Tennis Match Betting
FOR MOST PEOPLE IN BRITAIN betting on tennis, like watching tennis, starts and stops with Wimbledon fortnight, with the turnover the bookmakers report throughout these two weeks of the summer far outweighing the combined levels of trade on the other three Grand Slams.
However, tennis betting is not just about Wimbledon. Although in turnover terms it is still something of a minority sport, the diverse range of markets available in this sphere of sports betting caters for most gambling tastes, while with pro-tennis bookmakers like Stan James pricing up all the events on the men's ATP tour, a continuous stream of action is guaranteed throughout the year.
Match betting offers the prospect of a speedy return on your investment, but it is not for the faint hearted, as huge momentum swings can occur.
Backing players to win tournaments falls at the opposite end of the gambling spectrum to match betting as it takes days rather than minutes to determine the fate of your bet and offers punters a chance to bag a weighty return from a small outlay. These markets are most appealing to patient and disciplined punters with an affinity for trends and statistics.
Tennis betting is also growing in popularity, especially on the exchanges, where big matches are now attracting millions of pounds of trade.
Betting on the outcome of matches is the most popular type of tennis betting in terms of turnover, with Stan James's tennis compiler Gordon Caskie reporting that, in an average year, their turnover on match betting is about ten times greater than on their outright markets. When several bookies are involved, margins can be favourable, with the layers betting to just over 100 per cent. With an increasing number of firms pricing up matches it makes sense to shop around.There is the option to have a single bet on a player, or to perm numerous selections, but big-hitters tend to stick to singles and Stan James say they have laid bets of up to £200,000 in the early rounds of Grand Slams.
Stan James say they are most reluctant to take large singles on matches in nondescript events played in remote locations where punters may have access to information, such as weather reports and injury news, that they cannot easily obtain.
Multiple bets are most popular in the early rounds of Grand Slams when the high number of matches gives punters plenty of choice. For example, in the first round of the 2001 US Open, Stan James took a wager from one tennis enthusiast who had strung together 47 short-priced selections into a monster accumulator.
It looked as though the firm would have to pay out around £2,500 to the punter, who had staked just £10, when incredibly the first 46 picks all won. But he was cruelly denied by Thomas Enqvist's failure to beat Bjorn Phau in the 47th and final leg.
At the back end of big events, when matches are less frequent, the layers, in an attempt to get punters to part with their hard-earned, will price up a whole manner of match related markets, ranging from the score in sets to more obscure markets such as the number of double faults or tie-breaks.
Caskie admits that his company can make errors when compiling markets on some of the more unpredictable aspects of tennis and consequently, in the past, have been picked off by shrewdies who specialise in these niche areas, with the number of double faults being a good example. Windy conditions on court make accurate serving difficult and therefore when blustery weather prevails the number of double faults can go through the roof.
A sudden influx of turbulent weather before a match can rubbish bookmakers' quotes, allowing the few punters who are aware of these climatic changes to take advantage.