How handicap works in tennis betting

Last updated on December 27th, 2021

Tennis handicap is a very popular and interesting tennis betting market. Here we explain what it is and how to profit from it.

To begin, you should register an account with VOdds, one of the top Asian betting aggregator platforms. Our extensive list of Asian bookmakers will give you the best handicap odds in one place. Join today to enjoy up to €/£200 welcome bonus!


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Types of tennis handicaps


So what is Asian handicap in tennis betting? Same with other sports betting handicap, it’s where the most favourite player to win is provided with a disadvantage, while the underdog player is given a distinct advantage to balance their winning chances.


Whether you win the bet or not depends on your chosen positive or negative handicap. The only difference from other Asian handicap betting is that tennis handicaps focus more on the total of match wins than the final result of the game.


Here’s an example to better understand how it works. For demonstration purposes, let’s put Novak Djokovic (top 1 ATP player) against Marco Cecchinato (rank 100 in ATP ranking) face each other with these handicap odds:


  • Djokovic -3.5 handicap. If you bet on him, he needs to win the match by a minimum of four games for you to win the wager. 

Ex: The three-set match scores are 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, for a total of Djokovic 18 – 12 Cecchinato. You win because Djokovic won with a 6 score difference.


  • Cecchinato +3.5 handicap. If you bet on him, he needs to lose or win by a maximum of three games.

Ex: Scores are 7-5, 5-4, 5-6, Djokovic 17 – 15 Cecchinato. Djokovic won the game but Cecchinato only lost by 2 scores so you win the bet (Cecchinato is allowed to lose by 3 scores maximum).


Handicap betting strategy for tennis



Now that we figured out what tennis handicap betting means, it’s time to learn about what strategy you should use to profit from this market.


For beginners, one tennis handicap betting tip is to avoid betting on the favourite player. That’s because a negative handicap line offers fewer chances of winning compared to positive handicap. 


As seen in the example above, the only way for you to win is if the strong player wins by a significant margin. This poses a higher risk for those who are still familiarizing themselves with the players and this handicap market.


How to select which tennis match to bet on


Look for matches between players with a small gap in ranking or skills. The point difference between them should not be too large in the ATP rankings. Betting on the underdog player in these games will further increase your chances of winning. 


Since the two athletes are almost equal in strength, the likelihood of the underdog overcoming the favourite is high. And if he fails, the score margin will not be that big. As long as you bet on a higher positive handicap, you will win most of your bets.


We also recommend reading our article “What is Catch-Up Tennis Betting Strategy”. After reading, betting on tennis will be a lot easier!


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