Modern punters are spoilt for choice with literally thousands of tennis betting markets available each day. However not all of these offer equal opportunities. In this article we’ll explore where it’s best to focus your time and attention when looking for value that will yield a profit over the long term (large sample size).

Good Value Markets vs The (Seriously) Ugly

The main concept to focus on is the bookmaker payout ratio. This also applies to exchanges. Start by calculating the profit margin. This varies significantly between different companies and crucially different tiers of events in tennis. In a nutshell – larger events featuring reputable players are likely to have lower margins and consequently offer better returns for punters. Lower tier events such as the ITF tour have exceptionally low payouts due to bookmaker concerns around match fixing and volatility with such young and inexperienced competitors. Insider information is far more prevalent in this encounters.

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ITF Matches: Best Avoided

Price discrepancies are most frequent in this tier but bookmakers are well prepared. They apply strict limits and offer very poor odds in most cases to protect against above average liability. For this reason serious tennis punters are best to avoid these matches as its virtually impossible to overcome margins that frequently average around 10%. To put this into context Grand Slam encounters are often available with payout ratios above 99% at sharp bookmakers.

WTA Events: Rarely Worth It

Generally considered more volatile than the men’s tour and if bookmakers hate anything its unpredictability. That’s why you’ll rarely find good opportunities as even ‘David vs Goliath’ encounters are rarely priced that way. A definite step up from IFT level events though so worth considering.

Challenger Encounters: Opportunities Abound?

Another highly volatile tier of professional tennis. Many match fixing scandals have plagued these events over the years. There are opportunities though but again are hard to come by.

ATP: The Golden Goose

The top tier of men’s tennis offers the best betting opportunities overall. High quality markets with a solid range of options combined with generous payout ratios. Bookmakers and exchange layers are confident enough that match fixing is rare to offer fair margins so those focusing on form, attainment and other metrics can gain an edge.

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