BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells preview, predictions and best bets: Daniil Medvedev goes for 4 straight titles

Daniil Medvedev hits a forehand during the 2019 U.S. Open final.
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

March Madness may refer to college basketball’s postseason, but it would also be an accurate description of the tennis calendar. Masters 1000s are the second-highest level of tournaments on tour and there are 2 of them this month – back-to-back in Palm Springs, California and Miami, Florida.

The upcoming BNP Paribas Open is perhaps the most fun event on the entire tennis circuit, played pretty much right in the desert at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Unless you are injured (or banned from entering the United States like Novak Djokovic), you are playing in Indian Wells. Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Andy Murray, Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula will all be taking their talents to California.

Speaking of Medvedev, I have been on his bandwagon the past 2 weeks and to say that has worked out well would be an understatement. A 3-star play on him to win the Rotterdam Open cashed at +187 and a 2-star bet on him in Dubai was a +400 winner.

I’m on a roll heading into Indian Wells, so let’s take a look at the odds and my best bets.

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ATP Indian Wells odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook  

Daniil Medvedev +300
Carlos Alcaraz +600
Stefanos Tsitsipas +750
Jannik Sinner +900
Holger Rune +2000
Andrey Rublev +2000
Taylor Fritz +2200
Felix Auger-Aliassime +2200
Camero Norrie +3500
Casper Ruud +3500
Alexander Zverev +3500
Alex de Minaur +3500
Matteo Berrettini +4000
Hubert Hurkacz +4000 

3-star value play: Daniil Medvedev (+300)

Medvedev has won 3 tournaments in the last 3 weeks and I had plays on him for each of the last 2. There is no reason to get off the bandwagon now. Not only is Medvedev on fire, but the competition level at the BNP Paribas Open also does not look spectacular. Novak Djokovic (unvaccinated) and Rafael Nadal (hip) are out, while Carlos Alcaraz (hamstring) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (shoulder) are both probably less than 100 percent. Keep in mind that when Medvedev gets hot he can be borderline unbeatable. In 2019, he went on a run of reaching 6 consecutive finals, 3 of which he won. That stretch included 2 Masters 1000 titles and a runner-up performance at the U.S. Open. The 27-year-old looks to be in similarly daunting form right now. 

2-star value play: Taylor Fritz (+2200)

Fritz is the defending champion in Indian Wells and I wouldn’t be shocked if he wins it again. With Djokovic and Nadal sidelined and several other top players less than 100 percent physically, Fritz is probably the second-best healthy player in the men’s field behind only Medvedev. As such, when you can get him all the way up at +2200 it’s an absolute steal. This is basically a home tournament for the 25-year-old Californian and the draw sets up nicely for him with Medvedev in the other half. 

1-star value play: Hubert Hurkacz (+4000)

Hurkacz is also a Masters 1000 champion, as he triumphed on the second leg of the Sunshine Double in 2021 by lifting the trophy in Miami. The 26-year-old from Poland knows how to win big tournaments and he just might win this one. Hurkacz is 12-5 this season with a title in Marseille and his only losses have come to Djokovic, Fritz (in 2 tiebreakers), Grigor Dimitrov (in 2 tiebreakers), Sebastian Korda (in a fifth-set tiebreaker) and Matteo Berrettini (in 3 sets). The world #11 is also on the opposite side from Medvedev in the bracket, so the door could be open.

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WTA Indian Wells odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook  

Iga Swiatek +150
Aryna Sabalenka +800
Jessica Pegula +1100
Barbora Krejcikova +1100
Elena Rybakina +2000
Coco Gauff +2000
Belinda Bencic +2200
Veronika Kudermetova +2500
Caroline Garcia +2800
Ons Jabeur +2800
Maria Sakkari +2900
Victoria Azarenka +5000
Karolina Pliskova +5000
Marta Kostyuk +500

3-star value play: Coco Gauff (+2000)

When a player is only 18 years old, you would think that the general consensus is that he or she would have plenty of time before they are expected to win something big. Well, Gauff is not your normal 18-year-old. She was already winning matches at Wimbledon when she was 15, but 4 years later she still hasn’t captured either a Grand Slam or 1,000-point title. At her young age she isn’t exactly past due, but the time is now. Gauff has a favorable draw in the half of the bracket opposite Swiatek and the slow, high-bouncing conditions in Indian Wells suit her game to perfection. This is a great opportunity for the American.

2-star value play: Victoria Azarenka (+5000)

Azarenka is a 2-time champion of this tournament and she also reached the final in 2021. Although 33 years old may seem elderly in women’s tennis, it’s not in Azarenka’s case. The Belarusian just reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and comes in at #14 in the rankings. Her quarter of the Indian Wells bracket is not difficult at all and she cannot face Swiatek until the semis. It has to be said that +5000 odds on Azarenka are nothing short of ridiculous.

1-star value play: Maria Sakkari (+2900)

If you watched have watched Break Point on Netflix, you know that Sakkari made it to the Indian Wells final last spring before falling to Swiatek. Why can’t she go 1 step further this time? The world #7 is once again opposite Swiatek in the draw (and also Azarenka) and wouldn’t even run into Gauff until the semis. Sakkari recently advanced to back-to-backs semis in Austria and Qatar, so she is playing with confidence.

You can bet various tennis markets at FanDuel Sportsbook, which has the best odds available and a great new customer offer where you can get a No Sweat First Bet of up to $1,000! Click here to take advantage of this can’t-miss offer.

The Pickswise tennis handicappers are on hand throughout the entire tennis season, bringing you the best free expert Tennis predictions and picks from top events including the U.S. Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. 

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