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Handicap Betting Explained

Handicap Betting has become extremely popular with punters betting on football over recent times.

It is generally a way to search out better odds.

Handicap betting is the process of giving a team a head start or a deficit to make up before the game begins.

So, for example, if the game was between Premier League Champions Chelsea and newly promoted Brighton, most would consider Chelsea to be the heavy favourites to win, they’d probably be described as bankers or certs. So the odds on backing Chelsea to win would be short or very likely Chelsea would be odds on to win.

With them being seen as a far superior side, some punters may back them at better odds and give them a 1 or 2 goal deficit to make up before the game begins.

So if a punter backs Chelsea -1 and they won 2-0, they’d win the bet. However, if they had backed Chelsea -2 and they’d won 2-0, they’d lose as in reality removing the 2 goals would mean the match result finished 0-0.

Some people may search out better odds by giving Brighton a head start, +1 or +2 goals. So if they had backed Brighton +2 and Chelsea won the game 1-0, their bet would win as it would make the result 2-1, in Brighton’s favour. If Chelsea won the game 2-0 their bet would be unsuccessful.

Handicapping allows bookmakers to run a market where the odds are varied and then change it into a sort of even money contest through the providing of a virtual advantage or disadvantage to teams.

A type of handicap betting is known as an Asian handicap. It is named so due to this betting type originating in Asia. The Asian handicap ensures that draws aren’t possible when it comes to betting, through the use of whole numbers as well as half numbers.

It is often seen with Asian handicapping that the selection you have chosen could have a split handicap, with one being a whole number such as 1 and the other being a half number such as 1.5.

So, for example:

Crystal Palace (-1, -1.5) vs Arsenal (+1, +1.5)

In the above example you would need Crystal Palace to win the game by two clear goals to win the bet, due the handicaps that have been applied.

If Crystal Palace only won the game by one clear goal, then due to the whole number handicap applied it would end as a draw, giving Arsenal the victory in the process.

You’d stand to receive back half of your initial stake if you had backed Crystal Palace to win and anyone who backed Arsenal would see half of their initial stake returned too.

The other half would be paid out as winnings by the bookmaker at the odds that they initially stated.

Handicap betting is popular and is on the rise but at times it can be slightly confusing, due to there being a couple of different handicapping types.

It’s important to know exactly what you’re doing before you begin betting on handicap markets.

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