How does Handicap Betting work?

If you want to understand Handicap Betting, you have come to the right place! This sounds complicated but it’s actually a great alternative way of betting on a sporting event. We’ll use a few examples across different sports to show you what we mean.

Handicap Betting on Football

In addition to the actual match odds, ie who is going to win, you can also bet on the handicap market. West Ham might be 3/1 to beat Liverpool but you could alternatively get evens about the Hammers with a +1 goal handicap. So you have the option to take shorter odds but have a bigger advantage against the bookies. Sometimes you might think a team will win a game by a decent margin. So using the above match, Liverpool could be evens to win the match but 3/1 to win with a -1 goal handicap. So if the Reds land victory by two goals or more, you are quids in!

Handicap Betting on Tennis

This is a great sport for handicap betting. Say Novak Djokovic is playing against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, then you know that Djokovic is going to be massive odds-on favourite. However, the handicap betting gives you the chance to back either player at much better odds. So if it’s a best of five sets match, you might have Djokovic -1.5 sets at even money. That would mean the Serbian needs to win 3-0 or 3-1 for the bet to win.

What are the Advantages of Handicap Betting?

As per the above examples, it levels the playing field so you can bet on a team or player without them necessarily needing them to win their match. Ultimately, you are using your judgement to back a price which you think is wrong about a selection with their relevant handicap.

When should you choose Handicap Betting?

This type of betting often provides some insurance. When Chelsea played Watford recently, the Hornets were a meaty 15/2 to win at Stamford Bridge. However, they were also 10/11 with a +2 goal handicap. Therefore, Watford simply needed to win, draw or lose by a single goal in order for the bet to win. They drew the match and the bet landed relatively easily.

What about Asian Handicap Betting?

This is pretty much the same as the above, although it’s slightly more complicated and is basically designed to ensure there is a winning or a losing outcome. The best thing about Asian Handicap betting is that the margins are very tight which means a better chance of winning money for punters. The underdog is always given some kind of headstart, whether they have +0.5 goal or +1.5 goal handicap. Sometimes, there is a sliding scale so you can choose the Asian Handicap and odds to suit your particular viewpoint. Once again, it works on the basis that you either side with the favourite giving away an advantage before a ball has been kicked or an outsider in receipt of anything ranging from 0.5 goal to 4.5 goals!


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