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Roberto Bautista Agut
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Tennis Best Bets for October 11

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: October 11, 2021, 5:22 pm ET

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The action at Indian Wells is really heating up, and on Monday we'll be treated to a giant slate filled with fun matches on the men's side. I've picked out a couple of lines I love on the men's side, so without further ado let's get down to them.

Cameron Norrie (-137) vs. Roberto Bautista-Agut (+112)

This is a famous rematch, with Norrie meeting the man who essentially put him over in the tennis world. The Brit took down Bautista-Agut back at the 2018 Davis Cup when he was a relative unknown, just turning pro mere months prior.

Bautista-Agut has grown since that moment, and probably has the upper hand when it comes to sheer ability on a slower surface. Though RBA did fall in that five-setter to Norrie, he's got more shape on his shots and better variety than Norrie, who thrives on fast surfaces where he can push the ball and let it skid, driving his opponents back. The Spaniartd should be able to craft his points brilliantly.

Simply put, this is a price you're probably never going to get again on Bautista-Agut. He comes at a discount because of his lack of matches since the U.S. Open, but it's important to note that he seemed refreshed by a week off at the U.S. Open and played some of his best tennis of the year. The time off here will probably help him to new heights.

Edge: Bautista-Agut +112

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Andrey Rublev (-589) vs. Tommy Paul (+410)

There seems to be something off with Rublev these days; his power forehand simply isn't on point like it was last year, and his service has been surprisingly breakable. With that, I see value in taking American Tommy Paul to push him a bit.

Paul likes a slower surface and had plenty of success as a junior on the red clay, which is unusual for an American given the lack of clay courts we have. His forehand plays up a lot more on surfaces like the one at Indian Wells, which is giving spinning balls an extra kick, playing like a quick clay court. While Rublev is a great clay player in his own right, the market isn't properly reflecting Paul's ability level here given he hasn't played on a slow surface in a long time.

The American should take a set, but at the very least should play two tight sets. With that, I will target the total, just in case he falls behind in the third and essentially throws in the towel, like he's done in the past. Paul could pull off an upset here in southern California, a place near and dear to his heart.  

Edge: Over 21.5

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.