From Indian Wells and the dry heat of the desert, the professional tennis tours shift to the humid heat of Miami for the second half of the Sunshine Double.
It’s another two-week Masters 1000 event for the ATP, and the second day of main draw action sees the men wrap up their opening round of play on Thursday.
Let’s delve into a pair of matches that may provide some betting value at the ATP Miami Open.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing tennis.
ATP Miami Odds, Picks
Aleksandar Kovacevic (-150) vs Jaume Munar (+125)
11 a.m. ET
What a 2023 season it has been for Aleksandar Kovacevic. The University of Illinois alum has captured his first two Challenger Tour titles, and he has really impressed with the strides he’s made this season.
Built for hard courts with a booming first serve and monster forehand, the 24-year old’s weakness had always been his one-handed backhand. It was susceptible to being rushed, while struggling to be used in an attacking fashion when rallies were in neutral positions.
Now, the backhand produces far less errors and when a ball is left short, he’s able to seize control of points on that wing.
That makes him a scary player on the rise on hard surfaces.
Jaume Munar, on the other hand, is more of a clay-court player that looks to drag out rallies and wait for errors. Unlike other clay-centric guys on tour, he can attack when a ball is left too short, but it’s certainly not his default setting.
On hard courts that aren’t quite quick, yet certainly quicker than Indian Wells, I’m happy to back the American – who is sure to have the crowd on his side as well.
Fatigue was a concern in qualifying, but the fact that he enters as a lucky loser and plays on the second day of the opening round alleviates some of those concerns.
Pick: Kovacevic ML (-150 via FanDuel)
Jason Kubler (-250) vs Thiago Monteiro (+195)
2:50 p.m. ET
Speaking of players more at home on a clay court, Brazilian Thiago Monteiro fits that description pretty well.
The world No. 81 possesses a decent first serve, and can hit fairly big from the forehand side when balls are left short, but that’s about all there is to like his game on this surface.
He’s been error-prone across all courts in his career, but that tends to be accentuated on hard courts, where the quicker surface tend to rush him into unforced errors. Without much rally tolerance, a relatively weak backhand and only a first serve to try and find him holds of serve, he often appears lost on court.
It wouldn’t be a shocker whatsoever if this was a “pick up the $18,000 paycheck and make my way to red clay” kind of event for him.
Jason Kubler, on the other hand, is an out-and-out hard courter and grass courter. The polar opposite, he prefers the bounces he gets on hard courts and has an underrated game in terms of pop from the baseline.
He also manages to hold his serve more often than one would think. Kubler’s consistency is also a big plus and he’s certainly a good enough returner to win each set here by a break of serve against Monteiro.
Give me the Aussie at a relatively low-vig price on a number under the key number of 4.
Pick: Kubler -3.5 games (-105 via DraftKings)
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