How to profit from tennis match research

The US Open has been running these last couple of weeks and I’ve been researching some of the matches for my DRT trading service.

Here’s a template you can use to research tennis matches and hopefully come up with some good conclusions with which to profit…

It’s a free website which has excellent statistics for tennis majors and could well be the only resource you need.

Here’s how I use the stats and how you can too to profit:

1) The odds. Note the odds. Let’s look at one of today’s matches: Marin Cilic plays Roger Federer this weekend. Roger Federer is the favourite at odds of 1.33. It’s important to note the favourite. The idea is to gather evidence as to whether the favourite’s odds are justified or not.

2) The rankings. The rankings are important. The closer the rankings, the closer the match could be. In this match, Marin Cilic is ranked 16th in the world, and Roger Federer 3rd.

3) Head-to-heads. Head-to-heads are key, as they can determine whether the underdog has a chance today, and whether the underdog has a history of winning at least one set against today’s opponent.

In today’s match, Roger Federer has won the last five head-to-heads. It looks rather clear-cut then doesn’t it?

Look also at head-to-heads on today’s surface. For example, The US Open is a hard-court tennis tournament. Therefore we need a focus on hard-court head-to-heads. Roger Federer has won the last three hard-court head-to-heads 3-1, 2-0, and 2-1.

What do you see here? You see an ability for Marin Cilic to win a set! This is important. Also note the most recent match between these two players: the sets were 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. I think tie breakers are important to note (a tie-breaker is a 7-6 set), as it signals parity between the two players. These sets are largely won by the player who wins the key point or points only, and has a slice of luck.

4) Recent form for each player on a) all surfaces and b) today’s surface (hard court). Let’s look at Marin Cilic. Here is how I write down his recent form: I write it down by the round he got to in his most recent tournaments. So, Marin has reached 3rd and 3rd in his two tournaments prior to the US Open.

As to Roger Federer, he as reached final, final, final, final, in his four tournaments prior to this US Open. Now that is emphatic isn’t it?

On to today’s surface: hard courts, if you’ll remember. Betfair’s tennis stats enable you to show form by surface.

Let’s look at Marin Cilic on hard courts: 3rd, 3rd round, and now the quarter finals of the US Open.

As to Roger Federer, well he has reached the quarter, quarter, final, and now the quarter final of the US Open.

5) Make note of any dropped sets. A dropped set scoreline will be something like 2-1, 3-1 or a derivative thereof. This is important because the Set Betting market can often be exploited with tennis trading, as well as the more traditional Match Odds market. (Will Cilic or Federer win?)

Cilic has dropped at least one set in six of his last 11 matches on hard courts.

As to Federer, well he has dropped a set in five of his last 12 hard-court matches.

6) Form so far in this tournament. We want to see how the players have reached this stage. Look out for a) dropped sets, b) 7-6 tie-breaker sets c) an ability to fight back after losing a set.

2-0, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 3-0 wins for Cilic this US Open. He has dropped at least a set in two of his last three matches. He has had at least one 7-6 tie-breaker set in three of his last four US Open matches, including beating Tomas Berdych last round in a last-set tie-breaker.

3-0, 3-0, 3-1, 3-0, 3-2 wins for Roger Federer this US Open. Federer shows ‘an ability to fight back after losing a set’ coming back from 0-2 against Gael Monfils.

The last piece of the jigsaw is to anticipate what might happen in this match. What do you think will happen from the evidence presented?

From Marin Cilic’s perspective, it seems like he can take at least one set from Roger Federer, as he has done in two of his last three meetings with Federer on hard-court surfaces. How can we profit from this? If we use a betting exchange, then we can lay Roger Federer to win 3-0.

Here is the set betting market:

If Roger Federer wins the first set, we can lay him to win 3-0 sets at far shorter odds than the 2.96 currently available. Why? The market has shortened the odds once Federer wins the first set.

If Marin Cilic wins the first set, it looks as if he will not win 3-0. His odds for 3-0 after winning the first set may be shorter than the current 18.5, but perhaps still too short to lay comfortably. You could back Roger Federer to win 3-1 at hopefully better odds than the current 3.65.

With Roger Federer’s ability to have beaten Gael Monfils after losing the first two sets, we can have a degree of confidence should Federer lose the first two sets in this match. We could back him at much higher odds than they are currently.

I hope you can follow the thought processes here. We are looking primarily for both players to be able to win a set. If you just focus on this aspect alone, you can engineer good short-priced lay bets if you simply lay the first set winner to win 2-0 or 3-0 in the set betting market.

New balls please!

Have a great weekend.