How to bet Tennis?

Tennis is not as popular to bet on in the United States as it is in Europe; however, the popularity of this sport in the States is growing, and not just because of all the hot Russian players like Maria Sharapova. There’s money to be made at tennis but if you want to make some cash you need to consider the following recommendations before risking your money:

– Know the players: First and foremost, get to know the players, tennis ranks its players, which will help pick a winner. Nonetheless, betting on someone because he or she is higher ranked is not infallible; you have to analyze the variables that we’ll discuss shortly. Tennis is a sport with a lot of upsets and any discrepancy in a player’s game matters because tennis is a one-on-one event, there are no substitutes that can replace an injured player.

– Rank: Although rank isn’t everything, if Novak Djokovic is going against someone you’ve never heard of in the opening round of a tournament, then a straight bet in favor of Djokovic would be the right move.

– Playing surface: This is one of the most important variables to consider. The common playing surfaces used in tennis are natural grass, clay and hard courts. The players and even the ball react differently on each surface; so, keep in mind if someone tends to play better or worse on certain surface, this can’t be overlooked, this variable is as important as home court advantage in basketball.

– Injuries: If a player had a recent injury he or she will not perform at a high level, the player’s rhythm and play will be affected.

– Recent matches: Confidence is an overlooked variable in most sports but it has proven to be huge. A tennis player who lost his or her last few matches will not play like they just won Wimbledon. Make some research and look through the recent games and stats and if a player just won a major tournament then make a bet.

Tennis betting is done during the Grand Slam tournaments: Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, the Australian Open and the French Open. At these events the best players face lesser players in the opening rounds, which means that it’s a good time to bet on them. In addition, the top players tend to bring their “A game” because of the incentives to win these tournaments, such as recognition and prize money. There are four bet types in tennis, matchups or match bets, sets betting, games betting and first set betting.


Matchups or match bets are the most popular tennis bets. Betting on matchups is easy, there’s a favorite and an underdog, the money line is set and you choose your play. Here’s an example:

Roger Federer -150
Andy Roddick +250

In this example, in the match between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, Federer is the favorite and Roddick the underdog. If you bet $150 on Federer and he wins you get $100 and if you want to bet on Roddick you have to risk $100 to win $250.

Sets Betting

Sets betting are “prop bets” similar to an over/under bet. A line is established and you bet over the line or under the line. In the match used in the example above the line could be:

Roger Federer -1.5 -200
Andy Roddick +1.5 +275

In this case you can bet $200 on Federer and win $100 if he wins the match by more than 1.5 sets. For example, if he wins 3 sets to 1 or 3 sets to 0 then you collect your $200 bet and the $100 you won. If you bet $100 on Roddick and he wins the match or loses the match by less than 1.5 sets then you win $275.

Games Betting

Games betting deals with the total number of games won in the match, the player doesn’t have to win the match. Let’s use another example:

Rafael Nadal -3.5 -140
Tommy Haas +3.5 +120

Here, you can bet $140 on Nadal laying off or giving 3.5 games. Nadal could win the first set 6-0 and then lose three sets 6-7, 6-7, 6-7. In this example, Nadal has won 24 games while Haas won 21; therefore, those who bet on Nadal win $100 for their $140 bet.

First Set Betting

Some sportsbooks offer first set betting. In this bet type you wager on the winner of the first set. Use what you learned about the players and remember that some are slow starters and that there are no easy wins. Let’s use the following match as an example:

Nikolay Davydenko -140
Robin Soderling +120

If you bet $140 on Davydenko and he wins the first set you get $100 and if you bet $100 on Soderling and he wins the first set you win $120.