World Cup betting offers

Handicap Football Betting Explained

Handicap Football Betting Explained
© PA

When you start betting on football at the best football betting sites, it’s always a good idea to begin with markets such as full-time result, both teams to score and over/under 2.5 Goals. These are all straightforward betting options where you either choose which team will win the match, whether both teams will find the net or how many goals will be scored in the game.

However, once you’ve built up some confidence and a staking plan, then you might just be ready to tackle the handicap betting markets. There are plenty of reasons why customers choose to go for this option time and again.

For example, you can get tighter and more competitive odds with these markets and they help you get a different angle on a particular football match. You can sometimes get the draw on your side and you can still make a profit even if the team you back loses the game.

£30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus When You Place Your First Bet of £10

What Are the Popular Handicap Betting Markets?

There are a number of handicap betting markets available with the top betting sites and we’ll explain each one in this article so you can figure out the best option each time. Sometimes you will see handicap markets called Asian handicap, although the same principle applies to all of these betting options.

When you visit your favourite online betting site, you will probably see Asian handicap, alternative Asian handicap, handicap result and alternative handicap. The names will vary from bookmaker to bookmaker although the markets are pretty much the same. You essentially want to find a betting website that offers a big range of handicap markets for a football match so you can choose the bet that suits your opinion on what might happen.

What is an Asian Handicap Bet?

Let’s start with a really simple Premier League betting example. West Ham are playing Crystal Palace and these are the match betting odds and the Asian handicap odds:

Full-Time Result Odds

  • West Ham 2.05
  • Draw 3.40
  • Crystal Palace 3.60

Asian Handicap Odds

  • West Ham -0.5 @ 2.090
  • Crystal Palace +0.5 @ 1.840


You can see that the full-time result market is a three-way affair, while the Asian handicap has two available betting options. That is because you can either bet on West Ham with half a goal deficit or Crystal Palace with half a goal start.

  • If West Ham win the game, then West Ham -0.5 wins (as the -0.5 goal has been covered
  • If the game is a draw, then Crystal Palace +0.5 wins (as they remain +0.5 in front
  • If Crystal Palace win, then Crystal Palace +0.5 wins (as they increase their advantage

You might think that Crystal Palace +0.5 is therefore better to place than West Ham -0.5 as you have two options on your side, although it should be noted that the Eagles are a shorter price on this Asian handicap betting market and they are also the outsiders for this particular match. Now let’s look at another Asian handicap football betting market for the same game:

  • West Ham -1 @ 3.000
  • Crystal Palace +1 @ 1.375

On this occasion, West Ham have been given a deficit of one goal and Crystal Palace have been awarded a goal start for this handicap. Therefore, if you place a bet on West Ham -1 @ 3.000, you can have the following outcomes:

  • West Ham win by two goals or more = you win your bet
  • West Ham win by exactly one goal = you get your money back
  • West Ham draw or lose = you lose your bet

You would place this bet on the Hammers if you felt that they were going to win by one goal as a worst-case scenario but felt confident that West Ham could win by a bigger margin.

What Happens if an Asian Handicap Market is Split Stakes?

This is where Asian Handicap betting steps up to a whole new level! However, it’s actually quite straightforward when you get the hang of things, with the bookies often creating an Asian line where you have split stakes between two different options. Let’s take a look at the below example for a match between Arsenal v Southampton:

  • Arsenal 0.0, -0.5 @ 1.970
  • Southampton 0.0, +0.5 @ 1.960

At first this might seem hard to understand but we’ll break things down and explain how the bet works. If we placed a £10 bet on Southampton 0.0, +0.5 @ 1.960 before the match, then the bet would be broken down as follows:

  • £5 of our stake would go on Southampton 0.0
  • £5 of our stake would go on Southampton +0.5

In order to win with the first part of our bet, we would need Southampton to win the game - although that stake would be refunded if the game was drawn.

In order to win with the second part of our bet, we simply need Southampton to draw the match as they already have half a goal start over Arsenal.

£30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus When You Place Your First Bet of £10

Why Should I Bet on Asian Handicap Markets?

Asian handicap betting markets generally offer a great deal of value and the bookies might offer tighter margins than you would find betting on other markets. In the above example featuring West Ham and Crystal Palace, you can see that the Hammers are 2.05 to win the game but can be backed at 2.09 with a -0.5 goal handicap and that means it’s essentially the same bet at different prices.

You might also get an Asian handicap betting market where you can bet on Southampton 0.0 @ 2.300 to win a match and that’s a bit like wagering on the 'draw no bet market' as you can get your money back if the game is drawn. Therefore, you can use certain Asian handicap markets in order to bag yourself some insurance should there be a draw.

Another scenario could be that Manchester City are playing Burnley and they’re priced at 1.10 to win on the full-time result betting market. However, City -2.5 could be priced at evens on the Asian Handicap market and that is great for punters who expect the home side to win by three goals or more. This way, you can potentially double your money by betting on a team with this market.


Popular Handicap Betting Markets

What is an Asian Handicap Bet?

Asian Handicap: Split Stakes Explained

Why Bet on Asian Handicap Markets?

Can I Place an Asian Handicap Accumulator?

How To Bet on Handicap Markets


Can I Place an Asian Handicap Accumulator Bet?

Yes, Asian Handicap football accumulator bets are pretty popular, with punters able to pick out a number of different selections and combine them together. Should you place an Asian Handicap acca and any of the options are pushed (refunded), then your stake just goes on to the other selections at reduced odds.

An Asian lines accumulator can be a good idea if you want to combine together a number of relatively safe selections. Customers are able to choose whether they want a decisive winner with each selection or alternatively have the opportunity to get money back with certain selections.

How to Bet on the Handicap Result Betting Market

While Asian handicap betting markets are increasingly popular, there has always been the chance to bet on the handicap result instead and this is probably easier to understand as it doesn’t involve split stakes or half-goal advantages. You might find something like this:

  • Arsenal -1 @ 4.00
  • Tie +1 @ 4.00
  • Southampton +1 @ 1.66

As you will see, this is a three-way betting market so you have to be exactly right to win and there is no money back option with any of the selections.

  • If you bet on Arsenal -1 @ 4.00, you would need the Gunners to win by two goals or more
  • If you bet on Tie +1, you would need Arsenal to win by one goal
  • If you bet on Southampton +1, then you need the game to end in a draw or away win

You can also choose to bet on alternative handicap result and this means getting to choose your own selection and odds. You can take a chance and choose a big price such as Arsenal -2 @ 8.50 or alternatively go for a safer option such as Southampton +2 @ 1.20 and that could work well in an accumulator bet. The best betting apps will offer all of these handicap betting options so you can place handicap bets on the go.

Recommended Betting Sites

Bell Icon
Affiliate Disclosure: At Gambling.com, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. This means that if you visit a website through our link and make a deposit, Gambling.com will receive a commission payment at no extra cost to you. At Gambling.com, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. More
  1. 2
    Kwiff Sports
    Established 2015
    More Details
    Random Supercharged Payouts
    Weekly ‘kwiff Club’ Cashback & Free Bets
    ‘Acca Shield’ Refund (if One Leg Fails)
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    13
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    Yes
    When a customer places a bet with kwiff, they may find that their bet is “kwiffed” - where you receive increased odds after placing your bet.
  2. Mobile First Betting Interface
    'Leo King' Sports Prediction Game
    24/7 Customer Service
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    34
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Leo Vegas Sports is the sportsbook from this multi-award-winning casino operator, with a focus on mobile users - including a sport betting app for Android & iOS Devices.
  3. Create your own Multiples with Bet Builder
    Live Streaming of all UK & Irish Racing
    Daily Price Enhancements & Specials
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    16
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    Yes
    888sport offer a wide range of sports betting markets, combined with regular enhanced specials, plus an exclusive 'Acca Club' (bet £20 on Multiples or Bet Builder to get a £5 free bet - every week).
  4. 5
    Spreadex Betting
    Established 1999
    More Details
    Primary Shirt Sponsor of Burnley FC
    Football First Goalscorer Insurance
    Horse Racing '2nd to a Rag' Insurance
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    20
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Spreadex is the only UK betting site to offer traditional sportsbook fixed-odds betting as well as sports spread betting and financial trading from the same account. It is also one of the few betting companies to offer credit facilities - meaning sports betters can place bets without having to first deposit funds.
  5. 6
    BetVictor Sports
    Established 2000
    More Details
    Long Established UK Bookmaker
    BV Loyalty Club - Weekly £5 Free Bet
    Free to Play 'Pick 6' Predictor Game
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    12
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    BetVictor is named after founder Victor Chandler (known as the 'Gentleman Bookmaker') and they boast superstar jockey Rachael Blackmore, plus football legends Michael Owen and Harry Redknapp amongst their brand ambassadors and betting experts.
  6. Long Established Independent Bookmaker
    Unique Horse Racing Free Bet Refunds
    Racing Ambassadors Hayley Turner & Tom Cannon
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    10
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Betgoodwin is the new online betting site from the independently owned Goodwin Racing telephone betting service. They offer a variety of horse racing special offers as well as betting on a variety of other sports.
  7. 8
    10bet Sports
    Established 2003
    More Details
    Regular Free Bets & Enhanced Odds Specials
    Cutting Edge In-Play Betting Options
    Accumulator Boosts of up to 50%
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    12
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    No
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    10bet is one of the smaller online bookmaker brands in the UK but they are becoming more popular thanks to their impressive website and daily betting promotions.
  8. 10% Cash-Back on Various Sports
    'Wager Wars' Cash Prizes
    Full & Partial Cash-Out Options
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    BB30
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    16
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    BritainBet is a relatively new sports betting site and casino platform, which offers Bet Builder and Cash-Outs, plus 24/7 customer service.
  9. 10
    Mr Mega Sports
    Established 2021
    More Details
    Accumulator Boosts of up to 77%
    Extensive Range of Football Markets
    Dual Sportsbook & Casino Platform
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    8
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Mr Mega Sports boasts an impressive and easy to use online betting UK interface, with markets on all major sports and events, plus a wide range of Esports betting markets.
  10. 'Million Pound Picks' Predictor Game
    Live Streaming of all UK & Irish Racing
    3 x Odds Boost Tokens Every Week
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    23
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Grosvenor Sport is the sportsbook of Grosvenor Casinos - the UK's largest casino operator with over 50 casinos located in major towns and cities across the UK.
  11. Official Betting Partner of Worcester Warriors
    Dual Sportsbook & Casino Platform
    'Wager Wars' Leaderboard & Cash Prizes
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    GOBIG
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    48
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    TebWin are the official betting partner of Gallagher Premiership rugby union club Worcester Warriors and offer a very simple and easy to navigate betting site.
  12. 14
    BetStorm Sports
    Established 2021
    More Details
    Fresh & Easy To Navigate Website
    Dual Sportsbook & Casino Platform
    24/7 Customer Service
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    GET66
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    48
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    BetStorm is a new bookmaker in the UK, with a distinctive website and 'Lightning' logo. They offer a comprehensive range of pre-match and live sports betting markets.
  13. UK's Leading Horse Racing Pool Betting Operator
    Home of the Placepot & Exclusive Placepot App
    Never Beaten by SP on Horse Racing with Tote+
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    2
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    No
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    The Tote offers horse racing pool betting, popular with punters who place small stakes to win large amounts. Favourite bets include the Placepot (picking a horse to be placed in the first six races) and Jackpot/Scoop6 (picking the winner of each of six nominated races on a single day).
  14. 16
    BetItOn Sportsbook
    Established 2020
    More Details
    'Rising Star Operator of the Year' 2021
    Interactive Football Match Centre
    ‘BoostItOn’ Accumulator Boosts
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    27
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    BetItOn have ex-Liverpool striker and Champions League winner Djibril Cissé as their brand ambassador and resident football expert.
  15. Simple & Easy to Navigate Betting Lobby
    'Wager Wars' Leaderboard & Cash Prizes
    10% Cashback on Sports Betting Losses
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    12
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    The Online Casino, as its name clearly indicates, is a casino first operator with an added sportsbook if you also fancy some sports wagers.
  16. 18
    Monster Casino Sports
    Established 2017
    More Details
    Dual Sportsbook & Casino Platform
    10% Cashback on Sports Betting Losses
    'Wager Wars' Leaderboard & Cash Prizes
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    No
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    30
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Monster Casino Sportsbook is the new sports betting offering from this long established casino brand, with a small but select selection of sports to bet on.
  17. 19
    Parimatch Sports
    Established 1994
    More Details
    Brand Ambassadors Mike Tyson & Conor McGregor
    'Run For Your Money' Horse Racing Insurance
    Unique & Easy to Navigate Sports Betting Lobby
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    11
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    No
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    No
    Parimatch is a global bookmaker first established in Kyiv, Ukraine and now fully licensed in the UK. They are official betting partner of various Premier League football clubs, including Chelsea, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester City.
  18. 20
    William Hill Sports
    Established 2008
    More Details
    'Sports Betting Operator of the Year' 2020 & 2022
    Official Betting Partner of Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Free to Play 'Free or 4' Predictor Game
    Bonus Code
    The code required to claim this sign-up bonus (if any)
    not required
    Live Streaming
    Is there live streaming of sporting events?
    Yes
    In-Play Betting
    The number of sports with in-play betting available
    31
    Bet Builder
    Can you create your own personalised bets?
    Yes
    Cash Out
    Can you cash out of bets before an event has finished?
    Yes
    Acca Insurance
    Refund or free bet when one selection in an accumulator lets the bet down
    Yes
    Named after its founder way back in 1934, William Hill is now one of the world's biggest bookmaker brands and operates over 1400 betting shops throughout the UK.
Show More
Showing 20 of 38
×