How to Bet on Tennis
Thanks to its global appeal and reach, tennis is consistently one of the biggest betting sports on the planet.
Additionally, the large number of high-profile International tournaments always help to keep tennis stars in the media spotlight. Betting on tennis has accelerated both in scope and scale since the introduction of betting exchanges and the advent of live wagering.
There are a few different ways to approach tennis betting and the most traditional is simply wagering on the outright winner or what the final score will be in terms of sets. Since most tournaments have a number of different matches on during the course of a day, putting together outright winner accumulators, or correct score accumulators, can be especially lucrative.
Live wagering on tennis is a whole different ball game and you can generally wager game-by-game or even ball-by-ball with some online bookmakers. With so many options, it’s worth spending the time to understand each betting option, and how to get the most value from your bets.
How to Bet
The first question you need to ask yourself is if the current match is best suited for pre-match or in-play betting.
You can struggle to get enticing odds on well-known players unless they are matching up against another global tennis star. Prices like 1/50 or 1.02 aren’t uncommon when you have players like Rafael Nadal taking on virtual unknowns in the opening stages of tournaments.
If you’re going to bet on the stars dominating the sport, then you’re generally going to have to get creative to extract any value from your bets.
Even the correct score betting can be tough to turn decent profits on when you’re dealing with heavy favourites, you will generally need them to drop a set at least if you’re looking for over even-money on top players.
If you’re betting live on tennis, one of the best markets is generally “set correct score” where you can select the final winning score for this particular set. Backing a tie-break is always lucrative, and since live betting is very much about rhythm, sometimes it will seem obvious the set will require a full seven games to be won.
What to Look For
One of the best strategies for betting on tennis is to keep track of the amount of aces and errors your selection tends to make. A player who can pick up points at will off a serve can do some real damage very quickly and this can be a real advantage: especially if the opponent specializes in rallies.
Errors are what will, most often, wreck your winning pick, and a tendency to double-fault can completely do you in. It helps to do a bit of research on these stats beforehand, especially if you’re not familiar with the player.
Generally, the most balanced bets are on the upper-middle of tennis players like Gael Monfils and Robin Soderling. You’ll generally be able to lock down some decent prices on players like these, especially when they get further into a tournament. Andy Murray should be in this lot, but he’s simply bet down by UK punters so much that he rarely (if ever) offers any betting value.
When you have an idea of who you want to bet on, and how you expect their match to work out, you can look into the types of bets offered, and the odds you can get on each.
Types of Bets
Outright Winner:This is a pre-tournament bet where you wager on the outright winner of the men’s or women’s division. You can usually select an each-way option as well, which is a two-line bet that covers your selection to finish in the top 2.
Match Winner:You are betting on the winner of a particular tennis match by any method.
Set Betting:Generally quite profitable market, your goal is to select the correct score that a specific player will win the match by. A 3-0 result on a big favourite is generally odds-on, while a 3-2 result pays the highest margins.
Most Aces:In this market, you bet on which contender will notch the most aces during the match.
Set Correct Score:This is a very popular in-play market where you wager on the outright score of the current set you’re watching.
Next Game Winner:Another supremely popular in-play tennis bet is on which player will win the next game. Obviously the player on-serve generally carries the slimmest price.
As mentioned earlier, betting on tennis is rarely about who’s going to win a match, but how they’re going to win it. The real money comes from correctly forecasting the number of games, sets, aces, etc.
The more specific you can get with your bets, the more money you stand to make.