How Does Tennis Betting Work?

what does 23.5 mean in tennis betting

The sport of tennis is unique since each match is untimed and points are not calculated together. These characteristics make betting on tennis a little different compared to other sports. For example, spreads and over/under calculations are based on set totals rather than points. Betting on tennis can be a way to learn more about the sport, but it is important to begin by understanding tennis betting basics.

Tennis Betting

Tennis betting is similar to gambling on other sports, with some unique options as a result of the match format. The most popular types of tennis wagers are match bets, spread bets, outright bets, over/under bets, and exact score bets.

Match Betting

Match betting is when a person bets on who they believe will win an individual match. For a match bet, the favored player will have a negative sign (-) next to their moneyline odds, while the underdog’s moneyline is represented with a positive (+) sign. In match bets, the underdog will pay out better than even money because of the risk associated with choosing a lesser opponent.

In addition, moneylines for match bets can change any time prior to the start of the match. Money lines will shift based on how the public bets on a match. Payouts may increase or decrease dramatically if the public bets heavily on a certain player to win the match. Savvy sports bettors will see these trends and try to capitalize on higher profit opportunities.

Spread Betting

Spread betting is when the sportsbook creates a hypothetical amount of games the favored tennis player should beat their opponent by. Spread, or handicap, betting is a more profitable alternative to match betting when the tennis match is lopsided. This form of betting allows a person to bet on how an individual will perform instead of match results.

For example, the sportsbook might create a hypothetical spread that the favored player should win the match by 1.5 games. A bettor will win by betting on the underdog if the unfavored player either wins the match or loses the match by one game. Betting on the favorite will only yield profits if the favorite wins the match by at least two games.

Outright Betting

Outright betting is betting on a single player to win an entire tournament, not a specific game. Since tennis is played in a tournament format, outright betting is quite popular. Those new to the sport of tennis are recommended to pursue outright bets because they are simple and give the bettor someone to root for.

Most major tournaments will create money line odds for every player competing. Obviously, favorites to win will have lesser payouts than underdogs, but most outright bets will pay out better than even money. Even though outright bets are considered simple, there is still a major risk in selecting a player to go undefeated during a tournament.

Over/Under Betting

An over/under bet represents the total amount of sets that will occur in a given match. Sportsbooks will create a predetermined number of sets for which they believe a single match will last. A person can either bet that there will be more or fewer sets than the hypothetical number. Money line odds are generated for both the over and under amount.

Interestingly, in a three-set match, the over/under line is always 2.5 sets. A person choosing the under believes the match will end in two straight sets, while a bettor selecting the over presumes the match will last all three sets. Over/Under lines for five-set matches have greater variance and are harder to predict.

Exact Score Betting

tennis exact score betting

Exact score betting allows a person to bet on the number of games a player will win in a specific set or match. Exact score betting is recommended for individuals who are knowledgeable about the tennis players involved and are looking for a challenging bet. Since exact scores are much harder to predict, winning this type of bet will generate higher monetary returns.

For example, a person may bet that a player will win a set 6-3. There are moneyline odds generated before the set starts for each possible game combination. A payout for a 6-3 exact score might be +500. This means a person would make $500 off a $100 bet.

There are also easier exact score bets that allow a person to bet on the number of sets a match will last for. A person can bet a player will win a match 3-1. For three-set matches, exact score betting is simple because a player can only win 2-0 or 2-1. Five-set matches get a little more complicated, but still they have a higher percentage chance of winning than betting on the exact score of games.


What are tennis prop bets?

Prop bets are when the sportsbooks create possible scenarios, and a bettor predicts whether the scenario will occur or not. An example tennis prop bet would be betting on which player will have the fastest serve during a tournament. The sportsbooks create moneyline odds for each player in the tournament. Payouts could then be adjusted when the probability of the prop bet changes as the tournament progresses.

Is tennis betting profitable?

Tennis betting can be extremely profitable, but not without risk. If a bet is more likely to become true, the less profitable the payout will be. However, there is no limitation to how much money a person can spend on a bet. A bet with less than even returns can still be very profitable if the bettor places a large sum of money. In addition, betting on an underdog will always yield better than even returns, but the chance of winning is significantly less by definition.

How does live betting in tennis work?

Live betting gives a person the ability to bet on a tennis match currently in progress. The most common forms of live betting are prop bets or exact scores. A person may try and predict the exact score of the next set through a live bet. Also, a person could live bet on if there will be a tie-break in the match.

Novices to the sport of tennis should consider match bets because there is a 50% chance of winning the bet. Also, the bettor will learn more about each opponent as they watch the match. For experienced tennis bettors, exact score or prop bets will likely be more challenging and rewarding. These bets are harder to predict but yield high profits.