How to Bet on Tennis
Wagering on tennis has exploded in the last few years. Some of that can be attributed to the explosion of sports betting in general. Like soccer, there’s always a tennis match going on somewhere. With the advent of online betting, you can bet on everything from Wimbledon to the US Open to international events like the French or Australian Open and even regular season play.
Sometimes, getting a reminder of how tennis works, before you have the ticket in your hand, will help you avoid the anger involved when you go back to the window only to learn that your winning ticket is actually just recycling material.
There are four points in each game of tennis, six games win a set and there can be either three or five sets in a match. That makes it the best of three or five formats, the first to win two, or three sets wins.
Winning a set involves having won at least two more games than your competition and if both sides get to six games won, they’ll play a tiebreaker game. It’s an additional game with the first side to win seven games, and by two or more points, winning the set.
Tiebreakers can last a long time and top players have played 70 points and have sent that ball back and forth for almost 30 minutes just to capture that final game. Imagine what the stands were like as these players complimented each other for half of an hour without a break, for one single point.
BEST TENNIS BETTING SITES IN THE US
*In-person registration and betting only in MS. The BetMGM app is available for mobile wagers in Washington DC, but only at Nationals Park.
Updated on : 03/04/2024
HOW TO BET ON TENNIS: WAGER TYPES
- Moneyline – Any time you’re betting the moneyline your selection just has to win. It’s the same for tennis as any other sport. Your player, or team in doubles, simply has to win the match or set. It doesn’t matter how many sets they win or how many games the opponent wins, money line odds are set on the players involved. The board for tennis money line wagering can look very similar to UFC or boxing.
- Over/Under – Betting the total in tennis involves the number of games in a set or match or the total amounts of sets in a match. The number will be based on the expected amount of games or sets each sports book believes will be played. A match between a top seed and an unranked player could have numbers much lower than a contest between equal rivals.
- Set Spread / Handicap Betting – Spreads in tennis involve numbers similar to any sport but instead of referencing points they stand for games or sets. A player could be favored to win a match by a specific number of games or a match by a specific number of sets
- Exact Score Betting – Wagering that a specific set will end with the exact score of games or that a match will end with the exact score of sets is called exact score betting. Similar to other sports, the odds for picking the exact score will vary depending on the wager. There will be lower odds for picking the exact score of sets since there are fewer options. Wagering how many games in a set will be won by each side offers many more choices and therefore higher odds.
- Parlays – Most sports books allow Parlays in tennis as long as they include the money line odds for the plays involved in the parlay. Wagers parlaying the spreads in tennis aren’t normally allowed. However, as sports betting continues to expand this option may become available. One of the reasons parlays are popular is that it allows you to have multiple low odd entries that benefit from parlay odds allowing successful bettors to win more betting these items together than they would bet them individually.
- Prop betting – Proposition betting is always an exciting way to wager and it’s the same for tennis. Wagering that very specific things are going to happen can come with bigger odds. It can be a play on the exact number of games in a match or how long a match will last. Bettors love to win a lot of money for betting just a little and that’s one of the reasons prop bets are popular.
- Live betting – Live betting is the only form of sports betting where you can wager after the game or match has already started. In tennis, that means a ton of options. You could bet the winner of the next set, or game, or even the next point. Live betting has boards that move very quickly. Sometimes you’re not able to get a bet placed on a wagering option because the odds are updated constantly. Live betting is an important tool if you want to win money in sports betting, but you do have to be patient.
- Futures – Future pools are very popular in tennis, especially for major tournaments. These wagers are another way to hit a bet at big odds. Entrants that are expected to compete for the title are typical single-digit odds but when you find the next superstar early in his or her career you can catch them at odds of 50-1 or larger.
TENNIS BETTING TIPS
? Look at Head-to-Head Stats
One of the best handicapping tools to use is looking back at tennis odds for previous matches where the same players have competed against each other. Similar to checking how the Patriots have done when they’ve played the Bills you can look back at previous events and look at how the players fared in those tennis matches.
There are so many sources of data nowadays it’s easier to find out the previous results for the same matchup so you can look for more than just who won the match that day. Look for opportunities where a player has done extremely well early or folded in the later sets. You can also get an idea of how many games and sets were played in previous contests. That information will help you when you’re betting on some of the other wagers available.
? Know the Playing Surface (and Your Player’s Record On It)
Tennis is played on a variety of surfaces but there are three that make up a majority of the matches you can wager on. Knowing a player, or their opponent’s record on the different surfaces can dramatically improve your tennis wagering success rate, and can have an effect on tennis betting odds.
Grass courts, like Wimbledon, tend to play fast, and the service can be more important since there are not as many volleys. Courts with a clay surface, like the French Open, usually offer some resistance to the ball slowing down the game and allowing for higher bounces. Hard courts, like the US and Australian Opens, are covered with firm materials and offer more consistent play.
☝️Some Tennis Wagering Reminders
When you look at betting on a tennis tournament there are a few ways you can approach your wagers. If you isolate an opportunity for a future ticket to win the tournament look to also wager on that player as they play through the event. Sometimes, with a deep run, you’ll reach a point where you’ve already won more than the original wager and can enjoy the finals without too much stress.
Live betting is another way to consistently help your tennis bankroll. Some great players start slow and those huge favorite odds they had at the beginning of a match can get a little more reasonable. Other average players can start out fast and take early leads. That also helps lower the odds on their opponent allowing for in-game wagers that can sometimes be easy winners.
HOW TO BET ON TENNIS - FAQ
How do you bet on tennis?
You can bet on tennis in as many ways as you can wager on most sporting events. Future bets allow wagers on events that haven’t started yet. You can bet on a certain player to win a match or for that player to win by a certain amount of sets.
Tennis has totals and you can decide whether there will be more or fewer games than the number posted by the sportsbooks. There are also parlays, prop wagers, and live action in tennis. Multiple options are always important if you’re deciding which sportsbook is the place where you want to make your tennis wagers.
Is betting on tennis profitable?
Like most sports wagering, betting on tennis can be profitable, if you educate yourself on the sport and its participants. Knowing which matchups are close or will be one-sided will help you make wiser wagers and cash more tickets.
What does +2.5 mean in tennis?
Most sportsbooks will offer spreads in tennis. Always confirm the spread you’re looking at is for the wager you want to place. The books will offer lines for both games and sets. Having +2.5 in a tennis match for a set would mean that player can lose by two and still win. Getting 2 ½ in a match would mean if they lost by two sets or less, they would win that wager.
How do you predict a tennis match?
The best way to predict a tennis match is to conduct plenty of research. Has the player done well in recent events? What opponents are they facing and how has he or she performed on the specific surface being used for this tournament? Spending time learning as much as you can about the event you’re betting on and the players you’re using will allow you to have a high rate of success in predicting tennis matches.
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