Tennis Betting Advice - March 2021

Ones to Watch in Miami at 200/1…

Monday 22nd March 2021

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • WTA Miami Open…
  • Outright Winner picks…
  • Ones to Watch at 18/1 – 300/1…

The Miami Open is our main course over the next two weeks. And it should be good…

In the women’s, things look as wide-open as ever. Nineteen of the world’s top 20 are set to take part in Florida – with Serena Williams the only name missing. And I’d go further down the list than that, with any number of players having potential to end up in the women’s final at a big price.

Miami was cancelled in 2020. Here are some of the noteworthy prices from the recent renewals:

2019 – Ashleigh Barty won @ 28/1
2018 – Sloane Stephens won @ 66/1
2018 – Jelena Ostapenko runner-up @ 50/1
2016 – Svetlana Kuznetsova runner-up @ 100/1

Indian Wells was called off for the second season running. Usually, Indian Wells & Miami make up a March ‘sunshine double’ on the North American hard courts. And Indian Wells can boast equally eye-catching Outright odds in recent times:

2019 – Bianca Andreescu won @ 100/1
2018 – Naomi Osaka won @ 125/1
2018 – Daria Kasatkina runner-up @ 80/1
2017 – Elena Vesnina won @ 100/1
2017 – Svetlana Kuznetsova runner-up @ 50/1

With no trip to the Californian desert this time, Florida will have to make up the lost ground for this year’s March madness…

The men’s Miami event starts on Wednesday, and we’ll look at the Outright Winner market tomorrow. The women start on Tuesday afternoon, and that’s our first port of call…

As I write this Monday evening, the day’s qualifying matches are still going on, and not all bookies have got their Outright markets up. We have a decent clutch of early prices to work with though – and here’s my take on the underdog value…

One from the top at 18/1…

The top of the betting is bossed, of course, by the big names. While past Ones to Watch names such as Andreescu and Osaka have won here before at triple-figure odds, you won’t get anything like that now they’ve made it to the big-time:

Osaka is 4/1 at best, reigning 2019 champion Barty is 9/1, Garbine Muguruza is 8/1, and Andreescu is 20/1.

In-between that front three and the on-the-comeback Andreescu, Aryna Sabalenka is no bigger than 12/1, Simona Halep is 14/1, Jennifer Brady is 16s tops and 14s in general, and Iga Swiatek is 18/1, with Petra Kvitova’s price ranging from 12/1 – 20/1.

From that top nine in the betting, and with the draw in mind, the one I’m wanting to keep onside of the most is our friend Swiatek. After landing the French Open for us last year at massive prices of 100/1 and 80/1, we have to accept that we won’t see those quotes for the teenager again for some time – if ever…

Iga is the real deal though, and such is her ability and power, the Polish youngster really does have the capabilities to storm through to another final here. Odds of 18/1 will do. She was closer to 5/1 when winning Adelaide last month.

A potential blockbuster 4th round match-up with Halep could be on the cards. So far the head-to-head in their three meetings has gone Halep 2-0 – Swiatek 2-0 – Halep 2-1… I’ll take that pattern to continue with the 19-year-old taking her turn again here. Swiatek is a slightly bigger Outright price than the Romanian, too.

Pegula underrated at 25/1…

Swiatek is in the top half of the draw. In the opposite half, and flying under the radar despite posting notable and consistent form, Jessica Pegula continues to be underrated in my opinion. The American is 25/1.

Pegula’s recent hard-court form is sparkling, winning 15 of her last 19 matches, and going quarter final at the Australian Open (as a 100/1 pick), then semi final in Doha, and quarter final at Dubai.

She suffered a heart-breaking loss to Elise Mertens in Dubai, with multiple match points missed and a big lead squandered. There might be some mental baggage from that, but I really like Pegula’s attacking game, and believe she’s plenty strong enough to bounce back.

Jessica’s route through the early rounds also looks promising, with a brace of thumping 2-0 wins over Karolina Pliskova this season suggesting that she has the Czech’s number.

Elsewhere in this women’s Miami draw, I want to be on the really big prices…

Outsiders with potential at 200/1 and 300/1…

Five players with potential to go well here at massive odds are:

Jelena Ostapenko at 200/1. You never know which Ostapenko is going to turn up. But she’s done it before at the big odds, winning the French Open at 100/1, and reaching the final here in Miami at 50/1. When her game hits form, the 23-year-old Latvian can pummel anyone. Has the game to intimidate Barty in the 3rd round, if they meet. And Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka might punch themselves in this section of the draw, too. You just never know…

Shelby Rogers at 100/1 and 80/1. The 28-year-old American has been threatening to put a really big breakthrough run together for the last year or so; ever since coming back from some bad injury issues. She hasn’t quite cracked it yet, but if Shelby’s ever going to have a dream run, it’s likely to be at a North American hard-court event like this one. She made the US Open quarter finals last year. The flaky Elina Svitolina and Ekaterina Alexandrova are in this part of the draw, and that could see a few doors open for Rogers.

Jil Teichmann at 300/1. This driven, skilled and hard-working Swiss player seems to fly under the radar for most people. She’s in a fair bit of form lately: quarter final – semi final – semi final in three hard-court tournaments played since the start of February. Jil is knocking on the door if you ask me. And her draw here looks tantalising for a big-odds bet. She beat her friend Ons Jabeur convincingly in Dubai the other week, and looks to have the mental edge there. They could well meet again in the 2nd round this week. Also in this section of the Miami draw, Sofia Kenin could be vulnerable in her first tournament back after having her appendix out, and find a tough lefty like Teichmann hard to deal with.

Marie Bouzkova at 250/1. The talented 22-year-old is on our Ones to Watch in 2021 list, and has made a good start to the season. Reaching the final at the WTA Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne as a 33/1 pick, and following that up with a semi-final run in Mexico last time out. Bouzkova has shown what she can do at ‘Masters’ level before, too, with a big streak to the Toronto semi finals in 2019. At massive odds, Marie could do something here, too.

And an exciting youngster that could spark into juggernaut form at any moment…

Marta Kostyuk at 150/1. The 19-year-old is also on our Ones to Watch in 2021 list, and carries the threat of being able to catch fire on hard courts, with lightning-fast winners and exhilarating power. The draw has some tough hurdles, not least power-player Sabalenka in the 2nd round – but the Belarusian can be very hit-or-miss. And nothing’s off the cards here in Miami…

It's rare that I’ll go for this many selections in a tournament. In fact, it only happens in the four Majors. But this is a 96-player draw, only topped in size by the full 128-name Grand Slam fields. With most of these women at massive prices, I’m happy to put all seven in the book. As we always say – it only takes one…

Ones to Watch

WTA Miami Open

Outright Winner picks – Each Way

  • Iga Swiatek is 18/1 with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral, 888 Sport
  • Jessica Pegula is 25/1 with Bet365, Skybet, William Hill, BetVictor, 888 Sport, Betway
  • Jelena Ostapenko is 200/1 with Bet365, William Hill, 888 Sport, 150/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, Betway, 100/1 BetVictor
  • Shelby Rogers is 100/1 with BetVictor, 80/1 Bet365, William Hill, 888 Sport, Betway
  • Jil Teichmann is 300/1 with Bet365, 888 Sport, 200/1 Betway, 150/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill
  • Marie Bouzkova is 250/1 with Bet365, 888 Sport, 200/1 William Hill, BetVictor, Betway
  • Marta Kostyuk is 150/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, 888 Sport

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.

Play starts from 2pm UK time.

I’ll be back tomorrow evening with a men’s Miami preview.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch