Tennis Betting Strategy: In-Play Server Betting

Tennis Betting Strategy: In-Play Server Betting

Tennis betting can be one of the hardest markets to profit from, especially as only a handful of elite players generally manage to progress to the final of any one tournament. Backing the favourites outright will often see you spending more time hoping you don't lose than actually enjoying the match, but there are still ways to take advantage if you look to bet in-play.

‘Win Current Game’ Market

A particularly good market to explore when looking at in-play tennis betting is the ‘Win Current Game’ market - often referred to as ‘Win 6th Game’ (depending on how many games have already been played). Here, you can look to capitalise on slightly longer odds as a set progresses, with favourite players naturally deemed less likely to win a game when their opponent is serving. This comes with slightly more risk, but you can use past stats to identify the most likely game or set that will see a player make his move.

For a slightly safer bet, pick a match in which the favourite has a high service game win ratio. Despite the varying styles that tennis players adopt in the modern game, winning the service game is still the integral building block to winning the match outright. While the top players can recover from losing a service game or two, the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are still keen to make their mark and fiercely defend their service. This can be prime betting territory, giving you the chance to take advantage of marginally higher odds when betting on the most likely outcome.


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Example | 2014 Australian Open

To give an example, the most recent round of the 2014 Australian Open saw Novak Djokovic (ranked 2nd) take on Stanislas Wawrinka (8th). The difference in quality was plain to see, and any outright bets on Djokovic would only have paid out at a rather unattractive 1/12 over at Bet365 Sports. The stats show that Djokovic has an 85% service game win record, so when taking into account the weaker opposition, he should theoretically have won the vast majority of his service games.

While it may be unattractive to make a bet like this before the match starts, the odds do shorten somewhat in-play. As soon as Djokovic steps up to serve, his odds will be higher than when betting on him to win outright, especially if he has struggled in previous games or sets. If, for example, Djokovic had lost the first few points to Wawrinka, he would be under far more pressure to perform than usual, and his odds would respond accordingly. If you felt that he could make a solid recovery, then you could easily have piled in just before his serve and been rewarded with odds much closer to evens. Of course, the odds will vary throughout the game, and with multiple serves to choose from, there's plenty of time to make a judgement call.

The key thing to remember is that in-play betting requires patience and discipline. Every match will offer up the opportunity to back the red-hot server at a tempting price, you just have to wait to take advantage of it. To try this out for yourself, head over to Bet365 Sports today.

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