How to Bet on Tennis

One of the frustrating things about sports betting on tennis is that the favorite wins over the underdog far more often than not. This ratio is vastly different from what you see in other individual sports, such as golf, and from what you see in team sports. The seeded players generally wipe the court with the unseeded players, and the high seeds generally all move toward the finals. Even as the late rounds in the tournaments go, upsets are still infrequent. This is why such powerhouses as Roger Federer and Venus Williams would win title after title after title until they were finally upset.

The spirited run that Jimmy Connors made in the 1991 U.S. Open was all the more magical because it was so rare. Results in tennis follow form almost religiously, making betting a less profitable proposition, because you can’t make enough of a profit, even if you bet on all the favorites, because the payouts aren’t enough to keep you in the black against the occasional upset.

However, there are some tips to help you get some profit out of tennis betting. Take a look at the gap between the favorite and the underdog. The higher the gap, the higher the strike rate. So there are two common rules that help some bettors find profit in this sport. First, insist on a dividend for the favorite that is a minimum of $1.45. If the favorite offers any less, stay away from the bet, no matter what. Second, the gap in dividends between the underdog and the favorite has to be at least 50 cents. Unless the bet satisfied both of these rules, you should walk away from it.

How to understand tennis odds?

Consider the case of a favorite offering $1.08 and an underdog offering $6.20. You might think that the favorite has an overwhelming chance of winning and so is a profitable sort of bet over the long term. The problem with this is that there are so many other matches that offer higher dividends on the favorite to compensate for the occasional upset. If you look at long term trends, you’ll increase your profits if you insist on favorites that pay higher dividends than $1.45.

The difference between the two dividends here is right, but the favorite’s dividend is just too high to make sense. The reason why the gap between the dividends needs to be at least 50 cents is that you don’t want the match to be too close. In other words, you want the favorite to have more than just above even odds. However, if you want gaps over $1, then you cut down on the number of available matches that feature a high enough dividend for the favorite.


Running through the online listings or the listings in gambling papers allows you to quickly choose the best bets for you. Trusting in this system over time will not bring you a series of guaranteed wins. After all, underdogs still win sometimes. Ensuring that your favorite dividend is at least $1.45 makes the match at least somewhat competitive, rather than those ridiculously easy first-round matches between the seeded and the unseeded that end quickly.

Over time, you’ll see that the dividends that come in on the favorite side will cover your losses over time. Betting for profit is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you hop from plan to plan, you’ll never develop sustained profits. Sticking with these two rules has proven to be successful for many tennis bettors. The same results can work for you, if you are willing to give the plan some time to work out.