Tennis is one of those sports that trades the camaraderie of teams for individual ambition. Add to that a unique scoring system and episodic gameplay that pushes players to their physical limit, and you have a singular sport where winning requires athletic prowess and intellectual grit.
As such, there’s more to understand about how to bet on tennis than first meets the eye.
Whether you’re newer to the game than Naomi Osaka or your bankroll goes back to McEnroe and Connors, there’s always more to know about what it takes to craft a tennis betting strategy that’s as winning as Roger Federer.
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Types of Tennis Bets
When you visit your favorite sportsbook to place bets on a tennis match, you’ll be presented with options that are fairly similar to those for most other sports, like basketball and baseball. At least for the most part.
After all, tennis overlaps with other sports only in the thrill and excitement it offers spectators. The same can be said of tennis betting. As such, knowing how to bet on tennis matches begins with understanding the various betting types and how they’re adjusted to fit the game.
The most common types of tennis bets are:
- Tennis spread
- Live betting
- Individual point
How to Evaluate Players
One of the most important things to know about how to bet on tennis is that player statistics are a prime indicator of who you should be putting your money on. There’s a lot you can assume about how a game will turn out based on how each player has performed in the past, so look out for performance indicators like a player’s forehand and backhand proficiency, how often they approach the net, and their speed.
Other important stats that you should pay attention to include:
- Unforced errors – When a player makes a mistake that isn’t caused by their opponent, it’s known as an unforced error. These happen to even the best players from time to time, but if a player has a lot of them it’s probably best to avoid picking them as the winner. Examples include hitting the ball out of bounds, into the net, or onto the wrong section of the court.
- Aces – A player lands an ace when they deliver an unreturned serve. The higher a player’s ace frequency, the better.
- Serve breaks – A serve break is when a player wins a match served by the other player. A player with a historically low ace frequency could still be a good bet if they have a high serve break rate.
How to Identify Value
As with all kinds of sports betting, it’s important to look for value when you’re placing your bets. Essentially, that means using a sportsbook that offers you the best odds—which in turn means knowing how individual players are likely to perform and how their odds are reflected in the larger market.
In other words? Due diligence is key when it comes to how to bet on tennis. The most profitable bettors are the ones who stay up to date on important trends like player performance, live odds, and sportsbook pricing.
How to Account for Court Types
Although there isn’t really such a thing as “home court advantage” in tennis, the smartest tennis bettors understand that the playing court can have an impact on even the finest athletes. The ground material affects everything from the speed of play to the bounce of the ball and the stress that’s put on the player’s body.
Professional tennis courts are generally classified in one of the following ways:
- Hard – These are either concrete or asphalt and feature an acrylic top layer. They’re good for players who play fast, featuring a moderate amount of bounce that keeps the bail sailing smoothly.
- Clay – Made of shale, stone, or brick, clay courts are great for slower play. Favored by baseline and all-court players, they’re known for their higher bounce rate.
- Grass – Grass courts aren’t very common in professional tennis, mostly because of the maintenance they require. They have a low bounce that facilitates fast play and benefits players who rely on the strength of their serve.
- Carpet or turf – In most cases, carpet or turf courts are great for fast games and contribute to a lower bounce. That said, there can be a lot of variance depending on the materials they’re made of.
The Importance of Bankroll Management
One of the secrets of success in sports betting is keeping a well-managed bankroll, or the money you set aside for placing bets. When you manage your bankroll in a smart and responsible manner, you increase your odds of enjoying a fun tennis betting experience in the short and long term.
For proper bankroll management, keep the following best practices in mind:
- Start with a specific amount and stick to it
- Always wager within your budget
- Keep your daily bets below 10 percent of your bankroll amount
Tennis Stars Worth Your Money
Knowing how to bet on tennis won’t do you much good if you don’t know who to bet on. Fortunately, athletic performance isn’t hard to quantify. As noted above, performance history, current statistics, and player characteristics are all good indicators of which players represent a safe bet.
Based on those considerations, here are the top male and female tennis stars currently wielding rackets.
- Novak Djokovic
- Carlos Alcaraz
- Daniil Medvedev
- Iga Swiatek
- Aryna Sabalenka
- Casper Ruud
You Can Bet on Tipico
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