Betting lines. How to select the best one
How to choose the best tennis betting lines
We’ve decided to write a series of articles which will help you to maximize your chances of taking advantage of the bookmakers. This one concentrates on the most common betting types for you to be capable of choosing your ideal option. The information is primarily referred to tennis betting but it’s also relevant to other sports, such as football, hockey, basketball, etc.
So let’s start. How to choose the most suitable tennis betting lines among the variety we are offered today. Unfortunately, there is no one definite answer. So I’ll do my best to describe it in brief how I make my choice. The basic bet types are totals bets, handicap bets, the match winner bets (odds). I prefer to place bets on handicaps. If you know how it works, a handicap (both positive and negative) may become a money-making tool for any skillful bettor. Now read carefully a step-by-step analysis of the main features of the above mentioned betting options.
Betting lines. Handicaps.
The first in the list are handicap bets (positive and negative). The opportunity of betting on handicaps makes tennis the best sport to gain an edge over the bookies. In handicap betting it’s very important to consider who of the opponents gets the right of the first serve. Let’s take as an example the match between Gulbis and Nadal, where the handicap was set as +4,5 for Gulbis. Shall Nadal be the first to serve, his chances to cover the applied handicap are increasing as it would be enough for Nadal to make two breaks (6:3, 6:4). Let’s look at the different scenario where the first serve is performed by Gulbis. If he makes two breaks (one in every set), the match ends up with the victory of Rafael Nadal (6:4, 6:4), but the handicap bets on Gulbis would still win. Knowing this trick, I often place positive handicap bets live, before the very beginning of the match as soon as I know who serves first. This is the way to enhance my winning chances.
Among the negative handicap bets I prefer a -2,5 handicap to any others. Why this one? The answer is simple: a handicap in 3 games is easily covered by at least one break. Moreover, this option gives you an opportunity to count on success, even if your selection has lost one of the sets but was the first to serve (4:6, 6:3, 6:4). In this case, he might obtain victory by making a break in every set he won. It’s worth mentioning that in case of betting with a negative handicap applied, your selection has no right to fail any set ending it up with the score 6:1 or 6:2. Otherwise, it would be too complicated to get back into the match. But nevertheless, the -2,5 handicap is, in my opinion, a perfect one from all sides. As a general rule, this handicap allows you to raise the winning odds from 1,6 to 1,94 (if betting with a handicap), which would result in additional 34% of profit and eliminate the insensible risk you might incur. If the winning odds start from 1,75 and higher, I advise not to take on additional risk and place a bet on a victory. If you’re betting with a -1,5 handicap it might increase the odds from 1,75 to 1,9 which would result in 15% increase in profit, but will make risks significantly bigger (remember that should your selection fail a single set, the minor negative handicap would fall to pieces, unlike the match winner bet). Fundamentals of risk management, so to say.
Now let’s see when a positive handicap can become really profitable. It’s desirable to bet with positive handicaps when, for example, the opponent of your selection has spent a lot of time on courts before the chosen event. It’s not uncommon for the players whose physical state is far from being perfect, to distribute their forces throughout the match unevenly. In other words, the player takes the first set, fails the second one and by recovering and saving forces, shows the best tennis he could and beats the opponent. But it’s more a matter of fatigue and such a scenario is typical of players who played many matches within a short period of time. But still, these situations should be taken into consideration and if you bet on the match between similarly-ranked opponents, one of whom runs a long winning session it’s advisable to bet on a more fresh-looking player with a minor positive handicap, let it be +1,5, then on his victory. It will definitely reduce the final odds, but will x increase your winning chances significantly as the probability of the opponent’s failure is rather high.
Betting lines. Totals.
As for the totals, we have already mentioned that we really dislike totals bets. Especially, the over total betting option (hereafter referred to as “OT”). Very often OT betting implies more than 2 sets (if 2 sets are enough to win the match). Certainly, there are exceptions to any rule, but usually OT meaning remains the same. And there are many matches between more or less equal opponents that end up in 2 sets, with no OT. In other words, it’s easier for me to predict the run of the match than the total number of games. I’d better appraise the winning chances of both opponents and bet on the victory of one of them. For example, if 2 similarly-ranked sportsmen are going to play and I see that the bookmaker offers a +2,5 handicap on one of them, I would pick up this option as we would have the added value of 2,5 games thus the bet will be valid.
Choosing between the totals options, I’d prefer the under totals (UT). Sometimes you may expect the particular player to win a 3-set match, especially on Grand Slam tournaments, but the offered negative handicap seems to be unreasonable high. In these cases it’s possible to bet on UT. I pay your attention that it makes sense only if one player dominates greatly over his competitor. Very often the UT bet looks more valid than the bet on the victory in 3 sets (if there is a big gap in ranking) because of the higher odds, although the essence and risks are almost the same.
Betting lines. Match winner (odds)
Now some words about the match winner. Here we have two betting strategies to offer. Strategy No.1 – place a bet at the odds from 1,75 to 2,1. Within this range it’s more beneficial to wager on victory than on a negative handicap (as stated above). Strategy No.2 – risky bets at the odds from 3,5 to 15. Typically, these are live bets. I often resort to the strategy No.2 during a clay season, when a player may lose the first set and start losing the second one due to the early break. So the final odds on his victory will be 6-8. The only BUT is that break points are a matter of course on clay courts, and the chances to get back into match are increasing on this kind of surface. It all happens because your serve is nor so important as on other surfaces. These odds create good conditions for insurance. This strategy is also efficient on Grand Slam tournaments with one player leading with a 2:0 advantage by sets despite his exhaustion. In this case we advise to back his opponent at the eye-watering odds.
In this article I’ve shared my thoughts about the most rational steps in selecting betting lines while playing against a bookmaker. But it’s just my opinion. You may have your own judgment. Nevertheless, I’m sure you have learnt something new from this article, something that would make your betting solutions more effective.
And for the finale: Djokovic and Sharapova use racquets to play golf.
Relevant articles:Dan Weston: Never let a bad run of results wipe you out.
Answers to some questions: fixed matches, bets on totals, betting strategies
Live bets. Special aspects of betting tennis live
How to win at betting: odds fluctuations.
Value betting. Social media in tennis betting: how it can be of help.
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