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Tennis in-play betting: is it worth it?

Tennis is one of those sports, or at least has been since the debuts of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams, that has a tendency to be dominated by a few select players. In this sense, the betting odds haven’t always given punters much in the way of value. There are, however, a few markets that can offer punters the chance to win a tidy profit on tennis still. 

The first of those can be found in the latest tennis odds for any outright market. Indeed, selecting a winner before the start of the tournament will guarantee that the odds of even the most dominant players are at their longest. 

So let’s focus on the upcoming US open as an example, the favorite, as listed by the most up-to-date tennis tips is world number one Novak Djokovic. Now, ordinarily, you would struggle to find the Serb at odds of close to evens to win a regular match but by betting on him to go all the way at Flushing Meadows before the tournament starts, you will be offered a price of 11/8 on the irrepressible Djokovic to win the 2022 US Open.

With this in mind, you can see how much value the outright markets offers during an era where you can, more or less, pick the tournament winner from four names. 

The second market that levels the playing field is the in-play option which is, singlehandedly, perhaps the best thing to happen to tennis since Cliff Richard performed an impromptu concert at Wimbledon in 1996 owing to some classic English summer weather stopping play for a rain delay. 

In all sincerity, the in-play market shines a light on how competitive tennis can still be, albeit, during certain intervals of a game. So let’s say Kevin Anderson is playing Rafa Nadal, we know that Nadal has proved far too agile and athletic in the past for the giant South African to pose him any serious threat. Because of his historic mismatch, the odds on a Nadal win will, understandably, be quite low. 

However, the big-hitting South African is renowned for his booming serves which is where the in-play market comes in. Indeed, you will be offered competitive odds on Anderson winning the live game in question which is a good bet when you consider that he is playing to his strengths.

All of a sudden, you can use the live odds on a particular outcome as a way of finding value. Yes, Anderson may not win the match, but he will win his fair share of service games against Nadal. 

The rule of thumb is that you can do this whenever a superior player is taking on someone they are likely to beat. Alternatively, the in-play odds can also be used when the markets indicate that there will be a likely winner but the script is soon torn up after the match begins. In this instance, you can assess which way the game is going before betting, so if an upset is on the cards, you can use the in-play option to bet on the underdog pulling it off. Alternatively, if a vastly inferior player has taken a commanding lead in the match, the in-play odds will now present good value on the tipped player being able to still come back and turn the match around. 

So, there you have it, in-play betting at its very best and irrefutable proof that it can make a compelling spectacle of tennis still.