© Ella Ling

Miami 2012 - Novak 5

How to bet on tennis


How to bet on tennis 

Focus on head-to-heads
The great thing about tennis from a betting perspective is that there are only two possible match outcomes, no draw to get in the way. Tennis is one-on-one combat and as such puts even more emphasis on the mental side of the game. There is often no obvious reason for it but some players have a mental block against others, even if they are ranked lower and are supposedly a weaker player. Study the head-to-heads and factor in the surface and their form at the time and you’ll be on the right track.

Look at the facts, not the words
We all need information to help back-up our original thoughts. But tennis players, like all sportsmen and women, are past masters at convincing themselves of the truth of their words. It’s incredibly rare that someone will be absolutely honest about their form or their fitness, an injury or a sickness, in public. So take their words with the pinch of salt they require. Instead, look at their actions, watch them in the warm-up if you can, before putting on a match bet. You will learn to see the signs that everything is not right.

Use all the resources at your disposal
The advent of the internet has made it so much easier to get all the information you need so make sure you know where to look. The ATP site (www.atpworldtour.com), WTA (www.wtatennis.com) have databases on the records of every player and the ITF (www.itftennis.com) always includes Davis Cup and spreads across both seniors and juniors. Likewise, don’t just bet with one bookmaker – find the best price. Use the odds comparison sites to find the best value. www.oddschecker.com is the most comprehensive. You’ll always be annoyed if you see a better price after you’ve placed your bet.

Keep a record of all your bets
Even the best gamblers think they are doing better than they are. It’s a simple fact of nature. But it’s a mistake that can be costly. Keep a record of all your tennis bets, including opponent, venue, stage of tournament, your stake, the price and the result. You will immediately be able to see patterns of bets, where you’re going wrong, as well as right and crucially, you will be able to correct your poor betting behaviour before it becomes too expensive a mistake.

Never bet when you’re bored, desperate or drunk
This should go without saying and it covers betting on every sport but we’ve all done it so I am speaking from experience. Don’t be tempted to bet when you’ve had a few too many, when you’ve just had a row with someone or if you’re bored out of your mind. Your judgement will inevitably be skewed. The most important thing about betting, successfully, is to do your research and be happy with the bet you make. If you have not looked up the head-to-heads, if you’ve forgotten about that Davis Cup meeting, you’ll kick yourself if you lose. There’s nothing worse.