Tennis best bets for the action at the Miami Open on Saturday, March 25th
We're a few days into the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, and the second half of the Sunshine Double has been fun thus far. We're looking forward to watching some more good tennis from the Sunshine State over the next week or so. With that in mind, keep reading for our tennis best bets for Saturday, March 25th, and make sure you keep coming back for more! We are coming off a very profitable run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, and we think you'll be happy with what you get from us here.
MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on March 25
Aleksandar Kovacevic vs. Francisco Cerundolo
Cerundolo is ranked a lot higher than Kovacevic and is barely favored to win this match. When you see something like that, you should always assume the oddsmakers set it up that way for a reason.
Kovacevic is coming off a very nice win over Jaume Munar. Now, the American heads into a meeting with Cerundolo, who made a run to the semifinals here last year. While that might make you want to back Cerundolo in this match, we should point out that a lot of pressure comes with a result like that. Cerundolo is now defending a lot of ranking points at this tournament, and he hasn’t exactly been playing well coming into the event.
Cerundolo is just 8-9 on the season and hasn’t found his groove at all thus far. He’s also a player that isn’t very good with the ball on his racquet, but that isn’t the case for Kovacevic. The American has a hold percentage of 89.0% at the Challenger level this year, and he has a lot of pop on his first serve. That, along with a booming forehand, should allow him to win a lot of easy points against Cerundolo. But Cerundolo will be working a lot harder to hold.
This just seems like a good spot to take a shot on a live ‘dog, so we’re playing Kovacevic and hoping for the plus-money payout.
Bet: Kovacevic ML (+120)
Ben Shelton vs. Adrian Mannarino
It’s a little surprising to see that Shelton is only a -170 favorite against Mannarino. The American played his college tennis at the University of Florida, so this is more or less going to serve as his hometown tourney moving forward. With the crowd in his corner, it’s hard to see Shelton not pulling out a victory in this spot.
Mannarino is a very sturdy player in every area of the game, but he just doesn’t have the weapons and raw power to beat a guy like Shelton in these conditions. Shelton already has one of the most dangerous serves in tennis, and that is going to be an even bigger asset on these fast courts. It wouldn’t be all that shocking if Mannarino didn’t break serve once in this match, but Shelton should get a few looks at doing so against the Frenchman.
It's also not like Mannarino has a history of beating fellow southpaws. He barely has a winning record against other lefties in his career, and he is just 3-3 against them in the last 52 weeks. With that said, he doesn’t have some sort of mental edge of knowing what his opponent wants to do.
Look for Shelton to win this match in a relatively stress-free way. This kid hasn’t come close to reaching his potential, but he’s better than Mannarino right now.
Bet: Shelton ML (-170)
Petra Martic vs. Elise Mertens
We hit a bet on Mertens to beat Daria Kasatkina for a plus-money payout the other day, but Mertens was not very impressive in that match. Kasatkina gifted that victory to her, as she was spraying unforced errors and just did not look like she wanted to be there. With that said, it’s hard to see Mertens as a player that is capable of beating somebody like Martic in straight sets right now.
Martic played very well in a 6-3, 6-3 win over Xiyu Wang in the first round here. She also took a set off Mertens when the two met in St. Petersburg last year, and that was a better version of the Belgian. Mertens currently is playing with a taped shoulder, and she didn’t look all that comfortable in her win over Kasatkina. In fact, she blew a double-break lead in the first set, handing her opponent a one-set lead. That type of lousy play can plague her for long stretches, and that’s why we think Martic will have an opening or two here.
We don’t necessarily think Martic will win this match outright, but we do see her making it tough on Mertens. And these are great odds to win a set against an opponent that is ranked similarly.
Bet: Martic +1.5 Sets (-140)