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Alexander Zverev
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Tennis Best Bets for October 13

by Edward Egros
Updated On: October 13, 2021, 8:20 pm ET

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The Round of 16 concludes at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, and with it, some of the top names in the sport hoping to advance to another title. With top seed Daniil Medvedev already ousted, the proverbial door is open for someone else to come in and claim the hardware. Here’s where you can find betting value:

Alex de Minaur (+360) vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (-500)

Avid tennis fans already know this, but what makes Tsitsipas unusual is his one-handed backhand, a stroke not many players on tour use frequently. Because he’s also 6-foot-4 and undoubtedly strong, he can change the angle of the return to virtually anywhere he wants. It’s that control that’s helped him to the No. 3 ranking on tour.

Tsitsipas has also had little trouble in all five head-to-head meetings against de Minaur. Out of 13 sets, Tsitsipas has won 11 of them. However, this is only the second time they’ve played an outdoor hardcourt match against each other. Still, it’s hard to find any way the Greek doesn’t win in straight sets, especially if de Minaur hasn’t had much success earning winners against a one-handed backhand.

EDGE: Sets: Tsitsipas 2-0 (-167)

Gael Monfils (+380) vs Alexander Zverev (-527)

Among the remaining contenders at Indian Wells, Zverev has the highest hard court Elo rating, per tennisabstract.com. He took Novak Djokovic to five sets at the U.S. Open, won the Cincinnati Masters and won gold in Tokyo, all on the same surface. However, in California, Zverev did drop a set to Jenson Brooksby and needed a tiebreak against Andy Murray.

You could argue Monfils has better recent form, having not dropped a set so far this tournament. Even more interestingly, per the tour’s return rating system, over the last year on hard courts, the difference in scores is only 0.4 (Zverev’s 147.8 to Monfils’ 147.4). Monfils is better at winning first serve return points and has a higher rate of return games won. While strength of opponent does matter with that second statistic, if ever there was a time to back an underdog with such a huge payout, it’s now.

EDGE: Monfils +380

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