Looking for football bets with more balanced odds and greater value?
Well, handicap betting might just do the trick.
And for the record, if you’re not yet sure what I mean by the term greater value than you should check out our latest thoughts on implied probability.
When a preferred team plays against the underdog in a football game, the odds offered are usually very small.
Here we will be sharing the basics of how to use football handicaps in sports betting and let you in on the different kinds of handicap bets that can be used.
What is Handicap Betting?
Handicap betting is simpler than it sounds. Handicapping is a scenario where bookmakers make a sporting event even.
When handicap bets are set, an imaginary bias in the opponent’s strengths is counteracted by bookmakers.
To provide more balanced odds; that is a 50-50 chance of winning. So basically, bookmakers give a head start to one of the two teams with regards to the number of goals scored.
Even if you’re still a rookie, you’ve most probably heard of Asian Handicapping, due to its increasing popularity.
If you haven’t fully grasped the concept of it (or just need a quick reminder), we explained what Asian Handicap Betting is a while back here.
Handicapping is also integrated into other betting styles such as in-play betting whereby football traders are equipped with the ability to build strong pre-match positions from which to trade.
This dynamic element of betting has definitely made the betting market ever more popular.
How To Use Handicaps In Sports Betting
A handicap is used for sports that operate on a point-based system. So it can be used in football, basketball, tennis, and so on – you get the gist.
In the context of football, handicap odds balance out the playing field. What this means is that they take the difference between the teams' abilities and add a +/- handicap in front of the odds.
Turns out, this way of betting gives rise to greater value for punters than backing a heavy favourite with a 1X2 bet; the conventional type of bet in football.
The handicap is applied to the final score to determine the wager winnings. So for example:
As you can see, Arsenal has been given a handicap of -1.5 goals, while their competitor, Everton, has been given a goals handicap of +1.5 goals.
This means that if you were to bet on Arsenal in this scenario, they would need to win the game by over 1.5 goals – in other words, by at least 2 goals – for you to win this wager. On the other hand, with a +1.5 handicap, they can either win the match or lose by fewer than 1.5 goals, meaning that they can either win the match or lose by no more than 1 goal.
On the other hand, with a +1.5 handicap, they can either win the match or lose by fewer than 1.5 goals, meaning that they can either win the match or lose by no more than 1 goal.
In this example, Arsenal is being deducted 1.5 goals from their overall goal total, while Everton is being rewarded 1.5 goals.
In the case that the final score came to Arsenal 2, Everton 1, with you betting on Arsenal -1.5, all you have to do is deduct 1.5 goals from Arsenal’s score.
With this deduction, the score now reads, Arsenal 0.5, Everton 1.
Unfortunately, even though Arsenal won the match, you still lost your handicap bet as they failed to win after having a 1.5 handicap deducted from their overall score.
Types Of Handicap Bets
There are 3 types of handicap bets that you should be aware of before placing a bet;
1. Level Handicap
A level handicap is where there is no assumed difference in abilities between the two teams.
This means that no handicap bias is applied and both teams will start off with 0 goals, at no advantage. In order to win a wager, you must pick the team that you believe will score more goals than the opponent.
This type of handicap is useful as it eliminates the draw, in which bettors will be refunded.
2. Single Handicap
A single handicap occurs when there is an identifiable difference in strengths between Team A and Team B. The perceived superior team will be awarded an appropriate goal handicap to level the playing field for betting reasons. An example of a single handicap would be a -0.5 goal, or -2.0 goal, and so forth.
The perceived superior team will be awarded an appropriate goal handicap to level the playing field for betting reasons. An example of a single handicap would be a -0.5 goal, or -2.0 goal, and so forth.
For instance, if you are betting on Arsenal with a goal handicap of -1.5, your team must win by a margin of more than 1.5 goals (remember – that’s at least 2 goals) to recover the handicap and have you win your bet.
In the case that Arsenal only wins by 1 goal, the score including the handicap would result in a draw for betting purposes, thus your wager would be refunded.
If the other team draws or wins, you will lose your bet on Arsenal.
3. Split Handicapping
A split handicap occurs when there is little difference in abilities of the two teams. In turn, this allows you to split your stake over 2 handicap wagers. For instance, Team A may be offered at (0&0.5).
For instance, Team A may be offered at (0&0.5).
Let’s say you bet on Team A. In the case that they lost, you end up losing both bets, as the team did not cover either handicap.
Should the match end in a draw, half of the stakes you bet (0) will be reimbursed. That being said, you will still lose the other half (-0.5). If Team A wins, both handicaps will be covered, thus winning both bets.
Not as complicated as you thought right? It’s just until you get the hang of it, that’s all.
If you find yourself losing money through 3-way fixed odds betting, it might be that you will really benefit from handicap betting. You can even try some of these handicaps for the upcoming Premier League which begins on the 11th of August 2017 or FIFA World Cup 2018.
This is mainly because it offers more attractive odds when there is a favourite team to win the match rather than the small odds you get from the traditional 1X2 betting.
Nevertheless, every punter has their own style of betting. So keep digging, and find out which type of bet suits you.