One of the most volatile, potentially profitable and therefore most popular in-play trading sports is tennis, as Peter Webb from Bet Angel explains
Creating a profitable position by trading is all about volatility; the movement in odds. Lay at a lower price than you can back at and you will make money. The bigger the gap between your lay bet and your back bet the bigger the profit.
There are many reasons why tennis odds are so volatile. One key reason is that the scoring system lends itself well to significant changes of fortunes for the players. You can go from being 2-0 up in a set to 2-3 down just by dropping a couple of points on two service games.
There are also lengthy rallies, unforced errors, thundering serves and injuries. But matches can also last, in theory at least, for infinity. This means the chance of a large swing in odds is much more likely. One of the longest matches in recent times was at of course at Wimbledon in 2010 when Mahut & Isner could only be separated after three days and 183 games!
All these factors can cause the odds to move around significantly during a match. This gives you many chances to get on the right side of a trade by laying at a low price or backing high and waiting for the odds to fall in your favour.
There are often matches where it didn't matter whether you backed or laid at the start as you would multiple chances to profit. This would happen each time the odds cross the starting price you backed or laid at. If this happens you would get the chance to cash out for a profit.
It happens a surprising amount in tennis, but typically in more competitive matches. Because grand slam tournaments are seeded you tend to get a lot of uncompetitive matches in the early rounds.
In order to profit from these swings in odds you need to understand how tennis odds are determined and what creates the volatility in a tennis match. Fortunately help is hand. Bet Angel contains a very clever tool that looks at a tennis match and 'decodes' the underlying maths and allows you to project a match forward to see where the odds could go.
Statistics tends to assume that the serve and win a point probabilities remain the same throughout a match. This is obviously not realistic. Psychology and fitness play an important part. Therefore, probabilities of winning a point on serve can vary from game to game. But statistics are a useful starting point to trade and as you watch the match you can modify you view on things.
Tennis trader (screenshot below) allows you to do this.
You also need to look at the court surface. The three most common surfaces used to play the game of tennis are clay, concrete and grass. Not only do these surfaces vary from each other greatly in terms of texture and feel, but they can cause one style of tennis player to have an advantage over another. Roger Federer tends to perform better on fast surfaces like grass, but Rafeal Nadal prefers slower courts. The Australian Open is played on a plexicushion artificial 'hard' surface and this year the players are indicating it is playing fast.
As tennis is one of the most volatile sports in terms of odds movement it makes for an excellent trading market. The only downside you have with tennis is that matches can last for very long periods of time. However, tennis still remains one of the most popular in-play markets.
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