BNP Paribas Open: Preview and Betting Odds for Thursday Afternoon at Indian Wells

BNP Paribas Open: Preview and Betting Odds for Thursday Afternoon at Indian Wells article feature image
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Credit: Vaughn Ridley, Getty. Tommy Paul celebrates a point at the 2021 Toronto Open.

One of the best tournaments on the tennis calendar is upon us as the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells gets underway on Thursday.

While the women’s draw began on Wednesday, 11 matches will kick off the draw on the men’s side today.

Read on for a breakdown of the odds and schedule for each match that will be featured in tennis paradise in the early session of the day.

Match times are subject to change. Check here for a primer on how to watch.

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Alexei Popyrin (-125) vs. Miomir Kecmanovic (+102)

2:00 p.m. ET

The first match of the day will get going on Court 3, where the Australian Popyrin will take on the Serbian Kecmanovic.

The former hasn’t played a match since the third round of the US Open, where he lost to Daniel Evans despite being up two sets.

The latter comes into the first-round matchup in poor form having lost all four matches that he played in the American hard court swing.

Kecmanovic returned to Europe for two indoor hard court events, winning two matches and losing two. Both wins came against competition that he should expect to dominate — in Fernando Verdasco and Adrian Andreev — and against elevated competition he wasn’t able to deliver.

Kecmanovic holds a 3-0 record in the pair’s meetings, with two of those on hard courts and one on clay.

The most recent came in 2019, when Kecmanovic got the better of Popyrin at the Winston-Salem Open.

Philip Kohlschreiber (-270) vs. Taro Daniel (+205)

2:00 p.m. ET

Despite being 37-years-old, Kohlschreiber is still grinding on the ATP Tour with great success.

After earning a first-round win at the US Open, the German was able to put together a nice run at the Moselle Open in Metz that included a tight qualifying loss to Holger Rune and a second narrow defeat in the main draw to Gael Monfils.

Daniel comes into the matchup without much hard court tennis played this year. The 28-year old has garnered just seven matches on hard courts this year, but he’s amassed 36 on clay. Daniel has only played two matches on hard courts since March, with both being losses.

Kohlschreiber took the only match played thus far between the two, making quick work of the Japanese in Monte Carlo two years ago.

Jaume Munar (-150) vs. Carlos Taberner (+122)

2:00 p.m. ET

In this all-Spanish battle, both players are very familiar with the other, having met six prior times. The head-to-head record is all square at 3-3, with matches coming at the Challenger and ITF level.

Neither player particularly enjoys playing on hard courts, as Munar has a 28 percent win rate at the ATP level on hard courts and Taberner has a 17-13 career record across all levels.

The pair combines for 720 professional clay court matches but only 114 on hard courts.

This presents a major opportunity for each player.

Sam Querrey (-150) vs. Daniel Altmaier (+122)

2:00 p.m. ET

2021 has not been kind to the big-hitting American.

Eight of his 10 wins on the year came in a three-week grass period and a 2-8 hard court record was compounded earlier this year with one of the biggest upsets the tour has experienced in 2021. Querrey fell to Yen-Hsun Lu in Miami despite being a -1000+ favorite at some books.

Altmaier has spent most of his year on the Challenger Tour, where he’s found a bit of sustained success. Altmaier has notched two titles at the Challenger level and a couple of clay court ATP semifinals, but he hasn’t been able to notch a win on a hard court all year.

No matter who advances to the second round, both are very fortunate to have the other at this event.

Tommy Paul (-350) vs. Feliciano Lopez (+260)

3:20 p.m. ET

In a battle of old generation versus next generation, the younger competitor is a big favorite.

Though Paul amassed a combined six wins in Cincinnati and Toronto, none of the wins were particularly impressive and he has struggled since.

He lost his last two matches — against clay court specialist Roberto Carballes Baena and Sebastian Korda — but the matchup against Lopez presents a nice opportunity for the American to get back on track.

Lopez has had similarly poor results in recent efforts, winning just one match in the summer hard court swing.

Having not played since the US Open, it’s hard to know what type of form and fitness Lopez will bring into the match and the odds reflect that.

Soon-Woo Kwon (-225) vs. Guido Pella (+175)

3:20 p.m. ET

This is not a line that would have made much sense before 2021, but a lot has changed since the beginning of the year.

Kwon has put some solid results together throughout the season across all surfaces, including a semifinal berth in Eastbourne and quarterfinal berths in Marbella and Singapore. The crown jewel of the season came two weeks ago, though, when the Korean won his first title in Nur-Sultan.

His opponent Pella is in the midst of one of the worst years of his career. However, the tides have changed ever so slightly in recent months, as the Argentinian won two matches in Cincinnati and one in New York before taking a Davis Cup rubber for his country in September.

The odds reflect a concern from oddsmakers with regards to Kwon’s fitness after his title run and subsequent withdrawal from the San Diego Open due to a shoulder problem.

Regardless, he comes into the match as a solid favorite.

Mackenzie McDonald (-145) vs. James Duckworth (+118)

3:20 p.m. ET

Another player that excelled in the indoor hard court swing, Duckworth also reached the final in Nur-Sultan, but the Aussie fell to Kwon. He went on to contend well the following week in Sofia, but fell to Jannik Sinner in two sets from a break up in each.

McDonald hasn’t been finding the best results in the past couple of months, but a run to the final in Washington in which he found some unbelievable tennis was the highlight of his summer.

A five-set loss to Kei Nishikori at the US Open represents the last match he’s played, but he still comes into the matchup as a favorite.

It’s a tough battle to project but one that could feature some excellent rallies and hitting throughout.

Tennys Sandren (-135) vs. Thiago Monteiro (+110)

3:20 p.m. ET

Both players in this matchup made the same interesting decision after first-round exits in New York. Each decided to drop down a level and contend on the Challenger Tour in the run-up to Indian Wells.

Though the strategy was similar, the results were much different.

Monteiro competed in four clay court events, garnering a title and nine wins across the events, while Sandgren retired due to injury from his first go-around (just a game in) and won two matches in his next effort.

It’s impossible to know what type of player each will be when they meet on Thursday, but Sandgren’s career-long hard court pedigree that stands a bit taller than Monteiro’s may be what is giving him the slight favorite status.

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