Spread betting in tennis is one of the more interesting forms of betting and in the small brief below, we will endeavour to explain what it actually means and how to go about choosing the spread betting option in tennis.
The most basic form of betting in tennis is moneyline betting or as we know it, the match betting. For instance, in a match between Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils, Djokovic starts off as 2/9 favourite to win the match, and when you pick Djokovic (or Monfils) to win the match, it is called moneyline betting.
However, as you see in the example, the odds for a Djokovic win are so short that bettors cannot possibly expect to earn too much out of them. And with an odd chance of an upset, the risk-reward ratio isn’t too great.
Instead, bettors have a better option with spread betting; or betting the spread in tennis.
Spread betting in tennis is the same as handicap betting, that allows punters to not just pick a winner but to do that by giving the less favourite player a handicap. There are two types of spread bets in tennis; game spread and set spread.
Let’s look at the game spread betting in tennis using the same example as below.
Djokovic is 2/9 to win the match against Monfils, but is 17/20 to win it with a -4.5 games handicap as well. What this means is that he remains a favourite to win the match even if the total number of games he wins subtracted by 4.5 will be more than the number of games won by Monfils in the match.
So let’s assume that Djokovic wins the match 6-4, 6-3. Essentially, he has won 12 games to Monfils’ 7 and he still wins the market when one looks at 12-4.5=7.5, which is greater than the games that Monfils won.
If Djokovic won the match 6-4, 6-4, that would have meant that had we bet on Djokovic -4.5 games spread, we would have lost the bet.
To continue going with the same example, here are a few markets associated with the same match:
Monfils +4.5 at 11/10: It implies that a 6-4, 6-3 win for Djokovic would still win him the spread while a 6-4, 6-4 win for the Serb would win Monfils the same spread.
Djokovic -5.5 at 6/4: It implies that a 6-4, 6-3 win for Djokovic will win Monfils the spread while it would need a scoreline like 6-3, 6-3 to win Djokovic the spread. If you see, this gives better tennis odds than the Djokovic -4.5 spread. These odds would improve even further with Djokovic -6.5 games, which essentially will need the Serb to win at least seven more games than his opponent.
What’s important to note in betting the spread in tennis is that the result of the match doesn’t matter, just the scoreline does.
So let’s assume that Djokovic loses the match 6-7, 6-0, 6-7, he has still won the Djokovic -3.5 games market spread, because he has won 18 games to Monfils’ 14.
The second way of spread betting in tennis is set betting or the set spread.
It is not too dissimilar from the game spread, except that instead of the games, the total number of sets are counted and checked against the spread. Suppose, in the above Djokovic-Monfils example, Djokovic is at -1.5 sets, it means a straight-set win in a best-of-three contest will win Djokovic the spread, but if he drops a set and wins the match in three sets, the spread goes against him.
Similarly, if Monfils is +1.5 sets, it means that he needs to win one set in the match to win the spread.
In short, as you would have guessed by now, spread betting in tennis is the same as handicap betting.
Another handicap betting or spread betting example is shown below: