Feb 4, 2015
Feb 4, 2015

Doubles tennis betting

Doubles tennis betting

This article explains the dynamics of doubles tennis betting, and considers a number of tennis betting angles you should consider the next time you bet.

Double tennis dynamics

This article explains the dynamics of doubles tennis betting, in particular the 'Champions Tiebreak', and considers a number of tennis betting angles you should consider.

Logically this shorter format ensures a third set in doubles sees an increase in variance, when compared to ATP and WTA singles events. It's worth noting however that Grand Slam tournament doubles games have a traditional third set.

Ranking & teams

Men’s doubles tennis in particular has a dominant team - the Bryan brothers.  Bob and Mike have dominated the doubles tour for many years and are generally at a level far above the rest. Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have been the best WTA doubles team in recent times.

Another aspect to consider before betting is that doubles pairings frequently change. The vast majority of ATP players changed teams at the start of the 2015 season, in an attempt to topple the Bryan brothers. The top ten ATP and WTA doubles players are as follows:

ATP Players
PlayerRanking points
Bob Bryan 12740
Mike Bryan 12740
Nenad Zimonjic 5730
Marcelo Melo 5570
Julien Benneteau 5530
Daniel Nestor 5480
Edouard Roger-Vasselin 5230
Ivan Dodig 4820
Marcel Granollers 4740
Marc Lopez 4560

WTA Players
PlayerRanking points
Sara Errani 7800
Roberta Vinci 7800
Shuai Peng 7530
Cara Black 6625
Su-Wei Hsieh 6595
Sania Mirza 6510
Martina Hingis 5275
Ekaterina Makarova 4710
Elena Vesnina 4710
Flavia Pennetta 4310

The ranking points highlight how dominant the Bryan brothers are. They currently have more than a 7,000 ranking point lead over their nearest competitor, Nenad Zimonjic. The women’s rankings are much tighter with the top six players separated by fewer than 1,300 points.

Interestingly, just four of the men’s top ten - Benneteau, Roger-Vasselin, Dodig and Granollers - play singles, but seven of the women do.  Benneteau in particular is in the autumn of his career and may focus on doubles more in the coming years.

Market prices heavy favourites extremely accurately

As previously mentioned above there is an increased variance in doubles matches, as opposed to singles. An angle bettors may wish to look at is the record of ATP doubles teams priced as heavy favourites (1.30 or below) in non-Grand Slam events. The following table illustrates this since 1st, January 2014 (completed matches only):

MatchesFavourite WinsWin%Profit/LossROI2-0 Score2-1 Score2-1%
111 91 82 -26 -0.23 83 28 25.20

As we can see from the data above, the market is efficient in pricing doubles matches. From the 111 matches sampled featuring a doubles team priced under 1.30, blind-backing them produced a return of investment of -0.23%. 

Also evident is the low number of matches ending in a 2-1 scoreline when one team is a heavy favourite. It would appear that the increased variance of doubles does not significantly affect matches involving a big favourite.

However, this was not indicative of all doubles matches in this time period, as the table below shows:

Matches2-0 Score2-1 Score2-1%
953 574 379 39.80

This 39.8% of matches being decided in three sets is much higher than both the ATP and WTA singles tours. Bettors would be well advised to look at the set handicap markets, and consider the first set loser option when betting live.

Furthermore, when the 111 matches featuring a 1.30 or below favourite were removed from the sample, 351 matches out of 842 (41.7%) went to three sets. With many matches being priced with the favourite at 1.70 or above, matches ending in a Champions tiebreak are much more likely than an ATP deciding third set, giving bettors an opportunity to make a profit.

This article gives tennis doubles bettors a number of betting angles to look into, as well as providing scope to perform further research, for doubles betting in the future.

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