Betting On Tennis – A Beginner’s Guide

Tennis has become a hugely popular sport among sports bettors. Since the annual tennis calendar is structured in such a way that matches are being played nearly every day of the year, there’s never any lack of premium betting action.

Not unlike most other forms of betting, when wagering on tennis, the odds will determine the value of whatever the bet. And while betting on sports will never be an exact science, learning how to read and analyse the odds and understanding the different types of wagers is the first step to becoming a successful tennis punter.

Tennis Odds: An Example

With Rafael Nadal having just won his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, we’ll help him celebrate by using his 2014 run as an example to explain tennis odds.

Heading into that year’s Australian Open, the Spaniard was ranked world No. 1. After pulling off a comfortable victory over Roger Federer in the semi-finals, bookies placed Nadal as being a strong 1.18 favourite to defeat Stan Wawrinka in the final.

At the odds of 1.18, if a punter placed a $10 wager on Nadal winning the title, they would win back $11.80 in the event of a victory for the Spaniard – meaning a $1.80 profit.

The calculation would be as follows:

Profit = (Stake*Odds) – Stake

Profit = ($10*1.18) – $10

Profit = ($11.80) – $10

Profit = $1.80

Popular Tennis Wagers

#1 – The Moneyline Wager

The moneyline wager is the simplest type of bet when wagering on tennis. It basically means betting on a player to win the match.

For example: If Rafael Nadal is placed at -120 on the moneyline against Novak Djokovic, that means the bettor will have to bet $120 to win $100 in the event of a win by Nadal. On the other hand, if Nadal is placed at +110 for the same match, a win would mean $110 from a $100 bet.

#2 – The Game Spread Wager

Another popular tennis bet is the game spread or set spread wager.

Since single-player sports have much less variance than what would be the case in team sports, the so-called “spread” is a way to level the field.

The game spread bet therefore predicts how someone will perform across a number of games.

The set spread follows the same premise, only this time the punter would be betting on sets won instead of matches (games) won.

#3 – The Over/Under Bet

The over/under bet is a wager placed on the number of games played in a single match.

For example, if Nadal and Federer played a 3-set match, and the over/under bet happens to be set at 22.5 games, a winning would mean the match lasts for at least 23 games.

Stats That Matter

When betting on tennis, online betting NZ enthusiasts will typically take the following stats into serious consideration when predicting the outcome of a match:

  • The surface being played on – for e.g. grass, clay, etc.
  • Player niches (these could include a favourite event, comparing player styles, etc.)
  • The break point conversion/save rate
  • Possible fatigue caused by travel, injury, etc.