Playing a tennis match at 11 AM in the Colorado Desert’s Coachella Valley would suck. Playing the ultra-fit John Millman in said match would suck even more. Jack Sock has a tall task ahead of him on Thursday at Indian Wells, but the fan-favorite American—with the support of a solid home crowd—has more than enough weapons to work his way past the consistent but never overwhelming Aussie.

Though Sock is a far cry from his 2017 form—where he reached the semifinals before losing to Roger Federer—he’s been improving nearly every week, and should be extremely motivated after sitting on the sidelines and watching Team World receive what will likely be the largest beatdown in Laver Cup history.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Sock is listed as a slight -115 favorite, making this match a borderline pick-em. Given Millman’s notoriously impressive endurance, combined with Sock’s ever-lingering fitness questions, this line makes sense. So we are going to look at Sock to win the first set at -120.

Advertising

When focused and engaged, Sock can hang with the ATP's best.

When focused and engaged, Sock can hang with the ATP's best. 

The courts at Indian Wells are extremely slow, but the ball flies through the thin desert air, rewarding heavy topspin and kick serves. Sock certainly owns advantages in these departments, but his ability to finish with short volleys may help him the most.

By taking Sock in the first set, we seriously limit the risk of a potential fitness mismatch. It shouldn’t be too hot right at 11 AM, so expect Sock to come out fresh and firing.

The Pick: Jack Sock to win set 1 (-120)