What Is Set Betting in Tennis?

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Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece plays a forehand return to Germany's Alexander Zverev during their United Cup quarterfinal tennis match in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jan 05, 2024, 7:30 AM

In the world of tennis odds, set betting is a specific kind of tennis bet where the bettor wagers on both a player and a set score. 

Because most pro tour matches are best of three sets, there are typically four potential outcomes:

  • Player A wins, 2-0
  • Player A wins, 2-1
  • Player B wins, 2-1
  • Player B wins, 2-0

Set betting requires bettors to correctly pick not only the winning player but also the winning set score. 

Because this is more difficult than simply picking a winner, set betting offers more lucrative odds. Set betting is a common way for tennis bettors to find better returns for match bets they already like. 

How Does Set Betting Work?

The BetMGM online sportsbook has a master tennis page with every upcoming tennis match and its moneyline odds for both players. Clicking on any given match expands the number of visible betting markets. 

The tab for Set Bets shows several different exotic bet styles, including Correct Score by set. Set betting is the most popular subgroup in this tab.

Set Betting Example

Here’s an example set of BetMGM odds from a recent match between 2018 WTA champion Elina Svitolina and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu. 

Svitolina was a -250 favorite for the match, and Raducanu was a +190 underdog. The set betting options for the match are as follows:

  • Svitolina wins 2-0 (-105)
  • Svitolina wins 2-1 (+300)
  • Raducanu wins 2-1 (+500)
  • Raducanu wins 2-0 (+375)

Because Svitolina was projected as the favorite, the most likely outcome in the set-betting market was for Svitolina to win in straight sets. 

Three-set wins happen regularly and are by no means rare in tennis. However, three-set wins are considered more lucrative bets in tennis betting markets because of the outsized importance that momentum often plays in tennis matches. 

Additionally, Player A’s single-set victory would be negatively correlated with Player B’s match victory, and vice-versa.

In this particular match, Svitolina won 6-7, 7-6, 6-1. That means bettors who bet Svitolina 2-1 (+300) would have cashed their tickets.

Tennis Live Betting at BetMGM

Tennis betting never sleeps at BetMGM!

With live betting, you can place wagers during thousands of matches each year. As you watch Rafael Nadal in the French Open on TV, stream a Serena Williams match from your phone, or track Wimbledon scores online, you can place live bets.

Visit the sportsbook for updated odds, updated sports betting promos — including a sportsbook welcome offer — and more.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.