Tennis is definitely one of the most popular and cherished sports in many countries located all over the world, so it’s only natural for online sports betting sites to provide their customers with an amazing selection of tennis markets.
Consequently, bettors who’d like to put their money on high-profile tennis games are free to go for the best bonuses and odds, which makes it an excellent choice for inexperienced punters who’d like to improve their handicapping skills. However, many people are afraid to make the first step, as even the most basic wagers might seem complicated if you haven’t ever bet on any sports before.
Contrary to this belief, learning how the popular wager types work doesn’t take a lot of effort – in fact, once you’re done reading this guide, you should be well equipped to join any tennis-friendly betting site.
Ways to Bet
There are many ways to wager real money on tennis online, but I’d advise you to stick with the most popular and easiest bet types at first. The most popular options are betting on the outright winners, set wagering and proposition bets, but if you’re an adrenaline-thirsty high-roller or you’d like to spice-up your betting career, you might also try parlay bets and betting on tennis futures. Finally, you should keep in mind that not every bet has to be placed pre-match. In fact, many sites allow you to engage in live, in-play betting, allowing you to call the shots as you watch the action unfold on your TV screen.
Match betting or money line betting is very simple and intuitive, as your job is simply to predict who will win the match outright. Most sites express the odds for bets of this kind using $100 as a basis. The line that allows you to bet on the favorite is marked with a minus sign, which means that you have to risk more than you’ll be able to win. Conversely, the line that allows you to put your money on the underdog is marked with a plus sign, which means that the potential returns would be higher than your initial investment. For example:
Rafael Nadal -120
Roger Federer +110
In this matchup, Rafa Nadal is the clear favorite. This means that you’d receive $100 for every $120 you put on him if he actually managed to win the match. Conversely, betting on Roger Federer would result in a $120 profit for every $100 you put at risk in case of his victory.
Tennis Set Betting
Set betting isn’t all that different from correct score bets that you can place on soccer, which means that bets of this kind tend to be somewhat risky. When you place a set bet, your goal is to predict the exact result of the match – if you make any mistakes, you lose the bet. As you’d expect, the odds offered for wagers of this kind tend to be surprisingly high, so if you’re looking for some high-risk, high-reward action you might give them a try. However, you should keep in mind that winning set bets isn’t all about luck – in fact, many professional bettors have turned them into a steady source of income through solid handicapping efforts.
Parlays are combination bets, which means that they allow you to link set bets and match bets into a single wager. Parlays pay many times more than placing each bet separately, but there is a catch here – losing a single selection means that your entire parlay is lost. This means that parlaying your bets is inherently risky, so you should be very careful about adding money lines or sets to your parlay ticket. However, many experienced bettors take advantage of this type of wagers by parlaying sure-bets, which allows them to maximize their profits without increasing the variance too much.
Wagering on tennis futures is pretty much all about predicting who wins the largest tennis competitions before the tournament actually kicks off. Bets of this kind are always a long-term investment, but they offer better odds than match bets, set bets and even simple parlays. Most sites tend to post ATP and WTA odds about a week before the first matches are supposed to start, but larger events like Australia Open, Wimbledon, French Open or US Open usually have all the lines posted months ahead of the schedule.
Proposition bets are also referred to as props and are essentially gimmick wagers that can involve everything tennis-related that hasn’t been covered by any of the popular categories described above. Example props include guessing the first set score, predicting whether a player will place higher than his rival in a specific tournament or predicting whether there’s a tie break or not.