Handicap Betting Explained | A Beginners Guide

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Another well-liked betting option that punters love to put on their betslips which is also readily available at all significant online sportsbooks is handicap betting, sometimes known as the “spread.” It’s a theory that enables sports bookies to alter the number of goals or points in a contest and either favor or disfavor a certain team or individual over the opponent.

This article is for newbies to online sports betting and we’re going to discuss handicap betting in detail, how it operates, what it is, samples of the betting form, winning methods, and mention top online sportsbooks that provide handicap betting markets.

What Is Handicap Betting?

An alternate technique to wager on specific events is through handicapping such events. For example, you would assume that an expert sprinter would emerge victorious every single time if he was to race alongside the typical guy from the street in a 100-meter race. You are unlikely to receive intriguing odds on this, making it a boring proposition to wager on. What would have happened if the typical guy has a 50-meter jump start? That might make the race’s result more difficult to forecast. At that point, placing a wager would be more intriguing.

The way handicap betting operates is precisely as described. In order to render whatever you’re betting on more equitable, you essentially give one of the results an edge and the opposite outcome a disadvantage.

But why bet against the spread instead of just on who will win?

As a result of the fact that you can influence the amount of cash you win. When placing a wager on a football game, for instance, you wouldn’t consider placing a wager on a team to come out on top if you thought they were going to lose by a single goal due to the fact they aren’t going to cover the spread. You would forfeit your wager if the team won by more than a single goal. Therefore, even though you already know that a team is going to lose, you can still make a profit by less than the spread.

With the use of handicap bet, you can change your bets such that you earn extra cash if your chosen outcome is successful or lose a smaller amount if it fails by a wider margin than you anticipated. This enables you to control riskwhile still making money from a game, regardless of whom comes out on top.

How Does A Single Handicap Work?

Since football is one of the most prominent sports in the whole world, let’s use that as an example. The edge or deficit attributed to the handicap is indicated by a numerical value in parentheses following the name of the team. Let’s look at a few instances:

0.5 handicap, for example, Tunisia (0.5) vs. England (-0.5)

  • Simply speaking, Tunisia kick off the encounter against England with half a goal edge.
  • If England wins the game while you are betting on them, your wager is successful.
  • You will, however, forfeit your wager if you backed England and the game ended in an even outcome.
  • If you backed Tunisia, you would be victorious with your wager whether they win or the encounter ends in a tie.

1 handicap, such as Brazil (-1.0) vs. Japan (1.0)

  • With 1 handicap, the reality is that Japan starts the match with a goal lead.
  • If you place a wager on Brazil, they must beat Japan by a minimum of two goals in order for you to be victorious.
  • In contrast, if you make a bet on Brazil and they happen to prevail by just one goal, the game is technically a tie, and your money is returned.
  • If you choose to back Japan, you will win the wager whether they emerge winners or it ends in a tie. Your wager is returned if Japan loses by a single goal.

1.5 handicap, such as Canada (1.5) vs. Nigeria (-1.5)

  • With a goal and a half edge, Canada is comfortably in control of the game before it starts.
  • There is no chance of a tie because there are a few goals instead of only one.
  • If you are placing a bet on Nigeria to win, they’ve got to net a minimum of two goals in order for your wager to win.
  • If you are betting on Canada to win, they’ve got to either win, tie, or lose by a maximum of one goal.

2 handicap, such as Juventus (2.0) vs. Sevilla (-2.0)

  • In reality, Juventus has a two-goal lead to open the game.
  • Sevilla needs to win by a minimum of three goals if you’re betting on them to win.
  • if you have backed Sevilla to win, your money will be returned if they prevails by a score of two goals.
  • If Juventus loses by just a single goal, you are going to prevail with your wager if you are supporting them.
  • Your wager will be returned if Juventus loses by a score of two goals when you were betting on them.

2.5 handicap, for instance, Crystal Palace (2.50) vs. Chelsea (-2.50)

  • In reality, Crystal Palace is leading the match by a total of two and a half goals before the game kicks off.
  • To win your wager if you are betting on Chelsea, they must defeat their opponent by a minimum score of three goals.
  • If you are betting on Crystal Palace, you are going to succeed in as much as that they aren’t defeated by three or more goals.

Whole Number Handicaps

Just like the title would imply, the handicap is calculated using full numbers, which indicates that a tie is possible.

Whole number handicap bet

The aforementioned instance comes from a match involving Sweden and Germany during international ice hockey. The line has been set at +/- 2 goals, as you’re able to see.

So, if you backed Germany at +2, and they came short 4-2, the handicap-updated result would be 4-4. In addition, there won’t be any ties because this is a 2-way handicap bet, therefore the wager would be a push and the stake will be refunded.

What Sports Can Handicaps Be Used For?

Even though handicapping is most common in football, there are still other sports with active handicap markets, such as:

  • Rugby: In a rugby match, one team will enter the game ahead by points. As a result of rugby’s bigger point scoring capacity, the points handicap will be bigger.
  • Golf: Sportsbooks that specialize in golf often let you assign handicaps to players’ rounds, such +4 strokes.
  • Tennis: In the game of tennis, handicaps can be imposed to both sets and games. If the handicap is applicable to certain games, every of the games during the match will be added up to create the result, which may or may not be the exact same as the match winner.
  • Horse Racing: In horse racing, every horse is given a handicap weight, which is determined by an official according to the capability and historical results of the horse. To try to balance out the results, this is done. As you know, the best racing horses stand a better chance of victory based on their pedigree. Daily handicap races are held, and the majority of gambling websites will emphasize this on their pages dedicated to horse racing. To bet on this sport, it is important to go with some of the best betting strategies for horse racing.

Handicap betting in Football

Similar to other sports like golf, volleyball, or basketball, just to name a few of them, handicap betting on soccer is a popular practice. Offering a particular team an imaginary edge or disadvantage in a certain game is precisely what you’re doing. Football games that are anticipated to be fairly one-sided are sometimes gambled on with a handicap.

Example of Handicap Betting in Football

For the game between Newcastle and Manchester City, we’ve produced a football handicap betting scenario from Bet999 sportsbook. We used Manchester City as the example, covering a -1 handicap at a bigger 2.39 odds. This implies that Manchester City’s final score must win the game by a minimum of two goals. We would forfeit our money on our wager if they tie, lose, or win the game by one goal.

Handicap bet in football

First Half Handicap

You gamble on an outfit who will begin with a disadvantage or an edge in this form of handicap betting in football, which is an easy concept to grasp. For the wager you placed to be declared a winner, they must be leading by two goals at the half if they are starting with a minus one handicap for the opening fifteen minutes of play. Your wager will be considered a loss if they fail to score at all or trail at the half.

Handicap Draw

In essence, a handicap draw occurs when the final result of a game is equal once the handicap has been imposed. Whenever the handicap being given by the bookie contains a decimal (such as 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, etcetera.), handicap tie or draw cannot be permitted; but, whenever an entire integer is provided, handicap draws are permitted. We have clarified the handicap draw with an example.

  • For instance, Chelsea (-1.5) vs. Fulham (+1.5). The draw is a potential result when there is a whole number handicap (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.).
  • For instance, Chelsea (-2) vs. Fulham (+2). Wagers will be refunded whenever a handicap draw takes place (the ultimate outcome of the match will be decided after inserting the whole number handicaps).

What Is a Goal Handicap?

In soccer betting, the expression “goal handicap” is employed to define a market where one team scores a particular number of goals against the other. In football, the objective is to score goals, this can therefore influence handicap bets that have been put.

When it comes to performance, football games can occasionally be one-sided, so bookies offer their clients a little extra money for wagers on these kinds of games. This is where goal handicaps come in, and based on the odds for every handicap betting option that a gambling website is offering, they may prove an effective means to generate a potentially sizable profit.

What Is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian Handicap league betting

Perhaps the most well-liked kind of sports betting on the internet is Asian handicap (AH) betting. It is a quick, easy, and fun method to wager on tennis, football, ice hockey, and various other sporting events as well as esports.

The handicap is how many goals the team needs to score in order to win. Also known as goal handicap. If your wager on Real Madrid AH is +1.5 goals, for instance, Madrid must rack up a minimum of two goals higher than their opposition (or allow one goal fewer) in order for you to win.

You have to initially decide which side you think will triumph or tie the game before placing an Asian handicap wager. The choice to bet on the AH is thereafter yours to make. If you decide to wager on aAH, you get to pick which team will triumph by a specific margin. For instance, Real Madrid -1.5 or -2.0, and so forth.

When opposed to standard odds betting such as home or away team to win or Double Chance bets, handicaps reduce the risk involved in placing a bet by making it simpler for bettors to predict the result of a game.

Handicap Bet Types

When it pertains to handicap betting, there are a pair of standard bet kinds that are associated with various sports. In the next section, we’ve listed them and shown samples of how they operate.

2-Way Handicap Bets

The most commonly used handicap is the 2-way handicap, which only allows either a home team win or a visiting team win. Since there are no draws in American sports, this option is reasonable and is quite easy to understand.

Using a Major League Baseball matchup involving the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees as a scenario. You must select either the Red Sox at -1.5 or the Yankees at +1.5 for the handicap set at 1.5 runs (typical for the MLB). The total score is adjusted to include or exclude certain runs.

2-way handicap bet

3-Way Handicap Bets

Although less prevalent, a 3-way handicap bet is still available and its principles are important to understand. It is related to games when ties occur, like in football.

The procedure is exactly the same, however you can place a handicap bet that includes backing a tie in addition to merely picking either of the two sides to win. Let’s go over a little illustration.

3-way handicap bet

Crystal Palace and Arsenal are playing in a Premier League match. As you can see, the handicap market has three alternatives. Crystal Palace is handicapped at +1 (1:0), and Arsenal is handicapped at –1 (1:0).

The handicaps for Arsenal and Crystal Palace are simple to understand in that one goal is taken away from Arsenal and one goal is given to Crystal Palace virtually before the game begins. The result being a draw (tie) suggests that a goal is going to be included to the Crystal Palace score to produce a tie.

For instance, if Crystal Palace lost 2-1, a goal would be added to their final score to make the handicap score 2-2, which would result in the bet winning. In essence, this bet will win if Crystal Palace is not defeated by more than one goal (i.e, 0-1, 1-2, 2-3, etc,.). This bet would be forfeited by any other outcome.

If you want to place a 3-way handicap bet online right now, sign up at Bet999 sportsbook and take advantage of great odds on one of the legitimate world-known platform.

Handicap Betting On Esports Explained

Handicap betting in esports

Handicap betting is one of the most admired, lucrative, and simple to understand eSports betting strategies.

A simple technique to make an underdog bet successful when gambling on CS:GO is to use handicaps.

Given that it entails giving virtual scores to one team depending on their predicted performance, handicapping is a special feature of sports betting. For instance, if Team 1 defeats Team 2 in a best-of-three matchup 2:0 but Team 2 receives 3-points whereas Team 1 receives 0 points, the handicap is +3 and -0. After two games, if there is a draw between both sides, the side with the greater handicap prevails.

In an encounter whereby one side is thought to be much more powerful than the other, handicapping may be employed as well to provide odds that are more evenly distributed.

Teams are often seen as being overly exaggerated by fans and analysts equally due to their current performance or underrated due to their dismal performance in CS: GO and esports generally

Bookies employ this style to balance things out in matches that would otherwise become somewhat unbalanced, with a great deal of stakes on one side of the bet.

In a manner similar to handicap betting in conventional sports, bets on CS:GO and other esports games like Dota may be represented in terms of scores, kills, and match victors.

How to Beat the Handicap Spread

The handicapper’s job is to make the books as balanced as possible. They do this by forecasting the result of the game and using that information to build a handicap which enables operators to provide odds that are nearly even-money. The handicap effectively represents the level of each team’s competition.

The spread may not always accurately represent the actual edge or deficit one side has over the other, though. This happens when there has been a sizable bet on a particular side, and the books require balancing. They alter the spread in order to achieve this.

You must follow lines immediately they are announced if you want to defeat the handicap spread. Although there are websites that can do this for you, using betting exchanges is one of the simplest methods.

If the spread changes, it indicates that a lot of cash has been staked and that the odds are becoming less accurate. For instance, if a squad’s initial point spread was -3.5 and is now -2.5, spread betting has changed and now offers lesser value because you have less points to work with.

As a result, betting on the opposite team will be more valuable because the “fair” line, which was previously +2.5, has risen to +3.5 for the exact same odds.

Handicap Betting vs. Spread Betting

Actually, spread betting is just a different term for handicap betting. Although it is a phrase that is more frequently used in the United States, it has recently spread over the world. The total amount of points awarded to the underdog is known as the spread.

What Is No Draw Handicap Betting?

Introducing a no-draw handicap wagering alternative is a fun way for bookies to occasionally liven up the action. It is challenging to forecast who will prevail in the contest effectively when there is no draw under the handicap betting format. Therefore, this form of betting might be advantageous even if you are not a seasoned bettor.

You’ve likely heard of a no-draw handicap bet if you’re relatively new to horse racing betting. In a no draw wager, you are not required to predict the outcome of a particular sporting event. People who are still learning how to predict wins or recreational gamblers looking for a quick and simple way to wager without doing any research commonly make use of it.

Wagering on Winning Odds of Multiple Horses

A no-draw handicap, as used in the frame of a horse race, is a gambling alternative that enables participants to wager on the result of a race without selecting a particular horse as the victor.

Participants can choose any number of horses instead, each of which has expected winning odds. In some circumstances, gamblers can use this choice to make simultaneous wagers on a number of horses.

Players can wager on any participating horse in an event of their liking with a no-draw handicap. Due of this, participants are no longer needed to devote time analyzing each horse to determine which has the best probability of triumphing in the final score. Instead, pick your horses and place your wagers.

No draw handicap betting is utilized whenever there is no chance of a draw. At no moment throughout the game may either team have an identical number of points; one side must always remain in the lead. No draw handicap betting is particularly prevalent in lower-level contests and competitions with sizable reward pool, but it is additionally popular by football teams and other sports including eSports.

Handicap Betting vs. Asian Handicap Betting

Football handicap match betting is also known as Asian Handicap. Asia is where it first gained widespread acclaim, hence the title. It is a single handicap betting market and will always be presented with decimal odds.

How Does Handicap Betting Work On Bet999?

Bet999 online casino is home to thousands of casino games that also offers a sports betting section. If you want to wager on a variety of sports using handicaps, Bet999 sports section is an excellent operator to employ. The operator provide a robust sign-up perk which you are able to utilize as a new customer on the platform, which means you may want to put in your qualifying wagers with the Bet999 free bets or welcome bonus on a handicap betting market.

On Bet999, handicap betting operates precisely as it would at any other reputable operator. The bet you placed will be finalized as a winner if the pick covers the virtual deficit or edge that you are wagering on.

Alternative Handicap Bets

You must additionally be aware of the different form of these types of bets in order to fully comprehend it. You can utilize these various handicaps, and the odds represent each, according to the bookmaker.

It is common knowledge that NHL betting establishes a standard line of +/- 1.5 goals in the majority of the games, yet as you observe, there are additionally handicaps varying from +/- 3.5 goals for each side. These wagers are useful for increasing the level of risk associated with the outcome of the game.

Additionally, you can wager on several handicap markets for various time frames. Once more, the scenario above shows that there are spreads for the entire game, the first period, the second period, and the third period. The score is only based on those times, and it resets for each. Therefore, for the purposes of this wager, the score will be nil at the beginning of the second period.

Wrap Up: Place Handicap Bets Today

The time has come to put your comprehension of the subject matter on esports and sports to the test now that you have an elementary grasp of how it works. Even if it’s simple to understand, consider what a handicap is prior to placing a wager.

These small benefits could have a significant impact on your financial situation. So, when you’ve taken in this knowledge and started using it, pay great attention to how it functions.

The above plan should be useful, as was previously mentioned, however there is still more to learn. When handicapping on sports or eSports events, you’ll find a number of reasons to wager on an overwhelming favorite or the underdog rather than the favored.

For instance, you can think that a specific favorite is overvalued and destined to lose, or you might feel that an underdog offers value when weighed against the other competitors. Regardless of the reason, it’s logical to comprehend how this form of gambling operates and how to start handicapping your preferred sporting events.


What Is Handicap Betting?

In order to level the abilities of participating teams or athlete in a sporting event or race, a handicap is employed. After the game is over, points or goals can be added to the tally to produce a hypothetical outcome.

What Sports Are Available For Handicap Betting?

Depending on the bookmaker you choose to play with, several sports offer punters various forms of handicap bet. the major bookies will offer you this form of wagering on major sports like; football, tennis, rugby, horse racing, basketball, and many more.

What Is Asian Handicap (AH) Punting?

One of the most common forms of online sports betting on goals outcome is AH betting. It is a quick, easy, and fun way to wager on events including tennis, football, as well as other sports including esports.

What is the meaning of +1.5 handicap?

A game with a +1.5 handicap will have 1.5 points or goals applied to the final score at the end of regulation. For instance, if your selected side only scores one goal and the contest ends 2-1, 1.5 is going to be added to the score to make the final score 2-2.5, which means the wager now wins.

How does handicap bets function?

They operate by adding or subtracting goals or points from the wager. The gambler selects the handicap they would like to be implemented, and it is subsequently used at full time. A new fictitious score is then generated in order to settle the bet.

Why is there a handicap?

In order to balance the playing field, handicaps are put in place. A handicap can be imposed to the team that is the clear favorite in a game, giving the opposing team an equal chance of winning.

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