You may have heard there’s a huge tournament taking place this month.
That’s right, the 2023 Indian Wells Masters, aka the BNP Paribas Open, kicks off in earnest this week in California’s Coachella Valley.
Known as the unofficial “fifth major” of the tennis calendar, Indian Wells is one of the biggest events in the sport and features a deep field of 96 competitors on both the men’s and women’s side.
Before we break down the field, it does beg mentioning that Novak Djokovic would be the betting favorite to win Indian Wells, but he’s still not able to compete in the United States due to his vaccination status.
With Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios all missing out, the tournament does open up a bit.
That said, Daniil Medvedev is a worthy favorite at +250 at DraftKings.
The former World No. 1 is coming off a monumental week that saw him defeat Djokovic en route to a title in Dubai.
Carlos Alcaraz is the second-favorite at +650 and has looked dynamic since returning from a long injury that cost him a spot in the Australian Open.
Alcaraz has a win and a runner-up finish in the two tournaments he’s played in 2023, though both of those were on clay.
Alcaraz should fancy the conditions at Indian Wells, though.
Unlike at the Australian Open or U.S. Open, the conditions at Indian Wells are pretty slow.
That means that players that rely heavily on just serving through their opposition have to come up with a Plan B, while players who don’t have a massive serve but are quality on return can punch up.
Jannik Sinner (+850) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (+900) are the only other players in the single digits. American Taylor Fritz is 22/1 to defend his title here.
Here are our best bets this week at Indian Wells:
Alex de Minaur (50/1, BetRivers)
It seems as if de Minaur is always on the cusp of a breakout but can never get that result that vaults him to the next level.
Perhaps it is time.
The industrious Aussie had some encouraging runs at the Australian Open and in Rotterdam before taking home the title at the Mexican Open with wins over Holger Rune and Tommy Paul along the way.
A player who relies heavily on his work rate and his rally tolerance over his power, de Minaur should be well-suited for the conditions at Indian Wells.
Tommy Paul (50/1, BetMGM)
It’s been an incredible 2023 for Paul already.
The New Jersey native made it to the semifinals at the Australian Open and was a runner-up to de Minaur in Mexico, so the form is obviously there.
Similar to de Minaur, Paul is the type of player who gives opponents fits with his quickness, stamina and ability to rally.
His game is built for these slow conditions.
Karen Khachanov (66/1, BetRivers)
I’m not sure what Khachanov needs to do to get the respect of the betting market.
The Russian has been to the semifinals in the past two Grand Slams and has the game that could translate well to these conditions.
Khachanov will likely need to beat Casper Ruud and Daniil Medvedev en route to the semifinal, so perhaps that’s why his number is inflated, but he’s got the ceiling to win both of those matches.