Tennis Betting Tips: 5 Key Principles To Follow When Placing Your Bets
Betting on a tennis match helps you dial up the excitement you experience when watching the action unfold on the court.
However, it can be difficult to earn a long-term profit with UK betting sites if you fail to adhere to some key principles.
Whether you are betting on a Grand Slam tournament or a minor Challenger Tour event, approaching it in a considered, meticulous fashion can boost your chances of success.
These are the top five principles to follow when placing your bets on tennis.
1. Conduct Thorough Research
The most successful gamblers deploy a powerful combination of advanced analytics and gut instinct to shape their betting decisions.
Gut instinct comes with experience, and it requires you to become an expert in the sport you are betting on.
You should watch as much tennis as possible and gain a strong appreciation of each player’s strengths and weaknesses, as that allows you to make educated predictions to use on betting apps.
It is also vital to conduct detailed statistical research, focusing on key areas such as:
- Conditions and Court Speed: The surface changes the bounce of the ball, the speed of the game and a player’s ability to move around the court, so some players thrive on particular surfaces.
- Head-to-Heads: You can often glean useful insight by analysing the head-to-head record between two players, paying close attention to matches on that particular surface.
- The Length of a Match: The chances of the favourite winning improve within a five-set match as opposed to a three-set match. According to Smarkets, the favourite wins 78.5% of the time in a five-set Grand Slam match, compared to 70.5% for ATP 500 events, as the longer format gives him a greater opportunity to exert his superiority.
You will notice lots of useless statistics doing the rounds during tennis tournaments, so it is important to cut through them and identify the helpful stats when making projections.
Studying frequency of aces, frequency of service breaks, hold percentages, percentage of service points won, percentage of return points won and unforced errors can help you make astute predictions on how a match will unfold.
2. Sign Up With Multiple Betting Sites And Shop For The Best Odds
It is imperative that you create accounts with several different tennis betting sites if you want to maximise your profits when betting on tennis.
This provides an obvious short-term benefit, as you can enjoy lots of welcome bonuses - just make sure you stick to offers with a simple 1x wagering requirement.
However, the key reason for registering with lots of rival betting sites is to compare the odds they are offering on each match.
This allows you to quickly identify the site offering the best available odds on a bet you like and grab them before they change.
That will ensure you receive the maximum potential profit from each bet, and regularly adhering to this principle will significantly improve your chances of ending up in profit at the end of the year.
It also means you can easily claim any appealing promotions that betting sites offer existing customers in the build-up to a big tournament, and those promotions can also improve your long-term prospects of achieving profitability.
3. Hedge Your Bets And Seek Arbitrage Opportunities
Hedging your bets is the art of covering multiple outcomes on the same tennis betting market.
To provide a basic example, let’s say you bet £10 on Nick Kyrgios to win Wimbledon at 33/1 before the tournament began in 2022.
When he powered his way through to the final, you would have been on the brink of earning a £330 profit if he won.
At that point, it would have been prudent to place a bet on his opponent - Novak Djokovic - winning the match, as that would have ensured you earned a profit irrespective of who won.
Djokovic was the heavy favourite to win at 2/7, so a simple online hedging calculator would have informed you that the perfect amount to bet on him would have been £277.44, earning you a profit of £65.56 regardless of who won.
You can take this one step further by seeking out arbitrage opportunities.
This is officially known as dutching, but most people now refer to it as arbitrage, and it involves covering both sides of the same bet and profiting regardless of the outcome of a match.
There are two ways to do so:
- Exploit the discrepancies in terms of the odds offered by rival betting sites on the same match. For example, imagine Betting Site A has 4/5 on Carlos Alcaraz beating Casper Ruud and 23/20 on Ruud winning the match. Meanwhile, Betting Site B has 27/40 on Alcaraz and 13/10 on Ruud. You can then bet on Alcaraz at Betting Site A and Ruud and Betting Site B and end up in profit irrespective of who prevails.
- Betting on a player to win a tennis match at a traditional betting site and then laying that player at an exchange, such as Betfair. Laying means you are predicting he will not win, essentially turning you into the bookmaker and taking bets from tennis fans that think he will win. You can bet on a player to win at a standard bookmaker and then offer lay terms at an exchange that will guarantee you a profit, hoping someone bites.
4. Consider The Full Range Of Tennis Bets
Many tennis fans simply stick to betting on the winner of a particular match or tournament, but they are missing out on a wealth of exciting opportunities.
There are dozens of different markets available on an individual match at the leading betting sites, which provides you with lots more opportunities to find a betting option that fits your projections.
For example, you can avoid predicting the winner and bet on total games, which allows you to bet on whether it will be over quickly or develop into a long, drawn-out affair.
There are various ways to earn more value when betting on a favourite, as you can give that player a games handicap or set handicap, or back a correct score (in sets).
It also works the other way: rather than betting on an underdog to win the match outright, you can bet on him or her +4.5 games or +1.5 sets, for example.
It is also useful to consider live, in-play betting on tennis matches, which can provide exciting opportunities to gain greater value on a favourite.
If he or she struggles in the first set, you can often find far better odds on that player winning than you could before the match began.
Arm yourself with stats such as each player’s break points converted, break points saved and service games won, as that can help you make astute in-play predictions.
5. Treat Accumulators With Caution
Accumulators provide tennis fans with a compelling opportunity to earn a large profit from a relatively modest stake on new betting sites.
The idea is to add several predictions - known as legs - and combine them for a single bet, also known as an acca, multi, combo or parlay.
Each leg needs to win for the bet to pay out, but you can earn huge profits, because the winnings from each leg will roll onto the next, ensuring the overall profit compounds.
However, it is worth remembering that the betting site’s house edge increases with each leg you add to an accumulator.
As such, they tend to make significantly larger margins on accumulators than straight, single bets - which is why there are often promotions encouraging you to place them.
These bets can be fun, but it is best to treat them with caution, keep your stakes small and focus most of your efforts on single tennis bets.
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