Best Tennis Betting Strategy 2021

How to Bet on Tennis

There are many assorted bets you can place on a tennis match or tournament. Most people understand the idea of backing a potential champion before the tournament begins. However, there is way more to learn than this.

In this article, we’re going to find out about the best tennis betting strategy you can use. We’ll touch on many important elements you need to think about before placing a single wager. It’s often a case of rolling many assorted facts together to highlight the best pick for any match or tournament, so let’s get started.

Always consider form

Form refers to how well a player is playing – or how badly. We can choose a great example here in the shape of Roger Federer, who had knee surgery and was out for most of 2020. While he has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, along with many other titles from around the world, he hadn’t played for over a year before coming back to the tour in 2021. In many ways, this made Federer a great unknown rather than a multiple Grand Slam winner.

It’s an extreme example, sure, but it shows how important it is to study recent form rather than overall form for a player. Federer would be a favourite for many at any event, whether it’s a Grand Slam, an ATP Masters 1000 event, or something below that. However, returning from such a long injury layoff throws uncertainty into the mix.

A major part of knowing how to bet on tennis involves looking at recent stats and form. If you’re a Federer fan, you’d probably back him in any event, regardless of odds. However, it’s not always the smartest bet, as you can see when you look at form. Adopting the best betting strategy should always feature form as a crucial factor to consider.

It's far easier to ascertain the form of a player when using the in play betting strategies Australia sportsbooks make possible. The In-Play tool will help you gauge how each player is fairing in real-time and you can make a bet on the outcome of the next set or the end result of the event while the match is still underway.

Forget about heavy favourites

Let’s pitch Novak Djokovic against the number 239 male player in the world. Barring a Djokovic injury or disaster (or the world number 239 for that day playing the match of his life), you can bet on Novak to win the match. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t play that bet.

There is one simple reason for this – the odds are going to be so heavily tipped in favour of a Djokovic win that you’re not going to walk away with anything worth bothering with. Meanwhile, the underdog will have appealing odds but is unlikely to play the match of their life to give you the win you want.

However, a big part of playing the best tennis betting strategy is combining more than one source of information. In this case, we would need to look at form along with favourites. If Novak had hit a bad run of form before going into this match, while his opponent had strung a series of match wins together, we may think about backing the underdog in this case. This may even be considered a value bet, as the odds of the underdog winning may be better than implied by the bookie. Using the value bet strategy Australia can be a winning formula if adopted wisely and you do your homework properly.

Does the best tennis betting strategy involve handicaps?

You may have heard about betting handicaps. These are vital to learn about before choosing to back players based on a handicap system. Imagine two players meeting in a match. Bookies give odds for both players, based on form and likely outcome. If one is a hot favourite, they’ll have short odds, while the underdog will have long odds.

This much is simple to understand. However, when you want to learn how to bet on tennis, you should know more about handicap betting as well. We’ll look at this in more detail here.

What is a handicap?

You’ll know this in relation to the best golf betting strategy, of course, but it can apply in tennis too. Think of this as an adjustment applied to guessing the winner of a match. Let’s assume Rafael Nadal is due to play David Goffin on clay. Nadal is going to be the favourite playing anyone on clay, so Goffin will be the underdog here. Instead of applying odds to each based on that knowledge, a handicap system makes an adjustment that focuses on the score of the match rather than the outcome.

Positive and negative handicapping

The player deemed less likely to win the match (in this case Goffin) will receive a positive handicap. Let’s say the handicap is +4.5 in this case. The number refers to games, and we’ll explain more about this in a moment.

The alternative is to have a negative handicap, which always applies to the player believed to be the match winner. So, in this case Nadal could receive a -4.5 handicap. So, it’s plus in favour of the underdog and negative in favour of the favourite.

How the handicap affects the outcome

The great thing about handicap betting is that the match winner does not always match the winner of the bet. It all depends on the scoreline.

So, let’s follow some examples to see how this works. We’ll assume it’s a three-set match outside of a Grand Slam and Nadal wins the match 6-4, 6-4. This means Nadal won 12 games and Goffin won eight.

You won’t see positive or negative handicapping in the same head-to-head. You’ll see one or the other, so let’s go through some examples to see how this works. In the scoreline given above, we would then apply the handicap to achieve the total we need to know to determine the outcome of the bet.

If the bookie based the wager on negative handicapping, we’d need to subtract 4.5 games from Nadal’s total. This leaves Nadal on 7.5 against Goffin’s 8.0, and so Goffin would be the winner in terms of the bet.

If the bookie went for positive handicapping, we’d need to add 4.5 onto Goffin’s actual game score. This means he would have 12.5 games against Nadal’s 12, so he would still be the winner of the bet.

However, the handicapping doesn’t always result in the underdog winning the bet. It depends on the score. For example, if Nadal had steamrolled Goffin 6-1, 6-1, this would give him 12 games against Goffin’s two. Here’s how the same handicaps would fare in this situation:

  • Positive handicap – Nadal 12 games, Goffin 6.5 games
  • Negative handicap – Nadal 7.5 games, Goffin 6.5 games

In each case, then, we can see that the winner of the match would also be the winner of the bet if you went for Nadal based on the handicap system.

Knowing how to bet on the sport is hugely important here. Just as you need to know how to bet on football to stand a better chance of scoring some wins there, knowing how tennis works will help improve your chances.

Handicaps can be applied to sets too

This approach is best done during Grand Slams for men’s matches, as these are the only events that go over five sets rather than three. This may prove easier to understand when you’re new to handicap betting, as you’re only working over sets rather than games.

Let’s see how to bet on tennis matches with set handicaps. We’ll look at Nadal and Goffin again and put them up against each other at the French Open. We’ll give Goffin a +1.5 handicap on sets. You may not believe Goffin has a chance of winning the match, but you might back him to win a set if you think he’s in form (there’s that word again) on clay at the moment. If he does win a set with the +1.5 handicap, you’ll have a winning bet.

Predicting the outcome of a set or match

Let’s return to the basic ‘pick a winner’ bet here, except this time we’ll get a little more precise. You’ll soon see that finding appealing odds for the best tennis betting strategy means looking at how likely you are to pick the right result.

A reasonable example of this would be to pit Djokovic against Goffin. You’re not going to get any odds worth going for to back Djokovic to win the match, because most people will expect him to do so. However, if you pick him to win the first set 6-4, you’re likely to find better odds for trying to predict the exact scoreline in that set. You could also bet on other possible scorelines, such as a bagel set (6-0) or maybe 6-2 or 6-3. Get it right and you win your bet. Alternatively, in circumstances when one player is almost considered a 'certainty' the 1.01 Betting Strategy Australia might also be a profitbale option.

Another example of this relates to guessing what the final set score might be. A Grand Slam gives more options as we have best of five set matches in the men’s event. So, you might pick Djokovic for a straight 3-0 sets victory. However, you may get better odds if you think Goffin might snatch a set off him, leading to an eventual 3-1 scoreline.

You can see by the way in which tennis is scored that it gives you far more to think about than if you were learning how to bet on greyhound in Australia. If you’re a fan of tennis, you can certainly explore many betting options that take into account all manner of statistics, results, form, and other factors.

Don’t forget to consider the surface

The surface doesn’t always come into consideration with all sports. For example, you don’t need to worry about this if you want to know how to bet on cricket in Australia. But with tennis, we have several surfaces to think about:

  • Hard court (indoor and outdoor)
  • Grass court
  • Clay
  • Carpet

The latter one is far less common and doesn’t feature in Grand Slams. However, you’ll certainly recognise the others, and you’ll need to consider how the surface affects the potential outcome of a match – and therefore any bet you place.

Indoor vs outdoor 

Even when the court is the same, indoor and outdoor venues can influence the outcome as well. This is seen most often in hard court venues, but the roof on Centre Court at Wimbledon has also arguably played a role in determining the outcome of certain matches.

If we look at the performances of Djokovic and Federer, Djokovic is ahead overall. However, if we switch to focusing just on indoor matches, Federer performs better over his career. Indoor courts are typically faster, and of course once the roof goes over Centre Court at Wimbledon, there is zero wind to worry about. Federer performs best on grass anyway, so that combination of factors could tip the outcome of a match in his favour.

Look at a player’s favoured surface

The surface a match is due to be played on may influence your bet for a specific match. The best example here would be Rafael Nadal on clay. Put him in a match at the French Open against anyone else and most people would back him to win the tournament. Dominic Thiem may prove the better outright winner bet there, as he’s reached the final two years in a row and looks like the next winner in waiting.

However, if we put Nadal up against Thiem at Wimbledon, the result would not be as clear cut. In fact, it may well be more even and unpredictable. This shows how the surface comes into play along with form and other factors to guide you toward the best bets to place at any event. Some players are undoubtedly far superior on some surfaces than others. Few have mastered them all.

Djokovic is renowned as performing well on hard courts. However, he has the best record at the Australian Open (nine titles) rather than at the US Open (three titles), even though both are hard court events. Meanwhile, Nadal has just one Australian Open to his name, compared with four US Opens. There could be many reasons for this, but it shows how statistics for individual events are just as important to consider as the surface someone plays best on.

And of course, we must roll their recent form into the mix when assessing where the best odds lie for certain wagers. This applies to all players, not just the big-name ones we have chosen to illustrate examples during this article. Federer has an impressive Grand Slam record, yet his last title was the Australian Open in 2018. He still represents a reasonable bet to win Wimbledon though (many think he has his best chance at another title there). His history backs his chance, and his injury layoff may lead to better odds than he’d otherwise get.

The best tennis betting strategy balances odds and potential outcome

Odds are important because they tell you how much a winning bet would receive. You must always make sure you understand those odds though, and how an individual bet is worked out. We’ve seen that handicap betting works very differently to a straight wager on the predicted winner of a match, for example.

We know that underdogs do occasionally win against the big players. If you back one of those underdogs in the right match, you’re going to get a solid return on your bet. However, you may also lose lots of wagers if you adopt this as a strategy. At the other end of the scale, you’ve got the hot favourites with the shortest odds.

The trick is to look at the bets that fall between those two extremes. These are where the best returns are most likely to come, along with the best chance of finding some winners. Learning to explore the middle range of wagers in search of the most promising and likely options is something to think on as you become more familiar with assorted tennis bets.

Conclusion - Finding the best tennis betting strategy for you

We’ve seen throughout this article that the best approach considers all the facts you know going into a match or tournament. The best tennis betting strategy relies on you understanding these bets and the facts used to come up with those approaches, which is very different from the best horse racing betting strategy Australia has to offer.

We have also seen that it is important to understand the differences in wagers you’ll find for any tournament or event. While most of us know about futures markets, i.e., picking tournament winners, these are the hardest bets to get right. Focusing on handicap betting and similar strategies is far more likely to give you the edge you’re searching for.

Best tennis betting strategy FAQ

☝ How to bet on tennis and win?

There are lots of varied bets you can place in tennis. Learning more about them gives you a better chance of spotting the best tennis bets in any match or tournament. If you’re interested in learning a new tennis betting strategy, then be sure to consult our in-depth guides at CaptainGambling AU.

✅ What is simple tennis betting strategy?

CaptainGambling covers many of the best tennis betting strategies around. Beginners may wish to start with a simple strategy to learn more about how to bet on the sport. With our wide range of betting guides, you’ll find out all the tips on tricks on the most popular betting strategies for tennis.

✨ Is there a simple tennis betting system?

Some betting systems are simpler than others. At CaptainGambling, we explore many systems to give you more insight into which ones you should look for. We’ll share our expert betting tips to help you boost your knowledge, and give you an edge on your next bets.

⭐ What is the best betting strategy for tennis?

When you bet on tennis, there are several strategies you can use. Understanding more about each one is the smartest way to find the best one for you to use. To find out which tennis betting strategies we recommend, take a look at our comprehensive betting guides at Captain Gambling AU.

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