Many of you may have already checked out what tennis betting is all about, but, with so many different offers at bookmakers like Bet365, Ladbrokes, or Paddy Power, you might have become a bit confused. Well, that’s nothing to worry about, as the aim of this comprehensive guide is to give you a clear idea about what the most popular bets are all about – and a few tips and tricks will be included as well!
The first type of bet you are probably going to see is also the most straightforward one, as you will simply need to guess who is going to win the match. However, there are some catches that you need to be aware about before placing a match bet. Namely, you need to check how your bet is going to be settled in the case of a retirement – some bookies, like Bet365, void all bets, while others settle bets in the favour of the player that didn’t retire. Some of them, like Pinnacle or Betfair, wait until the first set gets completed – if it gets completed, retirements will count as results, but if it doesn’t, all match bets will be void. Knowing such rules can save you plenty of nerves and money, especially if you know that one of the players in the match you are betting on might have some fitness problems that could force that player to retire.
Handicap betting is quite popular these days, but it is also the type of betting that often confuses inexperienced punters, so let’s explain what the handicap lines mean, as this is the crucial information. For example, let’s imagine that you would back Roger Federer to cover a -5.5 games line against Rafael Nadal. What that means is that your bet would win with the match ending with a scoreline like 6-4 6-2 (since 6+6-5.5 equals 6.5, which is more than Nadal’s 4+2 games), but it would lose with the match ending with a scoreline like 6-1 1-6 6-1 (since 6+1+6-5.5 equals 7.5, less than Nadal’s 1+6+1 games). It might seem a bit complicated at first, but let us assure you that you will get hang of things after your first few handicap bets.
If you are brave enough, you can also guess the exact score of the match (or, from time to time, even the exact score of the first set). The odds are usually juicy – especially if you want to bet on a less popular player to win in straight sets – and you are usually going to get plenty of excitement for your money, but you should be aware of the fact that this kind of betting is very hard to get into and to profit from without huge swings. Go for it when you feel strong or if you simply want to have a small punt, but stay away if you want to have a calm afternoon.
First Set Winner
Matches can take quite some time before they are completed, but there is no need for bettors to bet on the entire clash, as many bookmakers offer bets on the winner of the first set. These bets might be of interest mainly for those of us who like to bet on the underdogs – after all, many favourites start slowly and the underdogs, who often start matches on a high before coming back to the ground, tend to take advantage of that. Stanislas Wawrinka is a good example of such a player, as he has a habit of starting slowly and then coming back strongly after working himself into the match.
Total Games Betting
If matches can indeed take quite some time, why shouldn’t we be able to bet on how much time they are going to take? Well, that sort of bets is still quite rare (Unibet sometimes offer bets on how long matches are going to take in terms of minutes, but that’s about it), but you can find bets on how many games will be played in a given match at virtually every single bookie. Inconsistent favourites often take longer to finish their opponents off – and there is no need to mention that many women fall into the very same category in terms of consistency. Go for the overs in matches featuring such players – and go for the unders if you think that the favourite is simply going to blow his or her opponent off the court.
Finally, many bookmakers offer various proposition bets in the larger tournaments. For example, you can often bet on who is going to make more double faults in a given match during Grand Slams. The bookmakers usually base the lines on statistics only – and that is something that you can take advantage of by analysing matches from different perspectives. For example, some players tend to be quite nervous in big matches, which usually results in them making more double faults. On the other hand, some players tend to play more securely in such matches and reduce the speed of their serves in order to make them more accurate, which has the opposite effect on the number of double faults they tend to make in such matches.