Asian Handicap Betting Explained
The Asian handicap is a variant of traditional handicap betting with a few different twists and outcomes involved.
As with all handicap bets, the underdog is given an artificial advantage by the bookie and a deficit is applied to the favourite.
With an Asian handicap however, when betting on football, you'll notice that the lines often feature a fraction of a goal, so you'll come across lines such as -0.75 or +1.25.
In this article, we explain how these work using some examples. We also discuss how you can use Asian handicap betting to your advantage.
0.5 Asian Handicap Example
- Tottenham -0.5 @ 2.05
- Chelsea +0.5 @ 1.75
In the above example, although Tottenham are favourites to win on the 1x2 market, they are 21/20 (2.05) when a -0.5 Asian handicap is applied.
If you were to bet on Tottenham here, you would simply need them to win by any scoreline. If Chelsea win or the game ends in a draw, your bet is a loser.
If you backed Chelsea +0.5, you'd win your bet if the game ended as a draw or if Chelsea won. If Spurs won, your bet would lose.
In the following example, a football betting site has set the Asian handicap for the Madrid derby at -/+1.
- Real Madrid -1 @ 1.80
- Atletico Madrid +1 @ 2.10
A bet on Real Madrid -1 means you need them to win by two or more goals in order to land a full return.
If they win by a single goal, your stake is refunded. If they draw or lose, you lose your bet.
A bet on Atletico Madrid +1 means you win the bet if they win or draw the game.
If Atletico lose by a single goal, you get your stake back. A defeat by two goals or more, and you'd lose the bet along with your stake.
Quarter-goal handicaps split your stake between two different lines. If you back a favourite with a -0.75 handicap, half your stake goes on them to win -0.5 and the other half on -1.
To illustrate how this works, let’s look at an example of a London derby where the Asian handicap line is set at 0.75.
- Arsenal -0.75 @ 1.90
- West Ham +0.75 @ 1.90
- Bet: $100 on Arsenal -0.75 @ 1.90
- Outcome: Arsenal 2-0 West Ham
- Return: $190.00
Since Arsenal won by two or more goals and overcame the spread, you get a full payout of $190.00 ($100 @ 1.90).
If Arsenal had won by one goal, you would win with half your stake ($50 on the 0.5 part of the bet) and you'd get the other half refunded ($50 from the -1 part of the bet). If Arsenal had lost or the game had ended in a draw, you would have lost all your stake.
- Bet: $100 on West Ham +0.75 @ 1.90
In this scenario, if West Ham were to win or draw the game, you would get a full payout.
If West Ham lost by a single goal, you'd lose half your stake ($50 loss for the +0.5 part of the bet) but get the other half refunded ($50 back for the +1 part of the bet). If West Ham lost by two or more goals, you'd lose all of your $100 stake.
- Manchester United -0.25 @ 2.0
- Newcastle United +0.25 @ 1.90
- Bet: $100 on Manchester United -0.25 @ 2.0
- Outcome: Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle United
By winning the game 1-0, Manchester United overcame the -0.25 spread, so you would get a full payout at odds of 1/1.
If the game ended in a draw, you would lose half your stake and get the other half refunded.
If Newcastle United had won, you'd lose the bet.
- Bet: $100 on Newcastle United +0.25 @ 1.90
If Newcastle United win, you get a full payout at odds of 1.90.
If the game is drawn, you receive half your stake back ($50) and win with the other half at odds of 1.90.
If Newcastle United lose, you lose the bet.
Asian Handicap Betting Strategies
When backing Asian handicaps there are a few strategies that can come in handy.
We recommend starting with the full-goal/half-goal markets. Consider the more advanced options once you have got the hang of this type of betting.
Look For Overperforming Underdogs
One of the beauties of Asian handicap betting is that you don’t always need a team to win in order to get a payout.
For example, if you back the underdog with a +1.5 goal start, you will still get a full return on your bet if they lose the game by a single goal.
Instead of needing a shock victory, it can be rewarding to have the win, draw and slender defeat on your side.
A Form of Insurance
Some Asian Handicap bets give you the chance to get money back, even if you're off the mark with your prediction.
For example, if you back a team with a -1 Asian handicap, you will get your stake returned if they win the game by a single goal.
Shop Around For Best Lines & Odds
Different betting apps will offer different lines and odds on the same match. The odds can often vary fairly significantly when it comes to the Asian handicap market.
Keep an eye on the best new betting sites and compare their odds to find the best-value prices.
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