Betting On Tennis
While it is not the most popular sport in America, tennis does enjoy some popularity around the world and amongst bettors it is a great way to book some profits. Sharp, professional bettors love tennis and since the market is smaller than most others, the lines are not always very sharp. This provides ample opportunity to bank some profits if you know what to watch for. This article covers the many different types of lines offered, some unique strategies and trends, and also what to look for in a tennis sportsbook.
Types of Lines
There are many ways to bet tennis, with the most popular being to bet on the actual match winner. However, you can also bet on the games line, the sets line, and other props and futures. Betting on the match winner is a simple moneyline bet. Will player A win or will it be player B? There is often live betting included as well, where the odds change often depending on who is ahead. Each match also sometimes has a games and a sets line, which is based on a spread. These spreads are often offered at the traditional -110/-110 juice but some books offer reduced juice as well.
Tennis offers a unique bet on games won, because there is one unlikely scenario where a player can win the first set 6-0 and lose the last 2 sets 6-7 & 6-7 and still win this bet. In the example above we have a spread of -3.5 games. Player A wins the first set 6-0 and then loses 6-7 the next 2 sets. If we add up the total games won, we get player A with 18 and Player B with 14 or a spread of 4 (18-14).This bet is unique because it’s similar to a point spread bet in football or basketball, except you can cover the spread but still have your player lose the overall match. Some props for tennis include Who will win the first set?, Will the match end in two sets or three, and then various exacta props which predict the exact result of the match.
One example would be:
R. Federer wins 2-0 +250
Not R. Federer wins 2-0 -300
So in this case you can bet Federer to win in 2 sets and get paid $250 for each $100 bet, or take any other result but risk $300 to win back $100.
For futures, there are odds listed for most major tournaments posted weeks before the event, with updated odds listed between each round.
Popular Tennis Bookmakers Online
Strategies and Trends
Similar to golf, there are four major tournaments in tennis: The French Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and The Aussie Open. The latest trend, especially on the men’s side has been away from American players. This has been going on for years with international players stealing the spotlight and winning major after major after major. It seems like Americans are more focused on major sports like baseball, football, basketball and even hockey, and are not really concerned with becoming great at tennis.
As far as the top players, the best on the men’s side right now are Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. For women, the Williams sisters are always a popular pick, along with rising stars such as Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova. Taking these players usually means taking short odds, but also a much higher chance at a payout when the championship trophy is awarded.
This brings us to our next strategy: Parlays. Tennis parlays are often a good play, since you will frequently see horrible players paired with top tier players in the early rounds of a tournament. Usually this means laying huge odds, for example, -700 or more. However, if you have a 4 player parlay, with odds of -700 , -700 , -750 , and -800 , it would pay out at a respectable -150 , or $100 for every $150 risked. That isn’t too bad, and your chances of a major upset early on in a tournament are often very, very low, especially in the majors. Using a parlay calculator, or logging into your site and setting up the bet will provide you with the odds for your various picks.
Another unique thing to consider when betting tennis is the type of surface that is in use for the tournament. There are three types of surfaces used in tennis: clay, hard court, and natural grass. Some players dominate on grass but are just average on clay, and others are the opposite. This just adds an extra layer to your analysis of various tournaments, players, and bets that are offered. Checking not only historical records, but also recent records is a must, as players can often adapt and improve, or can become complacent and get worse, on one surface or another throughout their career.
What to Look For In A Tennis Book
There are professional tennis tournaments going on year round, from January all the way through to December. Finding a book that offers lines on every tournament can be tricky. There is maybe a handful of books that you can view and bet lines for all of the tournaments. It’s important to always be on the lookout for the best odds and of course you want a book that you can trust as well. Tennis has a bit of a shady reputation in some circles, with match fixing, or strange forfeits more common than some would like. Be aware of your book’s policy on shortened matches, forfeitures, or resignations. Some less than scrupulous bookmakers may try to take advantage of you and some may even “freeroll” players. Be careful.