There are few things that match the tension of a well-played game of tennis. Don’t take our word for it; just watch Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Strangers on a Train, the climax of which takes place during a tennis match (spoilers ahoy, sorry). There’s something about the duration and pace of a professional match of tennis that leaves other sports in the dust when it comes to drama and enjoyment.
If you’re of a similar mind, you may have already entered the intoxicating world of tennis trading. If not, don’t worry; we’re about to outline some of the best tennis trading strategies, and these methods can be used both by newcomers and experts to increase their knowledge of the sport and make a tidy packet in the process. Here are three of the best tennis trading strategies available to you, as well as when it’s best to utilise them.
- Lay the Favourite
At first, this strategy might seem counterintuitive, but let us explain. For those unfamiliar with the world of sports betting, there are two commonly used bet types: back bets and lay bets. There are others, but these two are the most frequently seen types of bets. Back bets are effectively a way of saying “I believe that (x) will win”. Let’s say Marin Čilić is playing Roger Federer. A back bet would be “I believe Federer will win”. A lay bet, conversely, would be “I believe Čilić will not win”.
Laying the favourite, therefore, is betting that the favourite to win the match will not win. This strategy requires a little luck, as all betting strategies do, as well as an in-depth knowledge of the players and the match that’s about to unfold. If you place a lay bet on the favourite and they start racking up points, your odds will crash and you’ll need to bow out gracefully. If, however, their opponent scores points, the odds will drift out, and you can wait until the right time to cash out your trade and score big. That’s right – when you lay the favourite, you don’t even need to wait until the end of the match to cash your bet out. You’ll win bigger if you do, but by keeping a close eye on the market as the match continues, you can spot the best time to exit.
- Scalping (Short-Term Odds)
Scalping, as the name might suggest, is a rather seat-of-the-pants method which involves decisions on a micro level in a match. A scalping bet backs a player just as they’re about to score a point, or backs a serving point just before it happens. This is known as “scalping the serve”, and it relies on the fact that professional tennis players are more likely than not to win their serving point.
Rather than the bigger payouts associated with strategies like swing trading and laying the favourite, scalping involves a series of small, low-risk payouts which have strong odds and don’t pay a huge amount. The odds on a serving player winning their serve are pretty strong, but by placing the bet at the right time you can guarantee yourself a series of small profits. This method does require a very, very strong connection to the Internet if you’re streaming the match, because you don’t want your connection to drop just before a serve is made. If you’re planning to scalp, make sure you have a way to watch the match uninterrupted and without drops.
- Playing the Serve
This method involves watching the rhythm of a game and looking for breaks in a player’s serve. Effectively, you’re looking for the moment that pressure, time, or exhaustion leads to a player losing a point on their serve. This is extremely reliant on your individual knowledge of tennis as a game, as well as its players. You’ll need to identify exactly when a given player is likely to break a serve, which can be learned through match histories, understanding their opponent, and keeping a close eye on their movements.
Put simply, the market reacts heavily to broken serves, so it’s always in your best interest to bet against the serve. If you’re right, then you stand to win big from a serve play. Of course, there’s always a chance you won’t be right, but betting isn’t about winning all the time – it’s about winning more often than you lose. You can, however, minimise the risk of failure by only betting against the serve when there is a significant chance you will win. Don’t bet against a serve by a player like Nick Kyrgios, who’s well-known for his meteoric serves, and especially don’t bet against him early on in the game on a hard court surface.
We hope these three tennis trading strategies help in getting you started on your sports trading journey. This occupation can be extremely exciting, fulfilling and varied as long as you have the commitment, the dedication and (most importantly) the bankroll to get started.