Tennis Handicap Betting Explained

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

Bet365 Sports


Join bet365 and bet just $1 to get $200 in Free Bets.
Bet $1, Get $200 Free Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply

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.

Bet365 Sports


Join bet365 and bet just $1 to get $200 in Free Bets.
Bet $1, Get $200 Free Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply

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.

DraftKings Sports

DraftKings Sports SPECIAL OFFER

Join DraftKings and get $200 INSTANTLY when you bet $5.
Bet $5, Get $200 in Free Bets Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply
Caesars Sports

Caesars Sports RISK FREE

Use promo code ‘EXPERTVIPFULL’ and get a first bet on Caesars up to $1,250.
$1,250 Back If You Don’t Win Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply


Use code ‘WEDGET1’ for a $500 Free Bet if your first fixed odds bet loses and a $1,500 Free Bet if your first PointsBetting bet loses.
$2,000 in Free Bets Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply
BetMGM Sports


Use promo code ‘AMERICANBET’ for a Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000.
$1,000 Risk Free Bet Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply
BetRivers Sports

BetRivers Sports RISK FREE

Join BetRivers and get a 2nd Chance Bet up to $500.
$500 Second Chance Bet Get Bonus
Terms and conditions apply

Latest Offers

Latest News

3 Reasons Why USA Can Beat Netherlands in the Round of 16

USMNT take on the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup Round of 16. Here are 3 reasons why United States can seal a place in the Quarter-Finals.

DraftKings Same Game Parlay Rules & Winning Formula

DraftKings Same Game Parlay Rules, how to place a DraftKings SGP and how to give yourself the best chance of winning on game day.

USA Odds to Win World Cup 2022 in Qatar: What is USA’s Path to the World Cup Final?

We take a look at USA's odds and path to win the World Cup after progressing from Group B alongside England and reaching the knockout stages.

Who Takes Penalties for Every Team at World Cup 2022 in Qatar?

Who are the penalty-takers and backup penalty-takers for every national soccer team at the Qatar World Cup 2022?

What is the House Edge on All Online Casino Games?

What do we mean by casino house edge? And which online casino games have the lowest and highest house edge?

More Articles Like This