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How to Bet on Tennis
Basic Odds and Betting Options
There are many ways to bet on tennis. The most straightforward bets are on individual matches. A match between two players who are fairly even in skill will be close in odds on both sides such as Novak Djokovic going off at -205 (bet $205 to win $100) against Andy Murray at +175 (bet $100 to win $175).
On the other hand, Djokovic going up against a much less talented opponent could be a huge favorite of -5000 (bet $5000 to win $100) while his opponent would be going off at something like +1600 (bet $100 to win $1600). In matches like this, spreads are usually offered, giving bettors the chance to bet Djokovic to win in straight sets or his opponent to steal a set at more even prices.
Most tournaments also have wagers available on who will win the tournament. So instead of betting on individual matches, a bettor could just take Djokovic to win the U.S. Open at +100 or Roger Federer at +600. The “Big Four” of Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Rafael Nadal are usually the betting favorites in every tournament in which they participate.
Tennis Betting Strategies
Finding upsets on the tournament win level can be difficult, as it is almost always an elite player who wins the major tournaments when everything is said and done. But on the individual match level, bettors who put in the time to study can find big edges on dominant favorites and live underdogs.
One element of tennis handicapping to consider is the style of each player. Many beginners just get caught up on names and records instead of actually breaking down a match by how the two players play.
For example, John Isner is a very effective tennis player due to his powerful serve. Against opponents with an average or subpar return game, he is going to be virtually unbeatable. But against a great returner, Isner is vulnerable. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of various players to determine where they are good or bad bets.
Surface is also important. Players like Nadal and David Ferrer are substantially better on clay than they are on other surfaces. Be sure to factor surface into your betting decisions.