In my honest opinion, tennis is a sport that doesn’t get nearly enough
credit for being a legitimate source of entertainment as a fan and a
legitimately hard game to master. Since you are reading this and have
access to the Internet, I’m sure you’ve heard of Roger Federer and Rafael
Nadal. They are the two biggest names in the sport, even as their careers
are starting to wind down. The debate between both sets of fans as to who
the “G.O.A.T” is rivals that of the LeBron/Kobe or Ronaldo/Messi
comparison. Each player, at their peak, has put in performances and careers
that are worthy of being consider an all-time great athlete. And to take it
a step further, if I include Serena Williams in the conversation, which I
should, she will also go down as one of, if not the greatest,
female tennis players of all time. Tennis isn’t just about hitting the ball
over a net. It’s a game that requires power, endurance, resilience and a
commanding presence. Tennis is one of the most underrated sports in the
world, and I’m here to give it the recognition it deserves.
Betting on the Money Line in Tennis
As a concept, this is the simplest wager you can make on any game in any
sport (except soccer). The money line betting option allows you to place a
bet on the player you think is simply going to win the match.
Roger Federer: -150 ML
Rafael Nadal: +125 ML
The money line betting odds correlate to which player is deemed the
favorite by the sportsbook. In this example, Federer is the favorite and
you must wager $150 dollars to turn a profit of $100. If you prefer Nadal,
or just love betting on the underdog, Nadal will return you $125 for every
$100 you wager on him.
Betting on the Games Handicap
The “games handicap” is the tennis equivalent of the “point spread”. It is
a bet that combination of the money line and point spread in order to
determine a winner. Typically, game handicaps will be listed anywhere from
-0.5 to -7 or -8.
When looking over game handicap betting options for the ATP, you will come
across lines that look like the following:
Rodger Federer -3.5 (-170)
Rafael Nadal +3.5 (+130)
Depending on which player you like, he must cover the “games handicap” in
order for your wager to be graded a winner.
If you choose to take Federer at -3.5, you will be a winner if he wins four
or more games than Nadal over the course of the match. For example, if
Federer wins his match 6-4, 7-6, 6-3, the total match count would be
Federer 19 and Nadal 13. This means that those who bet Federer -3.5-games
would win their bet.
If the sets finished something like 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 in favor of Federer,
the total game counts would be Federer 23, and Nadal 22, therefore cashing
the Nadal +3.5 tickets.
Betting Game Totals
Betting game totals is the equivalent of betting the “over/under” in
hockey, soccer, baseball or football. The sportsbook will set out a line,
and it is the bettors’ job to determine whether there will be more or less
games played than the posted total.
Let’s look at an example of a game total:
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal – “Over” 32.5 -110, “Under” 32.5 -110
If you are to bet the “over” 32.5, there must be a total of 33 or more
games played in the match in the in order for you to be a winner. If there
are 32 or fewer games played, then those who bet on the “under” will cash
Something to keep in mind when betting game totals is the fact that most
tournaments are formatted for a best of three sets, for women and men,
meaning that the highest number of games that can possibly be played is 39
games (7-6, 6-7, 7-6) and the lowest number of games that can be played is
12 (6-0, 6-0). When the major tournaments roll around, (Australian Open,
French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open), the men play a best of five, so
posted totals will be higher and more unpredictable to hit.
A futures bet is a wager placed in the time leading up to the start of the
event on a team or player that you believe is going to win their respective
competition. Heading into the start of next season, the odds to win the
year’s first major, The Australian Open are as followed:
Australian Open Champion: Novak Djokovic +162, Roger Federer +333, Rafael
Nadal +550, Andy Murray +1200, Alexander Zverev +1400, Nick Kyrgios +1800,
Marin Cilic +2000, Juan Martin Del Potro +2000 and Kei Nishikori +2500.
In order for you to successfully cash your ticket, you must correctly
choose the player that will win the tournament.
Tennis Betting Strategy
Because tennis is a singles sport, the first thing I would recommend doing
before placing any bet is finding out how each player matches up with their
opponent. There are some tennis players on tour that can fire serves of
faster than 155 mph (John Isner) but can’t return their opponents serve
worth a damn. There are some players on tour that have a mediocre serve but
are great defensively, which leads to them breaking their opponents service
game. Not everyone has the well-rounded game that they desire, so it’s on
you as a bettor to determine how each player matches up.
The style of play is critical in tennis as well, because he who dictates
the play will likely always have the upper hand in any rally and ultimately
could hit a winner or force their opponent into making an errant shot.
Another thing to keep in mind when placing your wagers is the surface the
event is being played on. Nadal is king of the clay, and everyone should
know that. He’s got 57 wins to just 8 losses in finals played on clay
surfaces, and that includes 11 Major titles at the French Open. On grass,
or on hard-surface, while great, he just isn’t as dominating as he is on
the red stuff.
So, to sum up the betting strategy, it’s crucial to be aware of the surface
the match is taking place on and the strategy of the type of player you are
betting and/or betting against. The matchup will dictate the outcome of the
game if both players are playing to win, and if you find a weakness that
your player might be able to exploit, don’t be afraid to take a chance and
watch it play out.
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