Tennis betting markets and strategies

Tennis is a global sport with 4 major grand slam events and the ATP tours held and televised around the world. These events are held on a regular basis every year which is a good reason for the betting market on this sport to never vacate. Bookies understand the demand for tennis bets in the market and most of them will offer betting on every single tennis tournament. Aussies show great enthusiasm when it comes to tennis as they host the first grand slam competition of the year, the Australian Open in January of every year marking the start of Tennis fever throughout the year.

It was always though at Tennis can be a very predictable market with only the big names such as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and a few other bagging the cup but this has been proven wrong since Stanislas Wawrinka won the Australian Open finals in 2014. This event has truly uplifted the sport and fans and punters feel more reluctant to take their chances in tennis betting.

Match betting

As most other sports, match betting is the simplest and common form of betting in Tennis. Unlike most of the sports though, in Tennis, punters bet on a single person to win or lose the match rather a whole team. Punters will bet on a match winner if he is confident that he is better than his opponent and has the whole tennis match to prove it. A typical betting line on a tennis match bet market would look like

  • Rafael Nadal 2.40
  • Novak Djokovic 2.60

The underdogs are given better odds but in matches that are seemingly tight, the odds are pretty much similar. In these matches, we suggest players take a calculated risk on other markets unless they are confident a particular player will win. A common strategy that could be applied to betting on tennis is to rate how well a player plays on the type of surface that is being played on. Head to head record is an important factor where historical stats can be used to make assumptions on how the match might end.


Set betting and Game betting

Tennis set betting is more of a “conservative” bet as the favourite has always more chances to win a set even if he/she loses a point or a game. This market lets you bet on the exact outcome of the match, in sets. In set betting, punters have a chance to place in-play bets after analysis which player has an upper hand on the game. Live tennis betting is also a tricky business, although one that can prove fruitful if you time it right. Momentum is a key word in tennis; a player gains confidence the better he is playing, resulting in him getting stronger, while his opponent drains of belief all the time. The betting line while set betting can look like

  • To win 2nd set
  • Rafael Nadal 2.80
  • Novak Djokovic 1.90

The odds suggest that Novak has better chances of winning the second set and his momentum seems better than that of Nadal. There are momentum shifts though, and this is where timing is very beneficial. Game bets are also available where punter place bets on which player will win a single game. For example, when a game is live, bettors can place bets on who will win the 5th game of 2nd set. If the player who is serving on that game loses a couple of points it is very possible to loose the game overall. This is where historical stats play a key role again as  punters can analyse through historical record on how much momentum effects a players overall performance. If the stas say that if a player has won the first set, he is most likely to win the second set, it would be worth taking a chance on placing your wagers on a second set win for the player.



Handicap bets mean you are betting on one player to beat another, with a particular handicap applied. Game handicap is the most common in the tennis handicap market where certain game are added and subtracted from each player to determine the betting outcome of which player wins the set. For instance, the betting line for a game handicap would look like

  • Rafael Nadal 2.50 (-1.5 point)
  • Novak Djokovic 2.50 (+ 1.5 points)

Here, if the result of the first set is Nadal 6 Djokovic 5, and you placed the bet on Djokovic to win, you still win the bet event though he lost the actual set, as the handicap applies. Bookies also offer Sets Handicap markets which work in the same way, but using the number of sets won by each player instead of the number of games.

Over/Under Market

This is the over/under market of tennis where a punter bets on whether the total number of games or sets played in a match will be over or under certain number of games. Other Under/ Over markets include Total Sets, and for some matches, Total Aces and Total Double Faults, etc. Let’s take the total games for example, as it is the most common form of over/under market betting. A typical total games market betting line would look like

  • Under 31.5 Games 1.90
  • Over 31.5 Games    2.10

For example, if Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 the total number of games would be 29. In that case, bets on Under 31.5 Games would win.


Outright Market

Outright markets are also popular in tennis as numerous events take place over a year and come with great odds but it also includes high risk. In this market, punters bet on which player will win a tournament. Generally, there will be a player list with their respective odds and bettors place wagers by choosing a player who they feel will bag the trophy.