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Types of Tennis Bets – A Beginner’s Guide (May 2024)

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Tennis is a thrilling, fast-paced sport in which there are tonnes of opportunities to form bets. There are big tournaments and competitions held all over the world, including the prestigious Grand Slams. The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open are the four biggest events each year. These feature the best of the best facing each other in thrilling fixtures. The winner of any of these tournaments shoots up through the rankings and can even become the number one player in the world.

Amazing Markets and Betting Possibilities

The sport has a huge following throughout the world, and there is extensive coverage of competitions all over the world. With youngsters bursting onto the scene each year, and big players fighting to stay at the top of their game, there is never any shortage of excitement. Bookmakers take advantage of this by giving out tonnes of betting markets on tennis matches. You can be watching an ATP 250 tournament in Croatia or a fixture in the latter phases of Wimbledon and still have a huge variety of betting options.

Types of Tennis Bets

As the matches in tennis are jam-packed with action, there are loads of different aspects of each fixture that you can bet on. You can go as detailed or as simple as you like with your selections. If you are a big tennis buff, then you can use your knowledge to pick out good selections and find great deals. Here are the basic set of bets you can pick, and what they require.

  1. Outrights
  2. Moneyline
  3. Handicaps
  4. Over/Under Totals
  5. Sets and Games
  6. Correct Score
  7. Match Props
  8. Live Bets

Outrights

Outrights are bets that relate to a tournament as a whole. Instead of betting on which player will win the next match, you can bet on who will become the outright winner of the competition. The betting markets for Grand Slams, the ATP or WTA finals and other big events are always flocked with tonnes of bets. To place an outright bet, all you need to do is pick which player you think will win the tournament, and then stake your money. The bets are offered before the competition starts and during it, but if you want the best bang for your buck, you should go with the early-bid odds. Once the competition starts and players are eliminated, the odds will shorten on all of the remaining players. At the end of the tournament, the odds on the favourite will be extremely short.

Moneyline

The most straightforward bet you can place on a tennis fixture is a moneyline. Basically, you need to pick which player will win the match. Tennis matches cannot end in a tie, so you can only pick one player or the other. For example, in a match between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas, you can bet on Kyrgios to win or on Tsitsipas to win. It does not matter how your chosen player wins, whether they do it in straight sets or battle it out to the last set, as long as your player wins the match, you will win your bet.

Handicaps

Handicaps are bets on a player to win by a certain margin of sets. In men's singles matches, the contestants play to a best of 5 sets. This means that a player can win by 3-0, 3-2 or 3-1. The handicaps offered will be -2.5 and -1.5, and in these cases, you are betting on the player to win by 3-0 or 3-1, respectively. It is definitely riskier to bet on the player to win with a handicap, but in return, you can benefit from longer odds. In women's singles and doubles matches, you can only bet on a handicap of -1.5. This is because the matches are played to a best of 3 sets.

Handicaps are not only negative either. A positive handicap of +1.5 gives your player a boost, meaning that you will win your bet as long as the player does not lose by 2 or more sets. In best of 5 sets matches, you need your chosen player to win at least 2 sets. If they lost all the other sets, the final score will be 3.5-3 with the adjusted scoreline.

There are handicaps bets on other aspects of each fixture too. For example, there may be handicaps offered on the number of games a player wins. These markets are more diverse, as there can be larger gaps between how many games either player wins. For example, you can bet on a player to win by a handicap of -10.5 games. If they win the match 6-3, 6-3 and 6-4, this will not be enough as they have only won the match by 8 games. If that player wins the match with a score of 6-1, 6-3 and 6-2, they have won 12 games, and you win your bet.

Over/Under Totals

This is a bet that does not relate to who wins the match. Instead, it relates to match statistics such as how many sets will be played. In a best of 5 sets match, the match can be resolved in 3, 4 or 5 sets. With a totals bet, you can predict how many sets will be played in a match by betting over or under the betting line. If the line is 4.5, then you can bet on the match to end in 3 or 4 sets, or you can bet on it to end in 5 sets. Similarly, a betting line of 3.5 gives you the opportunity to bet on the match to end in 3 sets, or to end in 4 or 5 sets.

You are not limited to betting totals on sets. There may be totals bets offered on the number of games in a match, aces, double faults, and many more.

Sets and Games

Tennis matches can be divided up into sets and games. This leads to many more betting opportunities for punters. You can bet on each game or set as if it was a match in itself. Moneylines, handicaps, totals and many other bets are offered on games and sets.

Correct Score

If you want to be more bold with your prediction and go for longer odds, then you can bet on the correct score. There are a fixed number of possible outcomes for tennis fixtures. It depends on the structure of the fixture, namely, whether it is played to a best of 3 or 5 sets. In best of 3 sets, the fixtures have 4 possible final scores: 2-0, 2-1, 1-2, 0-2. Best of 3 sets matches have 6 possible outcomes: 3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 2-3, 1-3, or 0-3.

Match Props

In addition to the bets listed above, you may find tonnes of other bets that relate to even more specific events in each match. You can bet on aspects such as aces and double faults. How many aces will Alexander Tserev manage against Carlos Alcarez, will Iga Swiatek make more double faults than Aryna Sabalenka, which set will have the most aces in a match between Casper Ruud and Dominic Thiem. You can really put your knowledge to the test with these excellent selections.

And it does not stop there either. You may be able to bet on which player will win 4 games first, what will the score be after the first 6 games, will a player come from behind to win, and more.

Live Bets

Tennis is one of the most popular sports to make live bets on. Perhaps it is because of the fast-natured gameplay or the way that the lead can swing back and forth between either player. During tennis matches, the odds can turn drastically for or against a player.

Al the above-listed bets can be found as live betting markets, and there are tonnes more that you can use. You can bet on what will happen in the current set or game, and in the next. This is a source of much adrenaline-packed action for punters, as they can place loads of bets that are literally resolved in minutes. For example, how many aces will there be in this game, will a player win the next two games and many more.

A quick bet on the next bit of action is not the only thrilling part of live betting. If you have placed a pregame bet, then you should keep a close eye on the cash out function. Tennis is volatile, and you may find your cash out offer will spike after a single game or set. It can just as easily drop too, but this will be happening throughout the course of a match. Even if your player goes behind, if they start dominating the next set or game, the cash out will improve significantly.

Conclusion

Now that you have learned about all the different types of tennis bets, you can head to a bookie and check out their odds. A lot of match bets on the favourites will have short odds. Especially if they are playing against players who have a much lower ranking. However, anything can happen, so you should never write off any bets as “safe bets”. The more specific you go with your predictions, the longer the odds will be. It does come with significantly higher levels of risk though.

After reading about the amazing live betting experience tennis has to offer, you may want to instantly check it out. Fortunately, as there are events happening all over the world, you can almost always find a live match to bet on. It does not matter if it is the middle of the day or past midnight, somewhere in the world there will be some action. Of course, it is preferable to bet on events that you know and not on players that you have only discovered then and there. If you do want to jump in anyway, then you should watch the match a little before committing to a bet. There is a lot of statistical data that the bookmaker should provide, which will also give you a hand.

When betting, then you should always make it about the fun and not the profit. There is no guarantee you will win all of your bets. If you do start losing some money, then it is better to quit while you are ahead. Do not place reckless bets to win back your losses. Instead, stick to a budget that you can afford, and enjoy the tennis.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.