Home I All Guides I Sports Betting Guides I Strategy I Handicap Betting Explained
Handicap betting is one of the most popular betting options in point-based sports like football, basketball, and tennis.
Most bookmakers allow you to make use of handicap betting and we will explain how it works and what it is all about. It is necessary to understand this betting option since handicap betting affects the way odds are presented.
Handicap betting is often times also referred to as spread or line betting. In the United States it’s one of the most common ways to bet on team sports. However, almost every bookmaker and sportsbooks across the globe offers handicap bets.
Handicap betting describes the process of the bookmaker giving a virtual advantage or disadvantage to even the field. It can be used in point-based sports by adding virtual points to a score.
If a strong team like Real Madrid is playing against one of the worst teams in La Liga, the bookmaker will provide the opposing team with a 2-0 advantage, for example.
Placing a handicap bet on Real Madrid means that they would have to win by a margin of 3 goals or more. If Real would win the match 3-0 they would have covered the handicap (3-2). If they only win 2-0 they would end up losing the handicap bet since the “virtual score” would be 2-2.
Handicap betting is a great way to find even match ups. Even if the teams or players competing are completely different and one of them is way better than the other, you can consider betting on it. Handicap bets allow you to bet at decent odds on a underdog or a favorite.
Due to the large differences between two teams it can often times happen that you are facing extremely bad odds, which are not worth betting on. By betting on the handicap you will benefit from decent odds and an even competition.
Asian handicap betting is a variation of handicap betting and highly popular at Asian bookmakers. Feel free to check our in-depth guide about this specific betting option.
Check Asian Handicap Betting Guide
Let’s take a look at an example:
Atletico Madrid (+1) @1.42
Handicap Draw(+1) @4.50
SSC Napoli(-1) @5.50
If the match ends at 1-0 for Atletico, you would win your handicap bet. The “virtual” final score would be 2-0.
If you bet on the handicap tie, you would lose your bet since the final score combined with the handicap advantage would not be a tie. In order to win the handicap bet, Atletico would have had to lose the game by a margin of exactly one goal.
If you bet on SSC Napoli you would also lose your bet, since they didn’t win the actual match. In order to beat the handicap, they would have had to beat Atletico by 2 goals or more.
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