Tennis Betting Strategy: Set Betting Markets

Tennis Betting Strategy: Set Betting Markets
© PA

Realising there’s more to tennis betting than merely backing a match winner is vital if you are ever to make profit at the best tennis betting sites. Plenty of ATP Tour and WTA Tour tennis match-ups are between heavy favourites and stark outsiders, which means that the simple match bet doesn’t offer strong enough odds to return a healthy profit when betting on a tennis tournament.

One of the tennis betting strategy tips many punters talk about is set betting. When done right, it can be a perfect market for you to both turn a good profit and enjoy the matches you’re watching. Here’s everything you need to know about your tennis bet options on sets.

What is Set Betting in Tennis?

Set betting in tennis is the term given to bets placed on markets that focus on individual sets within a match. There is a range of available markets within set betting, the primary ones being correct match score (in sets), set winner and correct set score.

Set betting markets are usually available to wager on both before matches and in-play. This gives the punter the advantage of timing their set bets and also making more accurate, detailed choices over the course of a match compared to, for example, placing one big lump on the match winner market at the start of the contest.

The beauty of set betting is that punters can follow the ebb and flow of a match and determine when to place a timely bet. In 2022, for example, it may be the case that you think Rafael Nadal will tire in five-set matches on the hard court, and so is likely to drop sets later in big clashes. Likewise, Dominic Thiem is famed for rallying on clay and could be a smart bet to drop an early set at the French Open, before pushing through to win his contests.

Best Matches to Place a Set Bet on

One of the big problems with betting on tennis – and especially in a Grand Slam – is the uneven odds in the early rounds. Novak Djokovic could have miniscule odds to beat a first-round opponent at the Australian Open, and so backing him is hardly worth your time. Sometimes punters lump the big boys together into a multi tennis bet and hope there isn’t an early-round upset, while others will opt to spread bet.

But others use set betting during Grand Slams to maximise tennis betting odds by focusing wagers on more specific events, such as the winner of the second set, or the first to break in the third set. So, if you want to perfect your set betting then consider the early rounds of Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the Australian Open or the US Open as testing grounds for these wagers.

Tennis Set Betting Strategy

There are times when set betting is one of the smartest bet choices you can make and here are three top tennis strategy tips to ensure you’re on the path to big wins.

In-Play Tennis Betting

No sportsbook is complete without live tennis betting and the best in-play betting sites provide great detail for bettors. Many sportsbooks will also offer live streaming, so you can follow all the action and make smarter, more reasoned bets based on the swing of the match.

For example, some players let matches get to their heads and can be affected by mistakes or even a hostile crowd, especially if a home favourite is in action in a Grand Slam match. When you spot this, a quick bet against said player in an in-play tennis betting market (perhaps you back them to lose the set, or lose it by a specific score) could lead to a quick profit.

Live tennis betting gives punters the chance to make those quick-fire bets in a second and play on instinct. And the great thing about tennis is there are numerous score opportunities on which to place your next wager.

Pre-Match Betting on Five Sets

Men’s Grand Slam tennis is perfect for set betting because matches are best-of-five, making them more predictable compared to women's tennis, which is best-of-three. Because of this you have the ideal platform to bet on match favourites over more sets and eke out individual rewards.

Players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev occasionally drop sets early in Slams, so backing their matches to go into four or five sets is always worth considering.

Handicap Tennis Betting

You may opt for a handicap betting system when focusing on individual sets. Here, you could bet on whether the favourite will win the set with a three-game disadvantage, or perhaps you could bet on the underdog winning it with a two-game head start. The top betting sites will also let you bet on the correct score of each set. This isn’t an easy task considering there are 16 possible score outcomes in a set of tennis – and that doesn’t even include the correct tie-break scores! Because of that, handicap betting is considered far more favourable when looking at individual sets.

Recommended Betting Sites

Bell Icon
Affiliate Disclosure: At, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. This means that if you visit a website through our link and make a deposit, will receive a commission payment at no extra cost to you. At, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. More