VALUE TENNIS STRATEGY

The Value Tennis Strategy looks for over-confidence in a market, notably on a favourite, to take advantage for profit.

When a favourite wins a first set, the market often over-reacts and pushes the lay price down below the standard odds.

When a favourite has a Starting Price (SP) of 1.5, and wins the first set 6-4, the back odds on the favourite at the start of the second set should be 1.17 – there is a table of these standard odds to demonstrate this further on.

However, in a lot of cases the odds will be pushed below the standard odds, 1.17 in this case, and this creates our opportunity to profit. It may not seem like a lot at first, but if the odds drop to 1.14, we have created value to the tune of 18% or thereabouts. In trading that’s a significant number.

On the Betfair website, odds are very accurate. If I were to continuously bet on every 1.5 favourite for 1,000,000 bets, I would likely break even, or in 2% loss if that’s your commission plan on Betfair.

So, when trading we must find an advantage, and this is one of those little-known advantages.

Below is a table showing Starting Price and corresponding odds for the favourite when they win the first set. We will use min odds of 1.1 up to max of 2.0.

METHOD

The strategy is easy to follow:

  1. Open Betfair Tennis page and note the SP’s of all favourites in the competitions you mean to follow
  2. All bets can be placed on the Betfair website, no software is needed.
  3. We need any favourite to win the first set by one break or tie-break. If the set has been won 6-1 0r 6-2 this suggests the favourite is very dominant and more likely to win the match 2-0. So, look for a first set score of 6-3(one break of serve) 6-4, 7-5, or 7-6.
  4. If the favourite wins the first set, compare their current odds to the ones in the table below.
  5. For example, Alcaraz has Starting Price of 1.46. He has just won the first set. His odds are now 1.13. As we can see from the table, this is 3 ticks below the standard 1.16. We lay him for one point in this position because the odds have value.
  6. Though 3 ticks might not seem a lot, it represents a significant advantage.
  7. If you keep betting with this type of value, even one or two ticks, you will have the advantage over the market and will profit nicely.
  8. We will trade out when a) our layed player goes down a break or b) loses the second set or c) loses the match. Any one is fine if you remain consistent. If you decide to let the bets run for the entire match, do so for a month to let the value and returns develop before changing strategy.
  9. If using Betfair, make sure you are on 2% commission by selecting the Basic Plan in your Betfair Account. All new accounts are on 5% by default.
 
 

SP

SET ODDS

 

SP

SET ODDS

 

SP

SET ODDS

1.1

1.03

 

1.4

1.14

 

1.7

1.26

1.11

1.03

 

1.41

1.15

 

1.71

1.26

1.12

1.03

 

1.42

1.15

 

1.72

1.26

1.13

1.04

 

1.43

1.15

 

1.73

1.27

1.14

1.04

 

1.44

1.16

 

1.74

1.27

1.15

1.04

 

1.45

1.16

 

1.75

1.28

1.16

1.05

 

1.46

1.16

 

1.76

1.28

1.17

1.05

 

1.47

1.17

 

1.77

1.29

1.18

1.06

 

1.48

1.17

 

1.78

1.29

1.19

1.06

 

1.49

1.17

 

1.79

1.3

1.2

1.06

 

1.5

1.18

 

1.8

1.3

1.21

1.07

 

1.51

1.18

 

1.81

1.3

1.22

1.07

 

1.52

1.18

 

1.82

1.31

1.23

1.07

 

1.53

1.19

 

1.83

1.31

1.24

1.08

 

1.54

1.19

 

1.84

1.32

1.25

1.08

 

1.55

1.19

 

1.85

1.32

1.26

1.09

 

1.56

1.2

 

1.86

1.33

1.27

1.09

 

1.57

1.2

 

1.87

1.33

1.28

1.09

 

1.58

1.21

 

1.88

1.34

1.29

1.1

 

1.59

1.21

 

1.89

1.34

1.3

1.1

 

1.6

1.22

 

1.9

1.35

1.31

1.11

 

1.61

1.22

 

1.91

1.35

1.32

1.11

 

1.62

1.22

 

1.92

1.35

1.33

1.11

 

1.63

1.23

 

1.93

1.36

1.34

1.12

 

1.64

1.23

 

1.94

1.36

1.35

1.12

 

1.65

1.24

 

1.95

1.37

1.36

1.13

 

1.66

1.24

 

1.96

1.37

1.37

1.13

 

1.67

1.24

 

1.97

1.38

1.38

1.14

 

1.68

1.25

 

1.98

1.38

1.39

1.14

 

1.69

1.25

 

1.99

1.39

 

     

2

1.39

 

WHY BETFAIR?

The reason we choose Betfair over other exchanges in the volume of money traded. Pushing the prices below standard takes a considerable amount of money, and Betfair easily has the most money traded of all the exchanges. However, if you have 0% commission in Smarkets or Matchbook, feel free to use them instead.

IS THIS A BACK OR LAY STRATEGY?

This is a lay strategy. We always lay the favourite after they win the first set. The back odds are often a little too volatile to get the bet on correctly and on time.

CAN I USE THIS STRATEGY ON ALL TENNIS MATCHES?

Use the strategy on all 3 set matches in WTA, ATP and Challenger singles matches. Do not use on doubles or ITF tournaments. This strategy cannot be used in men’s Grand Slams 5-setters.

The reason I don’t recommend doubles and ITF is liquidity (which is the amount of money matched on the exchange).

However, if you see matches that meet the criteria and have suitable liquidity, then please take advantage.

EXAMPLE

Firstly, an example from Aliassime/Tiafoe at Paris Masters 2023.

Aliassime is fav at 1.48 Starting Price (SP)

He wins the first set, and his odds drop to 1.10

 

Aliassime’s lay odds are now 1.1 (apologies I took the screenshot a little late as you can see, the second set has already started)

The standard lay odds if Aliassime wins the first set (see table above) is 1.17.

Therefore, we a 7 ticks below that price which is great, but it’s too good!

Red Flag!

Aliassime won the set by 2 breaks of serve which is no good for this strategy.

 

In this case we will not bet on the lay odds of 1.1

We will wait for another opportunity.

EXAMPLE 2

RUNE V DJOKOVIC – ATP PARIS MASTERS FINAL

Djokovic had starting lay odds of 1.3 in this match.

If we look at the table, we want his odds to drop below 1.1 in order to make a value bet.

Djokovic won the first set, and his odds look as follows:

 

Obviously, it’s the lay odds in the pink we’re interested in. For those of you new to the exchange, the back odds are blue while the pink is lay odds.

The odds are perfect for a value bet here – we are 3 ticks below the 1.1 target, at 1.07.

We place a bet for one point immediately at £10.

Place a lay bet for £10 at 1.07, meaning liability of just 70 pence.

Again, for those who are new to the exchange, when placing a lay bet, liability is different from the stake.

Have a look at the following screenshot:

Only my liability is at risk – not the stake.

In order to risk a full £10 I would need to adjust the stake to £142.80 (see below). However, please bear in mind, I repeat, only my liability of £10 would be at risk.

The great thing here is that I would win £152.80 including stake (minus 2% commission) if Rune turns this match around.

I’m watching this match as I write this, and Rune has indeed won the second set.

My personal staking plan means that I let each bet run, and here is no different.

As you can see below, Rune won the match, so I win £10 while risking only 70 pence.

There are many who would never lay Novak Djokovic having won the first set. After all, he’s Novak Djokovic!

However, this example is a prime one because it shows the great value of this system and that you must let the maths do the work. Put personal feelings about players aside and let the value come to you.  

We can also see that we don’t need a huge strike rate for the system to work.

Risking just 70 pence to win £10 is a tremendous return.

STAKING

Use a 150-point bank. Use Betfair minimum stakes (£1, €1) for your first 50 bets to verify the strategy.

A NOTE OF CAUTION

Like any value system, this can be volatile. You might lose a few before you win, but the winning bets will have you in profit in the longer term if you are disciplined.

Never lay above or at the standard odds. Only lay below the standard. Otherwise, you lose the value and your profits.

Good Luck,

Patrick.