Set betting strategy in tennis can be very exciting, although the options are few and far between.
The line of most bookmakers includes dozens of tennis tournaments. The list of events in this popular sport is not as wide as, for example, in football or basketball. But in any tennis match, there is an interesting option for betting. Let’s discuss and analyse how to bet on sets in tennis.
A set in tennis is both a completed game and a scoring point.
It is in sets that the main score of the game is kept. So, a player can win by the number of games but lose the whole meeting. For example: with scores of 6:0, 4:6, and 5:7, the first player won 15 games, and the second only 13. At the same time, the second player turned out to be the winner in the match since they won two games.
There are two types of tennis matches according to the number of sets:
- three-set: the winner must win two games;
- five sets: to win you need to be stronger in three sets.
Five-set matches are played by men at Grand Slam tournaments. Interestingly, in 2013, a wide campaign was launched to promote the idea that women should also play five sets at key tournaments.
This happened because the women’s association WTA has achieved equalization of prize money for both sexes. But this idea did not come true. Athletes and functionaries felt that five-set women’s matches could lose in dynamics and entertainment.
Now let’s look at what types of betting markets involve counting sets:
- The main outcome of the match P1 and P2. Sets do not appear in the name of the bet, but the winner is determined by the number of games won.
- Set/match. The player makes a double prediction: first, he indicates which of the athletes will take the first set, and then who will win the match as a whole. To make a profit, both conditions must be met.
- The accurate score for sets. There are not as many options available here as in football or hockey. In three-set confrontations, they are 2:1 and 2:0 in favour of one of the participants, in five-set confrontations they are 3:0, 3:1, and 3:2. But the odds in tennis for this market are much lower than in football.
- Handicaps and totals by sets. For many fights, this type of bet is not signed at all. But still, some bookmakers give odds +/- 1.5 or a total B/M of 2.5. There are more options for five-set matches, and in Grand Slam tournaments, such a market is usually present. Although most bettors still prefer totals and handicaps by games.
- The effectiveness of the sets. A bet on which game will play more games. This market is well suited for connoisseurs of sports statistics. Orienting how one or another athlete enters the game, you can foresee which set will be more intense and competitive.
In fact, there are not so many options. But if you are well versed in tennis, the style of play, and the current form of individual athletes, you can make profitable bets on sets.
Let’s dwell on a specific and popular type of betting called correct set score. This option is suitable for building a long-term betting strategy.
Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the player gets the opportunity to significantly increase the odds for the victory of the favourite. Here is an example: the game between Arina Sobolenko and Jessica Pegula at the WTA tournament. Madrid on May 4, 2021.
Here, the Belarusian tennis player surpassed the American in all respects:
- the seventh world ranking against 33rd;
- the best current form, before Madrid, reached the final of the clay tournament in Stuttgart;
- easily beat previous rivals;
- performs better on unpaved surfaces than the competitor.
Taking into account all the above factors, the bookmakers gave a modest odd for Arina’s victory, 1.25. But on the exact score of 2:0, the quote was already 1.75. And such a bet was fully justified because everything was pointing toward an easy victory for Sobolenko. This is exactly what happened when the athlete from Belarus turned out to be stronger in two games with scores of 6:1 and 6:2.
The strategy lies in selecting matches in which the favourite is likely to win outright. In the pre-match, you need to select events on the following grounds:
- odds of 1.25-1.35 are given for the victory of the favourite, which increases to 1.75-2.00 for an exact score of 2:0;
- a stronger athlete plays on a comfortable surface;
- the favourite is motivated to win the tournament, go as far as possible, and does not want to spend a lot of energy on protracted fights;
- according to the specialized press, the favourite has no injuries or any health problems.
This type of betting helps to gain some advantage over the bookmaker. But you can’t act recklessly. You need to learn how to find games where the favourite is as motivated and focused as possible. You can’t just bet on a strong player to win 2-0 if the odds are right.
There are, for example, athletes who easily take the first and third sets, but they simply relax in the second set, often letting weaker opponents win it. Such an individual psychological feature must be considered.
Often on the Internet people recommend a strategy for the third live set. It is based on the following premises:
- a pair of more or less equal rivals is selected; in the pre-match, the odds for the victory of the favourite are at the level of 1.70-1.80
- your pre-match analysis shows that the stronger player is well motivated and should win
- the favourite loses the first set; only such fights are suitable for this strategy
- in the second set there is an equal fight, thanks to which, with a score of 3:3, 3:4, the quotes for the victory of the pre-match favourite increase from 1.70-1.80 to 2.50-3.00 (they can be higher because the first game is lost)
- being confident in the victory of your athlete, you bet on winning the match, that is, in the second and third sets with high odds.
In fact, this strategy is interesting and only good on paper. First, you need to wait for the favourite to lose in the first set, which may not happen in many games in a row, which will lead to a waste of time.
Secondly, there is no guarantee that having confidently played the second set, the leader will come out as concentrated as possible in the third. Thirdly, such a strategy is suitable only for experienced bettors who are ready to closely monitor the condition of athletes during matches and spend a lot of time watching live video broadcasts.
Don’t make life difficult for yourself. To get started, use our recommendation, and try to bet on the exact score of 2:0, choosing value odds.