In this article, we will explain the meaning of football handicap betting, how it works and the different kinds of football handicap betting markets.
In football, like in any other sport, there is a difference in quality between two opposing teams. The difference can be either big or small depending on many criteria such as home field advantage, confidence, winning streaks, player injuries, etc.. These criteria will be used to set odds for both sides.
Handicap betting will be an attractive option in two main situations: when you believe Team 1 has a strong chance to win the game comfortably, or when you believe Team 2 is underrated and has a good chance at keeping the score close.
A lot of punters are not willing to bet on small odds: Team 1 to win the match at 1.25 does not look too attractive. Some other punters, actually a lot of them, do not like to bet on high odds: Team 2 to win the match at 6.00 is too unlikely to happen. Most bettors simply hate the feeling of losing a bet (whatever the odds)!
Therefore, in many regards handicap betting is a good alternative.
In the picture above, five options are available for both sides. Team 1 Ajaccio is more likely to win than Team 2 Bastia (but it does not mean Ajaccio to win is more likely than Double Chance Bastia or Draw)!
Handicap (0) with odds of 1.53 – 2.68, also known as “Level handicap”, is the equivalent of “Draw no bet”. If the game ends in a tie all bets are refunded.
Handicap Ajaccio (-1) at 3.32 is an interesting selection if you are confident Team 1 will win the match and believe a victory by two goals or more (2-0, 3-1…) is likely to happen. If the match ends 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2… your initial bet will be refunded.
Handicap Bastia (+1) at 1.34 is the opposite bet, your bet will be winning if the match ends in a tie (or if Bastia wins), Bastia losing 1-0 will refund your bet.
Handicap Ajaccio (-1.5) at 4.20 is a more risky pick, for a better reward. Your team has no choice but to win by two or more goals: 2-0, 3-1, 4-1… and you win the bet!
Be careful with the vocabulary: Asian Handicap and European Handicap are two different things.
European Handicap (-1) is the equivalent of Asian Handicap (-1.5). If you draw with Asian handicapping, your bet is refunded. If you draw with European handicapping, you lose (our example above belongs to Asian handicapping).
Always make sure to read the rules of your bookmaker before placing a bet.
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