How To Bet On Tennis

By Alex Smith, Last updated Mar 23, 2024

If you’re interested in learning how to bet on tennis – one of the most popular sports in the world – it’s essential to understand the game and the different tennis tournaments, bet types, and markets. Whether you want to bet on popular live betting markets or find the most effective tennis betting tips, we will cover it all in today’s tennis betting guide.

Aside from showing you how to bet on tennis, our goal with this post is to help you learn enough about tennis betting to make informed decisions and maximize your chances of winning.

How To Bet On Tennis

Today, almost every online sportsbook allows you to bet on tennis online. Whether you want to place future bets, back specific players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, or simply want a punt on the next upcoming game, choosing an event on the tennis calendar is easy; however, if you’re new to betting on tennis, you may be unfamiliar with how tennis bettors actually place bets. This section will show you how to place bets at online sportsbooks.

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We will assume you already have an account with a sportsbook, so, like with other sports, the first thing to do is do your research. Look at the players and the match, considering factors like the players’ form, head-to-head records, court surface, injuries, and scheduling. We will talk more about this later on.

Once you’ve found an event you want to bet on, you must select which market you want. Head to the tennis section on your chosen betting site and look through all the available markets. There are many betting options in tennis, with multiple sportsbooks letting you choose from tens of types. This can include match betting, handicap betting, over/under betting, and more.

Once you’ve found the bet you want to place, most experienced bettors would recommend shopping around to find the best odds. Compare different bookmakers and check for any bonuses and promotions you can claim to enhance your chance of a guaranteed profit.

Once you’re happy with your selection – imagine you want to bet on a Rafael Nadal victory in the final of the French Open – select your desired outcome, enter your stake (the amount of money you want to bet), and confirm your selection.

It’s then time to sit back, watch the tennis game – and, hopefully, enjoy the rest of the tennis tournament in good spirits if your bet wins!

Different Tennis Bets

Whether you’re looking to place bets on specific tennis tournaments, the number of games played in a set, or even place a game spread, there are many tennis betting options available. In the following sections of this how to bet on tennis guide, we will show you some of the main types of bets you can place on tennis matches.

Outright Betting

Outright betting is also sometimes referred to as futures betting; as the name suggests, it involves placing a bet on tennis that predicts the winner of a whole tournament rather than a specific event. Outright bets can be played on all major tournaments and Grand Slam events, and it’s great for those wanting to support a specific player throughout the event. 

The odds for outright betting can vary a lot; naturally, you’ll find the favorites with much lower odds when compared to un-seeded players.

Match Betting

Match betting is the most straightforward way of tennis betting; this type of bet simply involves choosing which player you think will win the match. The odds for each player to win reflect the bookie’s opinion of their chances of winning, with favorites having lower odds and less successful players having higher odds. 

While a match bet on tennis can be a good way of supporting a player, clear favorites usually offer very low odds. This is why it’s worth looking for close matchups with more evenly matched-odds. This can offer significantly better odds, increasing your opportunities for finding value and making a profit.

Handicap Betting

A Handicap bet is a pretty unique way of betting, and it’s designed primarily to be used in tennis matches when there’s a heavy favorite. You can, in a way, see it as a way of leveling the playing field in a tennis match. When one player is a huge favorite, bookmakers offer handicap bets to make the betting part of the match more even. Without this, there’d be no point betting on the favorite, as the returns wouldn’t make it worth it.

For example, if a player has a +1.5 set handicap, they will start the match with a 1.5 set advantage. This means that even if they lose the match 2 sets to 1, your handicap bet would still be a winner; in terms of handicap bet options, the result of the match would be 2.5 sets to 2

On the other hand, a favorite with a -1.5 set handicap needs to win the match by at least two sets for your bet on tennis to be a winning one.

Over/Under Betting

When you’re betting on tennis – like other sports – you’ll often see the option of over/under betting. This is another popular tennis betting option where you bet on whether the total number of games played in a match will exceed the number the bookies decide to set.

Let’s look at an example; if the bookmaker sets the total at 21.5 games, you can bet on the match having more than 21.5 games (over) or fewer than 21.5 games (under). If you bet on the “over” option, and the match had 21.5 or more games, your bet would be a winner; fewer games would result in a losing bet.

Correct Score

Correct score betting is a pretty specific type of tennis bet that involves predicting the exact score of a match. This is a popular choice with many sports bettors, as it allows you to get significantly better odds than if you were simply betting on the winner of a match.

For example, if Roger Federer was playing against Rafael Nadal, you could bet on Roger Federer to win the match 2 sets to 1. Of course, an exact score bet is much more challenging to predict, but with this comes the potential for much bigger wins – and it’s sometimes more exciting than an outright winner bet, too.

However, just like in football, correct score betting is pretty risky – and hard to predict – so it’s a good idea to manage your bankroll carefully and not bet too much on trying to guess the correct score.

In-Play/Live Betting

In-play betting, also known as live betting, lets you place bets once a tennis match has started! This live betting format is ideal for those who enjoy making quick decisions based on watching the gameplay unfold.

With live betting, you can place bets on a number of markets; for example, this includes the winner of the next game, set, or even the next point. However, live betting is fast-paced, and you need to understand the match well and find opportunities where the odds may not accurately reflect the current situation to profit.

What’s more, live betting uses pretty complex technology; this means that markets can shut in a second, so once you’ve chosen which live tennis bets you’d like to place, confirm them as soon as possible.

How To Analyze Players and Matchups

Whether you’re placing prop bets, bonus bets – or just conventionally betting on tennis – it’s always a good idea to research tennis players and individual matches. By looking at things like player form, head-to-head records, playing styles, court surfaces, and the timing of the events, you can make smarter bets – and improve your chances of winning! In this section, we’ll look at ways of researching tennis bets in advance so that you can make smart bets.

Player Form and Momentum

A player’s current form and momentum are essential to consider when betting on tennis. When talking about the form of a player, it means how well they’ve been performing in recent individual matches and tournaments. This generally gives you a good idea of where they’re “at” right now.

When we talk about a player’s momentum, we’re talking about how confident they are and if they’re on a winning streak. Players in good form and with high levels of momentum are often more likely to win – although, naturally, this will result in lower odds. So, how exactly do you calculate a player’s form and momentum?

Firstly, take a look at their recent match results. Look at their win/lose tally and take into account the quality of their opponent. For example, a tennis player with many recent wins against top-ranked opponents may be a safer bet than one who has barely scraped by against lower-ranked players.

Thankfully, finding this information is incredibly easy, and some websites focus on doing just that. You can get detailed information about individual players, look at how a recent match consisted, in terms of their performance and abilities – and you should really be using this knowledge in all of your tennis bets as it will improve your chances of winning.

Head-to-Head Records In Tennis Matches

Another essential part of your pre-bet research is to look at the head-to-head records between the two players who’ll be competing. This information can give you insight into how well each player matches up against their opponent. This may sound trivial, but you’d be surprised how different players adapt when they face certain opponents – especially in the world-class bracket, like Wimbledon and the French Open.

However, for betting purposes, remember to focus mainly on recent head-to-head results, as they will likely be a LOT more relevant than older ones. Why? Because a player’s form, skills, and strategies evolve over time – especially when playing against the same opponent.

Playing Styles and Court Surfaces

This may sound like professional bettors only do. However, understanding playing styles and court surfaces is incredibly important, whether you’re betting on smaller tournaments or significant events like the ATP finals. You see, each player has their own style – and one of the influencing factors on this style is the court surface they’re playing on.

For example, you can often see significant differences in a player’s playing style, including their serve, groundstrokes, and net play, depending on the type of court they’re playing on. Some players are exceptionally competent on grass, while others are much better on clay. This is down to the fact that the tennis ball reacts differently to each court surface – and this can have much more of an impact on the result of a match than you may think.

When placing bets – predicting exact scores, set betting, or guessing the number of total games in larger tournaments – always consider how each player reacts to different court surfaces. For example, a strong server may struggle against an outstanding returner when playing on a clay court – but can return their serve more effectively when playing on grass.

Player Fatigue and Scheduling

One of the significant disadvantages players face in competitive tournaments is the limited time they have to play – and the high number of matches they need to win if they want to progress. All players start to display what we call player fatigue, which is really important to look at when betting.

For example, if a player has been forced to play multiple matches in a short period – and their opponent has one or two additional rest days than they do – it can significantly affect the odds of which player wins.

While tournament organizers do all they can to level the playing field so all players are equally rested, this isn’t always the case – even at Grand Slams – and you should always look at a player’s current schedule, including the number of matches they’ve played and the number of rest days they’ve had.

If you want to get technical, you can also look at the distance a player has traveled to participate in this great sport. For example, with Grand Slams held worldwide, some players have 20-hour-plus journeys – and if they’re playing a match against an opponent who only has to travel two hours without sufficient time to adjust, the match’s outcome can significantly differ.

Injuries and Withdrawals

Injuries and withdrawals can significantly impact the outcome of a tennis match – and you should always consider them, whether you’re placing more exotic tennis props, betting on a player to win in straight sets, or even more specific sports betting like backing your chosen player to win four games in a row.

A player dealing with an injury may struggle to perform at their best – and even if they appear to be in good health, a previous injury can resurface at any time during a match – potentially resulting in them having to withdraw. This is why it’s essential to see whether a player has withdrawn from recent matches or tournaments.

For the more experienced bettor, it’s also worth closely monitoring the odds, as sudden shifts may indicate that bookies have come across new information about a player’s health. By being proactive and staying informed about injuries and previous match withdrawals, you can improve your chances of winning all your tennis bets!

Tennis Betting Strategies

To maximize your chances of winning your bets, it’s really important to take advantage of powerful tennis betting strategies. In the following section, we’ll look at some different strategies you can use to make smart decisions, find value in the odds, and, ultimately, increase your profits. From pre-match research to choosing the right betting site, these strategies will give you the best-possible edge over the bookmakers – and it’s a very important ending to our tennis betting guide!

Pre-Match Research

Before you bet on tennis – whether it’s a game spread, tennis prop bets, backing a player to win in straight sets, or even the match winner – it’s essential to do thorough pre-match research. You must look at several factors, including player form, head-to-head records, the court surface they’ll be playing on, how much rest they’ve had, and any recent injuries.

Some websites will show you how odds change over time; using this data, you can sometimes see spikes or drops when bookmakers receive new information about a player – or match. This could indicate a change in a player’s health or a scheduling change – which could change the probability of a player winning the match.

Successful tennis betting is not just about picking a winning player – that’s the easy part! You should focus more on looking for situations where the odds offer value – and capitalize on these odds. However, don’t change your bet amount significantly, as nothing is ever guaranteed!

“Shop” For The Best Tennis Odds

To maximize your potential returns when betting on tennis, it’s important to “shop” around for the best odds. Different betting sites usually offer slightly different odds for the exact match or market; even a small difference can significantly impact your profit. You don’t have to search each betting site to find the odds manually.

Hundreds of sites let you automatically compare odds from tens of bookmakers at once – some even let you track the odds over time, as we discussed in the previous section.

By comparing the odds different bookmakers offer, you can ensure you get the best possible return on your bets. However, don’t forget that odds can change at any section – especially in the hours leading up to a match. Consequently, you should monitor odds frequently to identify any sudden shifts in the market.

Use Betting Exchanges

Betting exchanges are an alternative to traditional bookmakers – although we wouldn’t recommend them to those new to learning how to bet on tennis.  We also want to point out that betting exchanges differ from spread betting.

So, what is a betting exchange? In layman’s terms, it means you bet against another punter. Betting exchanges allow you to both back and lay bets, meaning you can bet on a player to win (back) or against a player to win (lay). This can lead to better odds and more betting options.

Professional bettors often use exchanges, as it’s one of the only ways to make a near-guaranteed profit (although this takes a LOT of experience) and is more about long-term profitability than winnings from an individual match.

However, we should point out that they will always charge a fee or commission when using a betting exchange – as they are acting as a middleman. Ensure you’re aware of these fees before you place a bet to ensure you’re aware of the exact estimated return of your bet.

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Choose the Right Online Sports Betting Sites

Choosing – and betting at – the right bookmaker is one of the most essential factors to consider when you bet on tennis online. While Casinomeister primarily focuses on online casinos, we also have a sports betting team, which allows us to give accurate and impartial information about sportsbooks.

When choosing a betting site, there are many factors to consider; look at the variety of tennis markets offered, the competitiveness of the odds, payout speeds, and reputation – and make sure any specific features you want are available.

For example, not all bookmakers offer in-play betting, while others don’t allow you to make deposits and withdrawals using cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preferences –although we highly recommend betting on the list below, as they have a solid reputation, offer great odds and a wide range of markets.

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