One of the best ways to enjoy any sports event is by placing bets on your favorite team or player. There are numerous bet types you select, depending on the game you are following. In this article, we take a more in-depth look into handicap betting – one of the most popular bets in the sports industry – and all it entails. We’ve covered:
As you may be aware, the outcome of all sports is at the mercy of different situational factors. These factors are interpreted by bookmakers and represent the chances and odds of the player or team winning the game. The odds can be high or low, depending on each outcome’s probability of winning.
In the case where the outcome is hard to predict, a handicap bet is offered to even up the market by adding or subtracting a virtual goal on each selection.
A handicap bet – also known as Spread or Asian bet, applies either a positive or negative goal to each team, depending on the one that is identified as the favorite or underdog team.
The handicap bet is settled once the final results have been confirmed and a handicap goal added or removed from the outcome of your team or player.
There are different types of handicap bets in the market today, such as:
We’ve provided various examples to elaborate on how the single handicap bet works in football markets:
0.5 Handicap e.g. Chelsea FC (-0.5) vs. Everton FC (0.5)
In this case, Everton FC will start the game with half a goal advantage. If you support Chelsea FC, and it wins the match, the bet wins. But if they support Chelsea Fc and the match ends in a draw, the bet is lost. If Everton FC is your favorite team and they win or draw the match, your bet wins.
1 Handicap e.g. Chelsea FC (-1.0) vs. Everton FC (1.0)
In such a case, Everton Fc will start the game with a one-goal advantage. If you’re supporting Chelsea FC, it must win by at least two goals for your bet to win. But if you’re supporting Chelsea and it wins by one goal, the outcome becomes a draw, and the stake is refunded. If you support Everton FC, it must win or draw for your bet to win. The stake is refunded if you lose the match by one goal.
1.5 Handicap e.g. Chelsea FC (-1.5) vs. Everton FC (1.5)
In this case, Everton FC starts the game with an advantage of one goal and a half. Since it’s more than a single goal, the ability for the match to end in a draw will be eliminated. Where you’re supporting Chelsea FC to win, it must score at least two goals for your bet to win. Everton FC must either win, draw or concede the match by only one goal.
2 Handicap e.g. Chelsea FC (-2.0) vs. Arsenal FC (2.0)
In this match, Arsenal FC will start with an advantage of two goals. In case you’re supporting Chelsea FC to win, it must be by a margin of three goals or higher. If your selection is Chelsea FC to win and it wins by a margin of two goals, your stake will be refunded. If you are supporting Arsenal FC, the bet wins provided it loses with a goal margin of at least one. In the event you’re supporting Arsenal FC, and it loses by a margin of two goals, the stake will be refunded.
2.5 Handicap e.g. Chelsea FC (-2.50) vs. Arsenal FC (2.50)
In this match, Arsenal FC starts with an advantage of two and a half goals. If you’re supporting Chelsea FC, it must win the game by a margin of three goals or higher for the bet to win. If you’re supporting Everton FC, your bet wins as long as it doesn’t lose by a margin of three or more goals.
A Split Handicap
This is commonly used by more seasoned bettors. It’s used when there is a small difference between the playing teams.
Handicap in sports betting works in a simple and straightforward way. As earlier stated, it works by adding or removing a goal to one team so that there are no underdogs, and both teams have equal chances of winning. It should be noted that handicap bet works in different sports like football, rugby, tennis, golf, and more.
For instance, if Mike Tyson is fighting against an average boxer, you expect him to win almost all the rounds, and this will be reflected in the odds at 1:01. But if the opponent was given some points as a head start, the outcome will be less certain to predict.
This is a typical example of how the handicap bet works – by giving one opponent advantage over the other before the match event starts.
In football handicap betting, the bets are made on teams before the season kicks off. The handicap for each team is based on the likelihood of winning the league. For instance, Man City was given a handicap of scratch for the 2019/2020 Premier League season, where the team that was to be relegated, Sheffield United, had a handicap of +47.
National Football League Handicap
Handicap is, without a doubt, the most popular bet in the National Football League (NFL). The reason for its popularity is associated with its simplicity. Though this bet may appear daunting at first, there’s nothing to worry about it.
Atlanta Falcons (10/11) vs. Green Bay Packers (10/11)
In this case, Atlanta Falcons are playing the Green Bay Packers, and the handicap has been set at -45 for the Falcons, and you select it, which means that you win if you minus 4.5 from their final score for the bet to win.
Like the NFL, Rugby attracts bettors from all walks of life. The bet selections are where one team wins or loses by certain points.
For example, a rugby match between Kenya Shujaa 7s and Springboks of South Africa, where the latter are favorites. The handicap bet might see Kenya Shujaa in receipt of seven points (displayed as Kenya Shujaa +7). In this match, Springboks could be backed at -7 points. In case you bet on Kenya Shujaa +7, and Springboks wins by six or lesser points, your bet wins.
As the name suggests, these types of handicap draw their name from Asia and apply to the markets in this region. This football market is designed to balance the playing grounds, the same way other handicap bets do. However, the Asian handicap makes nullifies all draws, which lowers the chances of a match outcome to be a draw or lose.