels he is healthy enough to play. If he's out there, you'll want some action on him — especially at these odds. He's the best player in the field and these conditions are perfect for him.
Cam Norrie to win (+3100 - 0.25 units): Norrie is worth a small dart throw this week. He won this tournament back in 2021, and he happens to be 18-3 since the start of the 2023 season. This is shaping up to be a career year for the southpaw, who just won a title against Alcaraz on clay a few weeks ago. That should have him prepared to battle it out on these nasty hard courts.
Iga Swiatek to win (+155 - 2 units): Swiatek is the best player on the planet and she is looking to win back-to-back Indian Wells titles. The only player in the world that has given her trouble over the last couple of years is Barbora Krejcikova. But Krejcikova has had trouble dealing with desert conditions in the past. She's not a lock to face Swiatek at all, but she would potentially struggle if she got another crack at it.
Coco Gauff to win (+1800 - 0.5 units): Gauff is worth a small bet in this event. The slower court should give the young American some time to load up and hit her forehand, which is the weakest shot in her toolbox. Gauff can occasionally spray unforced errors from that side, but we don't see that happening here. This is her best shot at winning a big tournament.