Welcome to the official 2020 US Open betting guide! The US Open is the last Grand Slam of the year and, as such, is the final big event for tennis betting enthusiasts. First held on grass in 1881, when it was only open to members of the US National Lawn Tennis Association, it switched to clay in 1975 before making a permanent move to hard courts at Flushing Meadows in 1978.
With 128 players in each singles main draw, the Grand Slam tournaments offer the greatest range of tennis betting markets and opportunities for tennis punters to make money.
When is the 2020 US Open?
Where does the US Open take place?
Who are the favourites to win the 2020 US Open?
US Open outright odds (the prices to win the tournament) can be found on most bookmakers' sites several months in advance. Only in the weeks leading up to the event will more markets become available with the majority being priced up after the main draw on the Thursday before the event.
In-play betting has added a new dimension to tennis betting with punters able to watch the action – some bookmakers offer live streams of the US Open – before choosing to get involved.
If a player is particularly dominant on serve, you can bet on them to win their next service game to love or 15 (or any other score). If a returner looks like getting a read on a serve, you can bet on them to break on their next attempt. Set scores in-running are also available as well as more standard markets like match-winner and total games.
There are multiple pre-match and in-play markets for the US Open. As well as outright betting (win and each-way), you can bet on the stage of elimination for a selected player once the draw is made.
One popular set of markets is 'To Win Quarter'. Here you are backing a player to win their quarter of the draw or, in other words, reach the semi-finals. With so many in the field, this is a great alternative to outright betting where your selection has to at least reach the final for you to get a return. All of these markets go 'in-play' when the tournament begin although they are often suspended at the start of each day's action.
Then there are numerous bets for individual matches. These range from match result and set betting – remembering that men's matches are best-of-five in Grand Slams – to special bets like who will serve the most aces.
The game handicap is a standard bet where the less-fancied player receives a headstart. You can bet on the favourite to 'cover the spread' so, for example, Novak Djokovic might be 10/11 to overcome a 3.5-game deficit against Rafael Nadal. This would be shown as Djokovic 10/11 -3.5 v Nadal 10/11 +3.5. Some bookmakers will offer alternative game handicaps.
A similar market is 'Total Games' where you are betting on whether a match will be completed in over or under a specified number of games.
With matches in the early stages often one-sided, many punters go for bigger profits by putting some together in accumulators. While risky, this can result in good returns. You can read more about accas and Total Games in our expert guide.
As with all types of tennis betting, the first thing to look at is the surface. The US Open has been played on DecoTurf since moving to Flushing Meadows in 1978. It was once rated as 'medium-fast' on the International Tennis Federation's five-point pace scale (slow through to fast).
But in 2018 it played a good deal slower with tournament organisers admitting they had acted in response to players stating that court speeds were “creeping up” in recent years. This led to longer rallies and more gruelling matches with the exertions proving too much for defending champion Rafael Nadal who retired during his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro after a five-set marathon win over Dominic Thiem.
If the courts remain on the slow side, strength and stamina will be key with the jar of hard courts taking a real physical toll on the players. And conditions can be positively stifling if the roof is closed on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Big servers are also hindered by a slower surface.
The physical side, as with all Grand Slams, is a major factor to take into account. There is a lot of tennis to be played in two weeks and the demanding nature of hard courts means any niggles are likely to be exacerbated. Players with question marks over their fitness are definitely to be avoided.
Hard courts are the most common on the calendar so there should be few excuses for players not performing to their best. There are two big warm-up events with the Rogers Cup in Canada (the men and women play in Montreal and Toronto in alternate years) in early August quickly followed by the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Both are Masters 1000 tournaments for the men, and Premier 5 events for the women.
These can be useful form guides for the US Open although Naomi Osaka was a first-round casualty in both tournaments last year before going on to win her first Grand Slam in New York. Winning the back-to-back events is rare with Rafael Nadal the last to achieve the double in 2013, the year he won his second of three US Opens.
Outright Betting | This is one of the simplest US Open betting markets. Pick whoever you think will win the competition (male or female). Bear in mind your choice’s recent performances, keeping an eye on Wimbledon in particular, the last Slam prior to the Open.
Set Betting | Betting on a set score is the same as betting on the final score in a football game. Value can often be found in set betting at one of the top tennis bookmakers. Keep an eye on unexpected starters and try to capitalise later in the tournament.
Match Betting |Narrowing a bet down to a specific US Open match-up can be a good way to make concise gambles. Like outright betting, take into account player performance and keep an eye on the surface the match is being played on. Since a draw is impossible in tennis the odds on favourites will often be extremely short. Accumulators are particularly popular for the US Open as a result of this.
Over/Under Betting | As competitive as the US Open is, it is possible to predict whether a match will end over or a certain amount of sets. This is a broader way of betting if you’re unsure which player will win a specific match.