Sunday Tennis Best Bets: 2 Favorite Picks on BNP Paribas Open Afternoon Slate at Indian Wells (Oct. 10)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Jan-Lennard Struff hits a backhand at the BNP Paribas Open.
On the second day of second-round action at the BNP Paribas Open, there are a number matchups that offer value to potentially capitalize on.
That said, here’s how I’m betting the live early Sunday slate.
Match times are subject to change.
Fabio Fognini (-120) vs. Jan-Lennard Struff (+100)
3:20 p.m ET
The last time these two met it was one of the weirdest contests of the season. After blowing a break lead in the first set when serving for it, Fognini lost the set and appeared to be dealing with health issues. However, the Italian was able to capitalize on Struff’s awful form to win the second set and push it to a decider.
Once again, the big-serving German was able to find a break, but he gave it back to Fognini with sloppy play and tightness. Fognini went on to win before losing to Andrey Rublev in the next round. However, Rather than Fognini winning that match, it could be better described as Struff losing it.
He entered the meeting having lost five of his past six outings and proceeded to go on the same run afterward. Struff hasn’t been himself, but he showed flashes of what he looks like when striking the ball well in his first-round match with Daniel Elahi Galan.
Fognini enters the match in similar form to Struff, having lost four of his last five. Without a first round to shake off the rust, though, Fognini could find himself in early danger. While we don’t know if the late 2020 version of Struff is returning, it’s likely not going to be the Struff that arrived in Toronto. That’s a problem for Fognini, who can coast into matches at times.
The duo have met twice outside of the Toronto debacle, with the matches split on clay. They are clearly players that engage in a high-variance matchup that is highly reliant on form. Most importantly, Struff had a phenomenal serving performance against Galan. When his serve is working, Struff can be a nearly impossible player to break down.
Getting him at plus money after he looked much improved in his first round is a wise play.
Pick: Jan-Lennard Struff +100 via PointsBet
Cristian Garin (-110) vs. Ernesto Escobedo (-110)
3:20 p.m ET
As I discussed, and as it’s always important in tennis, form can be an indicator to general ability on a given day. I anticipate that being the case between these two, with Escobedo’s form through the roof and Garin one of the worst top-50 players on tour when playing on hard courts.
While the American has looked excellent thus far in the week — racing through the qualifiers and dominating Holger Rune — Garin is coming off of a disappointing US Open loss to Henri Laaksonen and a thorough beatdown coming from Norbert Gombos in a Davis Cup match. Garin lost to the Slovakian, 6-0 6-1, on an indoor hard-court surface.
There is no purpose in playing a guessing game about when someone’s form will flip. Both players have clear trends to acknowledge, and because of that you can take advantage of a price that is highly predicated on the overall statuses of each player.
Escobedo is 4-3 on main draw hard-court matches this season, but the Chilean Garin is a meager 2-6. Go with the world No. 178 to extend that number in the win column.
Pick: Ernesto Escobedo -110 via Bet365