If you’re curious what handicap betting is, then look no further. Our guide will discuss in detail what handicap betting is, how a single handicap bet works for football and what exactly is an Asian handicap. But let’s start with a quick summary:
Handicap betting provides one team with a goal disadvantage (-0.5, -1, or 1.5 for example) for betting purposes. This can make games with a superior team more equal and interesting to bet on. A team must score one more goal than their handicap to win a bet.
What is Handicap Betting?
Handicapped betting is an alternative way to bet on certain events. For instance, if a professional 100m sprinter lined up against the average bloke off the street, you would expect the professional sprinter to win every time. This would be boring to bet on, and you would never get interesting odds. How about if you gave the average bloke a 50m head start? That would make the race outcome harder to predict. Suddenly, it would be more interesting to bet on.
This is exactly how handicap betting works. You are effectively giving one outcome an advantage, and the other outcome a disadvantage to make something you’re betting on more even.
How Does A Single Handicap Work?
Let’s take the example of football as it is the most popular sport in the UK. The number in brackets after the team name denotes the advantage or disadvantage applied to the handicap. Let’s go through some examples:
0.5 handicap e.g. Arsenal (-0.5) v Newcastle (0.5)
- Newcastle is effectively starting the game with half a goal advantage.
- If you’re backing Arsenal, and they win the match, you win your bet.
- However, if you’re backing Arsenal and the match ends in a draw, you lose your bet.
- If you’re backing Newcastle, you win the bet if they win or draw the match.
1 handicap e.g. Arsenal (-1.0) v Newcastle (1.0)
- Newcastle is effectively starting the game with a one-goal advantage.
- If you’re backing Arsenal they must win by at two goals for you to win your bet.
- However, if you’re backing Arsenal and they only win by one goal, the result is effectively a draw and your stake is refunded.
- If you’re backing Newcastle, you win the bet if they win or draw the match. If lose the match by one goal, your stake is refunded.
1.5 handicap e.g. Arsenal (-1.5) v Newcastle (1.5)
- Newcastle is effectively starting the game with a one and a half goal advantage.
- Because it is a bit more than a single goal, the ability for a draw to occur is eliminated.
- If you’re backing Arsenal to win, they again must score at least two goals for you to win your bet.
- If you’re backing Newcastle to win, they must either win the match, draw, or concede by only one goal.
2 handicap e.g. Manchester City (-2.0) v West Ham (2.0)
- West Ham is effectively starting the game with a two-goal advantage.
- If you’re backing Manchester City to win, they must win the game by a margin of three goals or more.
- If you’re backing Manchester City to win, and they win by a margin of two goals, your stake will be refunded.
- If you’re backing West Ham, you will win your bet providing they lose by a goal margin of only one.
- If you’re backing West Ham, and they lose by a margin of two goals, your stake will be refunded.
2.5 handicap e.g. Manchester City (-2.50) v West Ham (2.50)
- West Ham is effectively starting the game with a two and a half goal advantage.
- If you’re backing Manchester City, they must win the game by a margin of three goals or more for you to win your bet.
- If you’re backing West Ham, as long as they don’t lose by a margin of three goals or more, you will win your bet.
What Sports Can Handicaps Be Used For??
Although football is the most popular sport to apply handicaps, there are other sports that often have handicap markets, including:
- Rugby – one of the teams will start with a points advantage. The points handicap will be greater due to higher point scoring nature of rugby.
- Golf – many bookies will allow you to place handicaps on players’ rounds, for instance, +3 shots.
- Tennis – handicaps can be applied to either sets or games in tennis. If the handicap applies to games, then all the games from the match will be totalled up to form the outcome, which might not necessarily be the same as the winner of the match.
- Horse Racing – With horse racing, a handicap weight is applied to each horse and is decided by a steward, based on past performances and ability. This is done to try and even out the performance. Handicap races are ran every day and most betting sites will highlight this on their horse racing pages. For example, the below is from Fitzdares:
For more on their horse racing offers, head over to our page on the Fitzdares welcome offer.
What Is Asian Handicap Betting?
Asian handicap betting is the name handicap betting specifically in football. The name has risen due to the massive popularity of handicap betting in Asia. Asian Handicap betting will aim to make each team have an equal chance of winning, so that as close to evens will be offered on each team.
Handicap Betting Football
Handicap betting on football is similar to that of other sports such as golf, tennis, and darts to name a few. You’re essentially giving one team a virtual deficit or advantage in a specific match. Handicap betting for football is popular on matches that are predicted to be relatively one-sided.
Football Handicap Betting Example
We’ve provided a football handicap betting example for Manchester City’s match against Manchester United. The example we’ve shown you is for Manchester City to cover a -1 handicap. This means that we’ll need Manchester City to win by two goals in the match. If they win the match by one goal, draw, or lose the match, then our bet would be a losing one.
First Half Handicap
This type of handicap betting in football is straightforward to understand, as you’re betting on a team to start with either a deficit or advantage. If you start them on a minus one handicap for the first-half, then they’ll have to be winning by two goals by half-time in order for your bet to be settled as a winner. If they don’t score at all, or are losing by half-time, then your bet will be settled as a losing one.
Handicap draw is essentially the score of an event being level after the handicap has been applied. Handicap draws can’t occur when the handicap being offered by the bookmaker involves a decimal (e.g. 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 etc), but when a whole number is offered, handicap draws can occur. We’ve provided an example and some clarity on the handicap draw.
- E.g. Liverpool (-1.5) v Fulham (+1.5)Where there is a whole number handicap (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.), the draw is a possible outcome.
- E.g. Liverpool (-2) v Fulham (+2)Stakes will be returned when a handicap draw occurs (the final result of the match is drawn after including the whole number handicaps).
What Is A Goal Handicap?
A goal handicap is a term commonly used in football betting to describe a handicap betting market in which one of the teams concedes a certain amount of goals to the other. In football, goals are scored which can impact handicap bets that have been placed.
Football matches can sometimes be one-sided sided in terms of quality, and so bookmakers provide their customers with some value on bets placed on those types of games. This is where goal handicaps come into play, and they can be a useful way of earning a potentially sizeable profit depending on the odds of each handicap betting market being offered by a betting site.
A great way to try out the goal handicap is in international football, for example, when England plays San Marino.
Want to use a handicap bet? Find out the best football betting sites to use this strategy.
La Liga Handicap Betting Example
La Liga is a popular league for football punters to wager their funds on throughout the year, and with some big-price favourites on a weekly basis, there are plenty of opportunities for punters to place handicap bets. Below, we’ve provided an example of a La Liga handicap bet.
Handicap Betting Rugby
It’s relatively straightforward to understand handicap betting in rugby. You’ll be placing a bet on a team to either start a certain amount of points ahead or behind in a game. If they cover that points spread, then your bet will be settled as a winner. If they don’t, then your bet will be settled as a losing one. Below, is an example that we’ve provided for handicap betting on rugby.
Basketball Handicap Betting
Basketball handicap betting is hugely popular amongst punters, especially if they’re looking to find potential value on matches that are predicted to be one-sided. You’ll be betting on a team to start with a points advantage or deficit to make up in the match. Below, is an example of a basketball handicap bet.
You can place handicap betting on tennis, which has plenty of events taking place on a daily basis, on plenty of different levels. The ATP, WTA, Challenger, and ITF events have plenty of matches which can be one-sided, which results in short odds.
Therefore, there isn’t ever much value in backing a specific player to win, which is why handicap betting is often popular. Handicap betting in tennis often means that you’re wagering funds on a player to start a certain amount of games ahead or behind in the match. Below, we’ve provided an example on a tennis handicap bet on LiveScore Bet.
How Does Handicap Betting Work On Betway?
Betway is a great bookmaker to use if you’re looking to place handicap bets on a range of different sports. They have a solid sign-up offer that you can use as a new customer as well, so you could choose to place your qualifying bet with the Betway welcome bonus on a handicap betting market.
Handicap betting on Betway works exactly the same as it would with any other leading bookmaker. You’re still betting on a selection to start with a virtual deficit or advantage, and if they cover that, then your bet will be settled as a winner.
How To Do A Handicap Bet On Fitzdares
If you’re a player on Fitzdares and like the idea of a handicap bet, then we’re here to help you place that bet. If you’re not a punter with them yet, remember you can take advantage of the Fitzdares welcome offer. But for now, lets take a look at how to place a handicap bet, which is fairly easy.
First, we navigated to the football section and looked at the selection of games. When we did this, MLS games were available and we chose Orlando City vs Toronto.
Orlando were performing better in the league and look the better of the two teams. So, to improve the odds, we can place a -1 handicap on them to win. This means they’ll need to win 2 – 0 for us to win the bet(or the various other scenarios with a two goal advantage). The below shows how we did this on their site:
And there you have it. All you’ll need to do is visit the game you want to bet on, head to the area with the handicap bets and then choose from the options. There will likely be regular time and half time, but additional options may be available depending on the game.
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