Tennis is another one of those international sports that draws betting from all over the world. Casual punters bet on their favorite players, and professional handicappers have plenty of opportunity to find value.
In the early stages of a tennis tournament when unknown players are still in the draw, matches tend to be very predictable. While odds can be lopsided, smart punters can make money in the early rounds. Later in a tournament, odds tighten up as matches become more competitive. Money can be made here too, but punters need to put in more time for research.
Below we’ll show you some of the most common ways to bet on WTA and ATP tennis, and provide some tips to help you become profitable.
How to Bet on Tennis
Although the most popular type of tennis bet is on match winners, there are a lot of ways to bet on tennis. While professional punters need to be selective about the types of bets they make, casual punters looking to have some fun can easily find it in this sport. Below are the most common types of tennis bets that are offered at online bookmakers.
Check out Ryan’s opinion on the Best Tennis Betting Site
Betting on Match Winners
This is the simplest type of tennis betting, simply choosing which player will win a match. The most important part of betting on individual matches is to get the best odds available. Handicappers that take their tennis betting seriously need to have funded accounts at several of the best betting sites, then compare odds at each of them.
Novak Djokovic: 5/4
Rafael Nadal: 4/7
In this scenario, a $5 profit would be won for every $4 wagered on Novak Djokovic. For Nadal, every $7 wagered would result in a $4 profit.
In set betting, the punters job is to pick the exact result of a tennis match, based on sets won by each player. For example, will player X beat player Y 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2? Or, will player Y win 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2?
These bets can offer very enticing odds to punters. If you’re going to be set betting, make sure to do your research first. What is the head-to-head record between these players? How close have their matches been? Does the #48 player in the world give the #2 player fits? Find out before placing your bet on the #2 to wipe out the #48 in straight sets.
Tennis Futures Bets
In tennis, most futures bets are wagers where the punter chooses who they think will win the tournament. For most ATP & WTA tennis tournaments, futures odds are posted roughly a week before the tournament begins. For the Grand Slam Tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open), most bookmakers offer futures betting months in advance.
Some sports betting sites also offer futures bets for the end-of-year #1 ranked players. During years where there isn’t a single player who is dominating, these can be difficult bets to win. Also keep in mind that injuries play a big part in rankings, and yet they’re completely unpredictable.
Tennis Prop Bets
Tennis is a great sport for punters that like to bet on props. This is mainly due to all the numbers used in tennis. Numbers are used for every point, game, set and match, so it’s easy for betting sites to come up with a high volume of props. For big tournaments, some online bookmakers will offer dozens, or even hundreds of prop bets.
Some typical tennis prop bets:
- Head-to-head matchups on which player will last the longest in a tournament.
- 1st set game score.
- Will there be a tie-break in the match? Yes or No?
- What round will player X be eliminated in?
- Total games played in a match.
Tennis Parlay Bets
Tennis parlay bets are wagers where multiple players (2+) are selected to win their matches and put onto a single ticket. For the ticket to win, every player selected must win. If any player on the ticket loses, the entire wager is lost.
In tennis, parlay betting is most popular during the early rounds when there are a lot of lopsided matches. When a top player is playing an unknown, it’s not uncommon to see odds as bad as 1/200. Who wants to wager $200 to win $1? Nobody. So, to get better on odds on these types of matches, a lot of punters will parlay multiple, big favorites. Be careful with parlays though, they are usually -EV.
Live Betting on WTA and ATP Tennis
For the same reasons that prop bets are popular in tennis, live betting is popular as well. While the match is being played, punters can bet on almost anything. Which player will win the next point? Which player will win this game? Will player X record an ace during this game?
A lot of online bookmakers also offer mobile betting, which means you can place live bets while you watch the match from the stands. Fun stuff.