The money that turns over in the tennis betting markets is incredible to say the least. Live betting accounts for a lot of the money that’s bet on tennis. Being able to bet on every point or having the ability to trade a match live is appealing to a lot of people. If you would like to bet on tennis, then we highly recommend betting on one of the following online sportsbooks for the best odds and promotions:
Example: Rafael Nadal to Beat Novak Djokovic –140
Have a hunch on who will win a match? Match betting entails picking the winner of a match. As long as they win the match you’ll be paid out regardless of the final score. This is a great market when the tennis players are relatively close in skill.
When you like a favorite, but their odds are –1400 to win you’ll want to look at some of the alternative markets below. Bookmakers grade tennis match bets differently and it’s important to find out how your bookie grades these wagers before placing a bet.
Match Complete: The tennis match has to be completed in its entirety or else match bets are voided.
First Set Complete: Once the first set of the tennis is completed match bets will be graded even if a player is injured or retires.
First Ball: As soon as the first serve is taken the match will be graded regardless of what happens in the match.
Second Set Complete: While rare, some bookmakers won’t grade a tennis match until the second set is completed.
- Handicap Betting – Bet on a Tennis Player ATS
Example: Roger Federer –2.5 (-110) to Beat David Ferrer
One way to bet on a big favorite without the high vig is the handicap (spread) market. In our example Federer has to win the match by 3 games. If you bet Ferrer at 2.5 games you’ll win if Ferrer wins the match or if he loses the match by 1 or 2 games only.
- Set Betting – Bet on a Tennis Player to Win/Lose by X Sets
Example: Andy Murray –1.5 Sets (-160) to Beat Nicolas Mahut
Set betting is great whether you like a favorite or underdog. Let’s say you like a big underdog like Mahut to upset Murray. You could bet 1 unit on the set market ( 1.5 Sets) and sprinkle a ¼ unit on the money line. Alternatively you can bet the favorite at better odds.
Murray has to win the match 2-0 in order to cash whereas Mahut only has to steal 1 set to win this bet. I really like this market when I like a big favorite that has a weak opponent. It’s common to see the top tennis players run through lower ranked opponents.
- Total Games – Over/Under Betting on Games Played in a Match
Example: Milos Raonic vs. Jerzy Janowicz Over 30.5 Games ( 110)
Can’t decide who will win a match? Don’t worry, you can bet on how many total games a match will have. Bookmakers will release a total number of games and you have to bet over or under. In our example we need over 31 total games in the match to win.
This is a great market to handicap. I weigh H2H meetings heavily when betting the over/under. For instance, if two players have played each other three times in the last two years and they’ve played a tiebreaker in each match I’ll look to bet on the over.
If a big favorite has dominated their opponent in H2H meetings I’ll look to bet on the under or on the favorite to win 2-0 in the set betting market. H2H stats are important, but don’t forget to analyze the recent form and mental state of each player as well.
- First Set Betting – ML & Over/Under Markets
Example: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to Win 1st Set vs. Tomas Berdych 125
You can bet on who will win the 1st set of a tennis match along with the over/under on total number of games. This market is good for finding value on underdogs. Often if a big favorite loses a set it’s the first set because they come out unfocused.
- Tennis Futures Betting
Example: Serena Williams to Win the US Open 140
Want to bet on a player to win a tournament rather than a single match? Futures betting markets allow you to bet on who you think will win each tournament of the year. You can also bet on a player each-way (EW), which is a bet on that player finishing 1st or 2nd.
The most popular tournaments to bet on are the four grand slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, but due to the popularity of betting on tennis you’ll even find odds on a lot of the challenger tournaments throughout the year.
Several season long props are available at the beginning of a new tennis season. Want to bet on Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray to win a grand slam tournament that year? You can also bet on a player winning multiple or all four of the gram slams at great odds.
- Tennis Betting Props
Example: Will There be a Tiebreaker “Yes” 200
There are too many different prop bets for tennis to list here, but basically any bet not explained above is a prop. Want to bet on the number of faults a player will have or how many aces a player will have in a match? How about betting on a tiebreaker happening?
Think you can predict the exact set score in a match? Let’s say you expect Djokovic to beat Nadal in the US Open Finals 3-2. Rather than bet on Djokovic to win the match you could place a bet on him winning exactly 3-2 at much better odds.
- Live Tennis Betting
Example: Fernando Verdasco to Win Next Point 180
All of the major bookmakers have live tennis betting and at first the number of markets may confuse you, but once you spend a bit of time looking at what exactly is available you’ll likely fall in love with the endless possibilities to bet on a tennis match in-play.
You can actually bet on every single point of a match – that’s how quickly the bookmakers can post up odds. If you bet on next point the server will be heavily juiced the majority of the time. I look to bet against the server when he/she is struggling.
You can bet on all of the major markets explained above in-play as well. The odds constantly change as the match progresses. With the ups and downs in a tennis match it’s common for both players to be favored at some point during the match.
A lot of people trade tennis markets rather than gamble. If you expect a favorite to struggle early you can place a pre-match bet on the underdog. If the underdog comes out early and breaks the opposing player you’ll be able to trade out of the bet for a profit.
Another popular strategy is to bet on a favorite if they lose the first set of a match. Don’t do this blindly, but if the favorite looks like they’re focused and was just caught off guard in the opening set then you could bet the favorite to win the match at great odds.
One of the world’s best tennis players, Rafael Nadal
Tips for Betting on Tennis
When handicapping the match, handicap and total games markets I like to look at H2H stats and recent form. The site I like to use the most is MatchStat.com; as they keep a historical database of the result, court surface and the closing odds for every match.
Court surface is important in tennis because some players are great on one surface and terrible on another surface. Big servers are great on hard courts, but they often struggle on clay courts. As you bet tennis more you’ll learn the surface each player prefers.
MatchStat has great data on a player’s recent form as well. You can see every match a player has played for years although we’re only interested in recent form. I’ll look back up to a year to determine a player’s form on a particular court surface though.
The data at MatchStat also includes statistics on every match such as the number of aces, faults, breakpoints conversion, winners and a few others. Looking at a player’s recent statistics will help you look for value in the prop markets that we talked about above.
Handicapping the mental state of an opponent is the toughest aspect of tennis. Is the player you’re betting on motivated to win? Is the player you’re betting on dealing with a nagging injury? The last thing you want is for your player to retire after betting them.
One way to ensure you don’t get burned on a player is to be funded at a few bookmakers. When you’re unsure on whether your pick will be motivated or if you’re worried that your player may retire with an injury bet on them at a “Match Complete” bookmaker.
This brings me to my next tip. Identify players that are unhappy, injured or just unmotivated. If you think there is a high chance that a player will retire from an unimportant match you can bet on the other player to win at a “First Ball Served” bookmaker.
Even the best players in the world will retire from matches for little reason at all other than they want a break. This will happen in the smaller tournaments like the ATP 250 Series. What normally happens is the player goes down early and says he can’t continue.
This is why choosing where to place your bets is important, as bookmakers grade tennis match bets differently. Lastly, use parlays to your advantage to bet on big favorites. Some bookmakers allow you to parlay up to twenty selections to increase the payout.
Often in the opening round of a grand slam tournament I’ll pick 10-20 ATP/WTA players that should walk through their match and put them on a parlay together. You can turn a bunch of –1000 or worse favorites into a parlay paying out at 5/1 odds.
If you do this select your favorites carefully and don’t throw on someone just because they’re a big favorite. Upsets happen every year in the opening round of major tournaments and with a parlay bet you’ll lose if even one of the selections doesn’t win.
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