Here we go. Another outright in a final. Amazingly, I’ve been perfect this year in this scenario; 7/7. The only time I’ve hedged even a dollar was with Pella, and that was a hot Garin for $50 against $800 on Pella.
This is number eight with Roger the great.
It was each/way, worried about Novak, so I’m already in the clubhouse with some money. But, let’s be honest, I could use the $1,000.
I’m plenty nervous about this outcome. Thiem was having a rough 2019 but he has found courts perfectly suited to his game; hard courts so slow they are almost clay. There have been 92 completed matches so far in Indian Wells and only 36 tiebreaks played, which means only 39% of matches have contained one. Another way to look at it, is 198 sets played and only 36 tiebreaks - 18%. These are super low totals for a hard court tournament. Plain and simple (especially when you consider Isner/Raoinc/Karlovic accounted for 8 of the 36 on their own).
The non-statistical way to judge the court speed is just to look at this:
Suffice to say, Thiem is comfortable here. He’s only dropped one set, in a tiebreak to a tiebreak specialist in Milos Roanic. He’s only been broken twice, once each by Simon and Thompson, and not since the third round (28 straight holds). The one time Thiem and Federer played on clay, Thiem won in straight sets. So, there is plenty to make a case for Thiem on the moneyline at such a big price but, more importantly, on the plus games. A bet of +3.5, -110 on Thiem is a solid option, as is the over 22.5 at +100.
The case for Fed is simply that he is dominant at Indian Wells, has decent sized hold/break advantages on hard courts over Thiem and has beaten Thiem both times they played on hards. Federer is now 67-12 at indian Wells with FIVE titles. Three of those twelve losses came in the finals, three more in the semis and one to Rafa in the quarters. Needless to say, the record is impressive. The concern, again, is with the surface. Both of Fed’s wins on hards over Thiem came on much faster surfaces - indoors at at the tour finals and in Brisbane. The good news is Fed hasn’t been broken here since his first match against Gojo, and it was only once. He is holding serve just as well as Thiem. And probably breaking at a better clip (considering he hasn’t faced a Raonic type serve though). At 37 Federer probably benefits from the rest of getting an extra day off with the walkover as opposed to being worried he will lose rhythm.
I’d take the over if I HAD to make a bet. As is, I’ll just kick my feet up and I hope I make a thousand instead of a few hundred while I start capping Miami.