Line Shopping in Tennis
When betting on sports, you always want to get the best odds possible. In no sport is this more important than in tennis, where the vig is sometimes higher than in other sports, and short-priced favorites are common. Here, we’ll show you how to get the best odds possible – and why this is even more critical in tennis.
If you’re new to sports betting, you’ve probably picked a favorite sportsbook and made all of your wagers through that site. For the casual gambler, this might be acceptable, but serious sports bettors will always have accounts at a minimum of 2-3 different sportsbooks. This allows them to do some line shopping – the process of finding the best line on every bet they make.
For instance, let’s say you’ve opened an account at Pinnacle, and wish to bet on Rafael Nadal to win his next match. At Pinnacle, they offer 1.55 on Nadal (about -181 in American odds), and since you think he’s about 70% to win the match, you realize that this is a profitable bet. You go ahead, and place your bet.
Believe it or not, you’ve already made a fundamental mistake! While the odds you’ve received at Pinnacle are excellent, we have no idea whether or not they’re the best odds out there. If you frequently take the first line you see, you will often be costing yourself money, even if those bets are profitable. In our example, you’d do much better in the long run by checking a second sportsbook first. If we check 5Dimes and see that they’re offering 1.58 (-172), we’d be foolish to make that bet at Pinnacle, and should put our action in at 5Dimes instead.
The key thing to realize here is that we do not prefer one sportsbook over the other – we’re just taking advantage of the fact that both sportsbooks set their lines independently, and will sometimes disagree on the proper odds to offer. Sometimes we’ll find the best line at 5Dimes; other times, we’ll get a better deal at Pinnacle. In the long run, consistently picking the better line will probably add a couple percent to our returns, which is a huge difference to a sharp sports better.
Why Line Shopping Matters in Tennis
Tennis bettors may benefit even more from line shopping than those who wager on other sports. When an elite player takes on a weak first round opponent at a Grand Slam event (or really, any tournament), the odds on the favorite are likely to be extremely short. Lines of 1.02 or 1.01 (-5000 to -10000) are not uncommon when the liked of Nadal, Federer or Djokovic take on a qualifier.
When the odds are this short, even a small change on the line will make a massive difference in your results. In tennis, it can often be a smart idea to parlay several short favorites together to create some value on a wager – and line shopping to see where you can get the better odds overall. Imagine the following scenario, where you’ve picked three very short favorites to win as a parlay. At BetOnline, you can get them at 1.03, 1.10, and 1.01. Meanwhile, Pinnacle offers those same three favorites at 1.02, 1.12, and 1.02. We could pick the best lines at each site and make three individual bets, but we’d prefer to place one parlay bet – so which bookmaker gives us the better odds? The results of what you would win on a $100 bet might surprise you:
At Pinnacle, we’re getting nearly 15% more profit on our bet – a huge difference in the world of sports betting!
If you want to be a successful sports bettor, you’ll need to incorporate some line shopping into your tennis betting strategy. Having at least two sportsbooks (and ideally, three or more) to choose from will mean that you’ll never be forced to take shorter lines than necessary. Line shopping in tennis should be a part of every bettor’s arsenal, and failing to do so will only leave free money on the table, instead of in your pocket.