Sports Betting Strategy: Asian Handicap Betting
If you've ever browsed a sports betting site, you've probably come across the term 'Asian handicap'. For those who have been wondering what this term means, this guide will explain how Asian handicap differs from normal betting, and what to consider when taking a punt.
Asian handicap is a form of spread betting, in which teams are handicapped according to their form before the game starts. Handicaps can be either positive or negative, and this is expressed as a figure, for example -1.0 or +1.0. This figure represents a goals headstart or a goals deficit given to the teams before kick-off.
Asian handicap requires you to bet on one team or the other, which reduces the number of possible match outcomes from three to two, by removing the option of a draw. Asian handicap is especially suited to football, as it's one of the only sports in which draws are a common occurrence.
With the handicap designed to level the playing field and make the chances of either outcome as even as possible, the odds involved in Asian handicap and the potential winnings available are usually quite low. For example, if Manchester City are playing Sunderland at home, it's safe to presume that City would be the overwhelming favourites. The odds on them to win would be very short, while Sunderland would be a long price. These sorts of matches, in which the outcome is highly predictable, tend to be less popular among punters than more closely matched encounters.
This is where the Asian handicap can make things a bit more interesting. Since the underdog is given a head start, you have a higher chance of them winning, while also still being able to make a profit on the result. Likewise, if you fancy the favourites to win by at least two or three goals, Asian handicap offers an alternative to betting on the margin of victory.
Balancing the Odds
So, how does the handicap work in practice? Handicaps start at either 0.25 or 0.5 – some bookmakers go up in halves and others in quarters – so if you see odds with more than one decimal place, they are probably Asian odds. For matches in which one side is heavily favoured, the handicap could go up to 2 or 3, but you will find Asian handicap markets on all sorts of matches. The team that's favourite to win will always have the negative handicap, and the underdog the positive handicap.
To return to the example of Manchester City versus Sunderland, if you bet on Manchester City -1.5, then you need them to win by two or more goals for your bet to be successful. If you bet on Sunderland +1.5, then you need them to avoid defeat by two or more goals. You simply add the handicap to the team's score to work out the result. If the handicap you choose is a whole number and the final score is level once the handicap is taken into account, your stake is refunded. So if you bet on Manchester City -1 and they win 1-0, there is no winner and you simply get your money back.
Before placing an Asian handicap bet, it's always a good idea to check out the regular odds first, to get an idea of how heavily favoured one team is over the other. Asian handicap betting is more suited to matches where there is a greater gap between the two teams; that is, the matches that many punters tend to avoid. This also provides a greater choice of handicaps, as games in which the two teams are relatively closely matched might only offer handicaps of up to 0.5.
Asian handicap betting can seem complicated at first, but, with some practice, it's actually quite simple. Whether you enjoy it depends on what kind of gambler you are; if you like to bet on the underdog at long odds in the hope of winning big money, then it may not be so appealing. But if you're the sort of player who prefers to accumulate small winnings over time, Asian handicap can offer good value.
To check out the Asian markets on this weekend's big games, head over to Betfair Sports today!
Recommended Betting Sites
Bet €15, Get €10
Bet €10, receive up to €50 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 8+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a €10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x €10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days. Plus a €10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of €250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet €10, Get €30 in Free Bets Promo Code: H30
100% Sport Bonus Up To €10018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. Campaign is only valid for all new players who registered after 25/08/2021 13:00 CEST. Only one account and bonus is allowed per person, account holder, IP address, household, address, phone number, bank account (including credit card, e-wallet etc.). You are only eligible to claim 1 (one) welcome offer. Only players from Ireland are eligible for this campaign. The welcome offer can be claimed by selecting the bonus from the deposit menu before completing the first deposit.The minimum deposit to claim the bonus is €20 or the equivalent in other currencies.www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply
100% Deposit Bonus up to $100+ 20 Free Spins on Starburst
50% Up to €50 Welcome Bonus Promo Code: PLAY50
Bet €10, Get €20 + €3,000 Prize Pool18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply Welcome Bonus Bet - Bet €10 Get €20 terms. This offer is for new sports customers only and is available once per household. Max. Bonus Bet amount €20. Minimum wagering on the sport to activate the Bonus Bet is €10 (which can be achieved from a Min deposit of €10). Offer valid only to customers wagering on sport €10 or more and make a qualifying bet in accordance with the Bonus Bet Specific Terms and Conditions below. 1st Place Prize: €1000. Prizes granted up to 48h after the tournament ends. Bonus Bet does not contribute towards the leaderboard. Click to see full T&Cs
Open Account Offer - Up to €100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365
Get a £20 Free bet once per Day!18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply Minimum odds 4/1. €/£20 max Free Bet. 1 Free Bet per day. Free Bet credited on bet settlement of winning bets only. 1.2 min odds on Free Bet. Free Bet valid for 48 hours.18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. www.begambleaware.org.
100% Welcome Bonus up to €100
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.