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How to Bet on Tennis

Tennis balls sitting on Diego Schwartzman's racket in a match against Jaume Munar during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, August 30, 2018, in New York.

Every tennis tournament, whether ATP or WTA, provides bettors with a multitude of betting opportunities. From betting on players to win the tournament to betting on individual matches, value can be found all over the place for the astute tennis bettor. Handicappers willing to put in the time and effort can make good money betting on tennis. But first, let's look at how to bet on tennis.

How Can I Bet on Tennis Online?

#1: Pick a Betting Site

Sportsbooks are the online sports betting sites sports bettors go to to wager on tennis. All of our tennis gambling sites are safe, secure, trustworthy and meet all of Odds Shark's criteria. There are tons of places to bet on tennis online. Cross-court to our tennis sites page, and follow through on an online sportsbook that suits your tennis betting needs.

See Odds Shark’s Best Tennis Sites

#2: Sign Up

Signing up is an easy call. Your name, email, deposit info, and birthdate are required. Hang tight for a confirmation email or link. As soon as the sign up process is put away, you're good to go with your first tennis wager.

#3: Make a Deposit

First things first, decide on a deposit method. Most online gambling sites accept credit cards like VisaMastercardAMEX, e-wallets such as PayPalNetellerSkrill, and debit. Various online sports betting sites will permit you to make deposits by taking cryptocurrency. We're also seeing more online betting sites taking Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, and Ethereum.

#4: Place Bet

Select the tennis tournament or match, the tennis player, the type of bet, enter in the dollar amount, and submit your tennis ticket.

Now you're set to smash all your tennis bets!

Basic Odds and Betting Options

There are many ways to bet on tennis. The most straightforward bets are on individual matches.

Moneyline: Match Betting

A match between two players who are fairly even in skill will be close in odds on both sides:

  • Novak Djokovic -205
  • Andy Murray +175

When learning how to bet on tennis, it's important to understand that favorites are almost always represented with a minus sign (-), and underdogs are typically represented with a plus sign (+). This is consistent across all sports. In this example, Djokovic is considered to be the favorite, while Murray is, you guessed it, the underdog.

You would have to bet $205 on Djokovic in order to win $100 or wager $100 on Murray in order to win $175. Our Odds Calculator is a great tool to help you figure out all your sports betting payouts.

Spreads: Game or Set Betting

On the other hand, Djokovic going up against a much less talented opponent could be a huge favorite of -5000 (bet $5000 to win $100) while his opponent would be going off at something like +1600 (bet $100 to win $1600). In tennis matches like this, spreads are usually offered, giving bettors the chance to bet Djokovic to win in straight sets or his opponent to win a set at more even prices.

If you believe a particular tennis player is going to do better than expected, but you think is still going to lose, handicap betting is for you. It's very much like spread betting in other sports. It aims to spot a number of games to the underdog in order to give them a fair playing field. If the line is properly set, the player who performs better than their expectations will be the winning wager.

Over/Under Betting

Over/Under betting in tennis is when you wager on the total number of sets or games played in a match. For example, if Serena Williams and Venus Williams are playing a 3-set match, the Over/Under might be set at 22.5 games. If you think the match will be tight and wager on the over, then you'll need the match to last for at least 23 games in order to win your bet.

So if Serena wins in straight sets (7-6, 6-4), that would mean the match consisted of 23 games total, and you would win your wager. However, if the match ends (6-3, 7-6) you would then lose the bet because the match only went 22 games.

Futures

Most tennis tournaments also have wagers available on who will win the tournament (see tables below). So instead of betting on individual matches, a bettor could just take Nadal to win the French Open at -125 or Djokovic at +250. The “Big Four” of Djokovic, Murray, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal are usually the betting favorites in every tournament in which they participate.

French Open Odds

Odds to Win French Open
PlayerOdds
Rafael Nadal-125
Novak Djokovic+250
Dominic Thiem+300
Stefanos Tsitsipas+1400
Alexander Zverev+1800

U.S. Open Odds

Odds To Win U.S. Open
PlayerOdds
Daniil Medvedev+165
Dominic Thiem+200
Alexander Zverev+300
Pablo Carreno-Busta+1200
Andrey Rublev+1400

Australian Open Odds

Odds to Win Australian Open 
PlayerOdds
Rafael Nadal-110
Novak Djokovic+300
Dominic Thiem+400
Stefanos Tsitsipas+1400
Alexander Zverev+2000

Live Betting

Did you know that tennis is one of the most popular live betting markets on the planet? Odds can change after every point, and with so many possible swings, you best be prepared to pull the trigger before it’s too late. You can also wager on who you think will win the next game.

For example, if Naomi Osaka is down 4-0 in the fifth set at Wimbledon, you can bet her live at +800. Then, if she's able to come back and even the match at four games apiece, you can then take her opponent live at +400, guaranteeing yourself a profit.

Prop Bets

Some online betting sites offer more exotic tennis props, like wagers on the exact score or if there will be a tiebreak. These are high-risk bets that are usually only available at larger tournaments, and only at certain sportsbooks.

Tennis Betting Strategies and Tips

Finding upsets on the tournament win level can be difficult, as it is almost always an elite player who wins the major tournaments when everything is said and done. But on the individual match level, bettors who put in the time to study can find big edges on dominant favorites and live underdogs.

Style of Play

One element of tennis handicapping to consider is the style of each player. Many betting beginners just get caught up on names and records instead of actually breaking down a match by how the two players play.

For example, John Isner is a very effective tennis player due to his powerful serve. Against opponents with an average or subpar return game, he is going to be virtually unbeatable. But against a great returner, Isner is vulnerable. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of various players to determine where they are good or bad bets.

Court Surface

Surface is also important. Players like Nadal and David Ferrer are substantially better on clay than they are on other surfaces. Be sure to factor surface into your betting decisions.

Where Can I Find a Suitable Sportsbook?

For the casual tennis bettors who are still learning how to bet on tennis, most sportsbooks will be about the same, offering betting lines on tournament winners and individual matches.

But for the more avid tennis bettors, when lines are released and what additional prop bets are available (such as betting on exact scores or set totals) will be a big deal. Compare multiple sportsbooks to see which betting options they have available on tennis matches around the world before betting online.