Tennis can be one of the most lucrative sports to engage in arbitrage betting, as it is played virtually all year round, with 4 grand slams plus many minor tournaments. Draws are not possible, meaning that most of the arbs are 2 way bets, which are excellent for beginner arbitragers.
However, tennis arbitrage betting is fraught with rules differences between bookmakers, which have the potential to catch out unsuspecting arbers, exposing them to losses (more on this later).
If you are brand new to the concept of sports arbitrage betting and surebets, I recommend that you read my introduction to the topic via the link below.
Brand New to Sports Arbitrage Betting?
Read my introduction to the world of arbitrage betting!
If you are familiar with the concept of arbitrage betting, read on to find out how to profit handsomely from what is possibly the best sport for arbitrage betting!
Simple Tennis Arbitrage Opportunities
In tennis, there are a surprising number of markets that you can bet on. These include:
- Head to head (To Win Match)
- Set betting (correct set score)
- First set winner
- First service game winner
- First point winner
The bookmakers are generally less confident in their ability to predict first set, game and point winners, so these markets tend to have higher profit margins built into the odds. This makes it difficult to find arbitrage opportunities.
The most common market for tennis arbitrage betting is for the outright winner of the match. Let’s illustrate with a quick example.
Imagine a theoretical tennis match between Alexander Zverev and Milos Raonic. Bet365 and SBObet are both offering outright win markets for the match.
From the example above, it is clear that by selectively taking the best odds from the two bookmakers, we can form an arbitrage opportunity.
Assuming total winnings of $500, our stakes on each player would be as follows:
In the surebet above, we are staking $490.24 to win $500, which is a net profit of $9.76. A decent profit for a few minutes of work.
If you can't figure out how I arrived at probability and stake numbers in the tables above, I highly recommend that you check out my in depth guide to arbitrage betting calculations.
It runs through all of the formulas and calculations with tables, graphs and quizzes!
Want to know how to calculate the stakes in the table above?
Read my article on arbitrage betting calculations!
Advanced Tennis Arbitrage Opportunities
Now, while the outright win arb type I showed above works perfectly well, it is a very popular arb type, so it doesn’t last very long. The errant bookmaker is quick to adjust their odds once they notice that money is pouring in on one particular side.
Another consequence of this is that the bookmakers are more likely to realise that you are trying to arb them if you bet on these opportunities.
However, if you are able to think outside the box a little, you will find many arbitrage opportunities that few are taking advantage of.
This is why I recommend using an advanced arbitrage technique that I will now reveal to you. It involves combining two separate betting markets to form an arbitrage opportunity.
Let’s have a look with an example. Imagine a 3 set tennis match between Alex De Minaur and Marin Cilic.
Unibet and Nordicbet are both offering outright win markets for the match.
Alex De Minaur
As you can see, even by combining the best odds from both bookmakers, there is not an arbitrage opportunity (probability > 100%). No matter how much we stake on either side, there is no way to make a guaranteed profit.
However, Unibet are also offering a betting market for correctly guessing the number of sets won by each player:
- AD 2 - 0 MC @ 4.40
- AD 2 - 1 MC @ 3.70
- AD 1 - 2 MC @ 3.90
- AD 0 - 2 MC @ 4.70
If Alex De Minaur is going to win the match, he must win with a score of 2 - 0 or 2 - 1, so by betting on these markets, we are covering all possible outcomes of the match.
AD 2 - 0
AD 2 - 1
Assuming total winnings of $800, we can calculate the stakes below.
Alex De Minaur (2-0)
Alex De Minaur (2-0)
Marin Cilic (to win)
So we can expect a net profit of $9.81, regardless of the outcome of the match.
Note that this example is for illustrative purposes only! I do not recommend placing two separate set bets with Unibet, as this is highly likely to flag you as a potential arbitrage bettor and could lead to you being gubbed (account closed or maximum stake heavily limited).
It is recommended that you find a third bookmaker also offering this market and place one bet with each bookmaker.
You can learn about how to avoid being gubbed in my 100% free video course on sports arbitrage betting, which includes a detailed section on ‘defensive arbing’, which is all about how to prolong your life as a sports arbitrage bettor. Sign up below!
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Retirement Rules Differences - How to Avoid Being Caught Out!
As I alluded to earlier, different bookmakers have different rules regarding the retirement of a player (due to injury etc.) before the conclusion of a match. The four main rule types are:
Once a single ball has been served, all bets are valid even if a player retires early. Otherwise all bets are void (stake returned).
Once a single set has been completed, all bets are valid even if a player retires early. Otherwise all bets are void (stake returned).
Once 2 sets have been completed, all bets are valid even if a player retires early. Otherwise all bets are void (stake returned).
If a player retires early at any point before the conclusion of the match, all bets are void (stake returned).
RebelBetting has an excellent resource showing how these rules differ bookmaker by bookmaker. I recommend consulting it before you place a tennis arbitrage bet.
Let’s look at an example of how an arber may be caught out by rules differences.
If you back Dominic Thiem to win with Bet365 (match completed) and back Stefanos Tsitsipas to win with Coral (1 set completed), you can be caught out if Tsitsipas decides to retire early in the second set.
- Your bet on Dominic Thiem will be voided by Bet365 (match was not completed) and your stake of $289.02 will be returned to you.
- Your bet on Stefanos Tsitsipas will be considered valid by Coral (1 set was completed) and as Tsitsipas retired, it will be considered a loss.
Disqualification rules can also vary by bookmaker, so I highly recommend that you confirm these too.
Over time, you will become familiar with each of the bookmakers that you use regularly and you won’t need to consult these rules but until you get to that point, please take care!
Tennis Value Betting
Are you interested in doing some value betting on tennis?
Nenko from Church Of Betting has done a great write up on WinnerOdds, a value betting software package that focuses on tennis betting!
Check it out here: Church of Betting's WinnerOdds Review
- Tennis is a lucrative sport to engage in arbitrage betting, with tournaments running almost all year round.
- The outright win markets throw up many 2 way arbitrage betting opportunities, but these usually don’t last for long.
- By combining outright win markets with set betting markets, it is possible to find some good arbitrage opportunities that tend to last longer.
- The main risk with arbitrage betting in tennis is retirement rules differences between the bookmakers. This can turn a small guaranteed profit into a big loss, so please take care!
- If you want to make decent profits with tennis arbitrage betting, you will need some software to help you find the arbs - here is a list of the best arbitrage betting software.
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