Tennis betting is the third-largest online gambling market in the UK, behind only football and horse racing. One of the main reasons for this is the global nature of the Sport, in that there is a tennis match being played somewhere in the world, pretty much every single day and in almost every time zone, with top-ranking international tournaments taking place throughout the year.
Most popular markets
When betting on tennis there is a large number of possible bets and the best tennis betting sites will offer the largest selection. The most popular lines are either "match odds" or "set betting". The match odds rather obviously refer to the winner of the match, there is no draw in a tennis match, you just pick a winner. The only thing to watch for here is that bookmakers will treat retirements differently, some voiding bets and some classing it as a loss depending on how many sets have been played, which is something worth knowing which applies to your bet depending on if you have backed the favourite or the outsider.
The next most popular market is set betting where you predict the score at the end of the match in sets. Men's tennis typically requires 3 sets to win so has 5 variables, women's tennis which requires 2 sets to win has just 3.
Tennis bet types
Tennis bookmakers over a dozen possible bet types, with most variations around what segment of the game you wish to bet on. At the micro-level, you can bet which player will win the next Point, moving out you can get on who will win the next Set, and finally also who will win the Match. Other options include what the exact score of any given Set will be, how many Aces there will be in the match, how many double faults, as well as any number of proposition bets which may be offered on some of the major matches and tournaments.
Tennis betting strategies
When betting on tennis online it is important to remember that just like every sport and every bet at the end of the day it is betting on odds which are greater than the probability of something happening which will make you profit in the long run. Below we look at two possible strategies which could help you to do just that. The following applies to tennis bets placed "In-Play".
The first market we will look at is the player Handicap market and we will analyse the odds on the outsider. You should find a two-set tennis match (So probably a Women's match) between a clear favourite and an outsider, where in the first Set the underdog has had the serve broken and the score is 3:0. Usually, you can now get good odds betting on the outsider with a handicap of (+5.5). Because one set consists of 6 games (if there is no tie-break) this bet will win if the underdog can win at least one game in the Set.
Now statistically the outcome of the match is very likely, but the score being 6:0 is not likely at all. This is for a number of reasons but includes the fact that the outsider may take a game because the favourite becomes complacent that they will win and so they can make a mistake or two and it won't matter. Furthermore, although not match-fixing it is possible that sometimes the favourite can “give” the game in order not too much humiliate the rival too much. Linked to that the outsider won't want to leave the court without a single game and they were likely more nervous pre-match due to facing a big named star, but as the game goes on their nerves lesson and they play better too.
Although every game is different with the score being 3:0 it is often possible to back the +5.5 Handicap market at between 1.6 to 1.7 and statistically if you can see this happening two out of every three times, so if the tennis bookmakers are offering online odds of 1.5, then that is a good bet in the long run.
This second tennis betting system which you may want to look at is live betting on total games in the match. This can be used in all games but statistics show it works best for ITF tournament matches (above amateur tournaments and competitions but less quality than the ATP/WTA). We look at games where the first set has already ended and 11 or more games were played
Satistics show that if the first set ended with such a high number of games there is a 70-80% probability the second set will finish with less than 11 games. There is no intuitive reason for this, but that is what the data shows. Therefore if you can bet on the total number of games played in the next Set and get online odds of 1.8 or higher then in the long run again this should show a profit.
We should point out however that with all strategies what happened before may not repeat in the future and that you should only ever gamble with money you do not care about losing should things not go your way.
There are many bookies for tennis bets that you could choose from. Bets on tennis matches have always been a popular choice and there are several reasons for that.
Firstly it has been the wide range of outcomes which can be bet on, and the fast turnaround between placing the bet and getting the result.
Secondly, due to the huge number of variables involved in a tennis match and its unpredictability, this gives a certain advantage to the bettor. The advent and widespread use of In-Play betting lend itself naturally to tennis, and the sites which offer live streaming of the games are the ones who will prosper the most.