This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The Miami Open continues Saturday with the men's second round and women's third round. The top 32 seeds in both the men's and women's draws had first-round byes at this outdoor hard-court ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 event, so this will be the first action of the tournament for some of the top men, while all the women have had to win at least one match to get to this point. One surprising underdog on the men's side is a higher-ranked and more accomplished player with a perfect head-to-head record against his opponent, while a couple of women coming off significant second-round upset wins are unlikely to double up on those feats in the third round. Match odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
We've gotten a look at how the majority of the players handle the humid conditions and fast hard courts in Miami, which should help inform assessments of players' form as the tournament progresses. Using players' results thus far in this tournament coupled with their recent form coming in and historical results can help pinpoint enticing options to bet on, 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 Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
It's interesting that Garin's an underdog here considering he's beaten Martinez three times, all since Wimbledon last year, and is ranked 17 spots ahead at No. 30 vs. No. 47 for Martinez. Their closest match to date came in their lone hard-court meeting, which Garin won 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 at this year's Australian Open. Garin prefers clay, but so does Martinez, who won his first career title in Santiago on that surface in February. Regardless of surface, Garin should be viewed as the favorite whenever these two meet until Martinez either proves he can beat the Chilean head-to-head or surpasses him in the rankings.
These guys met twice on outdoor hard courts in 2021, and Harris won both meetings, including a straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 result at the US Open. Shapovalov's ranked 30 spots ahead of Harris at No. 14 in the world, but the South African's serving prowess makes him a tough matchup for the enigmatic Canadian, who often has trouble maintaining his level throughout whole sets or matches. One slip-up on serve for Shapovalov is usually all it takes to give Harris a set, and Harris' 2-0 career record against the No. 12 seed will give him plenty of belief that he's capable of pulling off this upset.
Lock It In
Tsitsipas hasn't been unbeatable this year, but it still takes a superb performance to oust the world's fifth-ranked player. The 167th-ranked Wolf has never conjured up such a performance in his career to date, as the 23-year-old American's best win came against Lorenzo Sonego in a 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 thriller in Acapulco last month. In his very next match after that win, Wolf was blown off the court 6-1, 6-0 by Tsitsipas, and a similar result likely awaits him in this rematch.
Bencic is coming off a splendid second-round performance against Marta Kostyuk, in which the No. 22 seed lost just seven points on serve en route to a 6-3, 6-1 win. When Bencic has her timing, she's one of the toughest outs on the WTA Tour, and she certainly looks to be in rhythm here. The 115th-ranked Watson has capitalized on a favorable draw to get to this point, but this should be a straightforward match for Bencic. Watson won 6-4 in the third against Arantxa Rus in the first round, and Rus seemed to be struggling physically in the latter stages of that match. She backed up that win by upsetting Elina Svitolina 7-6 (4) in the third set, but that was the third consecutive loss overall and second straight defeat at the hands of a player outside the top 100 for the free-falling Ukrainian. Now, it's Bencic's turn to take advantage of a highly favorable third-round draw.
Riske is enjoying a terrific month of March. After notching two wins in Indian Wells before running out of steam against Madison Keys, the American has knocked off a pair of top-40 opponents in straight sets in Miami, beating both Jil Teichmann and Alize Cornet. Li has had to work much harder to reach the third round, needing three sets in each of her first two matches. The 21-year-old American is coming off a huge upset win over No. 3 seed Anett Kontaveit, but it's often tough to maintain your level after a major high like that one, while Riske is playing confident tennis and should have the edge in this all-American third-round clash.