Top 10 tennis betting tips

by faststeady on January 7, 2012

Top Ten Tennis Betting Tips

If you want to be a successful tennis handicapper, you’ll need to do a lot of work. It all starts with knowing some of the fundamental tips that guide sharp bettors when they handicap tennis matches. Our top ten tennis betting tips won’t immediately turn you into a world class gambler, but they will put you on the path to success – and ensure that you don’t make any of the classic errors beginners fall into time and again.

1. Surface Is King

Other than the players themselves, no one factor in tennis has a greater impact on the result than the surface the match is being played on. Grass, clay, and hard courts each have unique features that favor certain players and detract from the games of others. If you fail to account for the impact of the playing surface, you will make fundamental errors in your tennis handicapping.

2. Head-to-Head

This may seem simple, but it’s amazing how many bettors overlook one of the most important pieces of data available to them – the head-to-head record between two players. Going into a match, you must know how players have fared against each other in the past to get a baseline for where your handicapping should begin. The more matches they’ve played with each other, the more confidence you should have in the results, and the more you can dig down to see which matches are most relevant to the upcoming match.

3. Shop for the Best Line

We recommend making line shopping a key part of your gambling strategy when you bet on any sport, but it is especially important in tennis. Given that many of your bets are likely to be on short-priced favorites, a small change in the odds from one bookmaker to another can mean a significant difference in your potential profits. Since it’s easy to do and will result in you winning more money, why would you ever not shop for the best line?

4. Form and Fitness

Tennis players do not always perform at the same level every time they take the court. When a player is in training for the most important part of their season, they’ll likely be in great form; when they have a small injury or have had a heavy workload, they probably won’t be at their best. Keeping an eye on player fitness will allow you to properly adjust your handicapping and avoid “surprise” results that were actually quite predictable.

5. Retiring Isn’t Random

Heading into a match, it’s sometimes quite a bit more likely that one player will retire than their opponent. Knowing about nagging injuries or illness can help you understand when this is likely to occur, and take advantage if your bookmaker’s rules allow you to win on a retirement. It’s also good to know how much a given match means to a player; if they are heavily motivated to win, they may not retire easily, while a player who is simply warming up for a bigger tournament may not wish to risk further injury.

6. Play Smart Parlays

One of the best moneymaking opportunities in tennis betting is to put together several short priced favorites in a parlay. While every bet is very likely to win, the individual wins tend to be rather small; a parlay can earn you more value for your money, especially if you’re willing to take at least one underdog along with your pick of heavy favorites. This play becomes especially profitable in conjunction with our next tip…

7. Betting In Play for Value

Betting in play can often provide tremendous opportunities for smart bettors. Of course, you can often find value in bets made during a match when the bookmaker incorrectly handicaps a given situation. However, the biggest play is often locking in profits on large parlays by hedging your bets. In the example we used above, you could hedge your underdog while in play, locking in profits regardless of the results. If the underdog is leading early, that’s even better; the odds may become more favorable on the other side, allowing you to win a significant sum of money on either result.

8. Know Your Betting Rules

Does your bookmaker pay out if a player retires? Does there only need to be a single point played to make a match “official,” or do they need to finish at least a set? Every oddsmaker will set different rules for their tennis action – and these rules effect what you need to take into account when handicapping a match.

9. Line Movement

It’s no secret that there can sometimes be very suspicious line moves during tennis matches, especially at smaller events. Whether this is a result of match-fixing or simply inside information on the health of a player getting out, it’s clear that bettors would be wise to pay attention to sudden changes in the odds – especially when they seem to be headed in the opposite direction of what the results of the match thus far would suggest (for instance, an underdog seeing their odds improve after losing the first set by a wide margin). These often result in excellent opportunities to hedge your bets at different sportsbooks, allowing you to lock in a profit whether the match was on the level or not.

10. Alternative Betting Markets

While bookmakers often do a good job of setting lines for individual matches, some of the other tennis betting markets can be taken advantage of by diligent bettors. Set betting, in-play bets, and bets on the number of games being played should all be examined; often, you’ll find occasional lines that are simply too good to pass up.

About The Author

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faststeady has been a professional sports bettor for the past decade and focusses on non-US sports here at