How to Bet on Tennis

Betting on tennis has never been simpler! Whether you want to wager on your favorite player or put some capital behind a grand slam thriller, we’re here to show you how to get it done.

So, let’s break down the best options when it comes to betting on tennis.

Things to know about tennis betting

Men's Grand Slam tennis matches are best of five sets, whereas women play best of three sets. 

All other men's events on the calendar are best of three sets.

You can bet on every type of tennis match -- whether it be singles, doubles, mixed doubles, men’s, women’s, juniors and wheelchair tennis.

MORE: How do tennis odds work?

Spread 

Often you’ll hear the term spread betting — it’s the most popular way to bet on sports like the National Football League. Whether it be football or tennis, the spread is essentially a sportsbook’s way of leveling out two unequal opponents. 

The underdog is given a ‘head start’ in the form of games or sets. Traditionally, a game is where a player wins four points by a margin of two or more against their opponent. A player needs 6 games to win a set, 7 if the scores are tied at 5-5 or 6-6 within a set.

Example:  

If Rafael Nadal beats Milos Raonic 6-4 in the first set, Nadal has won 6 games while Raonic has 4.

To cover a spread, a favored player needs to win by the specified amount of games. Meanwhile, an underdog can either win, or lose by the number to cover.

The line can move prior, and during a tennis match. It will fluctuate depending on injuries, momentum and naturally, the scoreboard.

It is important to know the tennis spread can be confined to a single set or like in football, over an entire match. 

Single Set Spread Example: 

Rafael Nadal (-2.5) in the first set — in this case you are betting on Nadal to win by 3+ games within the set.

Nadal 6 - 3 Murray

A 6-3 first set in Nadal’s favor would lead to a winning bet. 

Nadal 6 - 4 Murray

Although Nadal won the first set, he does not cover the -2.5 spread.

Whole Match Spread Example: 

Wimbledon Quarter Final —  Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic -3.5

Roger Federer +3.5

Using the example above, if you bet Federer +3.5, he would need to lose by under 3.5 games combined — or win outright — to cover the spread.

If Djokovic won the match 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 there is a game differential of 4 in the Djoker’s favor. In this case if you bet Federer +3.5 you would lose.

In this example, if you had bet Djokovic (-3.5) against the spread, this result would earn you a profit.

In the event of a push — where the bettor and sportsbook tie —  your stake will be refunded.

Push Example: 

Bet: Djokovic  -3 vs. Federer  

Final: Djokovic 7-6, 7-6, 7-6.

Given Djokovic only won by 3 games total, and not MORE THAN 3, this is considered a push. You would be refunded your bet, and yes, sadly that means no profit. 

Alternate Spread

You will also see alternate spreads — also known as teasers — available for tennis games. Often the spread number is shifted slightly, enabling you to choose between multiple options -- all of which give you either a better chance of covering or larger odds.

MORE: How to bet live on tennis

Total (Over/Under)

Betting the total or over/under in an NFL game simply means you are wagering on how many games will be played overall, NOT who will win. 

Example: 

Using the Djokovic and Federer example once more, if the sportsbook set the total at 33.5 points, you have two options:

  • Bet the Over (34+ games to be played by both players).
  • Bet the Under (33 points or under to be played total).

If the final scoreline was Federer 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, this would mean a total of 40 games had been played (9+10+8+13), thereby meaning the over bettors would profit. 

There are other options to choose from, including game totals for particular sets, player games won and more. 

MORE: Best betting strategies for tennis

Moneyline (H2H)

The moneyline is the simplest tennis bet to make! Betting the moneyline simply means you are picking a player to win the game outright. 

If a player is favored on the moneyline they will have a “-" next to their name. Conversely, the underdog will have a “+.” 

Example: 

  • If a player has a -200 moneyline it means you need to wager $200 in order to win $100. 
  • If a player has a “+” moneyline, the goalposts shift. The + tells us how much you would win betting $100, if you win of course.
  • For example, a +150 moneyline would mean — if successful — a profit of $150.
  • Similarly, if a player had a +185 moneyline, you would make $185 profit — $285 total — when betting $100. 
     

MORE: Dimers Tennis Bet Hub

Futures 

Futures bets are exactly what they sound like. You are wagering on an often far away event. If you’re looking to lay down some capital in the hopes of large winnings down the line, this is the bet for you.

Example: 

Popular future bets include:

  • Men’s Grand Slam Winner
  • Women’s Grand Slam Winner
  • Player to make a certain stage of a tournament
  • Ladies Grand Slam Winner
     

The only downside to futures bets is they can take weeks or even months to occur. If you’re patient, they can pay off big. 

MORE: Dimers live now section

Prop Bets

Prop bets are popular throughout the tennis season and enable you to bet on almost anything which may unfold in a game. 

You can wager on player props; choosing whether they will achieve over/under a certain amount of aces and so much more.

Common prop bets include:

  • First ace
  • Over/under unforced errors
  • Player to win first set 
  • Whether there will be a tie-breaker in a set 
  • Total aces served over/under
     

Depending on the sportsbook, there may be options to include props in a mixed parlay. Although most books force you to have a parlay strictly involving props. 

With Dimers.com you have the perfect opportunity to locate some of the best prop bets across the United States. Our predictive analytics model simulates each tennis match 10,000 times to give you the best probabilities. 

Tennis parlay

A parlay simply involves more than one wager combined together for greater odds. You can place a same-game tennis parlay — multiple events from one matchup — or alternatively, events across multiple games.

Example: 

You could take Milos Raonic (-3.5) to cover against John Isner and take the over 39.5 games total in a same-game parlay. You could add bets from other games, say Serena Williams to beat Maria Sharapova (moneyline). 

More legs = higher odds and a greater chance at a larger return. Beware, most sportsbooks do not allow you to bet both the moneyline and spread within the same game. Some even cap the number of events you can have in a parlay, although there are those which have no limits.

In any parlay you will need to get each event correct for there to be a payout. Often there is no refund for getting 7 out of 8 accurate. 

In the event of one or more legs resulting in a push, your parlay as a whole will be considered a push, meaning your stake will be refunded. 

MORE: Sports betting podcasts

Live Betting 

Live or in-play betting is where you wager on a tennis match currently in progress. As odds shift throughout the game, you can find the bet to suit you whilst the action continues on. 

Example: 

  • Moneyline
  • Spread
  • Prop bets
  • Next game outcome
  • Next set outcome 
     

Utilize the Dimers live in-play probabilities section to increase your knowledge and chances of winning on your live bets. 

The live probabilities of any major tennis match can be accessed through the scoreboards at the top of the Dimers website or via the Live Now section.

Move fast in the live betting space, otherwise your tennis odds will blow up quicker than John McEnroe. 

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