Tennis stands out with the longest season of all sports, starting in January and ending in November. Practically, there is a tournament to follow every single week during this period, which delivers tennis fans with innumerable betting opportunities.
Oftentimes, the early stages of tennis tournaments feature unevenly matched opponents, where betting on the Match Winner markets is not a lucrative option. As many punters may guess, betting on the favorite usually does not offer good payouts, whereas betting on the underdog and winning is highly improbable. Therefore, in such a situation, bettors prefer to place wagers on the various handicap markets, accumulator betting opportunities, and Totals markets.
With Over/Under bets, also known as Totals, punters wager on the total number of sets or games to be played in a tennis match. Bookies offer a certain number of games or sets for a particular tennis event, and punters try to predict if this number will be exceeded or not. Therefore, they need to be familiar with the scoring system of the sport and the different formats of tennis tournaments. As opposed to Match Winner bets, Over/Under bets involve predicting the duration of tennis matches, rather than the winner.
The current article expands upon Over/Under tennis betting markets, the specifics of the different types of tennis formats, as well as their relation to the Totals markets.
Formats of Tennis Tournaments
Tennis betting has considerably grown in popularity over the last decades. The great number of competitions taking place all year round practically means that there is almost always something to bet on. Furthermore, the scoring system of the sport offers favorable conditions for betting on various markets other than the standard Match winner and Outright Winner ones.
The number of sets played varies in accordance with the event and tournament that is being played. Men’s and women’s tennis are governed by different organizations, respectively the ATP and the WTA. The Grand Slam tournaments are organized by the ITF. Hence, different rules apply. Professional tennis matches are played in two formats – either in a best-of-three or best-of-five set format. Female tennis players only play 3 sets and most male tennis matches are of the same format. The best-of-five set format is typically only utilized in the men’s singles and doubles events at the four Grand Slams and the premier international team competition, the Davis Cup. The three-set format includes 6 games in each of the sets and a possible tie-break. To win a match in a best-of-three format, players need to emerge victorious in two sets, whereas in a best-of-five sets contest, they need to triumph in three sets.
The Totals markets that we are going to review in detail in relation to tennis betting are the following:
- Over/Under Sets
- Over/Under Games
These two markets are an increasingly popular form of tennis betting.
The first variation of Totals betting we will elaborate on is Over/Under sets. Depending on the format of the specific tennis tournament we are interested in, bookies offer different pre-determined figures and bettors try to predict if these figures will be surpassed or not. Let us now put theory into practice by examining the Over/Under sets market for a three-set event from the second round of men’s singles tennis at the ATP Madrid tournament.
Marin Čilić vs Alexander Zverev
|Total Sets market
Marin Čilić and Alexander Zverev play against each other, and by the initial Match Winner odds, we see that the obvious favorite is Alexander Zverev. This is further confirmed by the available head-to-head records and overall ranking of both players. While Alexander Zverev occupies the third position with 7,420 points in the ATP rankings, Marin Čilić is 24th on the list with a total of 1,695 points.
Instead of betting on the favorite at odds of 1.14 on the Match Winner market, punters may choose the Total Sets market, and more specifically, the Under 2.5 sets market. This means they believe that the match will be won in two sets. The odds offered by the bookmaker for such a scenario offer greater value (1.31) than the price for the Match Winner Market (1.14).
If punters believe that it would take any one of the two opponents to win all three sets to win the match, then the market they should select would be Over 2.5 Sets. The possible Total Sets markets for a best-of-five tennis contest would be respectively Over/Under 3.5 sets.
Yet another variation of Totals betting on tennis are the Over/Under Games markets. With Over/Under Games betting on tennis, punters place bets on the number of games played in a match, or more exactly, if the numbers offered by bookmakers will be surpassed or not. Bookies can offer prices for the total number of games played in the whole match or only the first set, for instance.
If we take as an example the same match from the ATP Madrid Men’s Singles tournament, we may examine the relevant Over/Under Games markets.
Marin Čilić vs Alexander Zverev
|Total Games market
By selecting the Over 20.5 games, punters believe that the number of games played in this match will be at least 21. Should they choose the Under 20.5 games, they predict that the total number of games played in this match will be 20 or less.
Other Totals Tennis Markets
The Totals markets that could be explored are not limited only to sets and games, although they are the most popular options. Other Totals markets that bettors may be interested in include Over/Under Total Games – 1st Set and Player Total Games Won.
The total number of aces served during a tennis match is yet another interesting Totals betting market. An ace, as probably many tennis betting fans are aware, is a legal serve that is not touched by the receiver, and ultimately, wins a point. Bettors pick above or below the range set by bookmakers.
Much like bets in other sports, such as the Corners betting market in football, the Over/Under Aces in tennis may seem quite challenging to predict, but by using relevant statistics, it can be forecasted more accurately. Some bookmakers also offer Total tie-breaks in a match and Total double faults.
An Over/Under tennis bet is a wager on whether a given statistic for a match will be greater or lower than a pre-determined value. A total bet is another name for this sort of wager. From betting on Match and Tournament Winner to betting on the total number of games, sets, aces, double faults, and tie-breaks in a great variety of tennis tournaments, this prestigious individual sport also offers the longest season of all disciplines and endless betting opportunities. With the most popular Over/Under bets on sets and games, punters elaborate on the duration of tennis matches, rather than the winner.