The game handicap in a tennis match

May 13, 2019 | In: Asian Handicap

There are two different ways to bet with handicap in a tennis match: handicap for games (game handicap) and handicap for sets (set handicap). In this part we will talk about the first, game handicap.

One of the two players, usually considered the weakest, receives an advantage of several games (positive handicap) to compensate for the difference in quality with respect to his opponent.

The handicap is taken into account when determining the final result of the game solely for the purposes of betting. The bets made for the benefit of the player who wins the most games, once the handicap is applied, are the ones that receive the prize, regardless of which player has actually won the match.

Let’s go back to the match between Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. The handicap stood at -3.5 with 1.901 in odds for Nadal, and in +3.5 with 2.010 for Murray. And three scenarios could be contemplated:

If the match ended with a victory by Rafael Nadal 6-3 and 7-6, the bets placed on it were winners, since the 3.5 games of difference awarded to Murray were not enough to change the result.
This is often called “covering the handicap.”
Nadal won thirteen games and Murray, nine, so, applying the handicap, the result is 13 to 12.5.
A player who had bet on Nadal, needed that this won by four games of difference to Murray, and on the contrary, someone who had bet on the latter, would have needed Murray lost by a difference no greater than three games.

In this scenario, the result also favored Nadal with a set of 6-3, 2-6 and 6-4. The Spaniard wins and passes to the next round.
The winning bets on Rafael Nadal were awarded; However, the handicap bets gave Murray the winner, since the 3.5 games that were awarded to him were enough to tip the balance in his favor.
Nadal won a total of 14 games, while Murray won a total of 16.5, once the handicap was applied. That is, Nadal could not cover the 3.5 games of disadvantage with Murray.

As already mentioned, the result of the match does not have to coincide with the result of the bets, the previous example suffices to prove it.
Let’s see now another scenario similar to what we are saying: Nadal is defeated by Murray with the following score, 6-7, 6-0 and 6-7, but even so, Nadal is the winner in the betting, since he covers the handicap at get 18 games, while Murray only gets 17.5 (14 + 3.5).

Here is a paradox of handicap-based bets, in which a player who opted for the loser of the match ends up winning the bet.

In case a handicap is applied for a whole number of games (5, for example), the final result, once applied, may end in a draw, since both players could get the same number of games.

In this case, the bets are canceled and the betting money is returned to the bettors, since there is no final winner.

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