Handicap Football Betting – Fully Explained

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If you want to excel in sports betting, and especially soccer, you need to learn a few terms following this wagering niche. One of those that you’ll come across almost instantly is called Handicap Football Betting.

Handicap betting football has been around for a while. Everything you should know about it is already written. It is not an expanding science. You can wrap your mind around it and use the handicap to your advantage.

Players have been using handicap betting forever to equal the odds and shift the tides of betting to their advantage. There’s no downside to trying it out, the same way there’s nothing wrong with being able to play the games you want through handicapped odds. But first, to be able to do this you need to know a few things in advance. If you’re eager to expand your knowledge in this domain check out what does handicap mean in football. Let’s start.

football handicap betting

Betting football handicap

When it comes to handicap betting, it is all about the fine margins. When you become an expert you’ll know how far these margins go. Even as a beginner you can have a hunch about how a certain game will go. If you feel that the quality difference between two teams guarantees a win with two or more goals, you can use that as a handicap.

It is ideal for players who want that little spice when it comes to betting. A blunt 2:1 win doesn’t mean much for one team. It’s three points and a narrow win that is a win after all. But, if you put a two-goal handicap on the team that lost for you, they’re the winners.

In football, a handicap is an imaginary advantage given to one team in terms of goals they haven’t and won’t score. But, there’s a catch, once you have your handicap written down on paper, these numbers get quite real.

Handicap Football Betting explained

Let’s use an upcoming Premier League schedule as an example. We have a match between Liverpool and West Ham United.

The Reds are a heavy favorite to win this match. The odds favor them heavily and if you wager $10 on the home win, you’ll only get $13. On the other hand, if you bet on The Hammers you can win $18.5 on a $10 bet.

This is a straightforward game, and it is expected for Liverpool to win on the wings of Jota, Salah, Mane, Diaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the rest of their great team. But, WHU is not an easy opponent by a wide margin. They’re on the upper side of the table with eyes set on the CL place.

When you take everything into account West Ham could come up victorious here if they play their cards right. At least they’re not going to lose by a wide margin with players such as Soucek, Rice, Antonio, Lanzini, and Kurt Zouma the cat-hitter. Even a draw is a win for WHU, and if you use a +1 handicap on them and aim for a draw or the Londoners win you can cash in even in the case that Liverpool wins by one goal differential. Do you see what we did there?

By adding the handicap on West Ham and giving them a virtual one-goal advantage before the match we changed the betting dynamics of this game. Playing on a plain Liverpool win provides no fun and there’s nothing spicy there. With a handicap, you can turn any game in your favor.

To deep understand, let’s take a look at some cases examples below:

First Case: Real Madrid(-0.5) vs Las Palmas(0.5)

In this case, Real Madrid is the clear favorite hence they are given a 0.5-goal deficit. This means if you back Real Madrid, they have to win the game for you to win the bet.

If they win the match, you win your bet as the half-goal deficit is accounted for. On the other hand, if the game ends in a draw, Las Palmas emerges as the winner due to the half-goal advantage. Similarly, if Las Palmas win the match, they win the bet.

Second Case: Real Madrid(-1.0) vs Las Palmas(1.0)

Here, the Spanish giants go into the game with a virtual goal deficit while Las Palmas have a goal advantage.

For Real Madrid to win the bet, they have to beat Las Palmas by at least two goals which makes the virtual one-goal deficit accounted for. If the game ends in a draw or Las Palmas wins, Las Palmas wins the bet. However, if Real Madrid wins the fixture just by a goal, the bet ends in a draw and your stake is refunded.

Handicap Football Betting Tips

While no betting tips are certain to come off, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you are making a well-informed bet, rather than just taking a stab in the dark when it comes to handicap betting.

The Pricing

Every single betting market and pick has been specifically created by the bookmaker. This will have come following a detailed analysis of the form, games between the sides, home advantage, injuries, suspensions, and the state of play in the competition.

While the bookies are very thorough when it comes to pricing up their markets, they cannot always be right. In fact, the bookies will sometimes offer a slight advantage to one side, and this is where better profit could come from. Of course, this is not always the case, but if you do your research and look hard enough, there is value to be found in these markets.

Look Out for Big Scorers (And Leaky Defences)

While this is true of most betting markets, the handicap markets are largely predicated on your ability to pick out how many goals a side will score or concede. This means that it is very important to evaluate both the attacking and defensive qualities of the two sides.

For example, if Tottenham goes into their game with Brentford with a glut of goals in their recent matches, most will jump at the chance to back them with a negative handicap.
However, upon further research, it becomes clear that Spurs are missing Hugo Lloris in goal, while their back three has been struggling to gel after being thrown together due to injuries.

This all culminates in vital information that means Brentford could really enjoy their match against this makeshift defense. Throw in the fact that Spurs have conceded most of their goals from set pieces, and Brentford have scored most of their goals from the same method, and suddenly Spurs with a negative handicap is not such a straightforward bet.

While the temptation is always to back the big-scoring side, a leaky defense can see a handicap bet dead in the water before the game has even started.

Don’t Bet Too Big (Or Too Small)

The temptation can be to get swayed by a huge price on a massive handicap, with the potential payout enormous. However, if you have not correctly weighed up the chances of your side actually coming good on their handicap, then your bet will likely lose.

Similarly, some bettors will choose to wager at very short odds in the handicap betting market. For example, you may wager on the big favorites with a -0.25 handi-cap, with this offering a tiny change in price. With the right amount of research and skill, you can build a knack for knowing how much of a positive or negative handicap to place on a side. This will also come with knowledge of the league and players. Remember though, even with the best handicap betting tips and years of experience, even the best still get it wrong sometimes.

Look for the Value

As per our above point, finding value in this market is not difficult to do, but it can be easy to simply fall back into your bookie of choice and shun extra value. After all, if you have signed up and used that bookie for most markets, then why move wager with another site?

Some sites are far better than others when it comes to certain markets, and handicap markets are no different. Many betting sites will specialize in all handicap markets, or in particular ones, such as Asian Handicap betting or corner handicaps. Be sure to evaluate all of your options before betting on any handicap market, with it vital that you always bet at the best odds.

What does Asian handicap mean?

The Asian Handicap, named due to its popularity in Asia, is a variation of the handicap betting market. The major difference here is that you have the chance to add in smaller margins, such as .25 and .75, and not just as whole goal margins.

Just like the handicap market, your choice will be given a virtual lead, or a deficit to make up. However, the Asian Handicap market eliminates the draw from the possible betting outcomes. Therefore, there are only two possible outcomes in the Asian Handicap market. Due to the fact that the draw is eliminated as a possible outcome, it means that this market has become very popular in tight matches.

Top questions regarding handicap football betting

Is Handicap betting legal?

Yes, handicap betting is totally legal in most countries hence why bookmakers are able to offer them in betting markets.

What is an Asian handicap?

Asian handicap allows for the betting odds to have a decimal. An example is -0.5 and +0.5. European handicap allows whole number odds only.

Can I play handicap as an accumulator?

Yes, you can combine multiple handicap bets to even enjoy more betting odds. The odds of each wager are multiplied.

What happens when my handicap accumulator has a draw bet in it?

When there’s a draw in one of the games in your bets, the original wager is spread across the other valid bets but with reduced odds to balance it out.

When should I play handicap wagers?

Most punters play handicap wagers when regular bets offer lower odds. Handicap bets offer tight margins which present bettors with higher value.

What are the sports that involve Handicap bets?

Handicap bets are available in most top sports betting markets. This includes football, NFL, baseball, tennis, golf, horse racing, and more.

Where to find the best odds for Handicap wagers?

Top bookmakers allow bettors to place handicap bets on their betting sites. Check online for bookmakers available to you to explore the handicap odds they offer.

To get the best betting odds, you may compare multiple bookmakers and choose the one that offers the best odds. However, remember to settle for quality over quantity.

How to minimize risks when using the Handicap system?

  • Put a cap on your wagers, don’t bet more than you can lose.
  • You can easily lose more when you try to revenge bet. Instead, access and adjust your strategy where necessary.
  • Unforeseen circumstances such as player injuries just before kick-off can easily ruin your bet. Try to place bets close to kick-off.
  • It is healthy to back-attacking teams more often.
  • Always analyze the form of the teams and players. Always try to place your bets relative to the strength of the team.
  • Keep up with important team news such as injuries and the availability of the squad.

Now that you know the essence of handicap football betting you can have a great weekend ahead of you. As you can see all tiers of English soccer are available for bets in addition to Italy, Spain, France, and the rest of the European top tiers leagues. Please follow us at Football Terms for more helpful information!

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