Tennis is an extremely popular spectator sport all over the world. But, it’s not just something that tennis enthusiasts like to watch. Sports bettors often flock to the tournament scene to try and get their hands on a share of the money bet on the events.
Most people are aware of the fact that you can bet on who is going to win a particular match or a particular tennis tournament. But, there’s a whole lot more you can bet on, and these other bets provide a lot of great opportunities to turn your predictions and tennis knowledge into cash. In this guide, we’ll show you every kind of tennis bet that there is and more importantly break down how they work and what needs to happen for you to win them.
The moneyline tournament bet in tennis is the most popular bet that you can make. It can be referred to as a moneyline bet, outright winner bet, or a to-win bet. All of these different names mean the same thing, though. With this bet, you place a wager on who you think is going to win an upcoming tournament. If the tennis player you choose wins the tournament, you win your bet!
It does not matter how decisive their tournament win is, how many matches they had to win, or anything like that. The only thing that needs to happen for you to win your tennis moneyline bet is for the player you selected to be crowned tournament champion.
Moneyline bets in tennis do not all pay out the same amount of money when you win. When the online sportsbook sets the lines, they will set them based on how likely they think each tennis player is to win the tournament. If they are very likely to win, you’ll see a lower potential payout. If they are very unlikely to win, you’ll see a much higher potential payout. These lines will then move based on the bets that come in. The sportsbook will try their best to get the right amount of money bet on each entrant so they can profit no matter who wins the tournament.
If you’d like to learn more about moneyline bets and how they payout, check out our Moneyline Betting Guide now. It’s a must-read if you are new to sports betting as a whole and don’t fully understand how moneylines work.
A match bet in tennis is effectively the same thing as the moneyline bet we just spoke about except that instead of betting on the winner of an entire tournament, you are betting on the winner of one single match. So, in a single tournament, you can pick and choose which matches you want to bet, but you don’t have to worry about whether someone is going to win the entire tournament or not.
For example, if you think a player will make it through the first three rounds but then is going to lose, you wouldn’t want to bet on them to win the tournament. But, you could make individual match bets on the first three matches as long as you liked the odds and make a nice profit winning three different bets. Tournament bets will almost always pay out higher odds, but you can find some really nice value in match bets.
The other thing that is nice about tennis match bets is that you can make them at any point in the tournament. So, if you want to wait and see how someone is doing in the first round and then place bets in the second round, you can do this. You can also do this with outright tournament winner bets, but the odds are going to shift heavily once someone starts winning.
Handicap betting in tennis is a lot like being able to bet the puck line in hockey, the run line in baseball, or really any spread bet in any sport. It gives you the ability to bet on tennis players that you think are going to outperform their expectations but still lose a particular match. It also allows you to bet on players who are expected to win a match, but you think they are going to do it more decisively than a lot of other people think.
Here’s how they work. Let’s look at a 2-way handicap bet on games won. This is what the bet might look like.
In this scenario, Bob is the favorite to win this match which makes Fred the underdog to win the match. What you are betting on here is which of these two tennis players will outperform their expectations. According to this, Bob is expected to win by 2 ½ games, and Fred is expected to lose by 2 ½ games. When you bet on either one of these, you are looking for them to outperform the expectations.
What does outperform mean? Well, if Bob is supposed to win by 2 ½ games, then to outperform that he just needs to win by more than 2 ½ games. In other words (since you can’t win by fractions of games), he has to win by 3 or more games. On the other side of the net, if Fred is supposed to lose by 2 ½ games, then all he has to do to outperform his expectations is lose by fewer than 2 ½ games or in other words he needs to win or lose by 2 or 1 games.
So, let’s look at what this looks like in practice. Let’s say that you choose to bet on Bob McTennisBalls on this spread-type bet. You need Bob to outperform his expectations and win by more than 2 ½ games. Bob comes out firing, and the final score of the match is 6-4, 6-4 in Bob’s favor. Bob won 12 games and lost 8. Since he won 4 more games than Fred, he won by more than 2.5 games which means he exceeded his expectations. This means that a bet on Bob would be a win!
Let’s say that you decided you wanted to bet on Fred von Fuzzygreen instead. Let’s say the final scores for the match were 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in favor of Bob again. Now, just because Bob won does not mean that you lost your bet. Remember, all you need to happen is for Fred to outperform his expectations of losing by 2 ½ games. When we add up the games, Bob won 16 and Fred won 14. Fred lost by 2 games which is a better performance than losing by 2 ½ games. So, you would actually win your bet on Fred even though he didn’t win the match!
You will also see these bets on sets as well (where they work the same way), and you will also see these sometimes listed as 3-way bets for games where you are also able to bet if the game number is a tie.
Regarding how these bets pay out in tennis, you will see varying payouts based on the likelihood of each side happening. If it’s supposed to be a big blowout, you might see the line shifted from + – 2 ½ games to something like + – 3 or 3 ½ games. The sportsbook can adjust the line, or they can adjust the payouts. Just make sure you take the time to look at what you’re getting on each side of the bet and make sure that you’re pleased with the potential risk and reward.
The over/under bet in tennis is nothing more than a bet on whether the match will end in straight sets or go to additional sets. What’s neat about this bet type is that you don’t have to pick a winner at all. If you bet that the match will end in straight sets and the underdog comes out and wins in straight sets, you still win your bet.
In a 3-match format, this is what that would look like.
If you take the over, you are saying that it is going to take over 2.5 sets for the match to be decided. This is just a fancy way of saying that it takes 3 sets for the match to be decided. If you take the under 2.5 sets, you are saying that the match will be decided in 2 straight sets.
This is another bet that you can make when you feel like an underdog is going to put up a fight, but isn’t going to win. You could bet the over if you think they’re going to grab at least one set and push things into further sets. It’s also a great bet to make when you think a player is going to be dominant and finish the match out quickly.
As you might expect, the payout odds are going to vary based on how likely the match is to end in straight sets or go to additional sets.
Exact score bets are wagers that can be applied to games or sets. What’s nice about them is that they’re easy to understand and pay a pretty high premium based on the fact that they are challenging to win. Let’s look at a few examples to show you what they are and how they work.
Let’s say you want to place an exact score bet on the games in the first set of an upcoming match. You’ll have the option of betting 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, 6-,3, etc. for each player. If you pick the exact correct score of that set, you’re going to win. Now, make sure you realize how precise you have to be. You can’t be close, you have to be perfect. If you pick that Fred von Fuzzygreen (from our earlier example) is going to win 6-3 in the first set, then he has to win exactly 6-3 for you to win your bet.
Hard? Yes. But, if he pulls it off, you are going to get paid really nicely. The absolute lowest we’ve seen for payout odds on a bet like this in tennis was about +400 which means a $10 wager is going to net you $40 in profit. We’ve seen the odds go as high as +15000 as well which means a $10 wager would net you $1500! Yes, that was a scenario that was extremely unlikely, but the option was there for you to bet.
These bets are tough to win, but if you know your tennis and have a strong prediction, you’re certainly going to get paid. You can also bet multiple potential scores based on the payouts, and as long as one of them hits, you can turn a profit.
Especially on higher profile tennis tournaments, you’re going to see a lot of additional prop bets that you can make. Prop bets are wagers where you bet on something that may or may not happen during the course of a tennis tournament or tennis match. If you bet that it will happen and it does, you win. If you bet that it won’t happen and it doesn’t, you win. Additionally, there are some props where you will be able to pick exact things (just like the exact score bet above which is technically a prop but popular enough to warrant its own section).
One of the most popular prop bets in tennis not mentioned yet is the head to head tournament bet. This is a wager on which player will last longer in a particular tournament. You’ll be given two players, and you’ll have to pick which one you think will make it further. Pick correctly, and you win. If they are both eliminated in the same round, you’ll get a refund of your bet as it would be a push.
You can also bet on things like what round a particular player will be eliminated in which is a lot like the exact score bet. You’ll have the option to bet on each of the rounds, and if you are correct, you will get paid.
The number of prop bets that exist in tennis is endless. Whatever can be quantified or confirmed in a tennis match or tournament, you might be able to bet on it. It’s going to depend on what the sportsbook is willing to offer action on. If you’re betting online, you’re going to see more prop options than betting in person. Also, the higher profile tournaments with more media attention that draw more fans will also have more prop bets anywhere you go to bet.
We do want to make sure we send you out the door to the courts with complete information to ensure you utilize these bets properly. Here’s the thing. Just because all of these different types of bets exist does not mean that you have to use them all. You can be the most profitable tennis bettor on the planet and only bet one type of bet.
The reason we share this is that we hear a lot of bettors incorrectly thinking that you have to make things complex and diversified in order to get the best results. This is simply not true. Yes, there are instances where a different type of bet is more fitting, but you should never be forcing different types of bets because you think it gives you some sort of advantage.
If all you want to do is bet match winners and you’re good at it, you’ll crush the world. If you want to bet nothing but props and you’re good at it, you’ll make a lot of money. If you are great at all the types of bets and they fit well with your style and predictions, then go for it! The point is that you need to do what makes you the most money. Stick to the bets you’re comfortable with and track your results, so you know what is working and what is not working. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that there is some sort of a correlation between complexity of your bets and results.