WTA Miami Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Bencic vs. Osaka, Pegula vs. Swiatek
Photo by Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua via Getty Images. Pictured: Naomi Osaka.
- The women's semifinals are upon us at the Miami Open.
- Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek will both take the court, creating a possible blockbuster final.
- David Gertler breaks down his best bets below.
The Miami semifinals are set!
I’ve spotted value in both of Thursday’s matches, including a play on Belinda Bencic vs Naomi Osaka.
Here are two bets to think about from the WTA Tour event in Miami.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Belinda Bencic (+175) vs Naomi Osaka (-225)
3 p.m. ET
Belinda Bencic easily beat Daria Saville 6-1, 6-2 in the Miami quarterfinals. However, Saville was, self-admittedly, worn down coming into the match.
Bencic won 65% of her service points and saved seven of eight break points. The Swiss also won 64% of her return points, breaking Saville six times in seven service games.
Bencic didn’t beat Saville solely based on Saville’s physical status. There’s a reason why Bencic hasn’t dropped a set all tournament. In Miami, Bencic has only lost 17 games and broken serve 20 times! She’s hitting the ball cleanly from the baseline and is doing a great job of controlling her aggressive groundstrokes.
Naomi Osaka has also not dropped a set all week. In her latest victory, she beat an injured Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals.
Osaka won 88% of her first-serve points and not facing a break point all match. Osaka also did a great job of exploiting Collins’ second serve, winning 68% of her second-serve return points. She is crushing the ball from the baseline and she’s hitting into tight windows with remarkable control, regardless of the Collins injury.
Osaka has only faced ten break points in her four Miami matches and has saved nine of those break points. She’s hit 28 aces compared to one double fault this week and has been almost unplayable from the ground.
While Osaka has struggled with her second serve, going three-straight matches with below 60% second serves won, I don’t think it will matter. Osaka’s first serve is such a big advantage and she is so locked in from the baseline, that Bencic’s second serve return won’t be enough to turn the tide. When Osaka is able to fend off Bencic’s return and neutralize the point, she’s immediately in the driver seat due to her superior baseline game.
It’s important to note that Osaka’s overall Elo rating is 66.4 points better than Bencic’s and her hard-court Elo is 75.7 points better than the Swiss’.
Osaka should cover this spread.
Pick: Osaka -3.5 games (-113 via PointsBet)
Jessica Pegula (+380) vs Iga Swiatek (-550)
9 p.m. ET
After Anhelina Kalinina retired against Jessica Pegula in the round of 16, Pegula was fortunate to receive another win via retirement in the quarterfinals. This time, Pegula was up 4-1* on Paula Badosa when the Spaniard pulled the plug.
However, don’t let the retirements fool you, Pegula is playing excellent tennis this week. She hasn’t lost a set and already had comfortably beat both Sloane Stephens and Elena Rybakina in Miami. Pegula has yet to let an opponent win 40% of their second serves and she’s won 21/24 service games this tournament.
All aspects of Pegula’s game are clicking. She’s serving well and ripping the ball cleanly from the baseline with remarkable consistency from both wings. The scary thing for the rest of the field is that Pegula is very-much playing within herself and does not seem to be redlining at all.
Iga Swiatek has now won 15 matches in a row. Most recently, she took down Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the Miami semifinals.
Against Kvitova, Swiatek won 73% of her service points, not facing a break point all match. On return, she won 72% of Kvitova’s second serves. Her baseline game as a whole was very strong, with a perfect combination of incredible defensive skills and powerful groundstrokes when the Pole had opportunities to play offense.
Swiatek has won Doha, Indian Wells, and now made the semifinals in Miami. Swiatek is in an incredible rhythm from the baseline, hits her spots on serve, and can dominate with her heavy forehand. And, given how well Swiatek moves around the court, it’s very difficult to hit through her.
Swiatek is a deserved favorite in this match, but Pegula can keep this close. She’s hitting aggressively, like Kvitova did, but with much more control. Pegula won’t gift Swiatek as many free points as Kvitova did.
As I mentioned earlier, Pegula has held in 21/24 service games and is doing a great job of protecting her serve. While Swiatek will certainly get in some of her service games, Pegula is serving well enough at the moment to (largely) hold the Pole off.
5.5 games are too many given Pegula’s level at the moment.
Pick: Pegula +5.5 games (-118 via PointsBet)
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