This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
Thursday’s Miami Open schedule consists of first-round action from the men’s draw and second-round women’s matches, which will give us our first look at some seeded players after the top 32 in both draws enjoyed first-round byes. In the women’s draw, one player who made a deep run at this year’s Australian Open has struggled to back it up since and could be in trouble here, while another has shown that her strong result down under was par for the course. On the men’s side, a big name will look to shake an extended slump, while a teenager tries to notch one of the biggest wins of his young career. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites. We offer exclusive sign-up bonuses for some of those sportsbooks, as well as specific bonuses for users located in Massachusetts, where online sports betting recently went live.
All matches at the Miami Open are best of three sets, which is the case for all ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 level tournaments. A mix of players’ previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bets section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Miami Open Picks: Upset Alert
Evgeniya Rodina (+330) vs. Magda Linette
Rodina has a pair of nice wins over the past couple weeks, as the 34-year-old knocked off Alize Cornet in straight sets at Indian Wells and Bernarda Pera in straight sets here Tuesday. Linette’s ranked 18 spots above Pera at No. 19, but that ranking is fueled by a semifinal run at this year’s Australian Open after she had lost in the first three rounds of her first 29 Grand Slam appearances. The 31-year-old Pole is just 2-3 since the Australian Open, and she may be struggling to adjust to the pressure of being a top-20 player for the first time.
Juncheng Shang (+185) vs. Adrian Mannarino
Shang made a name for himself at the Australian Open, coming through qualifying and beating Oscar Otte in the first round before losing in the second round to Frances Tiafoe. The 18-year-old Beijing native is well outside the top 100 for now, but Shang should steadily ascend from here. Mannarino doesn’t overpower opponents, so Shang should have a chance to get comfortable in this battle between lefties. The veteran Frenchman has been susceptible to some surprising losses this year, losing to three players ranked outside the top 100, as well as Shang’s countryman Yibing Wu, who was ranked No. 97 at the time.
Irina-Camelia Begu (+185) vs. Qinwen Zheng
Miami Open Odds: Lock It In
Elena Rybakina (-500) vs. Anna Kalinskaya
Kalinskaya has a top-20 win over Jelena Ostapenko this year, but this is still a rather comfortable draw for Rybakina, who has established herself as part of the WTA’s big three alongside Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka. Rybakina just beat both of them en route to the Indian Wells title, adding another notable result to last year’s Wimbledon win and this year’s Australian Open final. Kalinskaya won their only meeting back in 2019, but Rybakina has reached far greater heights since then.
Liudmila Samsonova (-450) vs. Viktorija Golubic
Samsonova’s just 7-7 in 2023, but the world No. 15 has endured some tough draws. This isn’t one of them. Golubic came into this tournament on a six-match losing streak, and of her two top-40 wins since the start of 2022, one came via retirement. Samsonova’s still a force to be reckoned with given her wins over the likes of Barbora Krejcikova, Veronika Kudermetova and Paula Badosa this year, so look for her to simply overpower Golubic.
Paula Badosa (-300) vs. Laura Siegemund
Miami Open Predictions: Value Bets
Tomas Martin Etcheverry (-110) vs. Pavel Kotov
Etcheverry built his ranking up with some nice results on the clay this year, but he showed solid hard court form in Indian Wells, pushing Andy Murray to 6-4 in the third set. The 73rd-ranked Argentine is coming into his own at age 23, and he’ll face the 117th-ranked Kotov, who has just two career wins over top-90 opponents at age 24. Etcheverry’s 7-7 in ATP main draw matches this year, while Kotov’s just 1-2.
Lorenzo Sonego (-170) vs. Dominic Thiem
While Thiem’s as dangerous a floater as they come, the former world No. 3 has yet to find his confidence on the match court since coming back from a major wrist injury and is ranked outside the top 100. Thiem’s just 1-7 in 2023, and getting back on track won’t be easy against the 59th-ranked Sonego, whose 5-8 record has been due to some brutal draws. Only two of those eight losses have come against players ranked outside the top 40 (Andy Murray and Jason Kubler), and the Italian also has a win over Felix Auger-Aliassime on his ledger this year.
Daria Kasatkina (-140) vs. Elise Mertens