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Monday ATP Indian Wells Odds, Picks & Analysis: Will Brooksby Notch Upset Win? (March 14)

Monday ATP Indian Wells Odds, Picks & Analysis: Will Brooksby Notch Upset Win? (March 14) article feature image

Icon Sportswire/Getty. Pictured: Jenson Brooksby hits a forehand at the Indian Wells Masters.

After a whirlwind start to the Indian Wells Masters that has included some seeded upsets and third set tiebreakers, we move into the second week of the tournament.

There are some big-time matchups awaiting in the round of 32, and with them come some valuable opportunities, including four young stars of the sport.

Here is how I’ll be betting the round of 32 in Indian Wells.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (-156) vs. Jenson Brooksby (+130)

9 p.m. ET

Brooksby’s ascension in becoming one of the best next-gen stars of the game within a matter of a year has been incredible to watch, and the hype surrounding the 21-year-old is fully deserved.

The conditions at Indian Wells suit the American as well as anyone, and he’s gotten the results to show for it. Facing Roberto Carballes Baena and Karen Khachanov, Brooksby won the matches in straight sets, earning 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 and 6-3 sets.

His pure domination is reflected in the underlying statistics, too. Brooksby limited a powerful player in Khachanov to 58% of his points behind his first serve and 40% behind his second. Meanwhile, Brooksby won 67% of the points returning Carballes Baena’s second serve.

On Brooksby’s serve, he’s won no less than 68% of the points behind both of his serves, generating 18 break points against his opponents’ five.

Tsitsipas was tested thoroughly in his first match of the tournament against Jack Sock, but the Greek ultimately prevailed in a third set tiebreaker. Tsitsipas posted his second-best first serve percentage since the Australian Open, and was consistent off of his backhand wing, which can be vulnerable at times.

Much like Sock, Brooksby isn’t going to afford Tsitsipas any breathing room — but at an even higher level. We saw Brooksby push Alexander Zverev, a world class player, to his absolute limit in Acapulco. Brooksby even generated two match points against Zverev.

It’ll be much harder for the world No. 5 to hang in rallies with Brooksby, and with the duo playing in the evening, it’ll be even harder for Tsitsipas to generate free points off of his serve.

I have Brooskby as a favorite in this match, so getting him at plus-money feels like an absolute steal.

Pick: Brooksby +130 via FanDuel

Casper Ruud (-120) vs. Nick Kyrgios (+100)

10:20 p.m. ET

Another blockbuster matchup comes in the form of two world-class talents who have a bit of tension between them.

Ruud originally made his mark on Tour thanks to his clay court ability, and his rise up the rankings came as a result of his clay court results, according to Kyrgios, who had jokingly accused Ruud of “stealing points” in the summer clay swing.

Either way, this is a remarkably fascinating battle between two different styles that have similar key qualities to them.

Both possess massive forehands and a big serve, though Kyrgios puts a touch more emphasis on those elements of his game. Ruud has more rally tolerance but a bit less fire power, though the slow conditions should largely neutralize the difference.

The Norwegian did get a taste of a big server already in Indian Wells, getting past Chris Eubanks in two sets after battling through a first set tiebreaker. Of course, Kyrgios is a different beast, but it’ll be helpful to have that experience under his belt.

Neither Ruud nor Kyrgios has been broken on the week, so break opportunities will be at a premium. Ruud didn’t face a single break point against Eubanks, but Kyrgios has survived nine chances for his opponents.

We can expect a touch of regression out of the Australian, who doesn’t tend to lock in quite as well as his counterpart.

On the ground, Ruud and Kyrgios will look to be offensive off the forehand wing and consistent off the backhand side, but in the incredibly slow night conditions, Ruud’s rally tolerance will be crucial to taking rallies.

If this match was played on a fast hard court or on grass, the balance would likely shift to Kyrgios, but in these circumstances, Ruud should be a greater favorite.

Pick: Ruud -115 via WynnBet

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