Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
Imagine an NBA league where the Golden State Warriors are playing the New York Nets. Definitely, the Golden State Warriors are the clear heavy favorites and the Nets the underdog. Clearly the Golden State Warriors are the favorites to definitely win because they are a much better team with better players and skills. So how do sports bookmakers try to prepare odds in this case for punters? The answer is Handicap betting. It is an effective way to level the playing field.
Cool facts about Handicap Betting
Popular in points-based sports like football, rugby, basketball, and tennis
Also known as line betting, the spread or points betting
It’s a strategy you can use to reduce risks while placing your bets
You can win your bet even if your team draws or loses the match
Handicap betting is a form of sports betting used to even the odds when there is a contest between a heavy favorite and an underdog side. This betting type is common in sports which make use of points such basketball, football, tennis, soccer, and rugby. Handicap betting has an effect on how odds get by bookies. This article discusses in detail betting handicap and everything you need to understand about sports handicap betting. To understand handicap odds fully, handicap betting explained in details in this article will help fully.
What is handicap betting?
Handicap betting is a betting type whereby a sports bookie tries to even out the seeming bias in capacities between teams as in the example of the Golden State Warriors and the New York Nets given in the introduction. With Handicap odds, the playing field is effectively by considering the difference in strength of the teams facing each other.
For example, if there was a 200m race which involved Usain Bolts and he was going up against average runners it’s expected of Bolts to come out the winner most of the times - and this would even be reflected by the odds. But, imagine the average runners had to themselves a head start of 100m. The outcome would be even, and effectively ‘level’ up the competition since Usain Bolts would have been handicapped.
This example shows the concept of handicap betting; that is one outcome is given an advantage while the other outcome is given a disadvantage so as to deal with the differences in skill ability between both sides. Therefore, odds on the heavy favorite are made more attractive, since the chances of an underdog victory was increased.
Types of Handicap Betting Markets
Single Handicap Betting
In the handicap betting markets, the team considered the favorite is conferred with a goal or point handicap to do away with the variation in strength for the sake of betting. For instance, such favorite begins play with -1, -2, -3, -4 points.
Handicap Betting Football Explained: Handicap football can best be explained with the example below
If there’s a match in the football league between the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys. The New England Patriots are considered the heavy favorites and may start with -6 points, whereas the Dallas Cowboys begin with + 6 points. So, to cover the spread, the New England Patriots will have to win with 7 or more points.
In a situation where the New England Patriots had won 25-19. on the single handicap market, the Dallas Cowboys would actually be the winners instead since the game, based on the handicap market, had ended 25-26 in favor of the underdogs.
In summary, in a match between Team A, the favorite and Team Y, the underdogs where you lay a wager on Team A which has a handicap of -1 goal, to win your bet, Team A has to win by more than one goal, that is two and above so as to cover the handicap but where the win is simply by one goal, with the handicap, the result of such match is regarded as a draw for betting purposes, therefore your wager gets refunded. Though you will lose your wager on Team A where Team Y draws or wins the game.
Asian handicap betting
Asian handicap is a form of betting where the tie result or draw is removed. It’s highly valuable to the punter and poses somewhat of less risk compared to the conventional "Win-Draw-Win" style betting. You’ve got to pick the team rated as the favorite to beat the handicap (framed in goals) or you must oppose the team considered favorite with the handicap.
Imagine two teams in a soccer game event; one team will definitely be on home ground and the other away or vice-versa. In Asian handicap betting, there’s two selection possibilities, either the home team wins the game, or the away team wins it. So, the Asian Handicap sports betting thus eliminates the option of a draw made use of in normal multiples (1x2). Most times, these teams do not have equal abilities as one will be a favorite and the other an underdog. Where there’s a greater difference in ability between the competing teams, then a larger goal difference is expected from the favorite’s victory and therefore, there’s a bigger handicap. So, the underdogs are given a head start, and a handicap, (of 0.5, 1 ball, etc.) by the team considered to be the favorite.
The team regarded to be the favorite must therefore beat the indicated handicap, which will be deducted from its final score at the end of the game. The minus sign (-) represents the handicap given to the favorite.
While the favorite has its handicap deducted, the team rated as the underdog has its handicap added to its score at the end of the game. The plus sign (+) represents the handicap given to the underdog.
Leeds United (-1, -1.5) vs LA Galaxy (+1, +1.5)
In this example, Leeds United need to win the match by two clear goals in order to win the market, due to the handicap betting soccer odds applied.
But if Leeds win by one, then the whole number handicap results in a draw, while the number handicap gives LA Galaxy the victory. You would stand to receive half your stake back if you bet on Leeds to win, while anyone who bet on LA Galaxy to win would receive half their stake returned, and half of it would be paid back as winnings at the odds stated by the sports bookie.
The next example is that of a split Asian handicap bet:
In a split Asian handicap, the amount staked gets divided across two handicaps. A split Handicap occurs when the difference between the two teams’ abilities is small; allowing you to split your stake over two handicaps.
For example, let’s say you want to bet on Team A who are +1 and +1.5 against Team B.
By the end of the game, Team B wins 2-1, so half of the amount staked (+1) gets returned as the game ends 2-2, whereas the other half (+1.5) will be deemed a winner as Team A won the game based on the final score of 2-2.5.
Three-way handicap betting
3-way handicap betting gives punters the ability to bet on the option of a handicap tie. This option involves betting that the game will end in a victory for the team with the virtual deficit (-1 etc.) by the particular winning margin which has been offered.
Below is a three-way handicap bet example:
In a match between USA v. Panama, the three-way handicap margins are provided:
Draw/handicap tie: effectively -2
Whereby this game ends with Panama winning 1-0. A sports bettor who had backed a Panama win would have lost the bet since Panama failed to cover the spread, therefore the game effectively finished 2-1 with USA being the winner.
If you had bet on the handicap tie, you’d have lost since Panama failed to win by the specified margin in the handicap. You should note that when you’re betting a handicap draw, your bet is on the margin of victory, not the actual goals that were scored, e.g. a Panama win of 4-2, 3-1, 2-0 etc.
No draw handicap betting
On the other hand, in no draw handicap betting, there’s got to be an outright winner, and there’s no possibility of a draw, regardless of how the game ends. This system of betting allows half goal/point handicaps to certain results. This is quite similar to Asian handicap.
Below is a no draw handicap bet:
Where Brazil face USA in a soccer game, Brazil is offered a +0.5 handicap by the no draw handicap market – in other words, they are already winning by 0.5 goals even before kickoff.
So whereby such a match ended in a 1-1 draw, a bet on Brazil would win since the score based on the market would be USA 1 Brazil 1.5
Other Sports Handicap Betting
The logic of handicap bet markets also cuts across other sports such as handicap betting basketball, etc... as the extra score gets added to the team/player's score for the final score to be determined. During live games, live score handicaps are displayed by sports bookies, to compare bookies with the best handicaps odds, kindly visit our sports betting comparison page.
Which bookmakers offer the Best Handicap Betting?
For advanced sports betting odds comparison service, live odds changes from the major bookmarkers, find out which bookies offer the best odds at our sport betting comparison page for profitable bets. The information on our sports betting comparison page is created to help you make the best choices and to ensure you profit maximally from this option. Thus, it is totally in your best interest to give a glance at this page and do yourself a world of good. Also, be sure to pick up a bonus offer along the way - the latest TheScore bonus code offer is particularly generous.
Handicap betting allows you more options, instead of standard betting. You will find it to be so simple. It’s a fantastic option if you are looking into ways to beat down the risk and cash in the odds. Get started with handicap betting at our sports betting comparison page and discover which bookies offer the best odds. I hope you understood what handicap betting entails and the great benefits it could offer you.