Tennis Odds Explained
Tennis has always been a popular sport among bettors. The tournaments are plenty, games are competitive, and the odds are exciting. Every week, there’s always an event where handicappers can bet freely and make money from tennis odds.
The key to making good money from tennis betting is understanding the odds. As a bettor, you must be able to read and interpret odds so you can make the right betting decisions.
How do Tennis odds work?
The sportsbook determines tennis betting odds based on the probability of either player winning an encounter. Thus, there will be an underdog and a favorite. Positive odds represent the underdog while the favorite has negative ones.
Due to the nature of the sport, tennis odds vary slightly from those found in team games like soccer, hockey, football, and basketball.
Tennis Odds – Spreads
The spread is all about handicapping the favorite. This levels the playing field, allowing bettors to back the underdog and win even if they lose (under specific circumstances).
Tennis spread odds are based on sets or games rather than points. They tell bettors how many games or sets the favorite/underdog has to win/lose by for them to win the bet. Game spreads are typically set at 4.5 while set spreads stand at 1.5.
Take a tennis match between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. For game spread with the line set at 4.5;
Serena Williams: -4.5
Maria Sharapova: +4.5
Williams is the favorite. To cover the spread, she must win 4.5 more games than Sharapova in the match. On the other hand, Sharapova is the underdog. She must win the game or lose by no more than 4.5 games to cover the spread.
The same logic applies to the set spread.
Tennis Odds – Moneyline
A moneyline bet is much simpler than the spread. It’s the traditional way of betting, i.e., you predict the winner. The odds are typically based on $100, with the underdog having positive moneyline odds while the favorite has negative odds.
The odds show how much money a $100 wager will win you for the underdog. So, taking Maria Sharapova in this case, she might have +130 odds. This means that you’ll win $130 if you wager $100 on her.
On the other hand, Serena Williams might have a -120 odds. These show how much money you need to wager to win $100. Being the favorite, she has a higher probability of winning, offering lower returns than Maria Sharapova.
Tennis Odds – Totals Or OVER/UNDER
Total odds also differ from those in other sports. They are not based on points scored. Rather, the oddsmaker uses the expected number of games in the match to set the line. This line varies depending on the strength of the athletes and the number of sets in the game. If the players can go toe to toe, expect the line to be quite high.
Let’s assume our match above is a 3-set encounter. The odds may look like this;
The line stands at 22.5. Over means the match will have more than 22.5 games, while under means it won’t. From the odds, we can tell that the sportsbook believes over to be the most likely outcome (negative odds), while under is the least likely (positive odds).
Tennis Odds – Futures
Future odds are all about mid to long-term tennis tournaments and events. Thus, they are typically made available long before the tournament begins. These odds have huge potential winnings due to the risk involved. However, as the tournament approaches, they tend to change and shift due to new information getting into the hands of sportsbooks.
The most common tennis future bets involve predicting the winner of a certain tournament.
Tennis Events with the best odds
There are tennis matches to bet on almost every week. However, the best action comes during major tennis tournaments like the Grand Slam and ATP. Therefore, you should watch out for;
- Wimbledon odds: Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament. Thus, it’s as prestigious as it gets and has all the action that is needed to inspire oddsmakers to present excellent odds. The event takes place June-July on a grass court.
- US Open odds: The US Open takes place on a hard court every August to September in the United States. Like Wimbledon, the event has some exciting odds with excellent winnings.
- Australian Open odds: The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam event of the year. It takes place in mid-January in Australia on a hard court.
- French Open odds: The French Open is held in the May-June period in France on a clay court.
- ATP odds: These are the season-ending matches of the ATP tour. They feature the top eight singles men players based on the ATP rankings. There are also eight of the leading double teams in the tournament. They are usually held towards the end of the year.
Decimal Odds Explained
Decimal odds are popular in Europe but not so much in the USA. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll never come across them. They typically look like this;
These tennis odds represent how much of your initial bet amount you’ll win if your bet is successful. So, if you bet $10 on Zverev and he wins the match, your payout will be 1.5*10. So, you’ll win $5 and receive $15 (initial bet amount plus winnings). On the other hand, if you wager the same on Thiem and he wins the game, your payout will be 2.5 * 10. You will have won $15.
In decimal odds, the favorite has fewer odds than the underdog.
How to find the best tennis betting odds
Finding the best tennis odds is the easiest way to win big. Here are some strategies you can use to find such odds;
Betting as soon as tennis betting markets open allows you to capitalize on any miscalculations by the oddsmaker when preparing the odds. Usually, sportsbooks will release odds early and adjust them as they receive new information on the matchup.
Shop for Odds
Shopping for odds is the easiest way to find the best tennis odds. Unlike betting early, this strategy doesn’t require one to be an expert handicapper. All you have to do is compare the odds offered by different sportsbooks, which is quite an easy task.
Bet with a legal tennis betting site
Never forget that good tennis odds are legal. This is because as you shop around for odds, you’ll come across certain shady-looking online sports betting sites. They typically have some of the most competitive odds and tennis betting lines you’ll ever see. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive your payout if you make the right bet. Furthermore, they are a huge security risk. You don’t want to give them your payment information.
Tennis Odds FAQs
What does 20.5 mean?
This is a tennis total (over/under) betting line. Here, the oddsmaker set the tennis lines at 20.5 games, representing the number of games the oddsmaker estimates the game might last. Handicappers then wager on whether there will be more (over) or less (under) games.
How are ATP odds determined?
The oddsmaker analyzes several factors, including the rankings, form, and the court surface of the match, to determine the probability of either player winning.
What are tennis prop bets
These are wagers on specific events in a tennis match, which don’t always impact the outcome of the match.