With so much men’s and women’s tennis played worldwide, it’s no surprise that tennis betting odds are some of the most liquid markets among the leading sportsbooks. Especially during the major Grand Slam events – Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open and US Open – and the top-level ATP Masters 1000 events, tennis fans enjoy a flutter on the most prestigious tournaments on the ATP and WTA tours.
For beginners to tennis betting, the odds displayed define the pre-match favorite and underdog. As with most sports, there can only be one winner in tennis, so the leading tennis betting sites will employ traders and analysts to price up the most likely winners of individual matches, as well as tournaments outright. The favorites will have odds displayed alongside them in negative terms, while the underdogs will have positive figures displayed alongside.
Let’s say that Novak Djokovic was scheduled to face Andy Murray in the early stages of a Grand Slam. Djokovic is priced at -500 and Murray is priced at +700. This means that for every $1 to win on Djokovic you must stake $5. Meanwhile every $1 you stake on Murray can earn you $7 if the underdog should upset the form book.
There is a difference between tennis odds and tennis lines too. Typically, tennis lines are used for handicap betting, whereby bettors can wager “over” or “under” a handicap. Meanwhile tennis odds are more typically used for outright (moneyline) and prop bets.
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There are three main tennis betting markets to get your head around when starting out with tennis betting online:
• Moneyline betting
The moneyline is still where most of the action is in tennis odds, with bettors still preferring to wager on the likely winner of a match. Unlike in sports like soccer where a tie is possible, there has to be a winner in a tennis match, giving you a straight choice between Player A and Player B.
• Set betting
Set betting is also a particularly popular way to bet on tennis online, especially on matches involving heavy pre-match favorites. That’s because their odds on the moneyline tend to be very short, so betting on the set score e.g. a favorite to win in straight sets, can be a more lucrative option.
• Over/Under betting
Think of Over/Under betting in tennis as a form of handicap betting. In Grand Slam events, where men’s matches are played to a best of five sets, you can bet on whether a match will finish with “over” or “under” 3.5 total sets, for example. This can be a more lucrative option when betting on heavy favorites to essentially win 3-0 in straight sets. It’s also possible to bet on Over/Under game totals too.
You will often find tennis odds on Over/Under game totals displaying 20.5 and 22.5 for most best of three set tennis matches. This can be a particularly good betting option for games that you either anticipate being one-sided or much closer than the tennis betting lines suggest.
For example, if you were to bet on there to be “Under” 20.5 games in a match and Player A won in straight sets 6-2 6-2, your bet would win as only 16 games were played. If you were to bet on there being “Over” 22.5 games in a match and the contest went into a third deciding set, finishing 6-2 4-6 6-3 to Player A, your bet would also win as 27 games were played.
The leading US sportsbooks listed on our tennis odds page will typically employ traders and statisticians to analyse the probability and odds of all the tennis betting markets they offer. As a points scoring system, it’s easier for analysts to calculate the probabilities of a player winning every point played in a match.
They will typically assess each player’s service percentages to determine how often a player holds their service games on average. They will also consider how a player’s style matches up with the court surface e.g. clay, hard or grass. This enables analysts to estimate all kinds of probabilities from first set winners to outright match winners. They will work in tandem with tennis traders to use these probabilities – often derived from simulations of player data throughout the tennis season – to determine fair tennis odds pre-match.
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