Spanning the globe and spanning the calendar, tennis offers almost unparalleled options at top sports betting sites for bettors. With major men’s and women’s tours that compete weekly between early January and Christmas, there’s no shortage of volume—providing tennis bettors with more opportunities to win, and more opportunities to find value in competitive fields.
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The women’s tour is incredibly balanced, and often produces tournament winners who rise up from deep in the draw, carrying potential profitability with them. Although the men’s tour is more top-heavy, there’s still value to be had – just look at 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, a +800 futures bet in the entering the event.
Top players also don’t compete in every event, allowing tennis bettors ample opportunity to find candidates with strong value who are capable of hoisting the trophy at the end. Outside of the four Grand Slams, you’re unlikely to find tournaments where lines are influenced by amateur betting. Volume and value both exist in abundance for the tennis bettor. Interested in wagering on one of the world’s most popular sports? Then read on.
Tennis Betting Sites
Tennis is a regular presence on legal betting websites registered in the United States. But not all betting websites are the same, and it can take some shopping around to find the best site for the bet you want to make.
First of all, you can only bet legally in states that have approved the practice – a list that grows longer with each passing year and ensures that bettors can both deposit and withdraw money with confidence and ease. And tennis betting odds can vary by website, as can bonus or introductory offers, or even the breadth and types of tennis betting options available.
A good tennis betting site is one where the sport is easy to find on the list of sports on which the platform accepts wagers. It offers wagers not just on the tournaments that draw the most interest, but all men’s and women’s events year-round. If offers wagers such as prop bets and futures, particularly on the Grand Slams. It offers an easy to navigate user experience, and odds that provide the most potential value.
That last point is key, given that finding a line of +1000 versus +900 on a certain tennis player could mean a substantial difference in potential payout. Bookies.com offers a comprehensive list of the best legal sites available to bettors in the U.S. and is a great springboard for tennis bettors who want to research and compare the odds of several different sources before placing their wager at an online sportsbook.
Online Tennis Betting Explained
There are many tennis betting options, and with experience the numbers and plus/minus signs form a wagering language to help bettors separate favorites from those offering more of a potential payout. The breadth of tennis betting also allows bettors to diversify their wagers, increasing their chances of winning. It all starts with an understanding of each type of tennis bet available.
Moneyline betting: The most common type of tennis bet, expressed in a plus/minus format. A number with a minus sign (such as Novak Djokovic -150) indicates a favorite, with the number being how much a bettor must wager to win $100. A number with a plus sign (such as Andy Murray +900) indicates how much a bettor can win with a $100 wager. Moneyline bets are typically available on both individual matches and the overall tournament winner.
Spread betting: Also known as handicap bets, these offer another way for bettors to wager on individual matches. The most common type is the game spread bet, in which one player needs to beat another by a certain number of games combined. If the wager being offered is Serena Williams -3.5 over Shelby Rogers, then Williams needs to win by at least four total games for the bettor to win (such as a final score of 6-3, 6-4). Some books also offer set spread bets, the line commonly being +/-1.5 in tournaments that feature best-of-three matches.
Over/under betting: Also known as totals betting, it allows bettors to wager on whether a match will fall over or under a specified number of games. If a total of 20, for example, is being offered on a match where Daniil Medvedev beats Sam Querry 6-3, 6-1, then the under wins because the competitors played 16 total games.
In-play betting: In-play (or “live”) betting allows bettors to wager on matches in progress. Given that odds are constantly changing depending on the status of the match, in-play betting provides tennis bettors with an opportunity to maximize potential profitability. If for example Rafael Nadal is trailing Milos Raonic in the third set of a five-setter but you like Nadal’s chance of a comeback, you can typically find very favorable odds on the Spaniard to win.
Futures betting: A tennis futures bet allow bettors to wager on tournaments that are coming up weeks and months in the future, most notably the Grand Slams. The odds on specific players can vary starkly from those available in the days before a tennis tournament, and usually provide more value given that you’re betting so far in advance. Of course, you’re also betting that something like an injury or sudden onset of poor play won’t hamper your chosen player right before the event begins.
Prop betting: These are fun ways to bet on what might happen during a match, irrespective of who wins, and are most commonly offered for the Grand Slams. How many total aces will there be? Will there be a tiebreaker? Winning a prop bet doesn’t require a lot of knowledge, and the type of prop bets available can differ depending on the site—so as always, shop around.
How Tennis Betting Odds Work
Regardless of the type of bet made, favorites will always carry shorter odds and offer less of a potential payout, while those deeper in the field will carry longer odds and provide more value to the bettor. The question becomes, what does the bettor prioritize: an increased chance of winning, or an opportunity to maximize potential return?
For those in the former group, favorites are favorites for a reason: Djokovic, for example, may offer only -110 odds to win a tournament he’s dominated in the past, but also gives the bettors the best chance of cashing out. Bettors in the latter group are prone to look deeper in the field, and take chances on players who offer more value. That doesn’t mean wagering recklessly on longshots – it means being precise and taking advantage of conditions that could be ripe for a breakthrough.
That tactic can be particularly valuable in the women’s game, which lacks a dominant player and typically includes a number of longer-odds options capable of winning a tournament. Think about Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, who could be had for +4000 (paying $4,000 for every $100 wagered) in the weeks leading up to the event.
A player’s history in any given tennis tournament, their success or struggles on certain surfaces, their run of recent form or the effect of any nagging injuries – they’ll all go into how bookies set tennis odds. Tennis bettors should take them all into account as well, determine their level of comfort on risk versus reward, and make the wager that’s best for them.
Tennis Betting Tips
It may be a simple concept – two players staring at each other across a net – but tennis betting can still be impacted by a variety of factors. Does the type of surface fit a player’s strength? Is the event a two-week tournament with a loaded field, or a one-week event with a clear favorite? Even within individual matches, there are factors to take into account beyond who’s favored, or which player is the higher seed. Keep these tips in mind:
Betting on Individual Matches
Tennis tournaments are contested on three different types of surfaces – grass, clay and hardcourts – and not all players excel on all types of surfaces. A player with lots of victories on grass or clay may be dispatched quickly on hardcourt, the domain of competitors with big serves and thundering baselines. When match betting, make sure you know which player is better on the surface being employed. Also check previous head-to-head results; even the best in the world have some opponents they just struggle to get past.
Target the Right Tournaments
Everyone knows the Grand Slams – the Australian, U.S. and French opens, and Wimbledon in England – which are the four times each year that tennis is in the world spotlight. Those are also the times when tennis lines are most likely to be impacted by public money, which is amateur betting made out of favoritism or name recognition.
Bettors can find fields almost as Slam-worthy at Miami or Indian Wells, with fewer concerns about the lines being artificially swayed. Targeting certain tournaments also helps bettors take advantage of events dominated by certain players, or those lower-tier competitions that don’t always feature an overwhelming favorite to win.
Understand the ATP/WTA Seasons
Although the ATP (men’s tour) and WTA (women’s tour) are separate circuits, they combine for the Grand Slams and a few other major events each year. Outside of the Slams, the WTA Tour’s biggest events are separated into tiers – the top rung being events at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing. The ATP Tour below the Slams features its year-end ATP Finals followed by a tier of nine events: Miami, Indian Wells, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Rome, Cincinnati, Montreal, Shanghai and Paris.
On both tours, those top-tier events are the most likely to include draws of elite players, mirroring those found in the Slams, and make for fertile ground for tennis bettors. Below those are multiple rungs of tournaments featuring primarily lesser-known players, which can still offer value for tennis bettors who do their homework and recognize the best wagers in those respective draws.
Also: Watch the final events leading into each Slam, which regardless of their classification can draw big names tuning up for the majors to come.
Look for Suspect Seeds
Seeds are set by the tournament, and can often be different from which players sport the best odds to win. Seeds are set based primarily on world rankings, though they can be tweaked based on surface performance.
Regardless, there are always seeds that appear miscast: Take Mateo Berrettini, a clay-court specialist who was seeded No. 6 in the 2020 US Open based on his world ranking, and dispatched by baseliner Andrey Rublev in the fourth round.
Tennis bettors should always be on the lookout for similarly vulnerable seeds who just don’t mesh with the surface, those who’ve been battling injury, or have just been playing poorly entering the event.
RELATED: Read More On How to Bet on Tennis
Top Tennis Betting Markets
Part of the fun of tennis betting comes from the fact that there are several ways to wager on it. Diversifying your type of bet helps increase your chances of winning, a process that begins with a full understanding of the different types of markets available. Moneyline tournament betting is among the most popular and easiest to understand, followed by other straightforward bets like match winner and set winner, followed by over/under and spread wagers.
Take note, though, that tournament bets such as futures, while popular especially among casual bettors, can be more difficult to win –particularly on the unpredictable women’s side, or for major events with 128 players in the field. The number and type of markets can vary by site, so make sure to shop around.
Top Tennis Betting Events
The Grand Slams are when tennis shines, and when betting reaches its height. But beyond the Australian, U.S. and French opens and Wimbledon, the sport features other big events ripe for betting action. The two-week, combined tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami are majors in everything but name, and typically draw all the sport’s best players. International team events such as the Davis Cup (for men) and Fed Cup (for women) are fixtures on the calendar, and top names regularly participate in the Olympics.
Beyond those, bettors should keep an eye on the top-tier events on each circuit, which may not feature the depth of the Slams but still routinely attract some of the world’s best players. Tournaments like Madrid and Beijing (for women) and Cincinnati, Monte Carlo and the ATP Finals (for men) offer the same chances of finding value and profit as the Grand Slams.
Tennis Betting FAQs
What are the most popular tennis bets?
In the United States, the most popular type of bet is the moneyline tournament bet. Savvier tennis bettors prefer match betting, either in moneyline or handicap format, because they reward a more intricate knowledge of the sport. Value-laden upsets are also more likely to happen in individual matches than in a tournament as a whole.
How do odds work for betting on tennis?
Whether for a tournament or an individual match, odds establish who the favored players are. Betting on those players may enhance your chances of winning, but typically don’t produce much of a return. Players who aren’t favored carry longer odds – which mean more value, and a better payout to the bettor should they pull the upset.
Where can I bet on tennis?
From any state that legally allows the practice, through sites that are registered in the United State. Bookies.com offers a breakdown of which states allow legal sports wagering, as well as a number of top U.S.-based sites where tennis bets can be placed.
Can I bet on tennis in the Olympics?
Yes, in states that allow betting on the Olympics. Tennis returned to the Olympics as a medal sport in 1988, and attracts top players competing for their countries. Tennis will be on the docket for the Tokyo Games, which due to the coronavirus were pushed back to 2021.
How does tennis handicap betting work?
As in any sport, a handicap awards an advantage to the player who isn’t favored to win the match. The handicap serves as an enticement to bettor my making the match more competitive than it would be straight up. Under a handicap, a favorite can’t just win—they have to win my more than the handicap. A handicap of -3.5 games in a tennis match, for example, means the favorite must win by at least four games in total for the bet to pay off.
How efficient is the tennis betting market?
Very. Tennis bets are plentiful and easy to find on betting sites like those featured at Bookies.com. Tournaments allow tennis bettors the opportunity to wager multiple times per day, and in multiple ways, while the men’s and women’s circuits feature events almost year-round—a volume few other sports can match. And physically placing a tennis bet is as easy as wagering on anything else.
Is betting on tennis reliable?
In the United States, absolutely, if you are betting through legal, registered sportsbooks like those recommended at Bookies.com. Legal, regulated sites remove the concern about bettors being able to retrieve their winnings, which has been an issue for some wagering through illegal offshore sportsbooks. Tennis bettors can wager with confidence when they bet through the sites found on Bookies.com.