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Handicap Betting

Discover the advantages of Handicap Betting: The most popular form of sports betting in the United States and Asia.

Handicap betting is used to cancel out the differences in an uneven confrontation by subtracting points or goals from the favourite or by adding them to the outsider.

There are two types of handicap betting:

  • Traditional handicap
  • Asian handicap

Traditional Handicap Betting

Traditional handicap betting is based on goals, 1 subtracted from the favourite or 1 added to the opponent.

If you're betting on the favourite, they will need to perform better than its handicap if you are to win your bet. This handicap will be subtracted from its final score. The favourite's handicap is preceded by the sign (-).

The opponent starts off with a head start that will be added to its final score. The opponent's handicap is preceded by the sign (+).

Note that the handicap is only added to or subtracted from the score of the team you are betting on. There is no accumulation.

Handicap bets may be offered for any sports but they are particularly common in Rugby and American sports.

Example of traditional handicap betting

Handicap: England – Italy rugby match

England starts with a handicap of 25 points. The odds are as follows:

England -25DrawItaly +25
1.8201.8

The possible results are:

  • England beats Italy by more than 25 points: the correct forecast is England -25
  • England beats Italy by exactly 25 points: the correct forecast is a drawn match
  • England beats Italy by fewer than 25 points, the match ends in a draw or Italy beats England: the correct forecast is Italy +25

Asian Handicap Betting

Asian Handicap Betting is closely related to a Traditional Handicap, but it has a number of important differences:

  •  You cannot bet on a drawn match

  • Handicaps of ¼, ½ or ¾ are possible

The following specific provisions apply when calculating profits and losses:

  • Your stake is refunded if the result is a drawn match after the handicap is taken into consideration

  • Your profit or loss is halved if the result is a victory by a quarter of a goal after the handicap is taken into consideration 

The notation system for the Asian handicap uses the symbol (:). For example, a handicap of 0:1 means that a goal is added to the score of the away team.

Here are the different types of Asian handicaps:

0: 0 Asian Handicap

Handicap given when there is no favourite. The stake is refunded if the match is drawn.

Match

Newcastle

HandicapLiverpool
Newcastle - Liverpool1.90:01.9

A bet on Newcastle wins if Newcastle wins the match and loses if Liverpool wins. If the match is a draw, the stake is refunded.

0:0 HandicapScoreScore after handicapBet on NewcastleBet on Liverpool
Newcastle wins2:02:0WonLost
Draw1:11:1RefundedRefunded
Liverpool wins0:10:1LostWon

 

0: 1/4 Asian Handicap

This handicap means that one of the teams is given a 0.25 goal start on the other at kickoff. The profit or loss is halved if the match is drawn.

MatchAC MilanHandicapArsenal
AC Milan - Arsenal1.90:1/41.9

A bet on AC Milan wins if AC Milan wins the match and loses if Arsenal wins. In the event of a draw, a bet on AC Milan will cost you half of your stake, while a bet on Arsenal will earn you half the money that you could have otherwise expected to win .

0:1/4 HandicapScoreScore after handicapBet on AC MilanBet on Arsenal
AC Milan wins1:01:0.25WonLost
Draw1:11:1.25Lost halfWon half 
=
Stake * (odds-1) / 2
Arsenal wins0:10:1.25LostWon

 

0: ½ Asian Handicap

This handicap means that one of the teams is given a 0.5 goal start on the other at kickoff.

MatchMonacoHandicapLille
Monaco - Lille1.90:1/21.9

A bet on Monaco wins if Monaco wins the match and loses if Lille wins or if the match ends in a draw.

0:1/2 HandicapScoreScore after handicapBet on MonacoBet on Lille
Monaco wins1:01:0.5WonLost
Draw0:00:0.5LostWon
Lille wins0:10:1.5LostWon

 

0: 3/4 Asian Handicap

This handicap means that one of the teams is given a 0.75 goal start on the other at kickoff. The profit or loss is halved if the favourite wins by a difference of one goal.

MatchValenciaHandicapBilbao
Valencia - Bilbao1.90:3/41.9

A bet on Valencia wins if Valencia wins the match by a difference of at least two goals but loses if the match is a draw or if Bilbao wins. However, if Valencia wins by just one goal, a bet on Valencia will only earn you half of what you could have otherwise expected to win , while a bet on Bilbao will result in you losing half of your stake.

0:3/4 HandicapScoreScore after handicapBet on ValenciaBet on Bilbao
Valencia wins by a difference of at least 2 goals2:02:0.75WonLost
Valencia wins by just one goal1:01:0.75Won half = Stake * (odds-1) / 2Lost half
Draw1:11:1.75LostWon
Bilbao wins0:10:1.75LostWon

 

0: 1 Asian Handicap

This handicap means that one of the teams is given a 1 goal start on the other at kickoff. The stake is refunded if the favourite wins by a difference of one goal.

MatchPortoHandicapBraga
Porto - Braga1.90:11.9

A bet on Porto wins if Porto wins the match by a difference of at least two goals and loses if the match is drawn or Braga wins. If Porto wins by a single goal, the stake is refunded.

0:1 HandicapScoreScore after handicapBet on PortoBet on Braga
Porto wins by a difference of at least 2 goals2:02:1WonLost
Porto wins by a single goal1:01:1RefundedRefunded
Draw1:11:2LostWon
Braga wins0:10:2LostWon

 

0: 1 3/4 Asian Handicap

This handicap means that one of the teams is given a 1.75 goal start on the other at kickoff. The profit or loss is halved if the favourite wins by a difference of two goals.

MatchStuttgartHandicapFreiburg
Stuttgart - Freiburg1.90:1 3/41.9

A bet on Stuttgart wins if Stuttgart wins the match by a difference of at least two goals and loses if Stuttgart wins by a single goal, if the match is drawn or if Freiburg wins the match. However, if Stuttgart wins by a difference of exactly two goals, a bet on Stuttgart will only earn you half of what you could have otherwise expected to win , whereas a bet on Freiburg will lose you half your stake.

0:1 3/4 HandicapScoreScore after handicapBet on StuttgartBet on Freiburg
Stuttgart wins by a difference of at least 2 goals3:03:1.75WonLost
Stuttgart wins by a difference of 2 goals2:02:1.75Won half = Stake * (odds-1) / 2Lost half
Stuttgart wins by a difference of 1 goal1:01:1.75LostWon
Draw1:10:1.75LostWon
Freiburg wins0:10:2.75LostWon


Once you have familiarised yourself with the concept, the Asian handicap offers many advantages:

  • There are only two possible outcomes (a home win or an away win) instead of the three traditional results

  • You have more chances of winning with the Asian handicap due to the additional possibility of pocketing half the expected profit

  • Your losses are reduced by the possibility of losing only half your stake