Correctly analysing a tennis match
Betting on tennis requires different knowledge than betting on another sport like football. Before discussing the possibilities for betting on tennis, it is wise to remember that betting should only be a hobby, to prevent it from having a direct impact on your finances. So remember that the golden rule for any punter is never to gamble beyond your means.
Now, let’s get back to the main question which is to find out "How to bet successfully on tennis?" In our opinion, there are 7 principles to follow for betting on tennis.
Analyse the odds
Choosing the right odds is, of course, essential for a sports punter, but it is even more crucial when you are betting on individual sports, as is the case for tennis. Indeed, lots of key parameters come into play (see 5).
We shall start by ranking the odds:
- Odds of between 1.01 and 1.20 can be described as virtual certainties
- Odds of between 1.20 and 1.50 are "reasonable"
- Odds of above 1.50 and up to 2.00 are "risky" odds (often 45-55%)
- Odds of between 2.00 and 3.00 may be attractive when the type of player concerned is considered to be an up-and-coming player or a player capable of pulling off a surprise performance.
And to finish, odds of over 3.00 concern players that definitely do not start out as favourites. They may be attractive if a player is underestimated. Nevertheless, be careful not to bet at these odds too often. They only rarely come off and there are other ways of betting if you have a good hunch (see 6).
Preferring quality to quantity
In betting, less often but more efficiently is the rule. There are lots of matches in a tennis tournament, if we count both singles and doubles. A tennis fan will be familiar with many of the players and will be tempted to bet on several – and often too many – matches. You must therefore be careful to restrict your betting in terms of its “quantity”. Analysing the matches (see 5) will allow you to choose a maximum of 2 or 3 matches per day to ensure consistency in your bets. So, you should really try to choose your matches with care because the more matches you bet on, the more chance you have of losing. It’s a mathematical certainty. The opposite also applies, but much less often.
Make several trial runs
When you start sports betting, we always advise punters to make several trial runs. This applies to tennis as it does to other sports. Do this for at least a week so that the results balance out. This will firstly allow you to see which system you should favour and to analyse the odds which have increased your capital and, on the other hand, those which have cost you money.
Managing your stakes
When you place bets, it is vital to manage your capital well. By this, we mean that it is essential to avoid charging in blindly without knowing how much money you have available. In these conditions, you must build up a capital that you will use for all of your stakes. This will force you to wager a certain percentage of this capital per bet (and not per day). We emphasise the importance of this point. Indeed, if you are basing your betting on an amount of capital per day, you will be seeking at all costs to predict the results of a set number of matches. However, if you are wagering a percentage per bet, you may only bet on a single match on Monday because nothing else appears worthwhile and then on 3 matches on Tuesday because the matches on offer are more tempting. In this way, you are favouring quality over quantity (see point 2) while at the same time managing your bankroll. We therefore advise you not to exceed 4% of your capital on a bet in order to maintain a balance in relation to your bankroll.
To analyse a tennis match properly and thus find the most attractive odds and potential "exploits", it is important to examine several decisive factors:
The time of year (fatigue, injury)
Indeed, certain players start their season earlier than others or play in more back-to-back tournaments. Therefore, they don’t get tired at the same time and the freshness of the player is sometimes more important than the opponent’s ranking. You should therefore ensure that you take these parameters into account. Comebacks from injury must also be considered. A player that has been absent from the courts for a long time due to injury is bound to be somewhat rusty. It could be profitable to bet against players when an injury that has kept them off the courts affects a part of the body that is put under great pressure by their playing style. Let’s take the example of Isner – a big server. If he were returning from a shoulder injury, there’s no doubt that this comeback would be difficult and this could give the punter a chance.
The court surface is a very important factor as players often have a favourite surface and some even specialise. Therefore, you must always be vigilant because these changes of surface could lead to changes in the odds that may be attractive.
Type of player
In head-to-head matches, players always try to establish their type of game and find the best possible strategy to come out on top. However, certain players have styles that "ruin" their adversary's game. In other terms, certain players employ a style that does not allow the opponent to exploit his or her best assets. This can lead to surprises with players that don’t manage to adapt. Therefore, you should always look out for this. To do this, you can consult the history of their past matches, according to the playing surfaces and times of year. This sometimes reveals precious information. Players that cause certain opponents in particular to perform badly are considered to be their "bogey players".
High stakes and points to defend
Players that performed well during the previous year often feel obliged to perform well again in the tournament or they risk being demoted in the rankings. Remember that at the start of each week, the ATP deducts points acquired by players during the previous year, and to maintain their rankings, players must keep obtaining good results. For example, a player that wins a tournament worth 500 points and is a losing finalist in the following year, earning 300 points in the process, will lose 200 points in the rankings. To this, we can add the fact that the result of certain matches can cause players to gain one place in the rankings. All of these parameters must therefore be taken into consideration. Finally, we come to the Master’s competition at the end of the year and here, the competition to find the best of the best causes certain players to play out of their skins.
Identifying the betting opportunities
There are several ways of betting. You can simply bet on a given player during a match, but this is not the only way. In fact, there are many different types of bets whose odds may be more attractive. You can thus bet on:
- The length of the match
- The winner with a handicap of games or sets.
- Under or Over in terms of the number of games played.
- The number of sets played
- The final winner of a tournament, etc.
Finally, live betting is another form of gambling, in which you will see the odds on the favourites increase if they have got off to a bad start in the match - by having their service broken, for example. At times like this, live betting can be very attractive.
Keeping an up to date file of wins and losses
Finally, it is important to record all of your results in a computer file. You can (and we advise you to) keep an up to date record of several items of data concerning your betting in an Excel spreadsheet. In it, you can record your stakes, wins/losses, dates, profits and winnings in relation to your starting capital and your number of successful bets. This information will give you access to statistics that, in the long term, will always be very interesting and worthwhile. With this, you can create a curve showing the status of your capital. For example, you could review your situation once a week – Monday seems to be a good day after the weekend, which is always the peak time for sports events. It also helps you to manage your money because, as we mentioned at the start, the most important thing is not to bet above your means.