In our Beginner’s Guide to Betting on Tennis we talked you through the basics of what to look out for across the two players in the winner market of a tennis match, and how other side markets such, as set betting and handicap, work. And now it’s time to take you to the next level of tennis betting.
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Only bet when there’s value
Ask any pro bettor and they’ll all tell you the most important rule of betting: only bet when there’s value.
But what is value? Value is betting on a player /team at superior odds than what you think these odds should be. For example:
To use the most obvious and basic example: let’s look at a coin toss, the ultimate 50/50 chance.
If a bookie offers you 2.0 on the outcome of a coin toss, that’s fair value.
If they offer you 1.9, that’s poor value.
But if they offer 2.1, that’s ‘value’ or ‘good value’ and a bet you should take based on the odds being better than what they should be.
TIP It’s worth pointing out that in tennis there could be value in the odds on the favourite, or on the odds of the outsider. The value doesn’t just exist in the winner market, it can exist in any tennis market.
In summary: when it comes to betting on tennis or any other sport, you shouldn’t bet based on what you think will happen.
You should bet based on value, taking advantage of higher odds than what the info/stats/evidence in front of you tell you they should be. That way, the times you win, you’ll get paid out more than what you should be getting.
Pricing up markets yourself
Most bettors do that, but they shouldn’t: they look at the odds first.
Betting experts do it the other way around. They decide for themselves what the acceptable odds should be before looking at the actual odds. For example:
Let’s say Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are playing each other at Wimbledon.
This is the biggest rivalry in the Open Era tennis. They have played each other 59 times over their careers, more than any other pair. And proof of the intensity of the rivalry is that the head-to-head stands at 30-29 to Djokovic. It couldn’t be any closer.
Remembering the checklist from our beginner’s guide, let’s look at how we’d start pricing up the match.
As we know, the head-to-head record is incredibly tight. Djokovic is just one match ahead, which is nothing over such a long study period.
Things are equally tight when it comes to games between them on grass. They’ve played just four times on the green stuff throughout their careers and the score is currently at 2-2.
Forgetting about the grass element for just a second and how have they fared across the last 10 games between them. After all, recent matches are far more relevant than ones from 15 years ago, because recent matches paint a better picture what is probable to happen in the upcoming contest. It’s actually an advantage for Nadal in this regard: Nadal won six of the last 10.
Another factor to consider is the head-to-head record between them in the Slams, because playing over best-of-five sets is very different than playing best-of-three.
And yet another one is their recent record in terms of fitness and injuries. Just as an illustration, Nadal has recently been suffering from a rare foot injury and prior to Roland Garros, admitted he’d put on weight after weeks of inactivity, which had affected his stamina and worsened his injury.
You can also look at more statistical elements.
How do their stats compare when it comes to first service points won, second serve points won, break points converted etc.? Who tends to win the set between them when it goes to a tie-break? The more factors you consider, the better.
So, who’s the bet?
Once you’ve analysed this, you should be able to come up with your own odds on each player, a task made easier by the fact there are just two possible outcomes, rather than three, which is what you get in football or Test cricket. For example:
So, after all your research, you make Djokovic a 1.7 favourite and Nadal a 2.2 outsider in your head for their match at Wimbledon.
Now let’s say 10CRIC’s odds are 1.85 on Djokovic, and 2.05 on Nadal.
Based on your calculations, that’s a value bet on Djokovic.
But if Djokovic was 1.6 and Nadal was 2.35, then Nadal would be the right call as the value bet.
Trading on tennis
Remember that betting on tennis doesn’t end when the first serve is fired down.
Live Betting can be a very useful tool for you to make sure you lock in a profit, whatever happens. For example:
Let’s say Matteo Berretini is a big 6.0 outsider to beat Djokovic, who is at odds of 1.15 at Wimbledon.
Based on your calculations Berretini should be about 4.5, so Berretini is a ‘value bet’ at 6.0. You back him for 1,000 Rupees to win 6,000 Rupees, including your stake.
Two hours later, Berretini is 2-0 up in sets. Djokovic, the ultimate fighter, isn’t being dismissed by the bookmakers and is just a slight outsider at 2.0 with Berretini now 1.9.
Your first option is to hang tight and hope for the best. After all, Berretini is 2-0 up.
Your other option is to now back Djokovic.
Let’s say you back the Serb for 2,000 Rupees at 2.0. This would be your current position:
Djokovic (backed in Live Betting) – 2,000 Rupees @ 2.0- Potential win 4,000 Rupees (including stake)
Berretini (backed pre-match) – 1,000 Rupees @ 6.0- Potential win 6,000 Rupees (including stake).
If Djokovic goes on to win, you’ll win 2,000 Rupees profit, minus the 1000 you bet on Berretini = 1,000 profit (plus your 1,000 stake back).
If Berretini goes on to win, you’d win 6,000 minus the 2,000 you bet on Djokovic = 3,000 profit (plus your 1000 stake back).
Either way, you win.
If you got yourself in the above situation, you could fiddle around with different stakes, so the final position is the way you want it.
That may involve leaving the bigger profit on Berretini and just getting your money back on Djokovic or actually going the other way so that most of your profit is on Djokovic, instead.
Betting live or in-play
Some bettors have taken live tennis betting to a completely new level: they wait for a certain game situation and bet on the winner of the next point or next game, based on stats they have researched ahead of time. Once again – they are placing the bet while the match is currently in play. For example:
Let’s say our old friend Nadal ends up winning 70% of games when serving and facing break point on grass.
Against Alex Zverev, he’s available at odds of 2.2 to win that game at 30-40 down and facing break point. Based on probability, you’ve got yourself a good bet on him at 2.2 because he turns that position around 70% of the time. Whether he does or not on this occasion, it’s a value bet.
Or you may also find that at Wimbledon Nick Kyrgios wins 60% of matches where he goes 1-0 down in sets against non-Top 50 opposition. If he’s facing the World Number 60, goes 1-0 down and is available at 2.5, that also rates a good bet.
Live betting and mobile go hand-in-hand. So we remind you to download 10CRIC’s fantastic Mobile app and never miss a bet!