Tennis Prop Bets
One great way to spice up online betting is to make some proposition bets. And the nice thing about tennis is that it's full of prop betting opportunities, especially when concerning the four Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open).
Some of the more popular tennis prop bets include wagering on who'll win the first set, how many sets a player will win by, total games played, the over/under on aces and more. Seeing as how there's so many different tennis prop bets available, it's definitely worth taking a close look at the more popular ones.
First Set Winner
This is a rather easy prop wager to understand because it simply calls on bettors to guess which player will win the first set. Here's a look at how a first set winner prop bet would look using a moneyline:
Novak Djokovic -700
Bobby Reynolds +550
Here Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite to win the first set against his lightly regarded opponent. Bettors would have to risk $700 on Djokovic winning the first set just to earn $100 in profit. If Reynolds won the first set, people would win $550 in profit for every $100 wagered.
With set betting, you're wagering on the exact amount of sets a player will win and lose during a match. Here's an example of how set betting would look at an online sportsbook:
Roger Federer 3-0 -140
Roger Federer 3-1 -110
Roger Federer 3-2 +200
Sergiy Stakhovsky 3-0 +480
Sergiy Stakhovsky 3-1 +340
Sergiy Stakhovsky 3-2 +200
Here Federer is a big favorite who's likely to win the match in three sets. So bettors are risking $140 on if he wins all three sets just to win $100 profit. Since this isn't expected to be a very close match, they'd be wagering $100 on Federer winning 3-2 to earn $200 in profit.
In regard to the underdog, Stakhovsky, the chances of him winning this match three sets to none are very slim; so bettors are wagering $100 to win $480 in profit on this particular wager. Assuming he pulls out a close upset at 3-2, bettors would receive $200 in profit for every $100 wagered.
Total Games Played
Tennis matches are either set up in a best-of-three sets or best-of-five sets format. A player must win six games by a margin of two games to win a set. If the set is tied at 6-6, a seventh and deciding game is played to break the tie.
All of this brings us to the next prop bet in total games played. This is simply an over/under wager on how many games a match will feature before it's over. Below you can see an example:
Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Soderling
Over Games 40.5 (-120)
Under Games 40.5 (-110)
If the players combine to play 41 or more games, those taking the over win $100 for every $120 wagered. Assuming these players combine to play 40 games or less, those betting the under earn $100 profit for every $110 bet.
This prop bet is common in men's tennis due to the high volume of aces. Here you're simply wagering on whether the total aces will be over or under a certain amount:
Andy Murray vs. James Blake
Over Aces 28.5 (-110)
Under Aces 28.5 (-120)
If Murray and Blake combine for 29 or more aces, those betting the over receive $100 in profit for every $110 bet. Assuming these two players collectively hit 28 or fewer aces, those wagering on the under will receive $100 profit for every $120 wagered.
Player to win Tournament
One more common style of prop bet involves picking which player will win a tournament before it starts. This bet features several players with odds, and you choose which one you think will take down the tourney. Here's an example of how this would look:
Who will win U.S. Open
Novak Djokovic +170
Roger Federer +210
Rafael Nadal +330
David Ferrer +420
Roger Soderling +490
Bobby Reynolds +2600
Djokovic is the favorite to take this tournament down, and bettors stand to win the least by wagering on him. In contrast, Bobby Reynolds is a longshot to win, which is why bettors would earn $2,600 in profit for every $100 wagered if he won.
Keep in mind that these only represent the major tennis prop bets that you'll see offered at online sportsbooks. There are also various other props offered on the Grand Slam events. So basically, there's no end to the amount of fun you can have with tennis betting.