Sloane Stephens ladies and gentlemen! It’s a shame such a talented player can’t/won’t raise her level and focus in certain tournaments. You would think a premier mandatory in her home country would get her excited to play some great tennis, but that does not seem to be the case. Aliaksandra Sasnovich was also a big letdown, especially since we invested capital in her. She opened the first set *4-0 and proceeded to lose that set. 2nd looked fine as she got things level, but Sasnovich got bageled in a 3rd set that made little or no sense to me. Both mercurial talents and I’ll be staying away from both of their matches for a while. Otherwise yesterday was fun. Jelena Ostapenko went back in time and found the version of herself that’s good at tennis. Elise Mertens had an impressive 4 & 2 win over Amanda Anisimova. Jennifer Brady continues to own Caroline Garcia while 2 mothers met in a great 2 set match. It was a break-even day for us despite the winning record, onto Day 4.
Yesterday 4-2 -0 units
This tournament 8-9 -3.6 units
Since I started doing these write-ups 8-9 -3.6 units
All of these lines come from a local book that I use. I will say this often, BE SURE TO CHECK THE PRICES AT ALL THE BOOKS YOU CAN ACCESS. One of the easiest ways to be a better bettor is get the best prices. I’m sure anything I post in here is offered at a better number somewhere, so be smart and check all your outs before placing your wager. The first number after each player’s name is their US odds with decimal odds in parenthesis. I’ll list total games for every match and spreads for matches with a spread greater than 2.5 games. Anything less than that and just take the moneyline, no need to risk a bagel or breadstick ruining your favorite spread.
As for staking, 1 unit = 1% of my bankroll. Do what you’d like, but I think is the best plan for the long term. Almost all bets will be 1 unit, sometimes less and rarely more. If it’s a favorite then the bet is to win the number of units posted. For example, 1 unit on a -130 (1,77) is a 1.3 unit bet to win 1 unit. If it’s an underdog, then the bet is to risk the units posted. For example, 1 unit on +200 (3,00) is 1 unit to win 2 units. Feel free to DM @_Noops with any questions.
Naomi Osaka -330 (1,30) vs Kristina Mladenovic +260 (3,60) Total Games 20 Spread -/+ 4.5 games
These 2 played in the Australian Open and Osaka looked awful in her first match without coach Sascha Bajin. Mladenovic beat her 4 & 2. Osaka is the far superior player and should win with relative ease. Normally I would jump all over the -4.5 games here, but I’m still worried about Osaka’s mental state as she changes coaches and appears to be more concerned with social media than playing tennis. Hopefully Naomi blows out Mladenovic and looks focused doing it. The WTA is a better place when she’s playing well. Pass.
Kirsten Flipkens +190 (2,90) vs Danielle Collins -240 (1,42) Total Games 20.5 Spread +/-4 games
I was hoping we’d get a cheap price on Collins after Flipkens upset Bouchard, but the books seemed to have noticed it was more of a Bouchard loss due to illness than a Flipkens wins. The pricing here looks just about right. I lean towards the over, but I’m going to pass.
Belinda Bencic -260 (1,39) vs Allison Van Uytvanck +210 (3,10) Total Games 21 Spread -/+ 4 games
This will be Bencic’s first match since running through the gauntlet in Dubai to win the title. On her path to victory she defeated Sabalenka, Halep, Svitolina and then Kvitova in what has to be one of the most impressive title runs in history. Van Uytvanck had a nice win over Alison Riske in round one, but I think her tournament ends here. She relies on a big serve and we’ve seen those neutralized this week on the slow courts. Bencic wins, the price looks just about right, so I’ll pass.
Ekaterina Alexandrova +180 (2,80) vs Caroline Wozniacki -230 (1,43) Total Games 20.5 Spread +/- 4 games
This is Wozniacki’s first action since the Australian Open. This surface and opponent should be perfect for her. As mentioned the courts are slow which sets up nicely for some Wallzniacki. To add to that Alexandrova is not a good mover and has been beaten twice, soundly, by Wozniacki in the last 2 seasons. I think the long layoff is offering a cheap price and great chance to take Wozniacki. It’s also early enough in a tournament that I’m not concerned about Woz’s rheumatoid arthritis. Full unit on Wozniacki -4 games.
Anastasija Sevastova -390 (1,25) vs Madison Brengle +310 (4,10) Total Games 19.5 Spread -/+5 games
This all looks correct to me. These courts are tailor made for Sevastova’s game and she is the superior talent. I never parlay such expensive moneylines and I’m hesitant to lay the 5 games because Sevastova likes to give up a set every so often. Pass.
Monica Puig +105 (2,05) vs Anett Kontaveit -135 (1,74) Total Games 21
Kontaveit beat Puig in 3 sets earlier this season in Sydney. Puig beat Kontaveit in 2 sets last year in New Haven. I hate betting on either of these women. I find them both generally overrated and am disappointed they are playing each other because I would love to bet against them both. Pass.
Donna Vekic -285 (1,35) vs Ysaline Bonaventure +235 (3,35) Total Games 20.5 Spread -/+ 4.5 games
The market has a lot of respect for Vekic especially when you consider that Bonaventure beat Vekic 4 & 1 just weeks ago in Budapest. Both were in Acapulco last week, but Bonaventure had to qualify and has already played a round 1 match whereas Vekic hasn’t had time to acclimate to the surface. I think this should be much closer in price. Give me a full unit on Bonaventure +4.5 and half a unit on +235.
Misaki Doi +400 (5,00) vs Karolina Pliskova -550 (1,18) Total Games 19.5 Spread +/- 5.5 games
That is an expensive price. I have no idea what to do with this. I want to take Doi +5.5 games on principle, but Pliskova is the much better player. Pass.
Petra Kvitova -295 (1,34) vs Venus Williams +245 (3,45) Total Games 21 Spread -/+ 4.5 games
Last we saw Ms. Williams she was lumbering around the court in pain, somehow still managing to beat Petkovic. It would have been nice to get a chance to bet against Venus given her condition, but this is not the spot. Kvitova is incredible and arguably been the best player this season to date. Petra is well worth this price. I would lay the 4.5 games, but I hate that number and if things get that out of hand for Venus I suspect she retires. Pass.
Christina McHale +145 (2,45) vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova -175 (1,57) Total Games +/- 3.5 games
Wow, what a cheap price on Pavs. McHale did beat her in the US Open last year, but Pavs is still 5-1 head to head lifetime. McHale qualified and beat Sukkari in round 1, so she’s used to the conditions. Last time we saw Pavs she was getting crushed by the disappointing Caroline Garcia 2 & 0. I’m not sure I care about either of those things. The match against Garcia was right after Fed cup and I don’t think Pavs gave it her best shot. Let’s find something to parlay with her moneyline.
Madison Keys -600 (1.16) vs Mona Barthel +400 (5,00) Total Games 19 Spread -/+ 5.5 games
Another price that really makes me want to take the underdog, but I’ll pass. Keys is far and away the better player. She’s tough to get a read on in non-slams though. Her level of focus just isn’t always there outside of the big 4 tournaments. Even so, I can’t risk money on Barthel here. Pass.
Kaia Kanepi +105 (2,05) vs Julia Goerges -135 (1,74) Total Games 21.5
I was surprised to see this lined so closely. Kanepi is ahead lifetime 3-2, but all those matches were before 2015 and are irrelevant. Kanepi did play the challenger event in Indian Wells last week so she’s had a lot of time to get a feel for the courts. At a quick glance, Goerges hasn’t done much since her title in Auckland. A more careful look shows that Goerges has really only lost to good players this year. A red hot Collins in the Australian Open, an in form Zvonareva in her home country in St Petersburg, Halep in Doha and Risk in Dubai are all losses that Goerges shouldn’t lament. Kanepi hasn’t beaten anyone good since Halep at the US Open and Halep was carrying her back injury if memory serves me correctly. Give me a full unit on Goerges.
Aryna Sabalenka -300 (1,33) vs Alja Tomljanovic +250 (3,50) Total Games 20.5 Spread -/+4.5 games
This should be a lot of fun. For those who listen to the @NetWorthPod you already know how much I love Aryna The Amazonian Warrior Sabalenka. You also know how often I let to bet on Tomljanovic as well. Sabalenka did have a little success here last year winning 2 rounds, but I’d expect these courts to neutralize some of her power. Alja looked solid dispensing Alize Cornet in round 1 here. The moneyline and the spread are probably right, but there is one angle I love here, the over. Both women average over 23 games on hard courts and matches play long in Indian Wells. Give me a full unit on the over.
Jessica Pegula +140 (2,4) vs Lesia Tsurenko -170 (1,59) Total Games 20.5 Spread +/- 3.5 games
Another great match between the young, up and comer Pegula and the veteran and top 30 talent Tsurenko. Initially I thought this was a cheap chance to grab Tsurenko, but she’s lost to qualifiers in her first match the last 2 years here. Maybe something about the location and surface don’t suit her sensibilities. There isn’t enough value for me to take the underdog either. Pass.
Carla Suarez Navarro -190 (1,53) vs Natalia Vikhlyantseva +150 (2,50) Total Games 21 Spread -/+ 3 games
The slow courts should play perfect into CSN’s game. To no surprise, she made the QFs in Indian Wells last year. Vikhlyantseva is a promising young talent, but like most promising young talents she can struggle with a craftier veteran like CSN. Natalia has only 2 wins over the top 50 since 2018. She beat Aryna Sabalenka in Roma last year Kirsten Flipkens, whom I can’t believe was still in the top 50, last year in Cincinnati. CSN should take care of business and I think I found my parlay partner for Pavlyuchenkova.
Yulia Putintseva +210 (3,10) vs Angelique Kerber -260 (1,38) Total Games 20 Spread +/- 4.5 games
If you read my preview for Indian Wells you’re holding an outright ticket on Kerber at 16-1. This should be a nice, easy start to her tournament. The courts fit her game nicely and she’s a much better player than Putintseva. This pricing looks right to me, so enjoy the match as one of our outright picks advances hopefully without much stress.
Full unit Wozniacki -4 games
Half unit Bonaventure +235 (3,35)
Full unit Bonaventure +4.5 games
Full unit Goerges -135 (1,74)
Full unit Sabalenka/Tomljanovic over 20.5 games
Full unit parlay Pavlyuchenkova/CSN +140 (2,40)