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Handicap Betting: Even Out the Odds

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How often do you find yourself in a situation where you want to bet on a sporting event only to realize that the odds are very poor due to one side being a massive favourite? In such cases, many people simply skip betting the game as they find no value in the odds offered.

However, many new bookmakers give you an alternative in these cases called handicap betting. Handicap sports betting is a type of betting where one side is given a virtual advantage at the start of the game, usually in sports like football, basketball, tennis and horse racing.

With handicap betting, the teams or players are put on a more equal footing, the odds are evened out and the bettors actually have value in betting either side, or at least there may be value if the right bet is placed. Keep reading to get the handicap bet explained in detail and start placing your handicap bets in the future.

  • Handicap bets even out the odds in events with massive favourites
  • In handicap bets, there is no significant favourite
  • Handicapping is usually used in point sports like football and tennis
  • Handicap betting is also called spread betting or line betting
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Five Key Things You Need to Know about Handicap Betting

Betting on your favourite sport is always fun, but when betting with a betting handicap, things get that much more exciting as there is no longer an extreme favourite either way. Bookmakers add points to the side deemed as underdogs to make it more interesting to place bets on the event. Here are the top five things you should remember when it comes to handicap betting.

Handicap betting

Handicap betting in a nutshell: Even the odds between the teams

  • 1. Handicap Betting Sports: What is It?

In theory, some type of a handicap can be added to pretty much any sports betting event or market, but in reality it is usually used for football, basketball, American football and other point sports. In such cases, the bookmaker  online adds a certain number of goals or points to one side to even the playing fields.

If you enjoy soccer betting and are not familiar with handicap soccer betting, you should really get to know more about it, as this is the best way to bet on games where there is a clear favourite. You may have spent years betting on the heavy favourites, seeing them go on to win by a large margin and you still only get pennies on a pound. This no longer needs to be the case as placing a handicap bet could see you win a lot more in the future.

Other popular handicap betting sports include the likes of tennis and horse racing, where players are given extra games and horses extra seconds meaning they no longer have to actually win in order for your bet to be a win.

  • 2. How Handicap Bets Actually Work: Handicap Betting Explained

So you get the basic idea of how handicaps work, but let’s give you a concrete handicap example in order to explain how exactly it works. Let’s imagine we are placing a handicap bet on football game between Manchester City and Crystal Palace where Manchester City is a heavy favourite. In this case, the goal handicap is introduced to even out the football odds.

Handicap bet explained

Textbook example of a handicap betting market

For example, the betting offer could look something like this:

Manchester City to Win (-2) 1/1

Handicap Tie (-1) 3/1

Crystal Palace to Win (+2) 2/1

In the example above, you would need Manchester City to win by two goals in order for your handicap bet to land. On the other hand, if you bet on handicap tie, a 1:0 or 2:1 win by City would land you a winner. Betting on Crystal Palace, you would only need the team not to lose by two goals, which means that any draw or a loss of one goal would still make you the winner.

To make things simpler for yourself, simply take the number in the brackets and add it to the final score. For example, Crystal Palace (+2) means that the team is starting the game with a two goal advantage, which Manchester City have to catch up to in order for bets placed that way to be winners.

  • 3. The No Draw Handicap Bets: Win or Lose

The example above included a draw possibility for which you would need Manchester city to win by one goal. However, many bookmakers also add a chance for no draw handicap betting, in which the draw is not offered at all and whichever way you bet, one team has to come out as the winner.

This type of betting is introduced by adding half points, which aren’t really possible in sports like football, which adds a new handicap meaning to the bet. For example, you could have an offer like this:

Manchester United (-1.5) 13/10

West Bromwich Albion (+1.5) 6/5

In this example, if Manchester United won by two goals or more, those who bet on them would get 23 pounds on every 10 they bet. On the other hand, any other result, including a draw or a single goal loss for West Brom would result in those who bet on them to win at 6/5.

Any chance of a draw is eliminated by adding the half points, which are not possible in football. If you imagine, Manchester winning the game 1:0 in reality would have their final result 0.5:1, still giving West Brom the win when this market is concerned.

  • 4. Asian Handicap Explained: The Split Handicap

Another very popular form of handicap betting is called the Asian handicap. In Asian handicap betting, split handicaps are added, giving you a chance to get half stake back or win the entire thing. To get the Asian handicap explained better, let’s have a look at this Asian handicap example:

Real Madrid (-1 -1.5)

Leganes (+1 +1.5)

In this particular example from Spanish La Liga, punters who bet on Real Madrid to win would need the team to win by two goals in order to win the bet straight up. However, a single goal win by Real Madrid would trigger the other handicap of -1 and you would get half of your stake back as consolation rewards.

Asian Handicap

Asian handicap gives you a chance to get half your money back

Asian handicap betting strategy is one used by many professional sports bettors who use this type of betting to hedge their losses and get the best possible prices on every bet they are making, as it is believed that a savvy punter can have a bigger edge through Asian handicap betting than any other form of sports bets.

  • 5. Handicap League Betting: Bet on The Whole Season

Another form of handicap betting that is very popular, especially in American sports is handicap league betting. With this form of betting, punters bet at the start of the season on how a team will perform throughout the season, with handicap betting NBA or NFL seasons being very popular in the USA.

When making their league handicap offer, the bookies give each team except the favourites a handicap of some sorts compared to the favourite. For instance, a minor team with no chance of winning the league may be given a massive points handicap. This way, instead of getting 1000:1 on an outcome that cannot really happen, you may be getting even money on them to end somewhere in mid table by the end of the season.

Handicap league betting is an exhilarating way to track the whole season and root for the minor teams in the league who don’t really have a chance to winning the trophy. This way, you get to win cash even if they win some games and manage more points than expected which happens in many seasons for many teams.

Conclusion: Place Your Handicap Bets

Handicap betting is a form of sports betting that makes wagering on sports events so much more fun by evening out the playing field and taking away the advantage of the massive favourites. If you don’t want to miss another sports match due to poor odds, consider handicap betting as one of your top options to get good odds on both sides of the bet.

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