When you think of sports betting, you likely think of football or soccer, but tennis is actually one of the more popular sports to bet on year after year. Betting on the head-to-head competition can be so much more exciting than team sports - take boxing, for example, some fight nights bring in almost as much as the Super Bowl in some situations. Tennis betting may not be on that level but certainly is no exception.
The tennis schedule allows for plenty of games to be played each season - spreading out the games makes it so easy to find a tennis match to bet on. Each player has different strengths and weaknesses, and when matched up against an opponent, it creates an opportunity to make some really juicy tennis bets - if you are familiar with the players.
There are different types of tennis players that bettors should be aware of because certain aspects are important when handicapping a game. Tennis players can be big-servers, baseline players, defensive players, all-rounders, or players who stay at the net. Doing ample research before laying down your tennis bets should be your first priority.
The majors are huge in the sports betting world, and that’s when the real money is put on the line. The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open are the four major Grand Slam tournaments played each year that feature top talent from around the world. Another noteworthy tournament is the ATP Finals in London, which concludes the men’s tennis season each year. In 2021, the ATP tournament will be moved to Turin.
How to Bet on Tennis
The most important thing to do before placing any tennis wagers is to figure out which betting options are more suitable for your sports betting skill level. If you’re a beginner, you’re in the right place, as we outline the different betting types and the best online sportsbooks for betting on tennis.
Let’s start with the most popular tennis betting options:
Tennis Betting Options
There are three main betting types for each tennis match. Of course, there are more options available, but we want to focus on the most popular tennis betting options to get you started.
Tennis Moneyline Betting
Almost every sport has a moneyline wager and it is probably one of the easiest sports bet you can make. A moneyline wager in tennis betting is when you put money on which player you think will win a match. Pretty simple right?
If you have Nadal versus Federer, and let’s say in this instance we have Nadal as the favorite to win the match, you might see odds that look like this:
Rafa Nadal -130 Roger Federer +110
Since Nadal is the favorite, the negative number means you will have to bet that amount to win $100. So you would have to place $130 on Nadal to win $100. If you look at Federer, the underdog in this situation - he has much better value odds. If you bet on Federer, his +110 odds mean that you would need to wager $100 to win $110.
These numbers are different for each match and usually, if there’s a big underdog, you might see +850 or +1000 odds - which could result in a huge payout if your underdog ends up winning.
In addition to betting the result of the match, you can bet on each set within the match. These tennis betting types are usually found in the specials category as they tend to be bet live when the game is being played.
Spreads are another popular betting type in any sport - not just tennis. Oddsmakers will set the spreads based on the two players competing, which essentially levels the playing field for the underdog.
Where tennis is different from regular professional sports is that it’s not a point spread, like football for example, you are betting on the number of points in a game. Tennis spreads are based on sets within a match. So if Nadal is a -1100 favorite in a match, he might have a -4.5 spread, meaning he would need to win five games or more than his opponent to cover the spread.
Likewise, if he had a +4.5 spread, there are two options: he could either win, or lose the game, but would need to lose by less than four.
There are also set spreads, which have the same basic principles, but you bet on sets instead of games. If you’re familiar with baseball, there are run lines, that offer -1.5 to the favored team, these also occur in tennis under the name set spreads. You can take the -1.5 set spread on the favored player, and they win straight sets (in this case two straight sets) you win. If the underdog wins a set, you lose.
Tennis Totals (Over/Under)
Totals are another popular tennis betting type, where you essentially need to decide whether you think the total number of games in a match will be over or under the oddsmaker’s line.
The oddsmaker will set a line prior to the match, predicting the total number of games within a match. If the number is 23 games, you would have to decide whether you think the match will have more or less than 23 games. The total will have odds attached to it, like -110 or -120 on the most likely option. If the match only has 21 games and you picked the over, you would lose the bet.
Tennis Futures are another extremely easy betting option, much like a moneyline, but on a larger scale. Your job is to predict the winner of a tournament or an occurrence to happen in a tournament. If you’re betting on the French Open, a futures bet could entail “Odds to win the French Open” and have a list of each competitor - and you have to choose which competitor will win the tournament.
You can also bet on each quarter of the four majors.
Tennis Betting Sites
Now that we are familiar with some popular tennis betting options, we need a place to place those bets. Finding the perfect sportsbook for betting on tennis should be fairly simple, as many online sportsbooks offer tennis odds and even some tennis bonuses if you can find them.
It should be quite easy to find the best tennis betting sites, but we wanted to take some of the guesswork out for you. We’ve compiled a list of the top tennis betting sites, that are safe, secure, and trustworthy - you never have to guess if a sportsbook is risky.
Remember to have fun with your tennis betting, and always gamble responsibly.