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1 year ago - 6 minute read

Tennis Trading – A Bettor’s Dream

It’s no accident that Tennis has become the second most popular sport to bet on after football. Epic tussles between superstars like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray created a surge of interest in the sport as you can see with just a glance at Betting Expert’s tennis tips but also provided hugely active betting markets with odds changing dynamically over the course of several hours in betting markets awash with liquidity.

It’s a trader’s paradise with no shortage of matches to bet on and trade when you consider that the men’s and women’s calendar stretches over 11 months of the year between January and November. And it’s a sport where it pays to do your research with frequent value to be found in the pre-match markets.

As tennis is a two-way market, with the draw not an option, the overround on matches is typically lower than a 1X2 market like on football. This means you’ll often encounter tennis exchange markets of around 101% – or even closer to a 100% round book.

The sheer volume of matches taking places across the globe and betting opportunities also makes tennis an especially attractive proposition for bettors and traders looking to focus their attention and bankrolls on one particular sport.

But it’s in-play where Tennis betting really comes alive.

Trading Places

The sport’s unique scoring system is conducive to ‘swingy’ price movements in play. Breaks of serve, in particular, cause odds to react – or overreact – significantly throughout the course of a fairly evenly matched contest. Momentum in tennis can switch rapidly, which creates opportunities for canny traders to lock in profits.

Tennis is also a sport where you’ll often find very short odds-on favourites, so you can look to profit from price movements in play. For instance, a top seed might be as short as 1.05 ahead of a first-round match against a lowly ranked opponent.

King of the Clay Rafa Nadal is generally ridiculously short priced on this surface.

But if the favourite starts slowly or drops a couple of early games, his or her odds will climb. So a lay at 1.05 pre-match and a back at bigger odds in play will lock in a quick, tidy profit. It’s, of course, not as simple as this, and the key is to pick your opportunities carefully. But here again, Tennis comes into its own.

The Fab Four

Firstly there is the huge variety available. Spread throughout the jam-packed schedule are the prestigious Grand Slam events contested on various playing surfaces, each over the course of two weeks. They are:

January – Australian Open (Hardcourt)
May – French Open (Clay)
June – Wimbledon (Grass)
August – US Open (Hardcourt)

Men’s matches at these events are the best of five sets instead of three, which can throw up more opportunities to profit from price fluctuations over the course of two or three hours – and sometimes longer. Women’s matches, even at the Grand Slams, are the best of three sets, which is why you’ll often find increased volatility from an in-play betting perspective compared with the men’s game.

The full men’s (ATP) schedule can be found here, and the women’s (WTA) schedule can be viewed here.

The outdoor grass courts of Wimbledon are unique on the world wide tennis calendar.

Secondly is the freely available mass of data. As with any sport, data is critical in order to make calculated bets and try to assess how a match will pan out for in-running trading strategies. Fortunately, tennis is such a high-profile sport nowadays that information, including form, player stats, head-to-head records and much more, is abundant and readily available online.

Again, the ATP and WTA sites are good places to start. But there are hundreds of betting-focused tennis data sites and premium data solutions such as Tennis Insight and OnCourt for the more serious bettors. But before you delve too deeply, explore Matchbook Insights for tips on the right way to use data when finding bets.

Anyone for Tennis?

To sum up, tennis has a number of advantages over many other sports from a betting and trading perspective.

First, the action comes thick and fast with men’s and women’s events take place almost every week of the year. However, it has to be said that if you are based in Europe then trading the Australian Open will mean putting in some bleary-eyed night shifts and early morning stints.

Meanwhile, all the form, stats, head-to-head records and any other data are readily available online. Exchange markets generally have good-to-great liquidity, particularly the Grand Slam matches, while lively in-play markets throw up a plethora of entry points to make profitable trades. Put simply, tennis should be a firm favourite for any recreational bettor or full-time trader.

Click here for Matchbook’s latest tennis markets