Handicap betting is a market that the bookmakers offer on popular sports where they give the favourites a pretend deficit to overcome and the outsiders an imagined advantage set by traders. You then wager around teams or individuals winning, or avoiding defeat by the margin or threshold in question. If you find yourself wondering what is handicap betting, then it’s a device to increase the value of wagers in lopsided games.
Long favoured by regular punters in the UK, handicap betting is worth explaining in more detail. Our team of sports betting industry experts outline exactly what it is, including Asian handicap betting and other variants, discuss how it all works and when best to use it. We can look at where markets on handicap betting are best utilised.
Handicap betting is a form of wagering that involves one team or player being given a deficit, a handicap that they must overcome during the match. Handicaps are used by bookies in order to effectively level the playing field when two mismatched opponents go head to head. In the event of two unevenly matched teams going up against each other, punters may find that the odds on offer are not too appealing, which is where handicap betting markets can be so useful.
For example, in the event of Premier League champions Liverpool having been drawn at home against Hull City in the FA Cup, a handicap of a certain amount of goals will be given, based on the fact that the Reds would be the overwhelming favourites for victory. Handicap betting markets are now available surrounding almost every sporting encounter, however, not just in cases where there is a clear favourite and underdog.
This form of wager is used in order to gain increased value when betting on favourites generally speaking. In theory, the greater the handicap given, the greater the potential earnings will be. However, while this strategy is used by many punters today, there are a number of factors to consider before getting involved for yourself. Punters must anticipate how sporting encounters may play out in order to be successful. For example, a football team may take the foot off the pedal after going two goals clear, making a low Asian handicap bet an appealing option.
Meanwhile, it is also advised to expect the underdog to perform better than expected. Staking on them with a plus handicap allows for a profit even if they go on to lose or draw the encounter. Meanwhile, it is also now possible to use handicap betting when it comes to ante-post outright markets, such as wagering on the Premier League or Six Nations. An example of this is betting on Liverpool to finish top of the standings with a -10 handicap.
Below are some of our top tips when it comes to handicap betting, designed to give punters the best possible chance of beating the bookies:
Today, there are a variety of different options available to punters when it comes to handicap betting, with the following being among the most popular markets:
What is Asian handicap? As the most popular form of handicap betting, Asian can appear a little complicated at first. While general handicap betting generally concerns whole numbers, +1 or -2 for example, Asian handicap can involve other decimals, such as -0.5 or +1.5. In sports where a draw is possible, including football, hockey and rugby, Asian handicap markets can be especially useful.
Split handicap betting effectively means sharing your stake between two outcomes. For example, should Chelsea be +2.5, +3.0 for their upcoming Premier League match against Arsenal. Half the stake will go towards +2.5 and the other half to +3.0. So, if Chelsea lose by three goals, the bet will be considered a push, while the +2.5 bet will lose.
Here, punters are betting on a team’s performance throughout the entire season. Bets must be made before the opening fixture takes place, with successful bets not paid out until the season’s end. Betting customers are staking on which team will earn the highest number of points. For example with options such as Manchester United +16 and Aston Villa +50 being available.
Below are some of the top betting sites for Asian handicap betting, including what they offer in terms of a welcome offer:
While football is the first sport most punters associate with handicap betting, there are several others. For example, there are a number of other disciplines which now cater to this form of wagering. Below are some of the most popular handicap betting sports markets:
Do not take selecting your bookies lightly, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. So, let’s take a closer look at what separates the best handicap betting sites from the rest.
You may still have many more questions, which is fine – no one is a master in one fell swoop, or one guide read. As a start, familiarize yourself with what bookmakers are available in the UK and what they offer. If you go to the first page of Safebettingsites.com you can find many useful links and reviews that will be a good start at finding the best betting sites and their offering.
As with all bet types: BTTS, Draw No Bet (or anything else), you would be well served by knowing the ins and outs of handicap betting before placing a real-money wager at a sports betting site, and, it is our hope that having read through this article, you should now have an established base of how it works and how it can be an effective tool for getting more value out of your sports wagers.
To summarise, just remember that if you are searching for greater value when there is a clear favourite and a clear underdog, the handicap markets are where the best action is.
Handicap betting is a method used by bookies in order to even the playing field between opponents ahead of events. Bookies give one team or player a handicap, which they must then overcome for the bet to be successful.
Asian handicap markets effectively make draws null and void, with only a win and loss being possible as a result. Asian handicap markets offer options such as +0.5, -2.5 and +3.0.
All of the betting sites listed on this page perform well when it comes to handicap betting. Therefore all are likely to appeal to punters, with the best for you being one which best suits your strategy and demands. As with all betting sites at safebettingsites.com, all of our recommended bookies are 100% safe, legal and trustworthy.
Handicap markets are appearing surrounding an increasing number of sports. Football, American football, rugby, basketball and even Esports are now available, however this will differ from bookie to bookie.
This will depend on the terms and conditions set by the bookie itself. However, in most cases, punters receiving a bonus or free bet will be able to use such funds on handicap markets. Be sure to look into this further before staking, as you may lose funds if you are not careful.
Yes. Unlike Asian handicap markets, punters here can bet on three possible outcomes, win, lose or draw.