Online Gambling. Sports

Football Betting: How to Handicap


Just like most of the competitive sports, in football, there are typically perceived strengths and qualities between the two meeting teams. Several different influences bring about the superiority of one side over the other. That could be financial backing, player availability/injuries or home advantage or even historical dominance.

Soccer betting uses the mentioned influences to form the odds of each side before a game. It, therefore, becomes almost palpable on who is going to win the match hence less attractive and small odds. Gambling started in earlier days and has been ongoing since then, there are some Ancients forms of gambling that have been in use .

What is Handicap Betting?

It is ideal when the perceived difference in the two teams based on their abilities is enormous. Therefore, the betting odds on the favourite team to win is very small, giving minute returns to punters. To counter this biasness in perceived abilities and give more appealing and balanced odds, bookmakers introduced the handicap betting.

So, in football handicap odds level the playing ground hence giving better odds. Handicap accounts for the difference in the perceived abilities between the two teams. It applies a goal handicap on both sides – negative and positive.

That gives players higher odds, and it becomes interesting, unlike betting just on the three common possible outcomes – 1X2. In other words, bookmakers are levelling the field of play by introducing a virtual disadvantage or advantage to the teams involved.

Looking at an example here between Manchester United and Bournemouth where Manchester United are the favorites to win this game. Their odds would be so low and not appealing at all so punters can check on handicap betting for this match. Thus, the bookmaker could give Bournemouth a 2-0 handicap.

What that means is you have given Bournemouth an added advantage of 2 goals upfront. If you pick Bournemouth to win with the two goals handicap, it means even if Manchester United win the game by 1-0, you will still win the bet. In the eyes of the bookies, the final score is Manchester United 1-2 Bournemouth.

No Draw Handicap

Handicap betting was introduced to make one-sided contests more enticing and exciting for the punters. With this type of handicap, there is always a guaranteed winner regardless of the results of the game. Bookmakers will offer half handicaps to specific teams in the no draw handicap match betting. 

For example, there is a match between Norwich and Aston Villa in the Premier League. The bookmaker decides to give Norwich a +1.5 handicap. You decide to place your bet on Norwich to win and the final results of the game turn out to be Norwich 2-3 Aston Villa.

From the results, your bet will payout as in the eyes of the bookmaker Norwich have won the match by 3.5-3 because of the handicap. The game can barely end in a draw according to this handicap as in football there are no half goals. However, it is prudent to note that in handicap scenarios, it only works for the match you are placing your bet on only.

Handicap League Betting

It is a popular handicap betting fancied by many gamblers. Handicap league betting is where players are offered a handicap bet on the performance of a team throughout the season. In this betting, you will wager your bets at the beginning of the season.

The bets will be based on odds that offer different handicaps for all the teams in that league division. League favorites will be given the scratch handicap of zero. Other teams in the league will have handicaps based on expectations of the bookmaker on how they will perform. More substantial handicaps will be placed on weaker teams in the league to level the field of play.

This handicap betting is different from the handicap match betting. With the handicap match betting, the handicap only applies to the selection you have chosen for you to calculate the outcome of the game after it has been played. With handicap league betting the handicap applies to the teams you have placed the bet on to get their results after the season is complete.

After all the handicaps have been applied, then the final league table will be determined in the eyes of the bookmaker to find out if your bet was successful.

Asian Handicap Betting

It is a handicap betting popularized in Asia, and it comprises of whole and half numbers. That means there are no draws just like the no draw handicap match betting. The main difference, however, with this Asian handicap is that you could have split handicaps.

The selection you bet on could be having one half number handicap and one whole number handicap.


Norwich (-1, -1.5) vs Aston villa (+1, +1.5)

In the example above, Norwich has to win the game by two clear goals to win the bet. However, if Norwich wins by one goal, the handicap on the whole number means the match was a draw while the half number handicap will present Aston villa with a win.

If you had placed your bet on Norwich win, then you will be given half your wager amount back. Anyone who had put their bet on Aston villa will receive half their stake. The other half will be given as winning based on the bookmaker’s odds.

Final Thoughts

Handicap betting levels the field of play for outcomes in a match that seems so obvious. It gives a virtual advantage or disadvantage to the teams involved to make a bet more attractive and raise the odds.    

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