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How to Bet on Tennis

For many sportsbooks, tennis betting markets are up there with the most popular sports, such as football and basketball.

Tennis markets rake in a huge amount of interest because there's always an event to wager on. There are four Grand Slam events on the professional circuit each year and, every four years, all eyes turn to the Summer Olympic Games to watch tremendous athletes compete to take home the gold. Then, almost every day of the week, there are the ATP, WTA, and ITF circuit matches for ranking points.

With so much tennis going on throughout the year, it makes sense that fans want to know how to bet on the sport. Here at Bally Bet, we're going to help you do exactly that.

We’ll delve into everything that you need to know to make the most of your tennis betting experience. We'll outline all of the betting markets, explain how the odds work, and go through some must-know tennis betting pointers..

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about betting on tennis.

How to Read Tennis Betting Odds

Naturally, the first thing you need to understand before placing any tennis bets is how to read the odds. Fortunately, tennis odds work the same way as they do in any other sports betting market, and they're shown in the familiar American odds format.

A quick reminder: American odds come with +100 in the middle, as +100 represents evens. This is how betting on odds of evens works:

• You bet $10, and it wins

• You receive $10 as your payout

• You also get your initial wager back for a total of $20

Essentially, winning at odds of +100 (evens) doubles your money.

How to Work Out Favorites and Underdogs in Tennis

If the odds show the plus sign (+) with a greater number, they represent an increasingly unlikely outcome — at least according to the calculations of the oddsmakers.

For example, a match between the 98th-ranked player and the number one in the WTA rankings would have the former at long odds. These odds would likely take the form of +400, +700, or something even greater. A bet on the 98th-ranked player, in this case, would be unlikely to win in the eyes of the bookmakers. But if a +400 win came in on a $10 bet, your return would be $50.

Finding the favored outcome or favored player in tennis betting comes down to finding the minus odds with a greater number. So, as soon as you see the minus sign (-), you’ll know that the winnings from the bet will be less than your wager (keep in mind that you also get your wager back when you win).

Using the example above, the number one player would be the assumed favorite. So, to the 98th-ranked player’s +400 odds, the number one would probably get odds of -300 to win the match. A $10 bet on odds of -300 would win $3.33. Add your initial $10 wager for a total return of $13.33.

If you were to look at odds on a scale, you'd have lower returns on wagers more likely to win on one end. On the other end, you'd have evens, meaning there'd be higher returns, but your wager would be less likely to win. The scale might look something like this:

-600, -375, -200, -101, +100, +101, +200, +375, +600

In some forms of tennis betting, like tennis spread betting, the market brings both betting options close to evens through the use of handicaps, and some games will be very close. So, defining a clear favorite and underdog when you bet on tennis isn’t always possible.

Popular Tennis Bets

The three most popular forms of betting are tennis spread betting, moneyline betting, and totals betting. These are also known as the tennis betting game lines. Each of these popular tennis bets relies on a separate set of outcomes, allowing you to flex your tennis knowledge in different ways.

Read the sections below for a closer look at each of these popular forms of tennis betting as well as some other, more obscure types of tennis bets.

Moneyline Tennis Betting

The moneyline wager is among the most popular options in tennis betting because it's simple and straightforward. This form of betting revolves around you picking which player you think will win the match. If, for example, you select Emma Raducanu in her match against Ons Jabeur and Raducanu wins, your moneyline bet wins.

You can often see mismatches in tennis – particularly during the early stages of tournaments. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to see a moneyline of Player A at -500 and Player B at +600. As the games get closer, though, you’ll see odds closer to evens like -115 for Player A and -105 for Player B.

Tennis Spread Betting

Tennis spread betting is a form of handicap betting. It’s not as straightforward as moneyline betting, but to some, it’s the spread that offers the best tennis bets.

As for how the spread works in tennis betting, the favorite is given a negative handicap to the final game score to bring their odds closer to evens. Likewise, the underdog is given a positive handicap to the final game score to do the same.

To demonstrate, let's take a recent match between Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Bernabe Zapata Miralles. Etcheverry entered as the heavy -270 moneyline favorite to Miralles’ +210. The tennis spread betting gave Etcheverry a -3.5 handicap to bring his odds to -125. Miralles’ mirrored +3.5 handicap made him the -105 favorite on the spread.

In this game, if it had finished in two sets and Etcheverry had won those two sets 6-3 and 6-1, those who got in on the tennis spread betting to back him with a -3.5 handicap would have won their bets. That's because the final game margin was 8 points. With the spread, Etcheverry won by 4.5 points.

Alternatively, if Etcheverry and Miralles had battled to three sets with scores of 7-6 and 6-4 to Etcheverry and 6-3 to Miralles, even though Etcheverry won the match, Miralles would have won spread bets with the +3.5 handicap. The final game score would have been 16-16, but Miralles’ +3.5 on the spread would have made him the 19.5-16 winner.

Tennis spread betting can be good for fans who expect the favorite to walk to the victory. Equally, if you see the underdog keeping the score close, their positive handicap can be good to back. And if you’re backing the underdog, they don’t even have to win the match to win the spread bet.

Tennis Totals Betting

When looking at totals in tennis betting match lines, you can forget about the end result of the match. What you’re looking at is how many total games will be played during the match. These odds are presented in an over/under format. Your job is to bet on whether the total games will be over or under the given number.

For instance, the totals bet for the number of games sits at 21.5. Here, you might take odds of -110 for there to be over 21.5 games or -120 for there to be under 21.5 games. Say a match between Player A and Player B ends with set scores of 6-2, 6-4, and 7-6, the over 21.5 games would win as 31 games have been played in total.

Other Types of Tennis Bets

Tennis betting is vast and varied: You can bet on just about any stat line outcome imaginable. Plus, you can bet in-play, place combination bets, and bet on tournament winners. Here’s a look at these tennis betting options and how you can back their odds:

Parlays

Generally speaking, parlay bets are those that combine picks into one bet. So how does one look in tennis? You might combine picks on the moneyline, totals, spread, or props markets from different matches to create one bet of enhanced odds. But as with other parlays, in order to win this type of bet, all of your selections need to win.

Teasers

Tennis teasers combine two or more spread bets while adjusting the spread to try to increase the chances of winning. This also decreases the return of what a parlay bet, which is similar, would win. You still need every selection to win, but by moving the spread the win requirements are reeled in.

Prop bets

In tennis betting, prop bets offer potential payouts on individual events or statistical lines that don’t rely on the final outcome. You could bet on the total games won by a single player, the winner of the first set, or even the correct score.

Futures

Futures or outright betting in tennis is all about picking who you think will win the tournament or competition at hand. These sorts of bets really heat up when the Grand Slam tournaments come around.

Live Betting

Even if you’ve missed the first serve of a match, you can join the excitement in real time with live betting. You’ll find all of the popular tennis betting lines in the in-play odds, like moneyline, totals, over/under, the spread, and a bunch of props bets, too.

Tennis Betting Tips

If you're a newcomer to the scene, one of the best tennis betting tips that you can take on is to watch the odds. Odds fluctuate from the moment they're posted online, all the way up until the first serve. Injuries, weather conditions, scheduling, home and away form, and an abundance of wagers being placed on one option are all viable reasons for why the odds can change.

As a result, it’s good to watch the odds in case someone knows something that you don’t; the moving odds may reveal as much. This leads not so much into a piece of tennis bet advice, but rather a way to go about betting. Some like the strategy of betting against the public, as the public can’t always be right and the other option will usually have better odds.

Tennis Betting With Bally Bet

Now that you have a good grip on the tennis betting terms you need to know, why not put what you know to the test and join Bally Bet Sportsbook? It makes sports betting - whether that's tennis or something completely different - much easier and much more fun. Download our app today - or if you prefer to use a computer, check out our sportsbook in your browser - and see what we've got in store for you!

Popular Tennis Betting Questions

In tennis betting +1.5 on the spread will indicate that the player has a +1.5 handicap on the final score of games in the match.

Tennis is a great sport to place wagers on. You get loads of different markets to explore, including ones that let you get better odds on outright favorites – such as with tennis spread betting.

In tennis, the favorite usually wins. Some even say that the rate of favorites winning is higher than three in four.

However, when the odds are much closer, like -105 to -115 on the moneyline, it means that even the oddsmakers are struggling to pick out a clear favorite.