Tennis Handicap Betting Explained

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Matt Tenby
Matt has been a writer for American Betting Experts since 2019. He loves to watch, bet on and write about soccer but is also a huge NBA and NFL fan.

Here is everything you need to know about Tennis handicap betting and how to take advantage of this betting market to increase your profits.

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Tennis handicap betting is very popular among avid tennis bettors. It is also referred to as tennis spread betting, but both mean the same thing.

This form of betting is riskier than the standard tennis money line bets, but as a result will reap greater rewards if successful.

What is tennis handicap betting?

To answer this question, it is important to know what a handicap is in tennis. Just like in any sport, a handicap is when two players are assigned a number matching their perceived advantage or disadvantage in ability compared to their opponent. This balances their chances of winning in the betting process.

Just like spread betting in Football, a player or team is either favorite or underdog to win. Tennis handicap betting takes this into account.

There are a number of different handicap betting types in Tennis. Here, we will run through games handicap betting, set handicap betting and in-play handicap betting in Tennis.

Games handicap betting in Tennis

Games handicap betting in Tennis is when the online sportsbooks release a point spread for any given match focusing on the number of games a specific player will win, or not lose, by.

Let’s run through an example. Novak Djokovic is playing Rafael Nadal in the US Open. The sportsbooks may have set the games spread at Djokovic -5 (Nadal +5). This means that, if you bet on Djokovic -5, he must win the match by more than 5 games. If he wins 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 then he wins the match by 7 games and your bet is a winner.

However, if he wins 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, then he has won the match by a total of 5 more games. This does not cover the Djokovic -5 spread, and therefore your bet is a loser.

In games handicap betting, you should aim to target big servers who are tough to break down in their own service games. For example, an underdog with a big serve is likely to hold their own during their service games, making it tougher for the favorite to cover the handicap spread.

Set handicap betting in Tennis

This is very similar to games handicap betting. Replace games with sets in the point spread and, once again, the underdogs are given the positive handicap number.

Let’s go with the Djokovic v Nadal example again. If you bet on Djokovic -1.5 sets, it means he must win the match by two or more sets. If he wins the match 3-1 in sets, the bet is a winner. If he wins the match 3-2 in sets, it’s a loser.

Set handicap betting is a great betting market for when you think a clear underdog will put up a strong fight against their opponent. If you believe that they are capable of winning at least one set, then this could be the bet for you.

In-play handicap betting in Tennis

Some sportsbooks also offer in-play handicap betting on Tennis matches. As the term suggests, this is handicap betting which takes place live during a match.

For example, the second set between Djokovic and Nadal could be just about to start. Djokovic has won the first set 6-3, and the sportsbook has set the second set spread to Djokovic -2.5 games. This means that, if he wins the second set by 3 or more games, the bet is a winner. If he wins it by less than 3 games or fails to win the set, the bet is a loser.

In-play handicap betting is a form of tennis handicap betting which focuses more on the current performance levels and form of the players involved. Past form often becomes irrelevant midway through a match, so you should concentrate more on what is happening within that specific game before wagering in-play.

Where can I try Tennis handicap betting?

A number of the legal online sportsbooks offer different types of Tennis betting. Perhaps the best place to go for Tennis handicap betting would be bet365 Sportsbook. Just click on the offer below to get up to $500 in Bet Credits following your first deposit.

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bet365 Sportsbook is currently only available in New Jersey. To try out some more Tennis betting, just visit any of the legal online sportsbooks listed below.

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