When the sun finally shines, the strawberries and cream start flowing and thousands of people descend on a park in London, it can only mean one thing: Wimbledon. The oldest tennis tournament in the world and still one of the most prestigious, Wimbledon is when the world’s best come out to play, and bettors looking to capitalise.
If you’re plotting a winning betting strategy, the world’s best shouldn’t necessarily be on your radar in the early rounds. Even though the top seeds are solid picks in theory, that doesn’t mean you should bet on them in the beginning. Although we’re not here to say you definitely shouldn’t take a punt on hot shots, the opening matches pose two problems for tennis betting fans wanting to create a profitable strategy.
The first issue with betting on favourites in the early stages is that the odds are going to be low. Given that well-established pros often get matched against those on the fringes of the world’s top 100 players or aspiring pros, the oddsmakers have no choice but to weight the odds heavily in favour of a big name.[p>
In sports betting there comes a tipping point when the price is no longer worth the risk. Regardless of how skilled a player is, there’s always a chance they could lose. A slip, an injury or an off day could have a favourite serving up double faults and losing when they shouldn’t. In other words, if the juice isn’t worth the squeeze, you shouldn’t take.
What this tipping point is will be a matter of perspective. But if we’re going to set a level, evens would be it. When you’re scrolling through the odds for the first and second rounds at Wimbledon, look beyond anything that’s not 1:1 or better. Yes, there could be some exceptions to this rule, but that's the only time your returns are ever going to be worth the potential downside of a shock defeat.
This leads us into our second problem with betting on favourites in the early rounds. Much like the FA Cup in football, Wimbledon is a chance for lower level players to perform beyond expectations and cause an upset. Over the last few decades, there have been results that have gone against the grain. In fact, such is the pressure of the first round that numerous column inches have been dedicated to the Wimbledon curse in recent years.
Rafael Nadal losing to Steve Darcis, Andre Agassi dipping out in the first round in 1996 and George Bastl beating Pete Sampras in the second round back in 2002 – big names can and do slip at Wimbledon. The reasons behind these upsets are never clear-cut. Bad weather is often an issue; a touch of rain can make the grass surface slick and that means anything can happen.
The pressure of playing a full championship schedule without much rest can also take its toll on an elite player. Finally, the fact that novices can raise their game under the pressure of the occasion makes a recipe for disaster and should be taken into account when staking at top tennis betting sites.
Of course, more often the not, top-ranked players make it through their first matches. The risk, however, is in poor odds and potential upsets. So, if you shouldn’t bet on favourites, who should you bet on? The simple answer is the value bets. In general, a value bet is one in which the odds don’t seem to match the situation.
For example, if Player A came into Wimbledon riding a 15-game win streak but the results were in smaller tournaments, the chances are they’re going to be a heavy underdog to a top seed. In this situation, Player A could actually have a better shot at winning than the odds would suggest.
Essentially, your tennis betting strategy should be to find players that are talented but overlooked. If you can do this effectively, you’ll have the chance to hit some big wins. Now, the problem here is that your win frequency will decrease simply because you’re betting on outsiders.
The flipside is that your wins will be big enough to offset your investments and more. The number of times you win will be low but the wins will be high when you avoid the favourites and find the talented outsiders in the early rounds of Wimbledon.