By now you’ve likely heard the BNP Paribas Open playing conditions are extremely slow. They are. Additionally, the Penn balls are being chewed up by the gritty, almost sandpaper-esque hard courts.

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Statistically speaking, Indian Wells is Andy Murray’s worst hardcourt Masters 1000. His 25-12 record in the desert is still not too shabby, but he’s really never played that well here. His best performance was a 2009 final appearance, and he hasn’t made it past the third round since 2015. According to the oddsmakers, he's listed as a slight +110 underdog against teenage sincation Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday.

Already ranked no. 39 in the world at 18, Alcaraz appears to be on the fast track to the Top 10. (Matt Fitzgerald)

Already ranked no. 39 in the world at 18, Alcaraz appears to be on the fast track to the Top 10. (Matt Fitzgerald)

Murray has been steadily improving this season, but Carlos Alcaraz—won’t make things easy. Murray, nor his surgically repaired metal hip will be excited to chase the Spaniard’s nuclear forehand from side to side.

If Alcaraz is unable to win free points on his serve, this pick could age very poorly, but on a court where topspin and movement are proving extremely valuable, I’m going to side with the more explosive player. It’s unwise to bet a large amount on a players first match of a tournament, but if Alcaraz can sink his teeth in this match he should have the upper hand.

The Pick: Carlos Alcaraz -120