Handicap betting is a form of sports betting where the bookmakers try to even the contest by placing a virtual disadvantage on the stronger team or giving the weaker team some advantage. This is achieved by adding goals/points to the weaker team before the contest starts. The stronger team has to overcome the disadvantage or ‘handicap’ in order for them to win. Handicap betting is also called line betting, point betting, or the spread.
Asian handicap is a bit more complex because it allows for half or even quarter-goal handicaps. Furthermore, the outcome of a draw is eliminated as an option so there are only two possible outcomes. Asian handicap betting originated in Asia and is commonly applied in football. For purposes of distinction, the simple handicap is sometimes referred to as a European handicap.
Handicap tips today & tomorrow
Wales put up a spirited performance in their opening game to earn a respectable 1-1 draw against the USA. It was also fitting that their first World Cup goal was scored by Gareth Bale. This was followed by a 2-0 loss to Iran. Wales need an inspired performance against England, though coach Rob Page knows ... More
Coming from the two tough fixtures, Netherlands squad will be facing a soft opponent of the group since the kickoff. Netherlands usually builds a solid performance on the international level despite Qatar being playing at their home grounds with thousands of their supporters. They are anticipated to be more confident and relaxed while Qatar will ... More
After qualifying for the UEFA Nations League final competition, the Spanish national team is confident as they head to Qatar, where they will play Costa Rica in their opening World Cup match. Costa Rica is no challenge for Spain for sure, and despite their amazing campaign in Brazil in 2014, where they advanced to the ... More
Belgium has recently struggled in their own backyard, but they have a ton of talent and are capable of putting up a fantastic show. In fact, they have won all eight of their games in friendly competition. Prior to their next game, Egypt’s road form had not been spectacular either, but in their last 10 ... More
Bayern at the top, Schalke 04 at the bottom. This can be seen as one of the easy bones to chew for Bayern as their host has not settled yet in the top-flight division. Having too many losses so far depicts a very poor and fragile defense from the Schalke 04 squad. They had a ... More
Arsenal may have qualified for the knockout stage of the Europa League already, but they have to win here if they want to be sure of topping the group. 2nd-placed PSV are only 2 points behind and with a better head-to-head after beating the gunners 2-0 last time. Going into the last round of group ... More
TIP: If you do not find up-to-date handicap tips, please go to our homepage for football betting tips for today.
Handicap betting explained
Handicap bets are used to even up a market, particularly in situations where the perceived difference in strength between the two teams is big. In such a situation, the value of odds on the favorite will be low thus offering little returns. Handicap betting applies negative goals/points on the stronger team or positive goals/points to the weaker team before the contest begins to make it more even. The handicap is factored into the final score of the game to determine if the bet has won. Find more such and other bets on our overview for straight winning football predictions
In football betting, the handicap is presented as numbers in brackets after the team’s name. A negative number implies a disadvantage while a positive number is an advantage. For example, Manchester United (-1) or Burnley (+1).
Manchester United (-1) vs Burnley (+1) means
- Manchester United are starting from 1 goal down, and Burnley are 1 goal up
- If you bet on Manchester to win, they have to score at least 2 goals more than the opponent, eg 2-0, 3-1, 5-3 etc.
- A 1-0 win for Man United, or any win by a 1 goal margin (eg 2-1, 3-2) means the bet ends in a tie/draw
- Any draw or win by Burnley means the bet is a Burnley win
Similar permutations are applied depending on the margin of the handicap. For example
- Handicap -2 means the team must win by at least 3 goals margin to overcome the handicap, Handicap (-3) means the team must win by at least 4 goals margin, and so on.
3-way handicap betting
Three-way handicap betting gives bettors an opportunity to bet on the Handicap tie option. If you bet on the handicap tie option, it means the disadvantaged team will win by the exact number of goals making the handicap. For example:
Sevilla (-2) vs Eibar (+2) means
- Sevilla have to win by a margin of exactly 2 goals, e.g. 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 etc for you to win the Handicap tie bet
- A bet on Sevilla to win requires the match to end with a 3-goal margin for Sevilla, eg 3-0, 4-1, 7-4 etc
- If Sevilla wins by a 1 goal margin, the match ends in a draw, or Eibar win by any margin, the bet counts as an Eibar win
Asian handicap betting
In Asian handicap, the same principles apply but the betting option of a draw is eliminated. You have a chance of getting a stake refund for certain match outcomes. For example:
Inter Milan (-1) vs Crotone (+1) means
- If Inter Milan wins 1-0 (or 2-1, 3-2 etc), the bet is a handicap tie and your stake is refunded
- If the match ends in a draw or any Crotone win, the bet is settled as a Crotone win
- Inter Milan have to win by a margin of 2 or more goals for the bet to settle as an Inter Milan win
Asian handicap introduces half and quarter-goal handicaps, which eliminate the possibility of the bet settling as a draw. Examples include handicap -0.5, -1.25, -1.5 etc.
Asian Handicap, Dortmund (-1.50) vs RB Salzburg (+1.50) means:
- If Dortmund win by a 1 goal margin (1-0, 2-1. 4-3 etc), the bet is settled as a Dortmund loss/Salzburg win
- If Dortmund win by a margin of 2 or more goals (3-0, 4-2, 2-0 etc), the bet is settled as a Dortmund win
- If the match ends in a draw or Salzburg win by any margin, the bet is settled as a Salzburg win/Dortmund loss
Where quarter goals are involved, it is also called ‘two-way’ handicap as it creates the possibility of half-wins and half-losses as explained below:
Asian handicap PSG (-0.25) vs Nantes (+0.25) means
- Any win by PSG gives you a winning bet
- A draw in the match means you lose half your bet
Asian handicap PSG (-0.75) vs Nantes (+0.75) means
- PSG win by 1 goal margin you win half the bet
- PSG win by a margin of 2 or more goals, you win the full bet
- In case the match ends in a draw, or PSG lose, you lose the full bet
Asian handicap PSG (-0.75) vs Nantes (+0.75) means
- PSG win by 1 goal margin you lose the bet
- PSG win by a 2 goal margin you win half the bet
- PSG win by a 3 goal margin you win the full bet
- Any draw or Nantes win and you lose the full bet
Check our review of best betting sites to find which bookmakers offer high odds for different types of bets.