Handicap bets: detailed explanation with examples

July 11, 2018 | In: Asian Handicap

Bets with handicap make up a very attractive market and increasingly frequented by bettors. In the cases that an event has a team or athlete that, in the papers, is far superior to the rival, the bookmakers offer different variants that are usually very profitable. In this market, the operator gives an advantage to the supposedly weakest of the two and it is taken into account in the end, adding to the real score to reach the final result. The other way is to make a virtual subtraction to the favourite, either of goals in a soccer team or of points in a tennis player. Next we will observe different examples.

Handicap and examples

The objective of the bookmakers with the handicap lies in balancing the hypothetical level of the protagonists. Although it is a term closely linked to sports such as golf or horse riding, we will focus on football because it is the most popular today. Likewise, later on we will see that betting with a handicap has a much more massive reach than we could imagine. Let’s suppose then that Real Madrid receives Deportivo La Coruña and the merengue victory pays only 1.12, the odds that are not very profitable. The situation is highly propitious to look for another market that allows us to obtain greater benefits, so we decided to try a bet with a handicap.

The basic options will be played by Real Madrid (-3) or (-2). This means that, for our bet, the match starts 0-3 or 0-2 in favor of La Coruña. In the first case, the odds are 2.75, much more interesting than the one mentioned in the previous paragraph, although of course, to win we would need a white team win (4 goals difference or more). If we are not convinced we can go the other way and trust the Dépor, granting him a (+3) previous. In this case, the odds will go down a little (1.83) but will continue to be more beneficial than 1.12: if Madrid wins by one or two goals, our bet will be victorious; If you do it for 3 or more, we will lose. The point is simple: in the first example we must take the final result and subtract three goals from Real Madrid, while in the second we must add three to La Coruña.

Another example

It is worth noting that bets with handicap are far from being limited to parties in which there is a clear favorite. Let’s analyze another example, specifically a clash between Málaga (local) and Girona (visitor). The bookmakers put the Andalusians as light favorites and, although the shares in the 1X2 market in this case are profitable (2.45 for Málaga and 3.00 for Girona), it is also possible to bet on the result with a handicap. In a match of this type, the odds corresponding to the handicapped result will most likely shoot much more than in the example in the previous section.

In this real example, a bookmaker offers 5.00 euros for the selection “Málaga (-1)” and just 1.57 for “Girona (+1)”. This indicates that Málaga is the favorite to win the match but, for this operator, it is difficult to do so by more than one goal difference. However, the tie alternative is considered very feasible. We realize this last for the odds of 1.57: if we play a chip to Girona (+1) equality will be enough to get our bet right. In the market ‘Result with handicap’, the same bookmaker adds other options as well paid as unlikely: Málaga -3 (19.00), Malaga -2 (12.00) and Girona -2 (15.00), among others.

Basic tips

Handicap bets have their secrets like any other market. The first thing you should know is that, however entertaining they may be on many occasions, it is not always an auspicious time for bets with a handicap. The ideal situation is that of an event with very uneven odds, but we must not lose sight of the fact that 100% secure bets do not exist. This is important considering a bet with a handicap, since that mistaken belief often leads to trust too much in the big favorite. For example, Real Madrid will not win 6-0 at Levante every time they meet or Rafael Nadal will always crush the number 100 in the ranking. The surprise factor is constantly in the air and can ruin us until the most reliable play.

On the other hand, when you start your betting with a handicap you will immediately run into the Asian handicap, a variant of the traditional (European) handicap that can be a little more complex but also something more interesting (the validity of the draw is canceled, for example). We recommend that you start with the European handicap and take some time to learn before entering the Asian. In the same way, you should start with games in which there is a wide favorite and avoid those that, in the previous one, have high odds of a draw.

As in any bet, we suggest you invest time in research and information. In betting with handicap, statistics have a prominence even higher than other contexts. Because, for example, if we play for a Real Madrid -3 or a Barcelona -3 we will need a win and, with it, the presence of the best men of one and another on the court. The ultimate issue is to prevent, since if we are waiting for a win by Barça for more than 3 goals difference and one hour before the game we learned that neither Lionel Messi nor Luis Suárez play, we will face a problem that would have been avoidable.

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