ATP Indian Wells Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks

  • Johnson the wrong underdog
  • Mannarino can shock Murray
  • Easy for Anderson
  • Berrettini’s game suits conditions

ATP Indian Wells Picks

Steve Johnson to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at +120 at bet365

Adrian Mannarino to beat Andy Murray at +230 at Caesars Sportsbook

Kevin Anderson to beat Jordan Thompson 2-0 at +140 at PointsBet

Matteo Berrettini to win the BNP Paribas Open at +2500 at PointsBet

Best outright pick

Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini looks a tempting price this week.

Indian Wells is an event where the big-hitters have often performed well with their big serves given some extra zip by the dry desert air. However, the slow Plexipave courts are high-bouncing so if you like to crush the groundstrokes, you also get some joy.

Milos Raonic has done this to good effect in the past, finishing runner-up in 2016 and reaching three other semi-finals, while Juan Martin del Potro used a similar style to win the title in 2018.

Berrettini, a quarter-finalist at the recent US Open, is very good at using that one-two punch, and odds of +2500 look a bit on the lumpy side.

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How to Watch ATP Indian Wells

ATP Indian Wells Information
What ATP BNP Paribas Open
Location Indian Wells, California, USA
Time Thursday October 7 to Sunday October 17
How to Watch Tennis Channel

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina v Steve Johnson

Johnson looks worth backing as the underdog in this clash given his opponent’s struggles of late.

Davidovich Fokina has gone 2-7 since reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in June, including 0-3 on the North American hardcourts.

Here he faces a player who usually plays his best tennis in his homeland, indeed Johnson was a quarter-finalist in Washington only a couple of months ago.

Johnson should certainly feel comfortable here this week – Indian Wells is less than three hours’ drive from his home in Redondo Beach – and while the Californian doesn’t have a great record at this tournament, he has beaten some decent sorts here over the years, including Taylor Fritz, Kevin Anderson and Ivo Karlovic.

The American will have spent plenty of time his with his wife and baby daughter, who was seriously ill when born in January, recently and so should be mentally refreshed.

Davidovich Fokina, on the other hand, has mental hurdles to overcome following his awful run.

Andy Murray v Adrian Mannarino

Former world number one Murray is rather hit and miss these days and could be worth opposing here given his price.

At times, the Scot has looked capable of taking on the world’s best again – he wasn’t far away from beating top-10 star Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open – but it should also be remembered that he lost to Roman Safiullin, the current world number 151, at the Rennes Challenger only a few weeks ago.

Mannarino is an experienced campaigner and while he’s lost to Murray in both previous meetings, taking him to five sets back in his pomp in 2015 can hardly be viewed as a bad result.

Murray has openly admitted how he’s struggled with the conditions in the Californian desert over the years – he’s suffered a string of early defeats at this tournament, one he has never won.

Mannarino also troubled Tsitsipas at the US Open, losing in four sets, while it should also be remembered he was two sets to one up on Roger Federer at Wimbledon not so long ago.

He’ll have some decent memories of Indian Wells where he’s claimed three top-25 wins in his career and at +230 looks worth a try.

Kevin Anderson v Jordan Thompson

Anderson has a decent record at this event having three times reached the quarter-finals and while the South African is now in the twilight of his career, I’d expect him to use the conditions to his advantage in this contest.

A big serve here fizzes through the dry desert air and it should cause his Australian foe plenty of problems.

In similarly friendly conditions on the grass of Newport, Anderson emerged as the champion in July and while he’s not enjoyed such success since moving onto the hardcourts, he’s still notched some decent wins, beating Jiri Vesely at the US Open and seeing off Steve Johnson and Lorenzo Musetti in Cincinnati.

He’s won both previous meetings with Thompson in straight sets and I’ll happily back another here at +140.

Thompson has won just two of his last six matches and was last seen losing to little-known Dane August Holmgren, ranked outside the top 800, in San Diego qualifying a couple of weeks ago.

That followed on from a loss to Max Purcell (ranked 205) in Winston-Salem and now six of his last seven defeats have come against players outside the top 100.

With a 1-2 win-loss record in Indian Wells, the Aussie looks ripe for opposing.

Round two upsets?

With all 32 seeds receiving first-round byes, there’s once again ample opportunity to seek potential upsets in the second round.

The one that stands out is Filip Krajinovic.

American Marcos Giron looks like his likely opponent, although he’ll first need to beat a qualifier.

Giron is in fine form at the moment and arrives here off a career-best showing in Sofia where he made the semi-finals. That followed runs to the last eight in Metz and Winston-Salem, the latter here in the US on an outdoor hardcourt.

Born and raised in California, Giron will be fine with the conditions and temperatures of more than 30C. The same cannot be said of Serb Krajinovic, who certainly isn’t used to playing in such conditions at this time of year (this event is usually held in March but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

He also made the semis indoors in Sofia but this will be just his third outdoor hardcourt match since March – and in the other two he suffered pretty miserable defeats to an out-of-sorts Alex de Minaur and Guido Pella, a player hardly renowned for his hardcourt prowess.

If they meet, Giron may be the outsider. To me, that would be wrong.

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Andy Schooler

Expert on Tennis

Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.