Tennis may have started as a fun game between monks and clergyman in the 12th century, but it’s evolved into an international betting phenomenon. Few individual sports come close to tennis in terms of its popularity and betting prowess. In fact, it’s hard to find an online sportsbook that doesn’t cover this game.
At SportsBetting.eu, we cover many different tennis tournaments throughout the year. If you’re new to tennis betting and need some help getting started, keep reading as we cover what types of bets are available, tips, big events, and how you place wagers at SportsBetting.
If you’ve wagered on other sports before, then you won’t have much trouble adjusting to tennis. But the one thing to watch for is that spreads and over/unders are based on games, instead of points. Here are the different types of wagers that you’ll see at online sportsbooks:
Moneyline (a.k.a. Straight) – This is a simple bet on which player will win the match. But in order to even out action on both the favorite and underdog, odds are attached to each side. Here’s an example: Madison Keys +150 vs. Angelique Kerber -170. In this line, Kerber is the favorite, and you’d win $1 for every $1.70 wagered on her. As for the underdog Keys, you’d win $1.50 for every $1 bet.
Spread – As mentioned before, the spread works differently in tennis, with the number of games determining results. Here’s a line to illustrate our point: Milos Raonic -3.5 vs. Jack Sock +3.5. If Raonic wins the match 6-4, 6-2, then he covers the spread because he won the match by 6 games.
Totals (Over/Under) – The other type of tennis wager involving games is totals, where you’re betting on whether a match will go over or under the line. To set up an example, let’s say that the over/under is 24.5 games. If the match goes 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, the over wins because 28 games were played.
Live Wagering – Major tennis events offer lots of live wagering (a.k.a. in-play) opportunities that allow you to make bets during the match. This is nice because you have a chance to place a number of wagers as the action is happening.
Futures – Another thing that major tennis events offer is futures, which are bets made on a future outcome before a tournament has begun. A common example is a futures bet on which player will win a particular tourney. For example, the top player might be given +300 odds, followed by the second player at +400, the third player at $450, and so forth.
Tip #1: Look for Value in the Early Rounds – Oftentimes, when a tournament gets into the later rounds, you can’t find much value. This is why the earlier rounds – where high seeds face off against low seeds – presents a nice opportunity to find value due to the large amount of uneven matches.
Tip #2: Study Players’ Recent Form – When you combine the first tip with studying recent form, you can really pick some upsets. Look at a player’s last 2-3 matches to judge how they’ve been playing lately. Sometimes you’ll find an unheralded athlete who’s doing really well, yet they’re not getting much love through sportsbook lines.
Tip #3: Review Head-to-Head Matches – Sometimes history tells you everything you need to know about a tennis rivalry. For example, Serena Williams is 19-2 against Maria Sharapova in her career, despite both players having been elite for years. While this is an extreme example, head-to-head records are another aspect that can help you pick winners.
Tip #4: Follow One Organization & a Few Players – While it’s tempting to find as much action as you can in tennis, you’re better off picking either the ATP or WTA, then getting to know 3-5 players really well. If you identify a few players’ strengths and weaknesses, then it makes finding value in their matches that much easier.
Tip #5: Look at the Surface – Clay, grass, and hard courts all have an impact on how well athletes perform. Some players are much better on one surface over another during their careers. And the totals bets are impacted as well because a fast surface like grass creates for more-unpredictable matches, which allows low-ranked players to last longer.
What’s fun about tennis is that both the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) are popular organizations that offer lots of betting action. Below you can see the most-popular events to wager on when it comes to tennis betting.
Australian Open (Hard Court) – The Australian Open kicks the tennis year off in January. Because of how early it is, many top seeds are prone to upset in this event.
French Open (Clay) – Running from May to June, the French Open typically favors European players who grew up on clay courts. Rafael Nadal is a perfect example since the Spaniard has won 9 French Open titles.
U.S. Open (Hard) – Taking place from September to October in New York City, the U.S. Open is a championship of sorts for tennis pros.
Wimbledon (Grass) – Running from June to July, Wimbledon offers fast action with its grass courts. Favorites sometimes struggle in London due to the faster-moving ball.
Indian Wells Masters (Hard) – Although not part of the Grand Slam like the four events described above, Indian Wells still draws top players to California through a $4.5 million prize pool.
Miami Open (Hard) – Held in Miami, Florida in March, this is another event that draws players with a large prize pool worth over $3.6 million.
Monte-Carlo Masters (Clay) – Running in April, the Monte-Carlo Masters is the second-biggest clay event behind the French Open.
To make tennis bets at SportsBetting, first visit our sportsbook by clicking the appropriate link. Once here, scan available sports on the left-hand side, then choose Tennis. You’ll see a drop-down menu that lets you choose either ATP or WTA events.
This brings up all of the available tennis betting lines, which are listed in American, decimal, and fractional odds. You can also choose either straight bets, or prop bets – the latter of which are most common during major tennis events.
All you need is a SportsBetting.eu account and some funds to get started!