How To Bet On Tennis
Making money betting on tennis comes down to three fundamental elements. First, finding betting value, second, applying a sound money management strategy and third and perhaps most importantly, maintaining discipline. In our tennis betting guide, we'll show you how to become profitable long term betting on tennis.
Betting on tennis is huge business with the sport now second only to soccer in terms of worldwide popularity, with billions bet on tennis annually. Why? One simple reason - there is a tennis match being played somewhere in the world virtually 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with multiple markets and methods of betting on tennis available.
For this reason alone, learning how to bet on tennis and win can prove to be very profitable.
Betting On Tennis: An Introduction
Tennis is one of the most exciting and entertaining sports in the world, unique in that it is as gladiatorial as boxing - it pits two rivals against each other in the most physical and athletic of environments - and yet it is a non-contact sport. Its greatest rivalries, be they Connors vs McEnroe, Sampras vs Agassi or Federer vs Nadal, have thrown up encounters as gripping and visceral as anything seen inside a boxing ring.
Male tennis players are arguably the fittest athletes in the world, but the wear-and-tear of matches played at full-throttle, often on hard surfaces over a long season unfortunately leads to relatively short careers, with very few top players making it into their 30s on the tour.
Women’s tennis remains the only sport in which professional female athletes can consistently earn sums comparable to men, and for good reason. Since the open era in 1968, players like Margaret Court, Billy Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Venus and Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have been as famous and recognisable as any male sports star.
Our Detailed Tennis Betting Guide
In this tennis betting guide, you will learn everything you need to know about betting on tennis, from developing an understanding of basic tennis bet types and markets to what tennis betting odds mean and most importantly, how to develop and apply a consistent tennis betting strategy.
The bettingexpert How To Bet On Tennis guide has been written with both the beginner and experienced tennis bettor in mind. No matter what level you consider yourself, our detailed tennis betting guide will show you how to improve your tennis betting returns.
- Tennis Tournaments To Bet On
- Tennis Betting Odds Explained
- Tennis Value Bets
- Tennis Bets Explained
- How To Bet On Tennis And Win
- Tennis Betting Spreadsheet
- Betting On Tennis Online
- Tennis Free Bets & Bookmaker Offers
- Tennis Live Streaming
- Tennis Betting Tips
1. Tennis Tournaments To Bet On
There are any number of tennis tournaments that you can bet on. Whether it be the men's tour (ATP) or the women's tour (WTA), there are dozens of tennis matches being played around the world on any one day, giving the shrewd tennis bettor the ability to identify tennis value bets, day in day out.
Men’s Professional Tennis
There are three tiers to men’s professional tennis; the ATP tour which is the top tier, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ITF Futures tour, with each playing an important role in keeping the tennis machine rolling.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the governing body of the men’s professional game. Although the ATP is an independent organisation it is ultimately answerable to the sport’s world governing body, the ITF (International Tennis Federation). The ITF retains control of and supervises the Grand Slam events, the Davis Cup and Federation Cup as well as the Olympic tennis event. Think of the ATP as the Premiership and the ITF as FIFA and you’ll get a basic understanding of how the relationship works.
The ATP was formed in 1972 by a consortium that included legendary player Jack Kramer. Back then there were several governing bodies in pro tennis including the WCT (World Championship Tennis) and the Grand Prix tennis circuit, but by 1990 all had merged with the ATP.
Current ATP World Top 10
Players on both the ATP and WTA tours are ranked in accordance with points they have accumulated over a twelve month period. The amount of points available is relevant to the status of an event. For example, the winner of an ATP 250 event will gain 250 pts, while the winner of a Slam event like Wimbledon will gain 2000 pts. Players also gain points for wherever they finish in an event, from runner-up right down to a first round exit.
The player ranked no.1 in the world is the player who has gained the most points in the previous twelve month period, and the rest of the world rankings function correspondingly.
Points gained at an event are retained for exactly twelve months, and will then be taken off the player’s points total. The expression “defending a lot of points” comes from a player’s need to do as well in an event as they did twelve months earlier to maintain their position in the world rankings.
It’s not unusual in tennis for a player who performed exceptionally well at a slam event the previous year and then suffers an early exit from that same slam event twelve months later to see their world ranking drop dramatically.
ATP Tour Events
|4 Grand Slams||Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open.|
|9 Masters Series 1000||Events include Miami, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo and Cincinnati.|
|13 ATP 500 Series||Events include Dubai, Queens Club, China|
|39 ATP 250 Series||Event include Qatar, Brisbane, Nottingham, .|
|1 ATP Finals||London World Tour Finals, .|
ATP Challenger Tour
The ATP Challenger Tour is the second tier of men's professional tennis. Players ranked outside the world’s top-80 and former juniors making their way in the game frequent this tour. Success on the Challenger Tour will earn a player enough ranking points to either enter the qualifying draw or the main draw of an ATP tour event.
It is not unusual to see familiar faces playing on this tour, and over the years many big names in tennis have dipped in and out of the Challenger Tour due to a drop in rankings including Andre Agassi, Goran Ivanisevic, Lleyton Hewitt, Richard Gasquet, Marcos Baghdatis and Bernard Tomic.
ITF Futures Tour
While it may lack the glamour of the main tours, the ITF Futures Tour is the bread-and-butter of both the men’s and women’s professional games. There are an incredible 600+ men’s Futures Tour events and also 500+ women’s Futures Tour events played in 77 countries around the world between January and July.
Women’s Professional Tennis
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is the top tier of women’s tennis, much like the ATP is in the men’s game. The WTA was founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King, who was the biggest star in women’s tennis at that time, and remains arguably its most important and influential figure ever.
Prior to the establishment of the WTA, female pros played on the Virginia Slims and Women’s Grand Prix tours, with both being absorbed into Billie Jean King’s fledgling organisation. The WTA would go from strength-to-strength and it has subsequently grown into the strongest women’s professional sporting governing body in the world.
Current WTA World Top 10
While women’s tennis has gone through its highs and lows in terms of global popularity (as has the men’s game), is has always outstripped any other female professional sport in terms of profile and the income it generates. Its top players enjoy a level of fame that is far in excess of female athletes in other fields. Mia Hamm and Marta are legends of women’s soccer, and Annika Sörenstam may well be the Tiger Woods of women’s golf, but their profiles are incomparable to those of a Martina Navratilova or a Steffi Graff, a Monica Seles, a Serena or Venus Williams, a Maria Sharapova and even an Anna Kournikova.
WTA Tour Events
|4 Grand Slams||Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open.|
|Premier Mandatory Tournaments||Events include Miami, Indian Wells, Madrid and Beijing.|
|Premier Five||Events include Doha/Dubai, Roma, Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati and Wuhan.|
|WTA Finals||London WTA Tour Championships.|
|International Tournaments||32 events|
|WTA 125k Series||7 events|
Between the ATP, WTA, Challenger Tour and ITF Futures events, there are matches played worldwide from January to November. Even in the closed season there are several exhibition events played, like the annual Mubadala World Tennis Championships which takes place in late December in Dubai and features several of the sport’s biggest names.
2. Tennis Betting Odds Explained
As with all forms of sports betting, odds determine how much a bettor will win from any bet placed, providing they are successful and have correctly predicted the outcome.
Odds on tennis are presented in three ways;
- Fractional - Popular format in the UK and Ireland
- Decimal - Popular across Europe and the southern hemisphere.
- Moneyline - Popular in North America.
No matter how knowledgeable a bettor or a tennis tipster may be, as all sporting events are open to human error, sports betting will never be an exact science. However the laws of probability do determine that an outcome is more or less likely to occur.
What Do Tennis Betting Odds Mean?
So let's begin with the common question, what do tennis betting odds represent? If a player is listed at odds of 1.75 to win a Grand Slam match, what does this mean? Well, betting odds represent a likelihood (often referred to as the ' implied probability' ) of a particular outcome occurring. So if a player is listed at 1.75 to win a match, these odds reflect what the bookmaker believes that player's chances of winning the match are.
So what are the chances a player listed at 1.75 will win the match? We can answer this with a simple formula:
Converting decimal odds to implied probability formula:
|Implied probability||=||1 / decimal odds|
So in our example, the chances of a player listed at 1.75 winning a match are:
|1 / 1.75||=||0.5714||=||57.14%|
Understanding the probability expressed in betting odds is key to successful golf betting. Knowing how to convert odds into their implied probability will only help enhance your chances of long term success betting on tennis.
How Do Tennis Betting Odds Work?
So how much will you win if you place a bet on a particular player and he or she wins their match? This is a very simple calculation:
|Your Profit||=||(Stake * Odds) - Stake|
So let’s say we place a £10 bet on a player listed at odds of 1.75 to win an upcoming match. And let’s say that player wins. How much profit will you make on your bet?
|Your Profit||=||(£10 * 1.75) - £10|
|Your Profit||=||(£17.50) - £10|
So in our example we would make a profit of £7.50 on our £10 bet. A nice win indeed.
To learn more about betting odds and what they mean, please read these articles:
Tennis Odds In Action: An Example
Heading into the 2014 Australian Open, Rafael Nadal was the top seed in Melbourne and the world no.1. Nadal was hot-off a sensational return to top form in 2013 that saw him come back from injury to take both the French and U.S. Opens plus nine other titles. After dismissing Roger Federer easily in the semifinals, Nadal was a strong 1.18 favourite to defeat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. At those odds, if a bettor placed a £10 bet on Nadal to win, they would win back a total of £11.80 – including the original £10 stake, making a profit of just £1.80.
As a probability, there was an 84.75% chance of a Nadal victory.
Despite playing the best tennis of his career and defeating defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, Stan Wawrinka was a massive 5.60 underdog going into the final against Nadal. This was primarily based on his record of 12 straight defeats against the Spaniard in all meetings, in which Wawrinka had failed to even win a set.
However, some expert tipsters sensed an upset was on the cards. Sure Nadal was on a roll and playing great tennis, but so was Wawrinka. Sure Stan had never beaten Rafa, but he hadn’t beaten Djokovic in seven years and 14 matches before this event. Besides, he’d been getting closer to Nadal, losing their previous match in two tight sets 7-6, 7-6.
Also, Wawrinka’s power game was well suited to the super-fast hardcourts of Melbourne. While Nadal was an excellent all-court player, his game was still primarily that of a clay-courter, relying on dogged defensive play from the baseline.
A £10 pound bet on a Wawrinka win at odds of 5.60 would return a total of £56 including the original £10 pound stake, showing a £46 profit.
However, according to the odds there was only a 17.86% probability of a Wawrinka victory. It was a long shot, would it pay off?
In the end, Stan The Man won the 2014 Australian Open defeating Nadal in four sets, claiming his first Slam in the process.
3. Tennis Value Bets
Developing a tennis betting strategy or a tennis betting system can take time and persistence. But regardless of your overall approach, one fundamental rule applies to tennis betting as it does to any other sport:
Only bet when there is value.
Searching for tennis value bets means searching for an instance where your believe the outcome is more likely than what the odds on offer may suggest. For example, let’s say Novak Djokovic is about to play Rafael Nadal. These two have played each other more times than any other rivalry in the open era. Of late, Djokovic has been winning their matchups in ever more emphatic fashion. The bookies will make Djokovic a favourite to defeat Nadal, with the best odds on offer 1.50.
In terms of the implied probability, these odds suggest Djokovic is a 66.67% chance to win the match. We've done our research and believe Djokovic is actually a 75% chance to win the match. Do we have a value bet?
What Is A Tennis Value Bet?
It cannot be understated enough. The key to long term tennis betting success is to bet only when there is value in the odds. But how do we calculate betting value? It’s a very simple calculation:
|Value||=||(Decimal Odds * Your Assessed Probability) - 1|
So let’s continue with our previous example. Djokovic is at odds of 1.50 to defeat Nadal. We’ve done our research and have decided that in our estimation there’s a 75% chance this player will win the match. Are the odds of 1.50 for Djokovic to win offering us any value?
|Value||=||(1.50 * 0.75) - 1|
|Value||=||1.125 - 1|
Whenever the value is greater than 0, we have a value bet. So given the odds of 1.50 and our assessed probability of 75%, there is 12.5% value in the odds on offer of 1.50 for Djokovic to win the match over Nadal. This is a great value bet.
The trick to beating the bookmakers long term is in making more accurate assessments of a given outcome’s probability than those that the bookmakers odds would suggest. If you can do this consistently, you will be a long term profitable tennis bettor.
In our example we assessed that Djokovic has a 75% chance of winning the match, while the bookmaker odds of 1.50 reflected a probability of 66.67%. It is a value bet for us because we believe the chances of Djokovic winning the match are greater than the probability represented by the bookmaker’s odds.
To learn more about value betting and tennis staking strategies, please read the following articles.
4 - Tennis Bets Explained
Bettors are blessed with a multitude of tennis bets to choose from. As with any other sport, the type of tennis bets that you prefer to wager on is up to you. Some bet types such as handicaps make more sense of some bettors, while other markets such as set and game totals are the preference of other bettors. In the end, the markets you prefer to bet on is entirely your preference.
In this section we will discuss the most popular tennis bets available:
- Match Betting
- Handicap Betting
- Over/Under Totals
- Correct Score
- Set Winner
- In-Play Betting
- Tournament Winner
4.1 Tennis Match Odds
The most straightforward and least complicated form of tennis bet is the match result market. Do some research, then pick a player and back them to win. Below we can see an example of tennis match betting odds, with odds listed for a number of upcoming matches at bet365.
Match betting is the most popular form of tennis bet due to its simplistic nature. You place a bet on the player you think will win. If they win, your bet is a winner. If they lose, your bet is lost.
Please note however that bookmakers sometimes have different rules regarding mid-match retirements due to injury. While some bookmakers may pay your bet out as a winner in given circumstances, others will void your bet. Please check with your preferred bookmaker before you place your bets.
4.2 Tennis Handicap Odds
Also known as the tennis spread, tennis handicaps are the perfect way to wager when a match looks too one-sided for the match-winner odds to be worth your interest as the intention of handicap betting is to create a betting market where both players are considered an equal chance of "winning".
There are two forms of tennis handicap betting, set handicap betting and games handicap betting
Set Handicap Betting
Set handicap betting is where one player is given a set advantage (for example +1.5 sets) and the other is given a set deficit (for example -1.5 sets). Below we can see an example of set handicap odds listed at Paddy Power for an upcoming match between Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
In this instance we see that Wozniacki is +1.5 sets at odds of 1.66. If you bet on Wozniacki at +1.5 sets, your bet is a winner so long as she wins the match or at the very least doesn't lose by more than 1.5 sets. Think of it this way - no matter the outcome of the match, so long as Wozniacki is within 1.5 sets of winning the match, your bet is a winner.
On the other hand, if you bet on Kuznetsova at -1.5 sets and odds of 2.10, your bet is a winner only if she wins by over 1.5 sets. If she wins by only 1 set or worse still, she loses the match, your bet is a loser.
Calculating whether or not your handicap bet is a winner is easy. You simply add (or subtract) the handicap from the final scoreline. If you had bet on Wozniacki at +1.5 sets, you simply add the 1.5 set handicap to her final scoreline. If on the other hand you had bet on Kuznetsova -1.5 sets, then we subtract 1.5 sets from her scoreline.
Games Handicap Betting
Tennis handicap betting doesn't begin and end with set handicaps. There are also games handicaps. This market works much like set handicaps, with a player given a games advantage (for example +5.5 games) and the other a games deficit (for example -5.5 games). Below we can see an example of a games handicap market with odds listed at Bet Victor for an upcoming match between Fernando Verdasco and Stan Wawrinka.
In this instance we see that Verdasco has a +5.5 game handicap. What does this mean? Well it means that if we bet on Verdasco +5.5 games at odds of 1.727, our bet is a winner so long as his total number of games won during the match is at the very least within 5 games of Wawrinka's games total.
So let's say Wawrinka finishes the match with a total of 22 games won, while Verdasco finishes the match with a total of 17 games. In this example your bet would be a winner because Verdasco's total number of games was within the 5.5 game handicap.
On the other hand, if you had bet on Wawrinka with the -5.5 games handicap at odds of 2.05, he must finish the match with at least 6 more total games won than Verdasco.
Games handicaps work just the same as set handicaps, except that we focus only on the number of games won through a match. Just as we did with set handicaps, we simply add or subtract the handicap. In this example, if we had bet on Verdasco at +5.5 games, we add 5.5 games to his total games won. If on the other hand we bet on Wawrinka at -5.5 games, we subtract 5.5 games from his total.
What makes games handicap betting a particularly intriguing market is that your player doesn't have to win the match for your bet to be a winner, even if he were the favourite. For example, let's say Verdasco wins the match 3 sets to 2, with a scoreline of 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 1-6, 6-4. In this example, Verdasco ended the match with a total of 22 games won while Wawrinka won a total of 28. With a games handicap of -5.5, even though he lost the match, Wawrinka still managed to cover his games handicap by exceeding his opponent's games total by 6..
4.3 Tennis Over Under Odds
Tennis over unders is an increasingly popular form of betting, As was the case with tennis handicaps, there are two forms of tennis over unders - total sets and total games.
Total Sets Over Under
Let's begin with total sets. Below we can see an example of a total sets over under betting market with odds listed by bet365 for an upcoming match.
In this instance you can bet on the total number of sets played in the match to be either over or under 3.5. Or in other words, the match to end with at most 3 sets played (under 3.5 sets) or the match to end with at least 4 sets played (over 3.5 sets).
Let’s say Andy Murray is playing Belgium’s David Goffin, the man he defeated to seal Britain’s Davis Cup win in 2015. Murray usually defeats Goffin relatively comfortably. Both men play a similar game, but Murray is a little better in all departments, plus a lot bigger. In this example we may believe that Murray will once again finish the match comfortably with the match being no longer than 3 sets. In this case we would be on Under 3.5 sets.
A related market, betting on the exact number of sets to be played in a given match, is offered by the majority of bookmakers.
Total Games Over Under
Tennis over under betting doesn't end with total sets. You can also bet on the total number of games to played through a match. Below we can see an example of a total games over under market with odds listed by Paddy Power for an upcoming match.
Here we have two options. We can either bet on the match finishing with Under 21.5 games played (at most 21 games) or we can bet on the match finishing with Over 21.5 games played (at least 22 games).
So let's say we are betting on a match between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber, with the match ending 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. In this example the match ended with a total of 25 games played. If we had bet Over 21.5 games, our bet would be a winner. However if we had bet Under 21.5 games, we would have lost our bet.
4.4 Tennis Correct Score Odds
This is a highly specific form of betting in which the odds are always generally quite high but the probability of success far less so. You are literally attempting to see into the future and pick the actual final scoreline of a set, or indeed a completed match.
Match Correct Score
Below we can see an example of a correct score betting market with odds listed by Coral for an upcoming match between Andy Murray and Lukas Rosol.
With correct score betting we are attempting to predict the final scoreline for a given match. The example above is for a five set Grand Slam match. We can predict either of the players to win and select the exact scoreline come completion of the match. Here we can see that Andy Murray is the clear favourite, with odds of just 1.22 for him to win the match without dropping a set, 3 sets to 0.
If you do your research and see that there is a high likelihood of a certain scoreline in matches between two players, then correct score betting can prove to be profitable. For example, the five matches between big-serving beanpoles Ivo Karlovic and John Isner have featured no less than nine 7-6 sets out of twelve played! That said, the bookies would probably do you no favors on a repeat of that scoreline when they next meet.
Set Correct Score
Correct score tennis betting doesn't begin and end with the final scoreline. It's also possible to bet on the correct score in individual sets. Below we can see an example of 1st Set Correct Score with odds listed by Coral for the same upcoming match between Andy Murray and Lukas Rosol.
As we can see, it's possible to bet on every possible combination of 1st set scorelines, with Murray winning the opening set 6-3 the shortest odds at 4.00, while the odds of Rosol winning 6-0 is at the unlikely odds of 101.0.
4.5 Set Winner
There are various ways of betting on individual sets. Most bookmakers provide you with the opportunity back a player to win the first, second or third sets individually. Below we can see an example of a 1st Set Winner market with odds listed at Ladbrokes for an upcoming match Raf Nadal and Andreas Seppi.
Set winner betting works the same as match winner betting, except that rather than betting on the outcome of a complete match, you are only betting on the outcome of an individual set. In this example, we can see that Nadal is at very short odds to win the opening set of the match.
4.6 Tennis In-Play Betting
Tennis In-play betting has become hugely popular among the tennis betting fraternity, and with good reason. Simply put, using one’s knowledge of the game coupled with an understanding of fundamental betting theory, it's possibly to turn a profit within minutes of logging on to a live match by betting on the outcome of individual games as well as sets.
Below we can see an example of a live betting market, with a match in progress at bet365 between Andy Murray and Lukas Rosol.
Bookmakers such as bet365 allow you to bet in play on a broad range of markets, giving you the opportunity to trade on pre-match bets so as to lock in a certain profit or if events should conspire against you, to minimise your losses.
There is a great depth of in play markets available, such as the ability to bet on the scoreline of an individual game (for example 40-15),
4.7 Tournament Winner Odds
Lastly, let's consider tournament winner odds and other tennis outright bets. Below we can see an example of tournament winner odds, with odds listed at bet365 for an upcoming WTA tournament.
Here we can see that Serena Williams is the firm favourite to win the tournament at odds of 2.25. If we think she is a better chance to win the tournament than those odds would suggest (44.4%) then we should be on her as it's a value betting opportunity.
Tournament Each Way Betting
We can see that it's also possible to bet 'each way' on this tournament, with the each way terms displayed in the top left. In this instance, bet365 are offering each way terms of 1/2 the outright odds for players finishing 1st or 2nd.
What does this mean?
Backing a player each-way means you are essentially placing two bets - one bet on the player to win the tournament and second bet on that player to finish, in this case, at least runner up (reaching the final).
So as an example, if you bet £10 each on Simona Halep at odds of 10.0, you would be placing £10 on her to win the tournament at odds of 10.0 and a second bet of £10 for Halep to finish at least as runner up (lose the final) at 1/2 the outright winner odds.
Each way odds are calculated as:
((Each way terms) of (winner odds - 1)) +1
So in this example, our each way odds for Simona Halep would be:
=(1/2 of (10.0 - 1) +1
=(1/2 of 9.0) +1
=4.50 + 1
So our £20 each way on Simona Halep, is essentially two bets:
£10 on Halep to win the tournament at odds of 10.0
£10 on Halep to either win the tournament or finish runner up at odds of 5.50
So if Halep wins the final, you win both of your bets. However if Halep reaches the final but loses, you lose your outright winner bet but you would win your runner up bet.
When it comes to outright tournament betting, if you are looking to back a player to win a tournament – especially the favourite - try and do so before the action has begun. The odds will become less favourable once the event begins and the field starts to dissipate. Even when a player is as dominant as Djokovic currently is or as Federer and Nadal have been in the past, it’s still possible to get reasonable odd on them before the event kicks off.
You may also see a player who was previously unfancied suddenly hit a hot streak, and if that is the case you should jump on board as soon as you can. In 2007 former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian had slumped to 25th in the world and was seemingly sliding into mediocrity. Then, from out of nowhere, he suddenly hit one of the greatest hot streaks seen in recent years, winning both the Madrid and Paris Masters Series events back-to-back, and defeating both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in each event!
Tennis outright bets don't begin and end with tournament winner odds. The following markets are also available:
Quarter Winner: Betting on a player to reach the semi finals.
To Reach Final: Betting on a player to play in the tournament final.
4.8 Other Popular Tennis Bets
While we have discussed the most popular tennis bet types, there are a number of related betting markets available, particularly on major events such as the tennis Grand Slams. These include:
Winning Margin: This is based on the number of games won through a match and can be either a range of an exact figure.
Individual player totals: The number of games or sets won by an individual player during the match.
Will There Be A Tie Break: Betting on whether or not a particular set or the match as a whole will see at least one tie break.
Correct Score After A Given Number Of Games: Betting on what the set score will be after a certain number of games has been played.
To Not Win A Set: Betting on whether or not a player will win at the very least a single set.
5. How To Bet On Tennis And Win
Tennis offers more variables and more markets than almost any other sport, but if one wishes to maximise their profits and minimise their risks, they need to implement a tennis betting strategy based on a combination of scientific theory plus good old-fashioned discipline. In this section we will discuss tennis betting strategy, offering advice to help you improve your tennis betting.
During the course of any tennis season, a solid tennis betting strategy should be based around the following principles.
5.1 Bet Only When There Is Value
Probably doesn't need to be said (again!) but it is paramount if you want to make money betting on tennis. Only bet when there is value. Any tennis betting strategy should equip you with the ability to identify tennis value bets. Any tennis betting system should breakdown each matchup and leave you will a select few contests where betting value is available.
If you skipped by the section on tennis value bets, please read it now before continuing.
5.2 Be Prepared To Specialise
With the number of tennis matches being played throughout the year on both the men's and women's circuit, it's best to focus on what you know best and specialise.
It's simply impossible to analyse every upcoming tennis match adequately (unless you're able to develop a sophisticated betting model). Many successful tennis bettors focus on one area, whether it's men's tennis or women's tennis, the Challenger circuit or only Grand Slam events.
Likewise, focus on tennis bet types and markets that you are more familiar and most comfortable with. Some bettors focus only on handicaps while others develop strategies for identifying value in both set and game totals.
Whichever tennis circuit you want to bet on and whichever bet types and markets you're most comfortable with, if you want to be successful betting on tennis, you need to be selective and focus on areas of expertise.
5.3 Apply Sound Money Management
Much like the concept of value betting, the requirement to apply a consistent staking strategy cannot be understated. Any worthwhile staking strategy should make the most of the value you have identified as well as minimising the risk to your overall betting bankroll.
If you don't take money management seriously, no matter how good you may be at identifying tennis value bets, you'll only end up losing money in the long run. Haphazard staking, wagering twenty pounds here or ten pounds there, will not see you generate profits in the long run, and if it does, it will be more a product of luck than anything else. If you want to be successful long term betting on tennis, or any other sport, you need to approach your staking like an unapologetic financial planner.
When it comes to a bankroll, start with a sum of money that you would be comfortable losing. Many of the world's most successful sports bettors began with small bankrolls and built from the ground up. So begin with an amount that you would be comfortable losing if by chance results conspire against you. Even with the most acute eye for tennis betting value, things can and to a certain extent, will, go wrong.
5.4 Keep A Record Of Your Tennis Bets
Making money betting on tennis involves identifying value and sound money management. An excellent way to maintain your discipline in both respects is keep a record of each of your tennis bets.
This record should include the following:
- Bet Type
- Bet Details
- Your Stake
- Your Odds
If you are failing to keep a record of your tennis betting, then you're putting your chances of being a long term profitable tennis bettor at severe risk. By keeping a detailed record of your tennis betting, you will be able to conduct regular reviews of your overall performance. Which bet types are you most consistently profitable on? Which tournaments are you losing money on? Not only that but when a losing streak arrives (and they happen to even the best tennis bettors) you will be able to look back readily observe how you pulled yourself out of losing streaks in the past.
5.5 Look For The Suspect Seed
Historically the pre-tournament favourites tend to come good in Grand Slam events both in the men’s and women’s events. If you do want to back the favourites, do so early when the odds are still reasonable.
However, while favourites have performed well in the major tournaments, from as far back as the days of Connors, Borg and McEnroe, King, Evert and Navratilova, it can be highly profitable to identify which of the favourites is likely to under perform against the expectations of their tournament seeding.
Rankings are based on a player’s achievements over the previous twelve months. As such a player may be seeded relatively highly in an event and yet be out of form and susceptible to an upset.
Seeded players will always start as favourites over unseeded players with the bookies, but a little research will always reveal who’s actually playing well in a matchup and who’s not – regardless of seeding.
5.6 Understand Serving and Returning
One of the most popular forms of tennis betting is in-play betting, where a bettor can wager upon a match game-by-game, often while watching the action on live streaming. To get the most out of this form of betting a basic knowledge of the intricacies of the serve and return in tennis is essential.
The serve in tennis is similar to a tee-shot in golf, a penalty or free kick in football or a place kick in rugby; it is the only time in the match when the immediate outcome is in the hands of an individual. If the server is of the calibre of a Roscoe Tanner, Goran Ivanisevic, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, or today’s biggest hitters Ivo Karlovic and John Isner, there’s an 80% probability the point will be theirs. However any weakness in a serve will become amplified during the course of a match, and it will become increasingly vulnerable as it reaches its pivotal stages toward the end of each set.
Tennis history is littered with almost as many legendary returners of the ball as great servers. 70s and 80s icon Jimmy Connors was long held as the greatest returner the game had ever seen until the advent of Andre Agassi in the late 1980s. Agassi was famously at the other end of a world-record 154 mph serve from Andy Roddick – yet managed to return it. However most experts now regard Novak Djokovic as an even greater returner of the serve than Agassi.
In the modern game Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Giles Simon are just some of the great returners on the tour.
Even the biggest servers in tennis will drop their serves at least once in a set. Currently the most consistent servers in the game are the 6’10” American John Isner and the 6’11” Croatian Ivo Karlovic. Both men start with a huge physical advantage over most of their rivals; if one takes into consideration they are making contact with the ball at something like 9 feet from the ground at the point of service impact, the ball will always clear the net and fire downward at an acute trajectory, leaving the server to focus on the quality of their delivery, it’s speed and accuracy. The result will be a high-bouncing ball delivered in excess of 140 mph – to either the forehand side, backhand side or into the body of the opponent.
However, the rank and file of the ATP are not 6’11” service machines nor Djokovic-esque returners. Serving and returning stats of every player on the ATP tour are listed on the ATP website under “All Match Stats” and they can certainly give you an indication – and a probability – of the likelihood of a player holding or dropping serve during the course of a set.
5.7 Playing Styles
Thanks to the likes of YouTube, one can find footage in seconds of pretty much any player on the tour, male or female. Watch both a service game and a return game of a player, and you can quickly asses what type of player they are; a big server, a serve-volleyer (rare these days), a baseliner, a strong returner, big forehand or backhand etc.
This is a useful tool, especially if you are unfamiliar with a player, or you want to see their playing style and how it would relate to a particular surface.
5.8 Head-to-Head Matchups
Take a minute to log on to the ATP or WTA website and check out the head-to-head between the player you intend to back and their opponent. If they have faced each other previously, you will see how many times, the results and scorelines of the matches, and when they took place.
Again, this is a very useful tool in tennis betting, but matchups should never be taken at face value, and one should always check a rivalry closely.
For example, Player A is a clay-court maestro who has a 2-5 losing record against Player B, a big-serving hard-court specialist, and so based on their head-to-head you back Player B to win. Had you checked their head-to-head a little deeper, you would have seen that Player A’s two victories both came on clay, which is the surface they are about to play their match on.
5.9 Assessing Surfaces
When betting on a player, always take into account the surface on which the match is being played on and how good their record is on it. Top players like Djokovic, Federer and Nadal can win on any surface, hard, clay or grass. Andy Murray always had the tools to play well on clay, but only recently has he become a regular winner on the red-dirt. David Ferrer would seem to be the archetypal clay-courter – which indeed he is – but his tenacity and pugnaciousness have transferred well to all surfaces, and he has actually won more hardcourt events than clay.
In the women’s game, players like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Garbine Muguruza can play and win on any surface.
Those player aside, most men and women on the tour prefer one surface over another, and have had far more success on their favourite surface. A quick look at a player’s recent activity will tell you their current form on a particular surface. A look at the titles they have won and finals they have reached will also reveal much about a player.
A perfect example is former world no.9 Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Almagro is one of the most talented players on the tour, blessed with a ferocious serve, a bomb of a forehand, tremendous speed about the court and a backhand to rival that of Stan Wawrinka.
And yet Almagro has only achieved success on clay. He has won 12 ATP titles and reached an additional 10 finals, but all on the red dirt. Therefore in a matchup against an opponent of comparative standing but on a hardcourt, the value bet would be to wager against him.
5.10 Indoors and Outdoors
Hardcourt events are played both indoors – mainly in Europe, and outdoors, mostly in North America. Clay court and grass court events are always played outdoors. Some players find it more difficult to win outdoor events, where their game is more exposed to the elements, i.e. windy conditions, extreme sunlight, heat etc. Goran Ivanisevic won 22 ATP titles, but only seven came outdoors. Goran’s game was built around his phenomenal left-handed serve, so the least involvement of the elements, the better for his delivery.
Others, like Rafael Nadal actively prefer playing outdoors, and have a comparatively and surprisingly poor indoor record (only one of Rafa’s 67 titles has come indoors.)
5.11 Follow Tennis Betting Tips
A tremendous way of augmenting your tennis betting returns is to identify a tennis tipster that specialises in an area or betting market that you do not.
While following tennis tips can be a great way of building your betting bankroll, it's important that you research any tipster you are thinking about following. And when we say research, we mean that you should conduct a thorough investigation. There a dozens of tennis tipsters on the internet, with many making grand claims regarding their profitability. Most tipsters on the internet are not profitable and in some cases are looking to swindle you out of your hard earned money through excessive subscription charges.
But there are a select number of successful tennis tipsters delivering profitable tennis betting tips throughout the year. In fact some of bettingexpert's best tipsters focus their craft on tennis, both the ATP and WTA Tours.
Learn more about bettingexpert's best tennis tipsters now.
To learn more about betting tips, please read our guide to following betting tips.
5.12 Have Accounts With Multiple Bookmakers
Limiting yourself to only a few, or worse, a single bookmaker is only going to limit your chances of making money betting on tennis in the long run. No, we're certainly not recommending you have account with a dozen different bookmakers. That may be considered excessive. But depending upon only one or two bookmakers for all your tennis betting is going to diminish your overall profits in the long run.
Well thinks about it this way. If you only have accounts with two bookmakers, you are firstly limiting yourself to a narrower range of tennis bet types and markets to wager on. But more importantly, you are limiting yourself to a narrower range of odds.
Let's say you want to bet on Andy Murray to win an upcoming Grand Slam match. You have accounts with two bookmakers:
- Bookmaker A has Murray at odds of 1.80
- Bookmaker B has Murray at odds of 1.82
Which bookmaker are you going to be with? Bookmaker B is the obvious answer. But let's imagine we have accounts four bookmakers:
- Bookmaker A has Murray at odds of 1.80
- Bookmaker B has Murray at odds of 1.82
- Bookmaker C has Murray at odds of 1.77
- Bookmaker D has Murray at odds of 1.86
Obviously we will want to bet with Bookmaker D.
While this is a simplistic example, it should be clear how managing a broader range of bookmaker accounts allows you for not only greater flexibility in the markets available to you, but more importantly, a greater range of odds to select from. It may seem like a slight difference, but in the long run, it all adds up.
To learn more, please read our guide to calculating bookmaker margins.
6. Tennis Betting Spreadsheet
Keeping a record of your tennis betting is crucial to being a long term profitable tennis bettor. Only through keeping track of each of your bets can you see where you are going right, and in which situations you are showing poor discipline and making errors of judgement. To assist you with this, we've developed the bettingexpert Tennis betting spreadsheet. It's free and you can download it now.
It's easy to use. Simply enter the tennis tournament you are betting on, the date, the bet description, your stake, the odds and the bookmaker you placed the bet with. Once the event has been completed, select either Win, Loss or Refund from the Result options and the spreadsheet will calculate your profit or loss plus your running profit/loss and your overall golf betting ROI.
7. Betting On Tennis Online
Selecting the right bookmaker for the sport you intend wagering upon is an essential element of the whole sports betting experience. If you are a sports-betting veteran, you will be only too aware that some online bookmakers deliver a better service, more favourable odds or are in general more amenable than others.
The good news is that betting on tennis online is big business and most online bookmakers are bending over backward to cater for the ever increasing number of bettors looking to wager on the ATP and WTA.
Here are six things to look for when choosing a bookmaker for your online tennis betting:
Reputation And Profile
You work too hard to risk losing your money to an online scam artist or fly-by-night operation. Always use a bookmaker reviewed by bettingexpert.
Tennis Markets And Odds
Tennis odds will vary from bookie to bookie, sometimes quite dramatically. If you are in the market for US Open odds, French Open odds, Wimbledon betting odds or even Australian betting odds, odds comparison websites can help you find the very best odds for your tennis picks.
Not all bookmakers cover the same markets, and some cater more for tennis than others. Odds comparison sites list all of the available markets for tennis betting, and the bookies that are covering them.
Welcome Bonus And Promotional Offers
Online bookmakers like to entice new customers with a “Welcome Bonus” which can be as much as £200 in the case of the bet365 bonus. While they are handing out this “free money” in the anticipation that you will lose it (and much more), with the help of bettingexpert tips and informative How To articles, we know that won’t be the case.
Bookmakers also like to attract new customers (and reward existing customers) with regular tennis free bets and promotional offers. These most often come in the form of risk free bets, enhanced odds offers and insurance bets. You can read more about free bet and promotional offers below.
While it will never replace betting on the overall outcome of matches or tournaments, in-play betting provides shrewd tennis bettors with another avenue for generating profits as betting tennis live can be highly profitable. Some bookmaker such as bet365 offer an incredible array of in play tennis betting options. But the truth is, most bookmakers now offer a great range of markets for betting on tennis in play.
Tennis Live Streaming
What began as a gimmick in now becoming an integral part of the whole online tennis betting experience. If you are on the go, working late at the office, travelling on a train, maybe even hiding out in your den while your partner is watching the soaps, you can watch the match on your device, laptop or PC and indulge in some in-play betting – bliss!
If you're wondering which bookmaker might best suit your tennis betting needs and which offer the best welcome bonuses, refer to our detailed list of bookmaker reviews.
Tennis Free Bets & Bookmaker Offers
Now that you have become one of the tennis betting fraternity and understand how to successfully wager on tennis markets, you will need to get up to speed with the many excellent tennis betting offers and free bets that regularly become available during the course of a season.
Big Time Tennis – Big Time Offers
Whenever there is a Masters Series event or a Grand Slam approaching - Wimbledon in particular - or Andy Murray is involved in a major matchup with a bitter rival, bookmakers come forth with a host of enticing offers, free bets and enhanced odds which you the bettor can capitalise on.
Like all major sporting events including crunch football games, big-time PPV boxing matches, the Super Bowl and the Ryder Cup, top-tier tennis tournaments attract a ton of betting action, and the major online bookmakers are all vying for the same thing – your attention!
Use Your Tennis Knowledge To Exploit Promotional Offers
All offers are designed to attract you the bettor by inviting you to spend a little and get a lot in return. For example a bookmaker may offer you £50 or more in free tennis bets once you make that initial £10 bet.
Special offers will suddenly appear with enhanced odds on even a major favourite like Novak Djokovic or Serena Williams to win a big match or a final. This is of course absolutely great, because firstly, you are an experienced bettor, and secondly you are aware of the dynamics of tennis betting and you know how to win when it comes to betting on tennis. If the bookmakers want to give you free money, let them!
Use bettingexpert as your source for the very best tennis free bets, bookmaker offers and enhanced odds both prior to and during major tennis events and throughout the tennis season. Visit our free bets and promotions page for all the latest tennis free bets..
9. Tennis Live Streaming
Tennis fans in the UK will be aware that both the ATP and the WTA are afforded good coverage on satellite television by Sky Sports and Eurosport. Sky covers all of the Masters Series events plus the US Open and the end-of-season showpiece ATP World Tour Finals. Eurosport covers the Australian, French and US Opens, plus much of the WTA season. The BBC has the rights to Wimbledon, and covers it comprehensively.
However, tennis live streaming is now also covered extensively by the main betting websites including bet365, SkyBet and Paddy Power. Often the quality of the HD tennis live stream featured on a betting site is as good as a television image and is also accompanied with expert commentary.
The real beauty of tennis live streaming however means that one can get the same level of coverage and more without the need to pay for Sky or a BBC license fee. A website like bet365 provides an excellent live-streaming service, and as well as the larger tournaments also covers lesser events on the Challenger Tour and Futures Circuit. Therefore one can catch live-streaming along with in-play betting coverage of a tennis match somewhere in the world 24-hours a day!
Which Bookmakers Offer Tennis Live Streams?
We can confirm that for 2016, Ladbrokes will live stream the following tournaments:
- ATP 1000 Series
- WTA Premier
- ATP 500 Series (local markets blacked out)
- ATP 250 Series (local markets blacked out)
- WTA International (local markets blacked out)
- WTA 125k Series (local markets blacked out)
- Davis Cup (blacked out in France, Brazil, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Australia
We can also confirm that for 2016, bet365 will live stream the following tournaments:
- US Open
- ATP Montreal
- WTA Toronto
- ATP Cincinnati
- WTA Cincinnati
- WTA New Haven
- ATP Challenger Tour
- WTA International
Read our guide to bookmaker live streams to learn more about this increasingly popular and useful feature.
10. Tennis Betting Tips
If you need tennis betting tips, predictions or betting advice, bettingexpert is the no.1 sports betting advice website in the world, bar none. Other websites may claim this distinction, but only bettingexpert has the traffic and the Alexa ranking to back such a claim. So for all of your tennis bets today and your tennis betting tips in general, be sure to always bettingexpert.
Top Tennis Tips
Any tennis betting tips provided by an expert tennis tipster affiliated with bettingexpert will be of the highest quality and the result of astute judgement by a keen student of both the sport of tennis and sports betting.
To get the latest top tips for your ATP betting and WTA betting, (tennis betting tips free to all users of bettingexpert.com) simply head to bettingexpert's tennis betting tips page. There you will find the best tennis betting tips for today and every day of the tennis season. You will discover how to bet on tennis and win regularly, and you won’t be stifled by any tennis bet rules and restrictions you may otherwise find imposed on other websites.
bettingexpert's Best Tennis Tipsters
So who are bettingexpert's most successful tennis tipsters? Below you can see our top 10 tennis tipsters of the previous 12 months. As you can see there are insanely profitable tipsters posting dozens of tennis tips every week of the year.
Tennis Betting Tips at bettingexpert
Get all your tennis betting tips, every day on the bettingexpert Tennis Tips page.