Tennis is one of the oldest sports in the world. The game dates all the way back to the 12th century, and history wonks know that one of the most famous acts of the French Revolution occurred on a tennis court. The Tennis Court Oath galvanized the Third Estate, setting in motion the events of the French Revolution.
Betting on tennis has been around for centuries, and you can wager on more than just the winner of a match. There are set betting, game spread betting, set spread betting, total betting, and futures betting options available for the sport, so you’ll find something to strike your fancy.
When you make a moneyline bet in tennis, you are betting on the winner of the match. This is the most simple and straightforward bet to make in any sport, and it’s self-explanatory. The moneyline odds on tennis matches can fluctuate wildly though, as there is a massive talent difference between the elite players and the fringe players on the tour. For major events like Wimbledon and the French Open, you will see players like Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic listed as enormous favorites over their opponents by the tennis betting odds in the early rounds.
That is one of the reasons why set betting has become more popular among tennis bettors. With set betting, you are just betting on a specific result in a match. Regular tennis tournaments are mostly decided by best-of-three sets, so you will see both players listed with odds to win by margins of 2-0 or 2-1. Majors are best-of-five sets for men, so the set betting in these matches has players to win by margins of 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2.
These bets offer bettor odds than straight moneyline betting as you have to wager on a specific result. You won’t find much value if you are betting on an enormous favorite to win in straight sets, but more even matches offer better options.
Game Spread Betting
This type of tennis betting is more minute than set betting. With game spread betting, you are betting on a player to win by a specific number of games. If you’re familiar with tennis, you know that each set is broken into games, so you can bet on whether or not a player will win by a certain number of games. This number is cumulative across all sets that will be played in the match, so keep that in mind when making this type of wager.
You will see very short spreads in matches involving players with great serves. It’s very difficult to break players with powerful serves, so you see a lot of 7-6 sets decided by tiebreaker. Keep that in the back of your head when betting on game spreads in tennis.
Set Spread Betting
If you are wagering on set spreads, you are essentially making a variation of the spread bet. These lines are fixed though, since you can only play a maximum of five sets in tennis. You will see a player favored by 0.5, 1.5, or 2.5 sets, but the juice on this is usually rather manageable unless someone is a massive favorite over their opponent. Then, you might see the favorite at -2.5 sets at prodigious odds.
This is the same as the total betting or over/under betting you see in other sports. When you bet on tennis totals, you are wagering on the number of sets in a match. These numbers will fluctuate depending on the matchup between the two players taking part in the event, and they can range from 2.5 to 4.5 depending on the tournament and the skill level of the two opponents.
Betting on futures is more popular in tennis than in other sports. Since there are four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) that draw a massive amount of attention, people who aren’t big tennis fans will wager on the overall winner of these events. There can be real value in tennis futures bets if you find the right longshot to back early on, as moneyline odds will shift drastically from match to match.