ATP Indian Wells Picks, Analysis: Best Bets for Saturday’s Second-Round Action, Including Pablo Carreno Busta
WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Pablo Carreno Busta.
The courts are as slow as ever at Tennis Paradise, and it’s making for both some incredible, marathon-like matches in some cases, and lopsided wins that are typically less common on the ATP Tour in others.
Saturday’s action puts a bow on the second round, as the remaining 16 seeds who have yet to play take the court for their first matches of the week.
Let’s delve into a pair of those matches below!
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ATP Indian Wells Odds, Picks
Andy Murray (-155) vs Pablo Carreno Busta (+120)
Talk about two players having divergent seasons to this point in 2023.
Andy Murray is now 7-3 on the year (a bit more on that in a minute), while Pablo Carreno Busta has had a shockingly slow start to his campaign.
That’s reflected pretty evidently in the market price point, as the veteran Brit is a favorite against the world No. 17 in the year 2023.
Now, form is crucial in an individual sport, where a player can’t hide and it’s solely up to them to turn things around. That said, I’m not sure Murray’s form warrants as much respect as it’s getting.
As clutch as he’s been this year, the flip side to that is he’s played a slew of close matches and should probably be 2-3 at this juncture. From Thanasi Kokkinakis’ epic collapse at the Australian Open to Lorenzo Sonego wasting several match points and a double mini break lead in the deciding tiebreak, Murray has been on the ropes. His actual play is not reflected in his record.
The power is still lacking, and while his physical play has been better than in years past, he’s still susceptible to fatiguing at any minute.
The day off on Friday should help, but he once again did himself no favors, needing well over three hours to beat Santiago finalist Tomas Martin Etcheverry (as a -333 favorite).
Carreno Busta is another player who can match his gritty, solid play from the baseline. Considering Murray has struggled to win matches in convincing fashion or has needed incredibly unlikely comebacks, I’m happy to buy low here on the Spaniard as an underdog.
Picks: Carreno Busta ML (+120 via DraftKings)
Miomir Kecmanovic (-130) vs Stanislas Wawrinka (+110)
I’m looking to sell high on Stan Wawrinka as well. It’s weird to say sell high on a player who hasn’t even been that good for months, but hey, his valuation in this spot is pretty high as the slightest of dogs, so the point stands.
The Swiss legend had a nice first-rounder against Aleksandar Vukic, but it’s worth noting the Challenger Tour regular is far more proficient on quicker surfaces, and Wawrinka still needed three sets to get that done.
Miomir Kecmanovic is a completely different assignment. For starters, he’s got a much higher tour-level pedigree.
Second, unlike Vukic, he prefers slower courts, thriving on hard courts where he isn’t rushed and on clay.
In fact, he was the closest player to beating last year’s Miami champion, Carlos Alcaraz, at that event — the only player to win a set against Alcaraz, and he got him to a third-set tiebreak. Plus, he’s already reached the final of a 250 this year in Delray Beach — a tournament played on medium-slow courts.
He’s also a quarterfinalist from this event a year ago, so the familiarity and comfort in these fairly unique conditions are present.
Finally, with this being a near pick ’em, let’s take a look at who Wawrinka has actually beaten this year.
He has two wins against the mercurial Alexander Bublik, another two against an aging Richard Gasquet, the aforementioned Vukic victory, and then a three-set triumph against a talented but disappointing Zizou Bergs.
Nothing too special there. I’m happy to take the Serbian in this second-round clash.
Pick: Kecmanovic ML (-130 via FanDuel)
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