Tennis is one of the few sports where there is always a winner and a loser. Competitors go head-to-head and one will always come out on top. This makes tennis a great sport for betting, because typically the highest ranked player wins the match. Particularly in the first few rounds of the big tournaments, there are a number of clear mismatches, with odds as low as 1/100 offered on the favourite.
Tennis accumulator betting can be a good way of overcoming these long odds. By selecting around 7-8 players to win their matches, odds become much more attractive. Even if one favourite has an off day – like Nadal at Wimbledon this year – some bookies offer your stake back if 90% of a bet is correct – a good fall back for this type of market.
A number of statistics are often available for upcoming matches, but the most important data is recent form and head-to-head results. This information will highlight whether or not the favourite is a reliable option to win the match, or whether the underdog has the capacity to cause an upset. Certain players favour certain surfaces, so sometimes the less fancied player may actually be the better option, as was the case with Stanislas Wawrinka’s win over Nadal at the 2014 Australian Open.
Men’s tennis in particular has, over the past few years, become somewhat predictable in terms of who will go deep into the Grand Slams; such is the consistency of the world’s top professionals. Backing these players each-way to win a tournament will consistently produce results, even if the initial odds are fairly short. Novak Djokovic is currently favourite to win, priced 5/6 at over at 888 Sports. Players who have won Grand Slams know what it takes, both mentally and physically, to do so again.
Another popular market for tennis betting is 'over/under total number of games' market. In two-set contests the cut-off mark is usually around 22.5 games, and for three-set matches the mark is approximately 38.5 games – odds of around evens on either option are the norm.
If a match is between two players of fairly equal ranking or ability, backing over this figure is generally the best choice. If a two-set match goes to a third and deciding set, then the number of total games should easily surpass this figure, unless every set is 6-1. In a three-set match, even if a player wins in straight sets, a tie-break in every set would still equate to 39 games in total.
The nature of tennis dictates that big-serving players – like Tomas Berdych, with odds of 16/1 to win at Bet365 Sports – who are unlikely to be broken regularly, will often be involved in matches producing a high number of games. Even if big servers lose the match, they are still likely to have played in matches with a high total of games, because they only lose sets by small margins or in a tie-break.
Tennis betting might not throw up the sort of long odds seen in other sports betting, but it does have an element of repetition that sometimes translates into predictability. Picking an accumulator of favourites to win matches can often pay solid dividends, and backing 'over total number of games' offered between big servers or closely matched players can produce profitable results.