Asian Handicap Football Betting Explained


Posted: July 9, 2020

Updated: July 9, 2020

  • What is Asian Handicap Exactly?
  • Let's take a closer look together!
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When you hear the term “Asian Handicap”, your mind starts spinning any number of oriental scenarios. But it’s not some new crippling weapon from the furious fists of Bruce Lee or even a poor Chinese boy begging with a rice bowl in a wheelchair. Nope, it’s actually a form of betting that originated from the Far East.

Introduction: What is Asian Handicap?

This type of betting is what’s known as “spread” betting. It involves wagers made not on results per se, but rather on the level of the bet’s accuracy. So it’s very different from those fixed odds bets you might normally make with your sports bookmaker. You can find these odds at any online gambling sites in the UK.
The handicap refers to the points added to the underdog team, as this is the team more likely to lose. The idea is to make the betting between two teams as equal as possible in the eyes of the bookmaker.

How Asian Handicap Differs From Traditional Betting Odds

There are many different types of football bets including football accumulators. Football is one of the few sporting events where a draw is an absolute possibility. In fact, draws happen much more than the public realizes. Now, with conventional fixed odds, draws are treated exactly the same way as a win or a loss. So in effect, there are three possible outcomes to a football match, win, lose, and draw. If you bet on a win, and your team loses or draws, then you’ve lost your wager. But with Asian handicap betting, there’s no such thing as a draw. Even if the game ends with the same results for each team. Wait, what?!

Betting During The Course Of The Games

With Asian handicap betting, the game is “forced” to produce a winner. They achieve this by ensuring that the underdog starts with a fraction of a point before the game begins. So they are actually in front before the first whistle. And because it’s a fraction, it means that there can never be a draw. All clever stuff. For example, Manchester United are playing the Teletubbies. Obviously, these overweight, slightly creepy children’s entertainers will need some sort of help otherwise the other team will crucify them. So the bookmaker will give them a handicap head start in the scoring with, say a 0.5. Let’s say that the starting score is: Man United = 0, Teletubbies = 0.5.

Asian handicap
Asian handicap used all around the world

So if Man United score two goals, and then by some miracle, the Teletubbies also score two goals, the final result will be Man United 2, Teletubbies 2.5. Then the underdog team would be the winner. The fractional scoring ensures there has to be a winner.

The Asian Handicap: A More Competitive Bet

The online sportsbooks in the UK want to generate a game whereby each team has as close to a 50% chance of winning. The handicap is to help balance out any perceived inequalities. Now that the handicap is in place, it means that the sports bookmakers can offer odds as close to 50:50, with payouts offered to as close to an even-odd proposition. On the whole, Asian handicaps start at a quarter goal and can go up to 2.5 or even 3 goals before the start of a match, if there are huge discrepancies. The underdog gets rated against the other team. The fewer skills or talents they have, then the greater the handicap.

This gives both the punter and the sports bookmaker a fairer chance of either team being successful. If you take the handicap and compare it with the posted results, then you’ll see that the handicap essentially picks the game’s final score. Oh…and make sure you mark your betting slip properly!

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