Tennis Betting in Illinois
Now that Illinois online sports betting is live, bettors are lining up to get in on the action. The natural starting point for many bettors is their favorite sports. However, there’s plenty of fun to be had exploring the rest of the sports betting menu.
Tennis betting is the perfect complement to put on your discovery list. Its popularity continues to grow in the US. It gets the extra boost from the various betting options it provides. There’s almost always a tournament happening, which include head-to-head matchups and picking the outright winner of a match. There’s also much more with futures, props and live betting.
Our guide will explain all the ways you can get in on the tennis betting action in Illinois.
Best IL betting apps for betting on tennis
How to bet on tennis in Illinois
Tennis provides a lot of unique betting opportunities. That said, there are also some nice parallels with other sports that you can make for handicapping purposes.
For example, you’ll find bets that work much like moneyline, point spread or totals bets from team-based sports. The odds for futures and prop markets work similarly. Furthermore, live betting keeps you engaged with every serve and volley.
Tennis is all about individual matchups and how they may impact the tournament as a whole. For an additional wrinkle, playing surfaces can vary from event to event, and can impact the bounce of the ball, etc.
Here’s a look at the main bet types for tennis and how they work:
- Tournament Winners: For each tournament, you can bet on who you think will end up winning. There will also be wagers on players to finish highly, i.e., reaching the semifinals. Odds will be available for all players in the field, ranging from the favorites to the long shots.
- Head-to-Head Matches: Tennis tournaments are single-elimination events. Entrants will be paired up by seed at the start, with winners advancing to the next round. For each head-to-head matchup on the docket, you can place your bets on the winner. The odds will be like what you would see for a moneyline bet in the NFL or MLB game.
- Spread Betting: Oddsmakers incorporate a spread element into the head-to-head matchups to make betting even more interesting. As opposed to points, goals or runs, tennis spreads revolve around games or sets. Much like in other sports, you can take the favorite minus the spread or choose the underdog plus the number.
- Totals Betting: These popular over/under bets also have a place in tennis wagering. Once again, it doesn’t revolve around the total points scored. Instead, tennis totals are based on the number of games needed to complete the match. Sportsbooks will set a benchmark number from which bettors can decide.
Those are the main bet types you can explore, but there’s a whole lot more to see elsewhere on the tennis betting menu. Let’s take a look at the other popular ways to get involved, starting with an area that has seen an explosion of interest.
How to bet on tennis matches live in IL
The sports betting industry has experienced some incredible developments. The rise of live betting is among those at the top of the list. Live betting has grown from a niche add-on to a must-have feature at leading operators.
Also known as in game betting, live betting gives you the chance to wager in real-time. For tennis, that translates into a live stream of opportunities as the matches play out.
Actual offerings will vary depending on what’s going on, but here are some examples:
- Latest odds on the match outcome.
- Bet on a player to win next game or set.
- Wager on which side will capture the next point.
This is a fast-moving market, with odds and offerings becoming available in a blink of an eye. Apps from the top IL sportsbooks make it easy to stay on top of the game. You can log in on your device while watching the action and never miss a beat.
Live betting has played a major role in the spike in tennis betting interest. It opens the doors to more ways to wager on the matches; however, be mindful to not get too caught up in the action. Always bet with your head, not over it.
How to bet futures on tennis
There is also a rather active futures market for tennis. These are wagers you can place on a future outcome. The biggest markets for tennis revolve around the Grand Slam events, which are the four biggest tournaments of the year.
Here’s a quick look at the top futures wagers you can consider:
- Wimbledon winner
- US Open winner
- French Open winner
- Australian Open winner
- Player of the Year
- Player to win Grand Slam
- Winner of Davis Cup
For the Grand Slams, books release the odds for the next edition after the current tournament is in the books. The market will remain active all year, with tennis odds listed for all players who are expected to compete.
The board can move based on market interest, so check it often. Grand Slam futures also make for a great way to get a read on the betting market’s perception for the season. A well-timed futures bet can deliver a fantastic return, as well.
How prop betting works
Prop bets are one of the most popular items on the menu for team-based sports, and it’s no different when it comes to tennis. In a nutshell, these are additional ways to wager on the matches and tournaments outside of the outcome.
It’s like having side action on the performance of a player, or on something that may or may not come to pass as the event plays out. You’ll find a wide range of options for the average match, and you can access them by clicking through on the matchup listing.
Here’s a few examples prop bets you may come across:
- Which player will win the first set? Dominic Thiem or Rafael Nadal
- Will this match end in straight sets: Yes or no
- Who will record the first ace in the match? Ashleigh Barty or Simona Halep
Props open up more possibilities for tennis betting, and they bring fantasy sports element of sorts to the table. These wagers are a great way to get closer to the action for individual matches and offer another chance to profit.
Sportsbook rules when it comes to betting on tennis
The basics of tennis betting are just like any other sport. You place your wagers and watch the match or tournament play out. When it’s final, the operator will quickly grade the bets and payout winning wagers quickly.
However, there are circumstances in which things aren’t so straightforward. While there are standard operating procedures across the industry, the operator can vary exactly how they are handled. Here are some of the rules you need to know:
- Bets on matches experiencing a delay due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances will generally still be in play as long as they’re completed in a reasonable amount of time.
- The majority of wagers require at least one set to be completed before being considered for settlement. Also operators will consider bets live once the first ball is in play.
- A player’s retirement during a match can lead a bet to be considered void. It can depend on how much of the match has been completed. Matches that reach a certain point before that happens may be settled as usual.
Generally, these are how books handle certain situations; however, there may be quirks here and there. It’s always a good rule of thumb to review the sportsbook’s rules.
Typically, you will find a dedicated section for house rules on each sport. If not, you’ll be able to find the information in the “Help“ menu. With questions you can’t find clear answers for, don’t be shy about reaching out to customer support.
Easy tips for beginners to bet on tennis
Getting started with tennis betting is similar to beginning with any new sport. There is a learning curve, but it’s far from an insurmountable one. You may take some lumps along the way in the form of losses, but that’s all part of the process.
For those utterly new to tennis, the first step is to learn the basics, such as how scoring is calculated, how games and sets work and the overall layout of tournaments. From there, you’ll want to dig right in on the handicapping side. Here’s a handful of tips:
1. Study futures odds and player rankings
There are two tools you can use to get a handle on how the tennis players stack up. First is via the futures odds for the Grand Slam tournaments, and next is by studying the player rankings. The odds give you a snapshot on where players stack up from a betting perspective, while the ATP and WTA rankings provide you with insight into the current form.
2. Make a shortlist of players to watch
Tournament fields for both men’s and women’s tournaments can be crowded, so it’s challenging to research every player scheduled to compete. You can narrow your focus to a select few players. One approach is to examine the tennis betting odds for outright winners and pick some candidates to keep on your radar.
3. Understand the playing surface and potential impacts
Not all tennis courts are alike. There are four main playing surfaces: clay, hard, grass and carpet. Each of them can have an impact on the game. By extension, players may excel in one environment while struggling in others. This needs to be factored into your thinking for every tournament you handicap.
4. Review previous results from tour stops
Those who have success at a particular venue or surface could be in line to do so again. On the other hand, the players who struggle in those same elements may be in line for another rough patch. As part of your research, review how the players have fared at the current event in the past.
5. Continue learning and studying
You won’t be able to learn everything there is to know about tennis and betting in one session, so don’t bother trying. Instead, take a measured approach. Learn the most important facets first. From there, continue studying the game and betting strategies while staying abreast of current news surrounding the sport.
This list of tips is by no means comprehensive, but it does form the basis of a simple handicapping routine. If you take the time to master the basics, you’ll be further ahead. From there, you can continue modifying your system until you find something that works best for your tennis betting strategy and available time.
IL players who made the circuit
A few notable pro players on both the men’s and women’s circuits have come from Illinois in one way or another.
- Illinois Connection: Chicago native
- Career Titles: 10
- Highest Ranking: No. 2 in 1981
- Illinois Connection: University of Illinois graduate
- Career Titles: Six
- Highest Ranking: No. 5 in 2018
- Illinois Connection: Born in Chicago
- Career Record: 249-177
- Highest Ranking: No. 28 in 2003
- Illinois Connection: Born in Chicago
- Career: 4x US Open quarter finals
- Highest Ranking: No. 5 in 1943
Currently, there are several active men’s players who attended the University of Illinois. Listed below along with their current ATP ranking:
- Aleksandar Vukic: 186
- Jared Hiltzik: 1,269
- Ruan Roelof: 626
- Keenan Mayo: 1,284
- Aleksandar Kovacevic: 519
How to bet on tennis Grand Slams
The Grand Slam events are the top tournaments on the tennis calendar each year. The world’s best players come to compete at these events, all of which feature big prize pools and lots of prestige for the winners.
These are the tournaments that garner the most attention for the sport each year. The same holds true from a betting perspective. While there are plenty of active tennis bettors who stay engaged all year round, these tournaments will also attract casual fans.
- Dates: Aug. 30-Sept. 12, 2021
- Location: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City
- Dates: Feb. 8-21, 2021
- Location: Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Dates: May 23-June 6, 2021
- Location: Roland-Garros in Paris
- Dates: June 28-July 11, 2021
- Location: All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in London
ATP and WTA tours
You can witness the highest level of professional tennis at the ATP and WTA tours. The ATP is for the men, while the WTA brings together the top women in the world. The two tours have calendars that run nearly year-round, so there’s almost always a tournament happening.
Here’s a look at some of the top highlights on both circuits, along with the type of surface and opening date for the next edition:
Top ATP tour stops
- March 11, 2021: (Postponed) Indian Wells Masters; Indian Wells, CA, US; hard
- March 15, 2021: Dubai Tennis Championships; Dubai, UAE; hard
- April 19, 2021: Barcelona Open; Barcelona, Spain; clay
- July 24, 2021: Summer Olympic Games; Tokyo, Japan; hard
- Aug. 9, 2021: Canadian Open; Toronto, Canada; hard
- Sept. 20, 2021: St. Petersburg Open; St. Petersburg, Russia; hard
- Oct. 18, 2021: European Open; Antwerp, Belgium; hard
- Nov. 1, 2021: Paris Masters; Paris, France; hard
Top WTA tour stops
- March 1, 2021: Qatar Open; Doha, Qatar; hard
- March 1, 2021: Lyon Open; Lyon, France; hard
- April 19, 2021: Stuttgart Open; Stuttgart, Germany; clay
- July 24, 2021: Summer Olympic Games; Tokyo, Japan; DecoTurf
- Aug. 9, 2021: Canadian Open; Montreal, Canada; hard
- Sept. 20, 2021: Pan Pacific Open; Tokyo, Japan; hard
- Oct. 18, 2021: Kremlin Cup; Moscow, Russia; hard
- Nov. 1, 2021: WTA Finals; Shenzhen, China; hard
For every stop on tours, you’ll have plenty of ways to bet. From outright winners to head-to-head matchups to live betting, you won’t be lacking for options when it comes to wagering on tennis.
Tennis Betting FAQ
The way matches are handled can vary depending on the operator, so we encourage you to review the sportsbook’s house rules. Tennis bets are considered live once the first ball is put into play. At some operators, at least one set needs to be completed before a match is considered official, while others may go as far as requiring the full match to be finalized.
If a match is delayed due to weather or court change, the bet will be considered live until it is completed, provided that it is done so within reasonable time. If a match is called off or canceled, then the wager will be considered void and your bet amount will be refunded in full.
The four main playing surfaces can each have an impact on the ball and style of play:
- Carpet: Fast surface but can be more friendly to player movement.
- Hard: Fast surface, high bounces and tough from a physical standpoint.
- Clay: Slower surface, slow bounces and slightly easier physically.
- Grass: Fast and low bounces, somewhat unpredictable, can be slippery.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are tied for the all-time lead on the men’s side with 20 Grand Slam titles each. Novak Djokovic is third with 17, while Pete Sampras is in fourth with 14. For women, Margaret Court is first with 24, followed by Serena Williams with 23 and Steffi Graf with 22.
Not really, it’s not inherently more difficult than picking up any other sport. Tennis betting can take some getting used to if you’re new to the sport. When starting, it’s important to have a full understanding of how it works and scoring nuances. From there, it’s a matter of learning the players and building your handicapping skills to place yourself in a position for success.