Whether you’re looking to bet on a major event, or just playing a Challenger draw held in your hometown the tennis betting market is one of the most popular clubs to be a part of your handicapping toolkit.
The season starts in January to November, and that means that there are always tennis odds to place bets on.
Yes, even during the summer’s dead months.
Unfortunately, tennis can be difficult to comprehend for the untrained eye. The scoring is a bit jarring and there are a lot of variables in a match that very few tennis people ever actually have the time to explain.
Fortunately, I’m here to assist. I’ve played tennis for over 20 years and have racked huge profits from betting on inefficient areas of the market that most casual bettors never even consider.
If you’re interested to learn how to place bets on tennis, here’s your starting point.
How to bet on Tennis: A Quick Review of Tennis Odds & Tennis Betting
Let’s get started with the fundamentals. There are a few basic factors to be considered when handicapping tennis: Court shape, form and cost.
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Tennis Betting: What Effect Does Court Style Have on Betting on Tennis?
There are three kinds of courts available on tour – clay, grass and hardcourt. The players typically have different skills that can position them to be successful (or failing) in different court surfaces.
For instance, clay court matches tend to be slower, and usually have more playing.
However grass courts are known to be rapid-paced.
Understanding strengths and weaknesses of players is essential to lasting success in the betting on tennis space.
Tennis Betting What does Form Mean When Betting On Tennis?
For tennis players “form” refers to a generic description of how someone is playing. People who play well are said to have good form. Those who are playing poorly are in poor form.
The ability to recognize form is essential for betting on any year-round sport such as tennis. Bettors want to get on the trend with tennis stars.
They may also want to cut players off during a prolonged losing streak.
Tennis Betting How do the Tennis Odds Work When Betting?
In contrast to other sports where bettors are more likely to bet points spreads, tennis (like the baseball) is mostly a market centered around straight moneyline betting prices.
When it comes to tennis betting a winner is often placing heavy juice. Top players like Novak Djokovic are regularly -1000 or less against the standard tour competition.
Therefore, betting on favorites has a lower return than other sports, and also upsets are more expensive.
The underdogs, on the other hand are extremely profitable – assuming you can identify and bet the right ones.
ATP Schedule: Understanding the Tennis Calendar
The men’s tennis (ATP) calendar is basically the same throughout the year. Tournaments begin in January and run until November.
Most players – especially the elite players – can’t endure 11 consecutive months of unbroken tennis. But, there are professional tournaments virtually every week which are packed with players and odds of winning.
The seasons usually begin in January during the Australian summer. The Australian Open – the first major tournament of the year – takes place at the end of January and extends into February.
The tournaments for hardcourts will continue through North America through the winter.
Clay season begins in the spring and the focus of the tour is now shifting towards Europe in the summer, as do clay courts. This culminates around the beginning of June, with the second major of the calendar.
The grass season is brief in late June and into early July, highlighted by a fortnight’s break at Wimbledon.
The second part on the calendar are less cohesive, featuring tournaments across the globe and on a variety of surfaces. The most important date still visible on calendars is the last major event of the year that is the US Open, played at Flushing Meadows in New York every September.
Non-major tour events have numbers that indicate how big or prestigious that particular tournament is. ATP 1000 tournaments are the most prestigious non-major events there are.
There are also 500 plus 250 and 500 events.
Women’s tennis (WTA) professional circuit follows the same schedule like the men’s tour. Major tournaments are held concurrently and some non-major weeks are held in completely different venues.
As an example, last week, the men’s tour was playing in Winston-Salem in the United States, while the women’s tours played two events at Cleveland as well as Granby (Canada). This week, though, both tours join forces in the US Open in New York.
Tips on Betting on Tennis for Free
In the case of tennis odds, one of my go-to strategies is to bet on unintuitive favorites.
Every tournament is seeded by a player, and each player is given an official ranking. Rankings and seeds can be useless, but the betting market often does not understand this.
Bettors will back players with inferior form or court strengths just because they have a higher number next to their name.
This is why I look for spots where higher-ranked or seeded players are valued as short underdogs. Then, I bet the lower-ranked favorite.
A similar scenario took place recently. In the Winston-Salem Open, unseeded French player Adrian Mannarino was matched up against the No. 8 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Despite the seeding disparity, Mannarino was priced at the BetMGM online sportsbook as a -150 favorite.
The line jumped out at me, so I researched the match further. I discovered that Mannarino was a professional 3-5 head-to-head against Ramos-Vinolas, however, he won 3-0 on hardcourt. Also, Winston-Salem is indeed a hardcourt event.
I bet two units on Mannarino to win, and he swept to an easy, straight-set win.
It can also be extremely profitable to target tennis matches as betting opportunities in live events.
Few sports have extreme high-leverage moments as tennis does, meaning that the odds could swing in a wild way based on the results of just a few points.
Be smart about betting on live tennis odds can quickly create advantage opportunities for sports bettors.