Betting Tennis Tournaments at Online Sportsbooks
When it comes to head-to-head competition, one of the most popular sports to bet on is tennis. Starting with matches in the opening round of a particular tournament right through the finals, there are a number of ways to generate some action at your favorite online sportsbook such as Vice.
Betting options for a professional tennis tournament can be grouped into one of three general categories:
- Outright Winner
- Tournament Matches
- Futures & Props
Betting on The Winner
If you are only looking for some betting action on the tournament as a whole, placing a bet on the outright winner is the easiest thing to do. This is also one the hardest bets to win. Going chalk with the favorite is probably the best bet to place but there are usually at least three or four players who can win any given event. Upsets also take place on occasion to help lower your chances to cash in on the favorite.
The two main things to take into consideration when betting on the outright winner is current playing form and past experience in the tournament at hand. Tennis is one of the only sports to use multiple surfaces to play on. Some tournaments take place on a hard surface. Others are staged on clay or grass. That is why past performance in specific surface comes into play.
Using current form as a handicapping tool is also important. If a player comes into a tournament on a hot streak, betting on their continues strong play makes perfect sense.
Head-to-Head Match Bets
The most common way to bet on tennis is using moneyline odds for head-to-head play. Odd are posted for the favorite as well as the underdog. Using $100 as a base bet, you would have to wager more to bet the favorite while earning a higher return betting the underdog.
For example, Novak Djokovic is a -150 favorite in his match against Rafael Nadal as a +130 underdog. You would have to risk losing $150 to win $100 betting Djokovic and you would win $130 on a $100 bet taking Nadal.
In the earlier rounds, players like Djokovic and Nadal are going to be heavy favorites to win their match. Some online books will offer betting odds plus a spread in sets won. This is equivalent to the run line in baseball or the puck line in hockey. The standard match in men’s tennis is a best-of-five in sets. For the women’s competition, matches are normally a best of three.
Djokovic might be listed as a -170 favorite with a handicapping spread of -1.5 sets. This means that he has to win his match with a three-set sweep or 3-1 to win the bet.
Futures & Prop Bets
The biggest events in tennis such as Wimbledon or the US Open will have future odds to win well in advance of the actual competition. You might bet able to get some favorable odds on a player a few months out.
The bigger events may also have special prop bet odds posted for various aspects of play. You could bet on which player wins the first set in the tournament semifinals or finals. You could bet on the OVER/UNDER on total sets played in a match.
The only limit on the type of tennis props you will find is the imagination of the online book posting them.