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Best Tennis Betting Strategies to Choose from

December 15, 2020, 13:45
Best Tennis Betting Strategies to Choose from


In the past, it was easy to find information on the strategies for betting on soccer, but tennis betting strategies were scarce. Nowadays, tennis is one of the most popular sports to bet on and there are two main reasons to explain its popularity. Most bookies offer a broad range of outcomes for tennis matches, allowing players to place their most preferred betting type. Also, online bookies can not set the odds in their favour all the time. Hence, the odds are always in favour of the bettor.

Another reason why betting on tennis has become more popular is because live bets can be placed. The outcome of a tennis match depends on one player, except in double games. So, it is quite simple to assess the match and wager as you please. The internet is filled with numerous strategies and tips for betting on tennis. However, you have to understand that only a few of these strategies are effective. We will be looking at the most effective tennis betting strategies that will yield profitable outcomes.

Most Common Betting Strategies

Whether you are an experienced tennis bettor or you have never placed a bet before, you have come across the most relevant information you will ever need on this topic. Research is at the forefront of tennis betting; it is what separates the experts from the newbies. This does not mean that you should not bet on tennis if you are not a professional. Instead, it means that you must be willing to dedicate extra hours to learning about tennis if you want to be a successful bettor.

In this guide, we will be discussing all the necessary details on tennis betting. We aim to equip you with the knowledge and strategies which will help you place profitable bets. We will discuss the best strategies used by experts to place successful bets and also a few tested and proven tips.

Tennis Arbitrage Betting

Popularly referred to as ‘arbing’, tennis arbitrage is when two bets are placed at the same time on two different bookie sites. As a result of the odds variation at numerous betting websites, you can bet on a market and switch the selections in another bet to increase your chances of making profits. This tennis betting strategy does not depend on a particular outcome; it depends on the fact that no matter who the winner is, you will make a tidy sum in profits. There are hundreds of arbitrage opportunities daily on the market.

Arbitrage Betting Strategy Example

Odds   Player A   Player B Combined market


4rabet 1.300 3.700 103.9%
Bookie X  1.400 2.99 104.9%
Arbitrage (Combination of

Player A/Bookie X & Player


1.400 3.700 98.42%

Matched Betting in Tennis

For matched bets, you will be placing your wager on the winner of an individual match. You have to bet on the winner of the match. The payout is altered depending on who the underdog or favourite is. Most times, the favourite pays out less than even money, while the underdog usually pays out higher than even money.

You should note the payouts that come with the match you decide to bet on since it is likely that the lines are adjusted depending on the betting pattern at that point. This can be valuable, especially if too many bettors start placing wrong bets. Fun fact, most bettors are not typically regarded as smart and this can sway the lines incorrectly. You can go in for the kill immediately and this is how to make profits from your bets.

Exact Score Betting

Exact score bets are particularly suitable for ‘tennis geniuses’ or bettors who enjoy placing higher variance bets. This tennis betting strategy involves accurately predicting the score of each set or the exact number of sets won by each opponent. The strategy is as complicated as it appears.

What this means is that if you can accurately land any of these bets, you can expect a lucrative payout. Let’s see how the bet looks. For instance, two players are playing a match. An exact score bet can be placed on the first set. If you believe that Player 1 will defeat Player 2 with a 6-1 score, you can place an exact score wager and if your prediction turns out to be accurate, a huge payout is guaranteed. Note that you must be correct entirely and you are required to select the winner too. It is impossible to bet on 6-1 and win if either player wins. Your prediction must be precise.

This applies to exact set betting as well. However, this is easier to bet on. There are four (4) options to select from in a three-round match; you can bet on 2-0 or 2-1 for the first player; and 2-0 or 2-1 for the second player.

Placing Bets on the Sets Strategy

For some people, betting on the outright winner may be too easy; an alternative will be to wager on the sets. This tennis betting strategy requires more caution when compared to betting on the results of the game. The outcomes depend on the type of match; for a best of 3 sets or 5 sets, the possible outcomes for the former are 0-2, 1-2, 2-1, or 2-0, and for the latter, 0-3, 1-3, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1, or 3-0.

You are more likely to bet on the favourite to win, but the problem is what scoreline to bet on. One of the most common types of tennis betting strategy is to bet on a straight-set win. However, it might be confusing to select the matches with a higher probability of success. The first thing to do would be to select a game where it is likely that the favourite will win since there is only a slim chance that two teams with the same skills will play a straight-set match. The next thing to consider is the court/surface where the match is being played. Some tennis players perform better on some courts, so you must understand the player’s performance on that particular court.

If you want to bet on an obvious favourite but are looking to make a higher profit than what the bookmaker is offering as a payout, this is an effective way to make that profit. This strategy involves a higher risk since a set may be dropped by a player instead of the overall match. However you choose to look at it, the odds are favourable and you will still make valuable profits.

Best Tennis Betting Strategies to Choose from

The Win Margin

Instead of wagering on a basic scoreline, another set betting strategy is to bet on the winning margin in the first set. Here, you are not betting on the results of the game; you might place a bet that the first set will be won by the favourite with a score of 6-2. This type of bet can be more profitable and with better odds compared to a straight match win. Typically, it might be less profitable to bet on Djokovic defeating Goffin after the first set, but if you place a wager that he will win 6-2, your initial bet will be much more profitable.

Another effective strategy to place set bets is to use the in-play market. By doing this, you can view the player in action. You can judge his mood and observe his form. Perhaps he responds to a situation by setting down or even fighting back? Betting on a comeback set is always profitable, particularly with big-name players who are most likely to fight back.

“Total Under” Betting Strategy

This strategy can be used to place live wagers on total games. To use it, you need the matches of ITF tournaments. Your focus should be on those events where the initial set has ended and at least 10.5 games have been played. Statistics can be very tricky and this shows that if the first set ended with a higher number of games, there’s a 70-80% chance that the second set will be played with a smaller number of games.

So, you will have to bet at the sportsbook on Total Under (10.5); the odds on this total varies from 1.6-1.8. This system is designed for a long-term run.

Betting on Your Favourite

This is a straightforward strategy as bettors do not require in-depth tennis knowledge. As the name implies, this involves betting on matches between an obvious favourite and an outsider. Finding the odds for this bet is simple. For this strategy to be effective, you need to select matches where the odds that the favourite would win the match are between 1.45 and 1.65. Then you bet on the victory of the team and wait for the final result.

The success of this strategy is strongly dependent on the fact that favourites in tennis have a higher chance of beating underdogs than in other sporting events. However, there are times when the popular teams are beaten by underdogs. Betting on lower odds, for instance, 1.2 makes it extremely difficult or even impossible to profit from this strategy after some time. This is why the most effective odds are between 1.45 and 1.65.

Last-Minute Tennis Betting Tips

The most effective way to find value when betting on tennis is to become an expert. How do you go about this? The best way would be to start studying the players and their performance during tournaments. Usually, most tennis matches involve an individual player so it is simpler to predict the strategies, attitudes and habits of tennis players compared to other team sports where there are several variables to consider.

One vital attitude to watch out for is whether a player brings his or her fire right from the start of the match or whether the player builds momentum gradually. This is important because the odds that a player will win the first set is usually similar to the odds of the outright winner. In a scenario where a skilled player starts slowly, it is more profitable to bet on the underdog as the winner of the first even if the probability that he’ll win the match is low.

This trick is especially important where both players are equally skilled, it is also effective when betting on a favourite. Although you must take note of players with a strong first serve since this usually results in tie breaks, even between highly-skilled opponents. There’ll be a winner eventually, but it makes betting unpredictable, so this method should not be used by conservative bettors.

Another important area to focus on if you are interested in becoming an expert at tennis betting include the serve and return stats and the consistency of the players.

Use Data to Your Advantage

There numerous websites providing any and every tennis statistic you can think of, some sports analysts provide in-play stats. Find this information and use it to your advantage, this will help you develop an effective strategy.

Study how several surfaces affect a tennis game, strengths and weaknesses of numerous playing styles and head-to-head statistics of tennis players. This will provide you with adequate knowledge of the market you are placing your wager on.

Out of the numerous statistics available, there are 2 major stats to pay attention to:

  • The second serve return percentage;
  • The second serve win percentage.

You may wonder why we haven’t included aces or winners since they are guaranteed points. This is due to efficiency under pressure. Highly successful players are those who can navigate through a difficult situation during their serve and can go out in full force against the opponent’s serve. Other important stats include:

  • Unforced errors;
  • Saved breakpoints;
  • Converted breakpoints.

Once more, these stats show the player’s response under pressure.


It is common knowledge that tennis is played on 3 surfaces – either grass, clay, or hard courts. It is important to understand the features of each surface and how it impacts the players.

Grass Surfaces

This provides the fastest playing surface as the balls can move quickly over the slippery court. The speed does not include bounce since the relatively soft make-up of the grass court produces a lower bounce. Thus, the grass is suitable for big servers and the serve-and-volley strategy is popular for being one of the best strategies to use on grass courts.

The iconic player Pete Sampras is an excellent example of why it is necessary to understand the most suitable surface for a player. He won 14 grand slams throughout his sterling career, 7 of these matches were played at Wimbledon. However, when the games were played at Roland Garros on a clay surface, he never went past the semifinals.

Hard Courts

This type of court is built with asphalt or concrete. Although they are not as fast as grass courts, hard courts provide a higher and more stable bounce compared to grass courts. This is why the successful servers who do well on grass courts are likely to thrive on hard courts too. Hard courts are also favourable for players who prefer to control the game from the baseline.

Due to its popularity, it’s almost impossible to find a player who doesn’t thrive on hard courts, even if they do not prefer playing on hard courts. However, Bjorn Borg is surprisingly one of the few tennis players that don’t do well on hard courts. The Swedish player was a 5-time winner of Wimbledon and a 6-time winner of the French Open, yet he never won the US Open and played in the Australia Open once.

Clay Courts

This is the slowest playing surface. Although clay offers a higher bounce than hard clay, it decreases the speed of the ball and reduces the rate at which the ball skids off the surface. The lack of speed makes it difficult for players who depend mainly on the pace of their serves since their components are provided with additional time to return the ball. For instance, the American legend Pete Sampras recorded a win ratio of 84% during the grand slams, while his win ratio at the French Open was 64%.

The slow speed and additional bounce make clay courts favourable for baseline players like Rafael Nadal. Clay courts allow him to slide along the baseline and run after balls that would be difficult to catch on a faster court.

Best Tennis Betting Strategies to Choose from

Style of Play

In the same way that surfaces affect the performance of players, the performance of other players also affects the outcome of the game. It is important to consider these two points when analysing the player’s performance in any match. Like we have discussed previously, the court surface significantly affects the performance of the player on the court. This is similar to what happens when a player faces another player who nullifies his or her main strategy during a game. An excellent example of this is when players who depend on good serves are defeated by good returners like in the final match between Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson during the 2017 US Open.

Anderson’s qualification into the final round was surprising and his success was due to his big serve. During the semifinal match against Carreno Busta, 22 aces were smashed by Anderson and 83% of his points were won after his first serve while he won 66% of points after his second serve, facing merely 4 breakpoints. However, with Nadal as his opponent, the South African player only recorded 10 aces, he won 73% of points on his first serve and just 36% on his seconds serve while he faced over 8 breakpoints.

Rafael’s win was a walk in the park and this was not because he was more skilled than Anderson, but it was because Anderson’s playing style was unsuitable against an opponent like Nadal.

Shape and Injuries

Injuries can affect the chances of a player winning a match. Fortunately, finding the injury information is quite easy. Take note when the odds turn suddenly against a player since this might mean that the bookmakers are privy to information about an injury.

Several reasons may cause a player to lose form. Some of the possible reasons include fatigue and injuries.

Studying the matchups before placing your wagers will help you understand if an unfavourable outcome was coincidental or if there’s something else that could affect the outcomes of the game in the future.


Now that we have listed all the tips and tools that you need to understand tennis betting, is it guaranteed that you’ll win all your bets as soon as you start applying them? The chances that this would happen are very slim. Understanding the tennis betting strategy is one thing, but to start beating the books, you need to carry out extensive research and create your preferred strategy.

From this guide, you’ll understand that there are numerous ways to beat the bookie to profit from tennis betting. There are simple strategies such as betting on favourites. Other strategies such as the tennis arbitrage guarantees profits and the matched betting with bonuses, which is equally profitable.

Whatever strategy you decide on, we suggest that you begin gradually, trying out the simplest strategies before moving to more complicated ones. Take note that the game of tennis will be here for a long time, so there will always be a chance for you to profit from tennis betting. You do not have to rush. Take it one step at a time and make sure your strategy is fool-proof; dedicate more time to researching the sport. Before you know it, you will become a master at beating the books and start making huge profits!

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