How to Bet on Tennis in Indiana
The legal sports betting industry in Indiana continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Fans across the state can now take their love of the games to entirely new levels. Many are also beginning to explore new markets, which is leading to a surge in interest for a number of different sports.
Tennis is one of those at the top of the list. Major tournaments already receive plenty of attention, but fans are beginning to realize that there’s a whole lot more to see here.
There’s almost always a tennis tournament going on, whether it be right here in the US or somewhere else across the globe. Sports bettors can get in on the action at any time, and many have been surprised by all of the options they have at their disposal.
Folks can bet on tournament winners, focus on individual matchups, or even make a live bet on a match in real time as the action transpires on the court, for example.
Live betting has been a huge driver behind the growing interest in tennis betting. We’ll cover what you need to know about that in a bit, as well as everything else to get you up to speed. Let’s begin with the basics.
Tennis betting basics
When beginning with tennis betting, you’ll find some bets that look very familiar to those you might have experienced with other sports. However, you’ll also find some that are unique to tennis. Here are the most popular ways to bet on tennis:
- Tournament winner: You can place a bet on the outright winner of upcoming tournaments.
- Head-to-head matchups: You’ll find odds on the individual tennis matchups to bet on throughout each tournament.
- Tennis spread betting: This is also on head-to-head matchups, but the side you choose must cover the margin of games set by oddsmakers.
- Tennis set betting: Similar to spread bets, but based on sets as opposed to games for the margin of victory.
- Total games: You can place a wager on the total number of games that will be needed to complete a match.
When you’re picking the winner of a tournament, you’ll find the odds listed in a format that’s just like the futures market found in other sports. For head-to-heads, spreads and sets, it’s pretty similar to team-based matchups.
The same applies for total games, which is in the same ballpark as over/under bets on total points for team-based sports. All that said, tennis betting is different from other sports in the sense that you’re focusing on the performance of individuals as opposed to teams.
Tennis betting odds explained
To further understand the different bet types, it’s helpful to know what the odds board is telling you. Let’s run through some examples.
Winner of tournament
- Rafael Nadal +150
- Roger Federer +170
- Novak Djokovic +190
For a tournament winner, you’ll find odds listed for each player scheduled to compete, ranging from favorites to longshots. In between will be plenty of mid-range choices. The goal is to find the outright winner, and you can place bets on as many or as few players as you like.
- Simona Halep -120
- Caroline Wozniacki +110
For the individual matchups, you’ll generally find a favorite and an underdog to choose from. The same applies for spread and set betting. After reviewing the matchups, you can zero in on the ones you find most appealing and break them down further to make your selection.
- Daniil Medvedev -1.5 (-110)
- John Isner +1.5 (-110)
Whether we’re talking about sets or games in spread bets, the sportsbook listing will be similar. You’ll see the name of the player, the margin needed to cover and the corresponding odds.
Live betting on tennis
We can attribute a good part of the surging interest in tennis to live betting. These are bets you can place in real time as the action takes place on the court. The market moves fast, and offerings will vary, but that only adds to the excitement.
Here’s a sampling of some of the opportunities you may come across.
- Outcome of current game.
- Winner of next set.
- How the next point will break.
- Updated head-to-head odds.
- Total number of games played in match.
You won’t be lacking for choices when tennis is in full swing. To take full advantage of live betting, a sports betting app is a must. You have to be able to react quickly to developments as they transpire. Having a sportsbook at your fingertips makes that much more manageable.
Betting on tennis futures
There’s a very active futures market for tennis. These are wagers you can place on something that has yet to happen. Once the initial odds are released, you’ll see shifts based on market action and any new developments.
The biggest markets for tennis futures revolve around the four major tournaments on the men’s and women’s side.
- Australian Open
- French Open
- US Open
You’ll be able to bet on the outright winner on both sides well in advance of the tournament. The odds board will continue to adjust all along the way, so it makes for a good tool to keep on top of the current state of play and market sentiment.
Offerings will vary at different sportsbooks, but you may also find futures markets for things such as Player of the Year. You’ll also be able to peruse the odds board for opportunities in advance of any of the standard tournaments on both the men’s and women’s side.
Tennis prop betting
In addition to all of the standard ways to bet on tennis, there will also be an assortment of prop bets as tournaments play out. These are basically side wagers on something that may or may not happen during the course of a match or event. Here are some examples.
- Over/under on games won by player.
- How many sets will the match last?
- Will a tiebreak be needed at any point?
Once again, the offerings will vary. For highly anticipated matchups between two top pros, you may see more prop opportunities than you would find on a random early-round matchup.
Betting on tennis Grand Slams
There are four major tournaments in tennis. They receive a ton of attention from the general public, not to mention the betting market.
Australian Open betting
- Jan. 14-Feb. 2, 2020, ESPN
- Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- GreenSet hard surface
- Last year’s winner: Novak Djokovic
- Last year’s winner: Naomi Osaka
According to the futures market, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were favorites on the men’s side. Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty were the top choices on the women’s draw.
French Open betting
- May 24-June 7, 2020, NBC, Tennis Channel
- Roland-Garros in Paris, France
- Clay court
- Last year’s winner: Rafael Nadal
- Last year’s winner: Ashleigh Barty
Nadal and Djokovic are the men’s favorites for the French Open, while it’s Barty and Simona Halep on the women’s side.
- 4/1/2020 Update: Wimbledon has been canceled amid health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in London, England
- Grass court
- Last year’s winner: Novak Djokovic
- Last year’s winner: Simona Halep
US Open betting
- Aug. 24-Sept. 13, 2020, ESPN
- Flushing Meadow Corona Park in Queens, New York City
- Hard court
- Last year’s winner: Rafael Nadal
- Last year’s winner: Bianca Andreescu
Djokovic and Nadal are atop the odds board on the men’s side for the US Open, while Williams and Barty are the favorites for the women’s draw.
These four tournaments will attract plenty of betting action, but that won’t stop sportsbook operators from kicking things up several notches. Be on the lookout for special promo offers such as odds boosts and other special bets.
ATP/WTA tour betting
While the majors attract the most attention, those aren’t the only tennis betting opportunities you’ll find. There are tournaments year-round, and you can bet on each of them.
Here are some of the biggest events on the docket for both tours in 2020.
ATP Tournaments 2020
- BNP Paribas Open. March 12-22. Outdoor Hard.
- Miami Open presented by Itau. March 25-April 5. Outdoor Hard.
- Rolex Monte Carlo Masters. April 12-19. Outdoor Clay.
- Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. April 20-26. Outdoor Clay.
- International BNL d’Italia. May 10-17. Outdoor Clay.
- Hamburg European Open. July 13-19. Outdoor Clay.
- Citi Open. Aug. 2-9. Outdoor Hard.
- Rogers Cup. Aug. 10-16. Outdoor Hard.
WTA Tournaments 2020
- Volvo Car Open. April 6-12. Outdoor Clay.
- Mutua Madrid Open. May 2-9. Outdoor Clay.
- Berlin Open. June 15-21. Outdoor Grass.
- Oracle Challenger Series. July 27-Aug. 2. Outdoor Hard.
- Citi Open. Aug. 3-9. Outdoor Hard.
- Rogers Cup. Aug. 10-16. Outdoor Hard.
- Zhengzhou Open. Sept. 14-20. Outdoor Hard.
- VTB Kremlin Cup. Oct. 19-25. Outdoor Hard.
This is just a small sample of the tournaments you’ll find throughout the calendar year. For each of the events on the jam-packed calendar, you’ll be able to place your bets.
Differences for betting on men’s vs. women’s tennis
You’ll find the same betting opportunities for both men’s and women’s tennis. Outright winners, head-to-head matchups and live betting are among the ways to bet on both sides.
As such, the same handicapping rules apply when researching your wagers. However, there are some differences that you’ll want to keep in mind when breaking things down.
For starters, playing style can vary depending on who is on the court. In the men’s game, power can be a huge factor. On the women’s side, a strong finesse game can be a difference maker.
Naturally, those two styles of play cross over. There are plenty of female tennis players with incredibly powerful serves, as well as men who have pinpoint accuracy. On both sides, there are players who are fantastic in one aspect and struggle with the other.
Regardless of gender, it’s important to understand the players involved. What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? How do they match up with their opponent?
Learn to treat each individual matchup as its own event, and don’t naturally assume the stronger overall player will dominate. Upsets happen, and drilling down into the matchup and skill sets of the players involved can help you spot them.
Also, keep in mind that the length of matches can vary. For men, this can mean up to five sets in a contest, while women’s matches usually have a max of three sets.
While the bottom line is which side is going to win, factor the possibility of a lengthier contest into your thinking. Does either player have a noticeable endurance advantage? Little nuggets of information such as this can be the difference between winning and losing tickets.
Davis Cup betting
This is a team-based international competition. The teams are broken down by nationality. For the 2019 edition, there were 18 teams competing. Throughout the event, there are singles and doubles matchups.
Those that fare the best advance in the tournament. There will be plenty of betting opportunities to consider throughout the event. In addition to wagering on the individual matchups, you can place bets on the team that will be the outright winner of the Davis Cup.
When breaking down the individual matchups, it’s just like breaking down a contest from any other tournament. For the outright winner, keep in mind that certain teams are just much stronger than the others.
That will naturally be represented on the odds board, which will list all teams slated to compete with favorites at the top and long shots on the bottom. The Davis Cup is generally a very entertaining event, and it provides yet another way to bet on tennis to boot.
Olympic tennis betting
Tokyo plays host to the 2020 Summer Olympics. Tennis will be a big part of the festivities. That portion of the contest is scheduled to run from July 24 through Aug. 2.
There will be men’s and women’s competitions with tournaments on both sides. In addition to singles, there will also be doubles and mixed singles competitions.
You’ll have plenty of individual contests to consider, and you can also bet on the outright winners of the events. Once again, normal handicapping rules apply.
For the matchups, break them down just like you normally would, but also consider ancillary factors such as how the player traditionally fares in international competitions versus tour events.
The same applies for choosing the outright winner. There are players who excel in competitions of this nature, and others who perform better on the traditional tennis circuit.
Rules for betting on tennis
As always, it’s important to study the rules of the game on the sportsbook you’ll be playing on. While many books are in line on how they treat tennis betting, there may be some instances that are treated differently in one spot over the other.
Beyond that, there are also some specific aspects of the game that are unique to tennis. Some of them come up regularly enough that they are worth taking the time to understand in full. This will help avoid any potential surprises in the future if they come up.
Here are a few common circumstances that can come up during the course of a tournament.
This is another term for an automatic advancement into the next round. It comes up when an opponent withdraws prior to the next scheduled match. Any bets placed on the match are generally considered void and refunded.
2. Weather concerns
Inclement weather can lead to the delay or postponement of matches. If it’s a postponement but the match will be completed soon thereafter, there’s nothing to worry about from a betting perspective. For a delay, the match must be completed within a certain timeframe to still be considered live. Consult your sportsbook for the exact rules on weather delays.
3. Retirement during match
If a player is unable to continue a match due to injury, then that side is considered to have retired during the match. For betting purposes, it’s usually handled in one of several ways, so consult your sportsbook for clarification.
- Bets are considered live once the first ball is in play.
- Some operators require at least one set to be completed.
- Other books want two sets wrapped up before considering the bet live.
- Books could require the full match to be completed before the bet can be graded.
As with all sports that are new to you, familiarity breeds understanding. Before too long, the nuances surrounding tennis betting will become old hat.
Tennis Betting FAQ
What happens with tennis bets in a suspended match?
If the match is suspended due to weather and set to be completed soon thereafter, then the bet will proceed as normal. When it’s a suspension as in a cancellation or walkover, then the bet will be voided. Consult the tennis betting rules section on your sportsbook for specific details on how it handles each circumstance.
Do different surfaces have an impact on tennis betting?
Yes. There are players who excel on certain courts and struggle on others. One of the first items you should check as part of your research routine is the playing surface for the tournament at hand. From there, take a look at how the players you’re interested in perform on that surface.
What are the main tennis court surfaces?
There are four different types of tennis courts, classified based on the material of the surface: carpet, clay, grass and hard. Each of the different surfaces can have an impact on play and playing styles, so be sure to review how the players you are interested in perform on the surface at hand for the tournament you’re betting on.
Who has won the most major tennis tournaments?
Roger Federer holds the record on the men’s side with 20 major titles. He’s also the all-time leader in major final appearances with 31. Margaret Court holds the record on the women’s side with 24 major wins. Chris Evert tops the ladies with 34 appearances in major finals.
Is it harder to bet on tennis compared to other sports?
No, but there’s a learning curve involved with learning any new sport. Getting familiar with tennis betting is no different from the process you would go through to become comfortable with any other sport. You need to understand the players, playing surfaces, bet types and what the odds board is telling you for starters. If you can get the basics down first, then you’ll have a much easier time expanding your knowledge as you move forward.