Sometimes in sports betting, a team is such an overwhelming favorite and the odds of them winning are so big that the returns you stand to make by betting on them are hardly worth the investment!
Does this sound backward? Well, bookmakers started noticing that sports bettors would stop betting on these games because they weren’t going to make much money if the favorites won.
Plus, they didn’t expect the underdogs to win or upset often enough to make it worth the bet. After noticing this trend, they invented handicap betting (also known as spread betting,) which has become a staple and one of the most popular betting methods or markets worldwide.
What Is Handicap Betting?
Handicap betting is when bookmakers assign each team a points handicap to make the game “fairer” and create an even betting line.
For example, if the Golden State Warriors were a massive favorite over the New York Jets, they might have moneyline odds of -1000 or 1/10, which are not very attractive odds to bet on.
However, the bookmaker could create a handicap, say 12.5 points, which means that the Golden State Warriors would have to win by over 12.5 points for the bet to win. This is obviously much harder than winning outright, so the odds would be adjusted accordingly.
This way, you could choose between betting the moneyline (where the Golden State Warriors just have to win the game) at 1/10, or you could take the handicap bet, where the Golden State Warriors have to win the game by at least 12.5 points at even money. Which is the more attractive bet to you?
As you can see, handicap sports betting -or spread betting-creates a fairer matchup, which leads to more attractive betting odds for sports bettors.
Types of Handicap Betting
Handicap sports betting can be applied to many areas of sports betting because its purpose is to create a level playing field where one doesn’t already exist.
There are two common handicapping methods that a bookmaker can use, which you can see below
|Asian Handicap||European Handicap|
|This is the most common form of handicap betting; this particular handicap removes the possibility of the game ending in a draw. A team with an 8.5-point handicap needs to win by 9 points for the bet to win. If the team only wins by 8 points, they have not met the handicap requirements, and the bet is considered lost. There are no other possibilities.||This is the other form of sports betting handicap you’ll see. Unlike the Asian Handicap, this system only uses whole numbers, which leaves open the possibility of the game ending in a draw. For example, if Real Madrid played Manchester United with a handicap of -1, they would need to win by two goals for the bet to win. If they were to win the game 2-1 or 1-0, after applying the handicap, the game would be a tie. In these situations, the player loses their bet, as Real Madrid did not win the game after the handicap was applied.|
Tips for Handicap Betting
Handicap sports betting is one of the most popular forms of sports betting, thanks to the improved odds you get while still betting on favorites, but it’s still tough to become a profitable handicap bettor with it.
Below are some helpful tips to ensure you give yourself the best chance to make money.
|Always Do Your Research||Shop Around||Check Your Handicap|
|Just because a team is an overwhelming favorite to win the game, it doesn’t mean they’ll win as often as the bookmaker says they will. Always check to see if the team is missing any key players or if the underdogs are in a good run of form. If you find enough information, you may be able to find yourself a profitable bet on the underdog and win big!||Handicaps aren’t always the same between bookmakers, so why limit yourself to just one? If you shop around all your available betting sites, you may be able to find yourself a more generous handicap, which means you’re more likely to win your bet.||Always be aware of the kind of handicap you’re betting on. If you’re using a European handicap, be aware that if the result is a draw after the handicap is applied, you will lose your bet. If in doubt, always seek help from the customer support team; they’ll be able to fully explain any bets they offer on their site.|
Also learn about Point Spreads Betting Tips and Tricks
Handicap Betting Pros and Cons
While handicap betting is extremely popular amongst sports bettors, there are some downsides to it. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
⬜ Asian handicaps eliminate the possibility of a game being a draw, which increases your chances of winning.
⬜ Depending on the type of handicap you choose, you can still win your bet even if the team you bet on loses the game.
⬜ Handicaps create better betting odds on the favorites.
⬛ Moneyline betting offers better odds on the underdog than handicap betting.
⬛ Handicap betting can be hard for new sports bettors to understand.
If you’re looking to bet on the favorites but are unhappy with the small returns you’re being offered, handicap betting is the answer.
These bets give you much better odds for betting on the favorite as long as they can overcome their points handicap. Always research the teams you’re betting on before you take a handicap bet since a favorite isn’t as likely to win these as a moneyline bet.
Handicap Betting FAQ