How to make handicap betting markets work for you
Handicap betting has become a trendy way to place bets. It essentially “evens up” what would otherwise have been one-sided basketball, tennis, and football matches.
The handicapped team, or the handicapped team, can be bet on. This is a great way for punters to get betting value in matches that otherwise would not offer attractive odds.
What is Handicap Betting on Football?
A handicap is a head start for one team. A handicap of ‘Manchester United-2’ means they must win by three goals to make your bet successful.
There are two types of handicap betting: traditional and Asian. We will discuss both below.
A few examples of work are the best way to explain handicapping clearly. Here’s the first:
Manchester United -2.0 (11/10) v Watford +2.0 (4/5)
The bookmaker offers odds of 11/10 that Manchester United will overcome a two-goal deficit at Watford. At odds of 4/5, Watford can be backed by two-goal enhancement. You have the option to choose.
You can bet on a tie after the handicap has been added. For example, if Manchester United beat Watford by 2-0, the handicap would change this to 0-0.
Anyone backing Manchester United with a handicap of -2 would win if they won the match by three goals. If they won the game by one goal, those backing Watford would be victorious with their two-goal enhancement.
This is an excellent example of the value found in an otherwise one-sided match. Without a handicap, backing Manchester United against Watford at home would not be of much value. These are the handicap margins that have the most significant impact on the price and the areas where there is a stark difference in quality.
Chelsea -2.5 (21/10) v West Brom +2.5 (2/5)
Some handicap markets add ‘half’ to the mix. This is done to eliminate the possibility of a draw once the deficit has been added at the end of the game. This means that the odds of winning are less favorable, but it does allow punters to make more money. You now have a 50% chance of winning, as opposed to 33% if there is a draw.
Chelsea must win by three goals to overcome the deficit, as shown in the above example. If they win 2-0, the adjusted scoreline is Chelsea 2 v 2.5 West Brom. Your stake would be lost.
What does Asian Handicap betting refer to?
Asian Handicaps is a term Joe Saumarez Smith invented to describe the Indonesian style of betting, known locally as “Hang Cheng.” This type of betting is becoming more popular in Western countries in recent years. It works in much the same way that traditional handicapping methods.
If there is a tie in an Asian Handicap, where total numbers are used, it is called a “push,” and the punter’s stake will be returned to them. If your team wins the match by one goal and you have a handicap of -1, you will receive a refund.
Double Asian Handicaps are another option, in which two sets of numbers serve as the deficit/headstart. This is an example:
Liverpool (-1.05 & 1.5) v Sunderland (+11.0 & 1.5)
Your stake will be split equally between the handicaps. If you stake PS10, PS5 will be on Liverpool -1, while the remaining fivers will be on Liverpool 1.5.
The handicap calculation is the same. To make our bet successful, Liverpool must win by at least two goals. We will lose half our chance if they win by just one goal. The -1.5 would then be lost, and the -1 would be refunded. We would then return PS5 from our original PS10 wager.
An Asian Handicap helps you hedge your bets slightly. Many punters prefer this method to a single handicap to minimize risk.
Here’s one more:
Manchester City (0,0 & 0,0.5) v West Ham (0,0 & –0.5)
If we back Manchester City with these handicaps, our bet would be successful if they win. If the match ended in a draw, we would lose half our stake (the +0.5 part) and get the remaining half back (the 0.01 bit). Our total bet will be lost if West Ham wins the match.
Handicap Betting Strategy
As mentioned previously, handicapping allows us to profit from matches we believe are certain. Adding a virtual deficit can make winning more complex, increasing the odds of winning.
So handicap betting strategy number one is to take a -1 or -1.5 handicap against a team that we expect will win comfortably.
There are times when the underdog can perform well. If we back them with a + handicap, we can get a great price and minimize our risk. In a poor run of form, imagine this: Chelsea returns from the international break with injuries and suspension issues. They travel to Goodison Park to face Everton, who are in good health. These are the prices for bookmakers:
Everton (16/5) v Chelsea (10/11)
Everton +1 (10/11) v Chelsea -1 (11/5)
Everton +1 & +1.5 (7/10) v Chelsea -1 & -1.5 (13/5)
There is a lot of potential for us, as you can see. We would be tempted by the Asian Handicap of +1.5 and +1 on Everton. We get a fair price and some protection if Chelsea hits great form.
We also have to take into account handicap betting in play. This offers excellent profit potential. Many of the top bookies offer handicap markets in space. Take advantage of the game’s ebbs, flows, and match stats to gain some advantage by placing a handicap bet.