What is Handicap Betting?
Handicap betting is a way to bet on football/soccer. It is used to even out the playing fields between two teams who are not evenly matched. A virtual advantage is given to the weaker side, while a virtual disadvantage is given to the 'stronger' team.
This advantage applies if you bet on the weaker side to even out the odds. Let's say there wasn't a handicap being placed on the favorites; chances are the team heavily favored would win the game 9 times out of 10. This would have created a boring and predictable approach every week.
For example, let's take a Premier League game between Manchester United and West Ham United. If the bookmaker/sportsbook declares a handicap of 1.5, then the weaker side (West Ham United) would start with a 1.5 goal advantage.
If you are betting on Manchester United, then they would need to win by 2 goals. If you bet on West Ham United, they would have to win, draw, or lose the game by 1 to win the bet.
Let us go more in-depth to clear any doubts.
What are Asian Handicap markets?
Originated in Asia, but because of their popularity, almost all the bookies offer these markets, including Trustdice. Asian handicap markets are of the following types.
AH (0): Your bet is a win if your team wins by any number of goals, while it will void if the game ends in a draw. In case your team loses the match, your bet is lost.
AH (+0.25): Your bet is a win if your team wins by any number of goals, but if a draw happens, you will get 50% of your stake back, and the remaining 50% stake will be settled as a win. In case your team loses the match, your bet is lost.
For example, you placed a bet of 100 USD on a football/soccer game with a +0.25 handicap market @2.00 odds, and the match ends in a 1-1 score. Then you will get 150 USD total as winnings. (50 USD stake back + 50x2.00)
AH (+0.50): Your bet is a win if either your team wins the match or it ends in a draw. In case your team loses the game, your bet is lost.
AH (+0.75): Your bet is a win if either your team wins the match or it ends in a draw. While if your team loses by 1 goal, half of the bet is voided, and half is lost. If your team loses by more than 1 goal, then you lose the entire stake.
For example, you placed a bet of 100 USD on a soccer game with a +0.75 handicap market @2.00 odds, and the match ends in a 2-1 score against your team. Then you will get 50 USD total as winnings. (50 USD stake back while the remaining 50% is lost)
NOTE: The negative of each handicap works exactly the opposite.
These are the basics of all Asian Handicap markets. These can be applied to similar numbers like 1.25 or 2.75 or anything, but the same rules apply in all the bets. For example, you bet on a +2.0 handicap, then it will be a win if your team either draws or wins or even if your team lost by 1 goal. Your bet is voided if your team lost by exactly 2 goals. In case your team loses by 3 or more goals, the bet is lost.
You will have a better understanding of the handicaps from the table below.
Strategy to bet on Asian handicap
The best way to bet on handicap markets is to back the underdogs most of the time because, despite the favorites expected to win, the underdogs will always try to perform better. The favourites might slow down after gaining a goal lead. You may very well lose if you directly back the underdogs, just like in other sports. Still, if you bet on the handicap market that gives you some safety, it is well worth it, and you get decent odds.
Recently Italy defeated Wales, and the score was 1-0 in favor of Italy. If you had taken a +1.5 handicap on Wales, you would have got good odds. It was an easy win because Italy expectedly slowed down after getting the 1st goal, and no further goals were scored.
You may see the Netherlands are heavy favorites against North Macedonia. It might be a bad decision to bet on the underdogs here. Still, a handicap of 1.75 can get you 1.92 odds which means if North Macedonia loses by 1 goal or lesser, you will win, while if they lose by 2 goals, you will get half the stake back, and half the stake will be lost.
Keep a few things in mind when betting on handicap markets.
1- Don't back the favorite to win by a massive margin since most teams will slow down after getting in the lead.
2- If a team has to win by a particular number of goals to quality, those are the matches where you can back them to cover the handicap.
3- It could be a wise idea to bet on the underdogs' handicap after the favorites have scored a goal in live betting.
4- Keep an eye on the team changes, which might indicate the pace of the game.
If you are still confused and unsure which handicap will pay out how many winnings, you can visit this calculator to see how many goals will get you a win and how much your winnings will be.
Just enter the handicap market, odds, and the stake into the calculator, and you will get all the possible outcomes.