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Did you know on average there are nine games per set in professional tennis? That might sound obvious when you consider service games are now so dominant that you only need to break once and hold on tight to win a set.
The stat does, however, inform tennis betting fans on where to set the bar when it comes to placing wagers on the over/under markets.
And there’s a particular focus on 20.5 in tennis betting.
In this quick guide we’ll explain what 20.5 in tennis means and outline how the over/unders markets work, so you can bet with more confidence.
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What is 20.5 in Tennis?
Take a look at these odds from the Paddy Power sportsbook. They show an over/under market set at 20.5 for a match between two players at a WTA 250 event.
The market is focused on the total number of games that will be played in the match. As you can see, the line is 20.5. You can either bet over 20.5 games being played, or under 20.5.
This is what 20.5 is in tennis. It’s simply a totals index that refers to the total number of games you think might be played in any match.
The reason 20.5 is a good line is because it generally assumes a match will go into a third set if you bet over the line.
20.5 tennis alternatives
Now, this 20.5 line is common but here at Paddy Power you can actually move to it better suit your needs. Paddy offers alternative lines ranging from 18.5 up to 23.5 on many three-set matches over the course of a season.
Were you to bet over 18.5 games then your odds would be very short, as its likely the match in question will be done in two sets and won by a heavy favourite. Conversely, betting over 23.5 games suggests you reckon the match may stretch deep into a third set.
How over/unders work in tennis
You’re likely to see these types of bets called ‘over/unders’ or ‘game totals’ in the Paddy Power sportsbook. You can actually bet on more than just games, as it’s possible to wager on the total number of sets (especially in five-set Grand Slam tennis), the total number of aces, and the total number of double faults.
What’s important to understand is how sportsbooks set the line. They look at historical data and the form of the players involved to come up with a prediction of where the over/under line should sit.
Because opinion is part of the odds setting process, it’s possible for shrewd tennis betting fans to exploit badly-priced lines and win big.
It’s the sort of thing football bettors look out for too. If you want to know more about this type of market then you can always read our Over/Under 2.5 goals guide, which can be easily related to tennis.
Can I bet on over/unders in live tennis?
Live tennis betting is where over/unders markets truly come to life. You can bet on over/unders at Paddy Power during live matches but you need to make sure you’re following the action closely.
There may only be a few points difference between a match ending on +17.5 games, and it stretching to over 30. If you bank on a long three-set match and it’s over 6-1 6-4 then suddenly you’re out of pocket.
However, hold your nerve and you could be sitting on big potential profits. Shrewd tennis betting fans monitor the over/unders markets and seek to time their wagers to perfection, betting on high totals when the game is in the balance and hoping the underdog can force a final set.
THE PADDY POWER GUIDE TO RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW