Betting on huge positive and negative handicap and total markets
Usually when placing a bet on a tennis event, we won’t see the equal odds on the both players. At the same time, betting at the odds of 1.4 or 1.2 n the outright winner isn’t always profitable. Then it’s worthwhile to consider betting on handicap and total markets. They allow the possibility of getting your bet refunded if you wisely analyze all the bottlenecks. Remember that the handicap and total markets size doesn’t depend on the opponents’ abilities only. It’s vital to take into account the format of the event or match, playing styles of the competitors, their physical and functional abilities.
Obviously, the players who come on court have no goal to cover the handicap line. They don’t care about the outcome of every single set. They are interested in a final scoreline and will do their best to win the match spending as little efforts as possible. That’s why you have to be careful when choosing the betting handicap market, especially with the negative one. If it’s higher than usually, it implies more than two breaks converted in two sets. So the main question you should answer before placing a handicap market wager is why a tennis player will win or lose big.
Let’s make it a bit clearer.
When a huge negative handicap (or total) markets are not profit-driven
When there are players who can’t maintain high level of tennis throughout the entire match. Most commonly it refers to young immature teens, aged tennis veterans and those who can’t physically survive long rallies. All of them need a break to finish the match. Therefore, their performance is often unpredictable. They can easily win the beginning and lose the end of the encounter.
For example: The recent best of five matchup between Taylor Fritz and Jack Sock at the US Open. The offered handicap (-5.5) doesn’t look very big but it isn’t that simple. Jack Sock has physical issues and even the task to win three sets in one breath is rather difficult for him. It explains why after 2-0 lead Sock took a break and gave away the following two sets to win the deciding one. As a result, Sock ends up winning the match. But the handicap bet on Fritz has won due to huge advantage in the third and fourth sets. This example demonstrates how Jack Sock managed to prevail thanks to the timely tactical ploy.
When there are title favorites playing at a grand slam or Masters 1000 event. Any grand slam is a two-week event. ATP Masters run for one week with matches scheduled every day. Such tennis marathons may be extremely difficult even for the top players. So they distribute their forces and don’t chase easy win on the early stages. Generally, we’ll see big handicap markets but the favorite isn’t interested in the handicap. It’s more important to tune his play, adapt to weather conditions and to the surface.
For example: Novak Djokovic is an excellent example here. The Serb tends to spend as little efforts as possible during the first week thus coming at his best in the key matches. And it’s quite logical. If Novak will show his top tennis at the start, he’ll hardly make it to the semifinal where his opponent will be stronger, of course. Accordingly, we advise to bet on big positive markets on underdogs (+10.5 or 11.5 or +7.5 in best of three sets matches).
Example No.2: The best returner on tour, Andy Murray, comes as a title favorite for any major event. Surprisingly, but the Brit often has very dramatic matches in opening rounds. Obviously, the Scot has troubles adapting to a court. Do you remember the Roland Garros 2016 matchup between Andy Murray and Radek Stepanek? With no bad pre-match signs, Murray has hardly close up the match victoriously.
When there are big servers playing like Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic or Ivo Karlovic. Due to their high ranking position, they’ll always be heavily valued on the negative handicap markets. The most general playing script they stick to is the following: trying hard on the opponent’s serve until they got broken and then concentrate on holding their serves. At this point, we warn you against betting on -4.5 or -6.5 (for five-setters) handicap markets as they will win only when the favorite serves fist and makes a break in every set. Keep in mind that these players may take the match to the tie breaker where they’ll also have advantage due to their booming serves.
For example: Kevin Anderson v Vasek Pospisil at the US Open 2016. As soon as Vasek Pospisil got broken, Kevin Anderson did his best to hold his own serve. As a result, the offered -5.5 handicap market lost.
Example No.2: Nicolas Mahut v Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Wimbledon. The doubles partners played that match in a very friendly manner. Mahut took the dominance and managed to comfortable win the match but failed to cover the small -4.5 handicap market losing one of the sets.
When the negative handicap markets (Total Under) may be profitable
The most common scenario when it may be worthwhile to bet on the negative handicap market is when the player can’t win relying on his firepower solely. The most typical players for this example are David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal. The both may win only with strong actions in rallies. They can’t hold their serve even playing the much weaker opponents. That’s why you’ll always see Nadal and Ferrer actively playing all the time.
For example: Rafal Nadal has managed to cover the huge handicap market of -8 games against Andreas Seppi and Denis Istomin.
Another option is when close opponents are playing on final stages of the event. The odds are too high here and the players can’t afford to do the job half done.
For example: Novak Djokovic v Dominic Thiem at the Roland Garros 2016. The Austrian made very strong showing in Paris and didn’t deserve such a blowout from the World No.1 (6:2, 6:1, 6:4).
So in handicaps you have to be experienced and understand tennis specifics. The bookies offered odds to balance the betting market. As a matter of fact, tennis athletes are also humans with their plans and ideas. So every match should be treated differently. Before selecting a handicap market to bet on, ask yourself the questions: “Does the player need to win big in the upcoming match or will the comfortable win suit him?” and “Will the player manage to do his minimum to win or the opponent looks more confident?”
Handicap and total markets are the main tools you may rely on for consistent wins over the bookies. Evaluate the market, compare the odds and enter the betting action!
Relevant articles:Tennis betting. All you should know about betting on clay court tennis matches
Answers to some questions: fixed matches, bets on totals, betting strategies
Betting tennis live: hedging strategy
Betting on tennis. Playing on outdoor hard courts
Live bets. Special aspects of betting tennis live
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