Tennis Betting Markets | Introduction

There was a time when betting on tennis meant waiting for the next Grand Slam tournament to begin. Considering there’s only four of those a year, it was often a long wait for your next bet. When the tournament did begin the amount of markets available weren’t exactly plentiful. How the situation has changed in recent years.

The growth of the gambling industry caused by the arrival of online betting has seen the number of tennis events you can bet on go through the roof, not the Wimbledon roof as that would be rather an expensive bill to pay.

Every day of the year you’ll find plenty of betting opportunities for those of you wanting to gamble on tennis. The sheer volume is the highest at the start of the week when tournaments are in their early rounds. It’s not just the top WTA and ATP tournaments featuring the game’s top players but also the Challenger tournaments featuring lower ranked competitors. All this coverage from around the world means there are betting opportunities at all times of the day. This article will look at all the different markets that are available for you to try and win some money betting on tennis. Tennis Betting Markets & Bet Types: Tennis Tips UK Comprehensive Guide


Who’ll Win The Tournament?

There will be odds available on who’s going to win the tournament, whether it be a Grand Slam or a Challenger tournament. These odds will fluctuate throughout the week as the tournament progresses. If you have a distinct fancy that a certain player might do well this week, then you could get some good odds at the start of the week. You can also get bets on which two players will reach the final and the nationality of the winner.

As well as betting on who’ll win the tournament, you can also get odds on which player will win each quarter of the draw and the top half and bottom half. Also available for the larger tournaments are bets on individual players and how far they’ll progress. A close look at the draw can produce some positive results here.

Tennis Match Betting

You can of course get odds on who’s going to win a match. This can present you with a bit of  problem if you are looking to make some good profits. Betting on a top seed such as Djokovic or Murray to beat a player ranked much lower than them isn’t going to win you a fortune. Odds can be ridiculously short with 1-100 not unknown and sometimes it’s even shorter. Of course if you think Murray might have one of his moody days and get knocked out, then you can get some very good odds on his lowly ranked opponent.

There are lots of games however between players whose rankings are much closer where much better odds will be available. There’ll be games where players are perhaps 1-5 to win, handy for placing in accumulators. Some bookmakers do bundle bets with a number of selected players grouped together with an enhanced price for all of them to win.

So if you want to place a bet on a match involving a player whose odds are just too short for you to place a bet on (unless you’re a really high roller just out to make a quick and totally expected profit), what bets are available for you?  Let’s take a look at the options.

Set Betting Markets

There will be better odds available if you decide to go down the set betting route. Here you have to predict the exact set score. Most tennis matches are played over the best of three sets. It’s only in Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympic Final and the Davis Cup where five setters are played. The odds available still won’t be great if the favourite is heavily odds on but if you think they might just drop a set then those odds will be much better.

Better odds are definitely available if you want to try a bet on what the score will be in a particular set. Odds will be available before the match for the score of the first set. Other sets will be available during in-play betting, this article will look at that subject soon. With set betting you want to look at the form of the players and how good their serve is. Players like John Isner are regularly involved in close sets (7-5, 6-4 or 7-6) due to the difficulty opponents have of breaking their serve.  Then again, if you think the favourite is going to have no problem winning their match, go to the other extreme and bet on 6-1 or 6-2, perhaps even 6-0.

You can also have a bet on the ‘Exacta’. With this bet you have to predict who’ll win each set. For example, will it be WW, WLW or LWW. In other words, will your selection win in straight sets, go a set up but lose the second set and win the deciding set or will they come from behind to win after losing the first set.

There’s the ‘Win a Set’ market too. Fairly straightforward really as you just bet on whether a player will win a set in the match. Obviously you’re not going to get good odds on the favourite but if you fancy the outsider to grab a set then the odds can be good.

Handicap Betting (Games/Set)

If the odds are prohibitive then take a look at the handicap betting. This gives one player a head start and this can give some reasonable odds. You will need your selection to be on top form though, a close first set really won’t do your chances of winning the bet any good if you’re on the favourite. However, if you have backed the outsider then your chances of winning are looking good. Find out more about Tennis Handicap Betting.

Number of Games

This is another bet that allows you to get better odds in a game where the win odds aren’t going to make you rich. If it’s a three-set match and you think Andy Murray is going to win convincingly then a bet on him winning with under 17.5 games in the match then you can get some good odds there. That simply means his opponent can’t win more than five games in the match so you’ll be hoping the British number one doesn’t get off to a slow start.

Another popular bet that can have decent odds is whether there will be a tie-break in the match. Again look for the big servers like Isner who are no strangers to seeing sets be decided by a tie-break.

In-Play Betting

The big growth in tennis betting has come with the advent of in-play betting. Gone are the days when you just put a bet on before the game and hope for the right result. Now you can place bets on games while the action is taking place. With the arrival of live streaming you can watch the game too, even obscure Challenger games taking place in the early hours of the morning on the other side of the world.

With in-play betting the odds are continually fluctuating with the odds changing after every point. You can get some better odds too thanks to the in-play betting. Say Andy Murray is playing Rafael Nadal and he’s 1-4 to win the match. If he were to have his serve broken early on in the first set that would see his odds change to perhaps 1-3. If you still believe he’s going to win the match then take advantage of that improved price. If Nadal was to win the first set, Murray would probably see his price drift to evens or possibly 5/4. Be brave and back him to win and if he makes the expected comeback you can get  a good win.

There are so many different kinds of bets available with in-play betting. Some aren’t really that attractive and are best left alone. For example, placing a bet on who’ll win the first point in the next game really is a dodgy bet. A player may be a set and a break up but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are guaranteed to win the first point in the next game, definitely a bet to leave alone.

Other bets include whether the next game will go to deuce. Again this isn’t an easy bet to go for but if a player has had  a run of struggling to keep their serve, then there’s a decent chance the next game might go to deuce. Remember, this isn’t a bet where you actually have to say who’s going to win the game just whether there will be a deuce or not.

As mentioned, the odds will change throughout the game. If your selection is having a bad day and your bet looks doomed, at least with in-play betting you can start putting some rescue bets on the other player. That’s the beauty of in-play betting.

Cash Out

Why wait for the winning match point to happen before you collect something from your bet. Now you can cash out on your bet at any time. This means if your selection is doing well but you’re not totally sure they’ll hang on for the win, you can cash out and take some of your winnings. With some bookmakers you can cash out part of your  bet and let the rest carry on. Just think how happy you’ll be if Murray wins that first set, you cash out and he then goes on to lose. With cash out you can also get some money back if your selection looks doomed to failure.

Conclusion: Range of Tennis Betting Markets

As you can see there are so many different types of bets available on tennis. It’s far more complicated than just working out who’s going to win. There are lots of opportunities and some of them such as who’s going to win the first set, will there be a tie-break or will the next game go to deuce have nothing to do with who the eventual winner of the match will be. Whatever betting opportunity you do take up, here’s hoping it goes well for you.


Tennis Betting Markets Infographic:

Tennis Betting Markets & Bet Types | Tennis Tips UK Comprehensive Guide

Tennis Betting Markets & Bet Types Graphic | Tennis Tips UK Comprehensive Guide

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