Tennis Odds and How They Work| Complete Guide

Tennis Odds and Betting

Tennis is one of the wealthiest professional sports in the world. It’s also a little different from other sports because it’s a game mainly for individuals, with doubles matches less popular. What is true of all formats is that tennis odds are straightforward and present many betting opportunities.

The bodies that organize tennis tours for the best players in the world are the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for the men’s game and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for the women’s game.

Other tennis bodies include the International Tennis Federation (ITF), but these games are rarely televised. For the most part, you should be looking to take rewards from ATP and WTA games. 

Novak Djokovic makes a run at the ball during match against Felix Auger-Aliassime

 Tennis Formats and Grand Slams 

Most tennis matches are the best of three sets, but it’s different for Grand Slams, where the matches for men are the best of five sets, prompting epic battles that can go on for four hours or longer. They also affect the tennis odds for a match, with the better players likely to triumph owing to greater mental and physical strength.  

The four Grand Slams are the major championships in the sport, with the Australia Open taking place at the start of the year, followed by the French Open in May, Wimbledon in June or July, and the US Open in August or September. The tennis odds for non-Grand Slam events are likely to be a lot more volatile because players are usually not at their sharpest or are simply not as well known.

Stakes are a lot higher in Grand Slams, and bagging a title is the holy grail for any tennis player. Besides the Grand Slams, the ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournaments are also prestigious.

Tennis Odds Fluctuate with Grand Slams

The Grand Slams take place on different surfaces. This adds an intriguing edge to the sport, compelling bettors to do basic research on players and the surfaces they prefer when looking at the tennis odds.

The Australian Open and US Open take place on hard courts, but the tournament surfaces have subtle differences. The Australian Open is played on a synthetic surface, whereas the US Open is played on an acrylic hard court. 

The ball bounces a bit higher at the US Open and moves faster than on the Australian Open courts, which can affect player strategy and tactics. The games on hard courts are a lot faster than games on clay, but slower than games on grass.

The French Open or Roland Garros takes place on clay, whereas Wimbledon is on grass. The strategies and strengths required to play on these two surfaces are very different from one another. All these variations make the game fascinating to watch and add to the mystique around betting on tennis odds. This is some valuable information that will help when strategizing your bets.

Types of Tennis Odds 

Before getting into the types of betting, bettors need to know how tennis odds are presented in a sportsbook. Most sportsbooks will provide all three options depending on how easy it is for the bettor to follow. The three odds can be classified into American, decimal, and fractional. 

American odds are whole numbers prefixed with minus or plus signs, decimal odds are presented in decimal form and fractional odds are presented in fractional form. 

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are two of the most popular active players in the men’s game. If the two were to face each other, the sportsbook might offer odds in this manner:

Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal

American odds



Decimal odds



Fractional odds



Regardless of how they’re presented, all of these odds provide the same implied probability of a win. According to the figures in the table, a stake of $120 on Djokovic would win the better a $100. On the other hand, a stake of $100 on Nadal would win the better $120 if we’re going by American odds. 

If we’re going by decimal odds, a $120 stake on Djokovic multiplied 1.83 would pay out $220, which is a $100 reward. If we’re going by fractional odds, you will win six times the dollar for every five you bet, i.e. $120 for every $100.

Types Of Tennis Betting and Strategies  

 Moneyline Betting

This is the best place to start for those who are betting on tennis odds for the first time. It’s simply a bet on who bettors think will win a match. This does not require any kind of specialized knowledge of the game. 

Just some basic head-to-head research, and a look at the record on the surface along with the odds on offer will indicate who is more likely to win or lose a match. The example just above for Nadal and Djokovic is a good example of a moneyline bet. 

Spread Betting

Unlike moneyline betting, spread betting is not on a fixed outcome like winning or losing. Let’s take the example of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, two of the best players on the ATP circuit. They’ll have favorable tennis odds against most opponents, which is why moneyline betting isn’t going to offer great odds. 

Despite being favorites and going on to win a game against a certain player, they might still find it difficult against certain opponents; this is where spread betting comes into the picture. 

The two might have odds of -120 to win against player x, but the odds to win the game by a difference of over five games in a two-set match might be +120. If Djokovic or Nadal beat player x 6-3 6-3, they’ve won by a difference over five games, but if they win 7-5 7-6, they’ve not won a match by a difference over five games. 

This form of betting makes things far more interesting in tennis odds. It offers potential rewards to the bettor even if the underdog loses.


In this form of betting, you’re usually betting on how many games or sets will be played in a match and whether it’ll be over or under a particular number. Once again, this isn’t a fixed betting outcome. You could bet on Djokovic or Nadal to win a match, but the odds for winning the match over or under a certain number of sets or games will be a little trickier and, therefore, more lucrative. 

Outrights and Futures Betting

This is a bet on the outright winner of a tournament. Rafael Nadal goes into most clay court tournaments as the favorite because of his outstanding record on the surface. You could place your bet on him to win the tournament prior to it starting. This would be an example of an outright bet even though the tennis odds on offer for such a bet won’t be great. Another example would be betting on which player will make it to a certain stage in a tournament like the semi-finals or round of 16s. 

Prop Bets

These are bets for more experienced bettors and make up for most of the regular betting experience. They can be a bit bizarre, like betting on a tie break score, a particular score for a set, or how many aces or double faults a player will hit. They are often live and might require the bettor to follow the action, which is not always necessary for some of the other betting types mentioned earlier. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you win money on tennis betting?

You can win cash betting on tennis, but like all forms of sports betting, you will increase your chances of making a profit if you do some research first. Look at the tennis odds and markets to find some value.

Is tennis betting legal in the USA?

Sports betting online is now legal in Ohio. Make sure you are playing on a licensed sportsbook and that you are placing bets from within the state.

Does the court surface affect tennis odds?

Some players favor one type of tennis court surface over another, so the tennis odds should take this into account. For example, Rafael Nadal was famously called the King of Clay.

What is a futures tennis bet?

With a futures bet, you can opt for the player you think will win a tournament. So, you might bet that Novak Djokovic will win the US Open.