Sports betting is increasingly popular in states that have legalized it, and tennis is seeing the effects of that. Major sportsbooks have plenty of betting options available for tennis, especially in the bigger events like the Grand Slam. Sportsbooks will cover the men’s side with the ATP Tour and the women’s WTA Tour.
A new innovation in sports betting is the idea of live betting, where you can place wagers as the match is taking place. Odds and lines will adjust as the match goes along, so you need to be quick to get the numbers you want. Wagering on tennis is distinctive because it’s typically an individual sport, but it’s easy to understand. Read on to learn more tennis betting online and at New York’s retail sportsbooks.
Tennis betting odds and lines explained
Below is a list of tennis bets with explanations to give you a better understanding of the more popular wagering options.
Outright betting is choosing the winner of the tournament from among all the competitors. These will typically have a high payout due to the difficulty of trying to pick one winner in a field of many competitors. Match betting refers to betting on one single match within the tournament. Handicap betting is similar to point spreads in football or basketball where the oddsmakers essentially even the playing field by giving the underdog a boost.
Moneyline betting is simply picking the winner of a particular match. Odds are adjusted to give a larger payout for a winning bet on the underdog than for a winning bet on the favorite.
The game spread evens the playing field by giving the underdog a certain number of games as a head start. Choosing which player wins or loses doesn’t necessarily matter because you are betting on how many games a player will win or lose by. For example, if a player is given a game spread of -3.5, that means that player must win by more than 3.5 games.
Similar to the game spread, the set spread gives the underdog an advantage in the number of sets. If you want to bet on an underdog who is getting a +1.5 set spread, that means you would need for that player to win outright or lose by fewer than 1.5 sets.
The over/under can be set for total games or total sets. For example, if the total sets for a particular match are set at 2.5, you chooses whether you believe the match ends in more or less than 2.5 sets.
Bet on live tennis from your mobile
Instead of needing to get bets in before a match starts, you can now wager on the action as you’re watching on TV or following it online.
Live betting is so much easier through sportsbook apps on mobile devices, and it makes for a quick and easy experience for the bettor. A tennis match could have a number of twists and turns, with momentum going back and forth on both sides, so moneyline betting can be a good way to find value when in-game betting. Bettors can also bet on other items like the game spread, set spread and even what will happen on the next serve. Numbers are constantly moving; it’s a fast-paced way to bet on tennis.
Bet on tennis futures
Futures betting is popular no matter the sport, and the biggest events will typically be featured months in advance in tennis. Most of the competitors will have odds available, and you can bet on a player to come out with the win. Odds for the four tennis majors and the biggest events in the WTA and ATP tours will be posted well in advance of the event actually taking place. In addition, some sportsbooks will offer Player of the Year odds to wager on.
Tennis prop betting
Plenty of prop bets are available for wagering in tennis. There are going to be more betting options in the bigger tournaments, but chances to win are out there. Prop bets in a tennis match could include wagers on the number of tiebreakers there will be, the number of games each player will win or the exact score.
Basic rules of tennis betting
Tennis betting has a few rules that legal sportsbooks abide by in the United States. For items like this, it is always important to read the regulations or reach out to the sportsbook or sportsbooks with any questions.
For a match that has been suspended due to weather, sportsbooks may make the bet stand if it appears as though the match will continue within the next few hours.
There are a few different guidelines for what needs to happen for your wager to count in the event a player is injured and cannot continue playing. Here are four main standards.
- Ball served: Once one serve takes place to begin the match, all bets stand.
- First set: Once one set is completed, all bets stand.
- Second set: Once two sets are completed, all bets stand.
- Match completed: The full match must happen for bets to stand at some sportsbooks.
Betting on Grand Slam tennis tournaments
The four Grand Slam tournaments for the men’s and women’s tours are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. These four tournaments draw the most attention from tennis fans and tennis bettors throughout the sport’s calendar.
Because there is so much added interest in these tournaments, sportsbooks will typically offer more betting options than usual because they know there will be an increase in bettors interested in placing wagers. Additionally, sportsbooks may offer odds boosts and other promotions to sweeten the deal for new and experienced bettors to get more customers. Be sure to check out the promotions page at your preferred sportsbook to see if there are any perks leading up to any of the four grand slam events.
Below is a section on each of the four majors with some information on each of them.
The Australian Open is usually the first of the four grand slam events of the year in January and is held in Melbourne Park in Australia. The tournament is played on a hard surface, and the prize pool is about $61 million. Novak Djokovic has won this event three times on the men’s side, and Serena Williams has been the Australian Open champion seven times in her career.
The defending champions from 2021 are Naomi Osaka on the women’s side and Djokovic in the men’s tournament.
Djokovic is usually among the favorites for the men along with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. In the women’s event, some of the favorites include Osaka, Ashleigh Barty and Bianca Andreescu.
The French Open is usually the second grand slam event of the year and is played at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. This is the only grand slam event that is played on a clay surface, and it will be held May 23-June 6 in 2021. The prize pool came in at $44.6 million in 2020.
The current champions are Nadal and Iga Swiatek. Nadal has won this event 13 times in his career, while Chris Evert has won the women’s French Open seven times.
Favorites for the 2021 event include Nadal, Djokovic and Dominic Thiem as well as Simona Halep, Swiatek and Barty
The 2020 version of Wimbledon was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the tournament will be held on June 28-July 11 in 2021 at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in London. Wimbledon is played on grass, and the 2019 prize pool came in at $49.4 million.
The defending champs are Djokovic and Halep. Federer has won this event eight times, and Martina Navratilova won it nine times to lead the women.
The 2021 betting favorites to keep an eye on include Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Nadal to go along with Osaka, Barty and Williams. Read our full Wimbledon tennis betting guide for more tips.
US Open Tennis
The US Open is usually the final grand slam tournament during the tennis season, and it will take place Aug. 30-Sept. 12 in 2021. The event is held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York City. The playing surface is a hard court, and the prize pool came out to $53.4 million in 2020.
Defending champs for the tournament are Thiem and Osaka. Richard Sears, William Larned and Bill Tilden each won this event seven times, and Molla Mallory won it eight times on the women’s side.
The favorites for 2021 include Djokovic, Medvedev and Thiem. On the women’s side, the favorites are Osaka, Andreescu and Barty.
Betting on the ATP/WTA tennis tours
The two biggest tennis tours are the ATP and WTA, and they feature the most talented athletes in the sport, and being able to wager on their events has never been easier. Sportsbooks offer a variety of betting odds for each of the tour’s events. Here’s a look at some of the non-major events throughout the year in the 2021 season with dates included.
- Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: March 14-20
- Mutua Madrid Open: May 2-9
- Hall of Fame Open: July 12-18
- China Open: Oct. 4-10
- Qatar Total Open: March 1-6
- Cologne Open: May 16-22
- Nottingham Open: June 7-13
- Eastbourne International: June 21-27
Betting on the Davis Cup/Fed Cup
The Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup are team tennis competitions that take place each year. The best men’s players from different countries compete in the Davis Cup, and the top women compete in the Billie Jean King Cup, until recently known as the Fed Cup. Sportsbooks may have these events available to wager on in addition to tour events.
Tennis Betting FAQ
How do I find the best tennis betting lines?
One popular way to ensure you get the best odds possible is by opening an account at multiple sportsbooks. That way you can shop around and pick the optimal option.
What are the main tennis surfaces?
The main types of tennis courts are grass, clay, hard and artificial grass.
Who has won the most tennis grand slams?
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have each won 20 grand slams. Margaret Court has 24 total grand slam wins on the women’s side.
What is spread betting in tennis?
Spread betting gives the underdog in a match an advantage by giving that player an advantage. For example, the underdog could receive 2.5 games, and it’s up to the bettor to decide who will come out on top based on the adjusted score.
When does a tennis match become official?
From a betting perspective, matches are official either when the ball is served, after the first set, after the second set or once the match is actually completed. Check with your sportsbook to see how it handles this.