What are handicap bets? Asian and European handicap
Handicap betting is a form of sports betting that helps to "even out" the contest in situations where there is a large gap in the perceived difference in perceived strength. This form of betting is gaining popularity, but despite that, many bettors still do not understand what is handicapping. If you didn't know what handicap betting is before, follow this guide: it covers everything there is to know about this type of betting.
What is the meaning of handicap in betting?
Although we don't often think about it, all sporting events are actually at the mercy of situational factors. Bookmakers or betting exchange operators will interpret these factors to set the appropriate odds. When measuring their success, they can determine the implied probability of winning and express it in a number (odds).
The difference in odds can sometimes be big and offer a small value and small winnings on the favorite. This is where handicap betting comes in: it evens out the market by assigning a virtual deficit or surplus (handicap) to both selections. So what is handicapping in betting? Apply a positive or negative goal/points handicap to each team or player. Depending on which is the favorite and which is the most likely to lose.
The favorite will be assigned a negative handicap, while the opponent with fewer chances will get a positive handicap. Once the score is confirmed, if the selection was higher than the opponents' (after the handicap was already applied), your bet will be successful.
How it works?
The handicap counteracts perceived differences in ability between the competitors. In an attempt to level the playing field and offer better value odds. For example, if Real Madrid won four games in a row, scoring twice more than the opponent, I would expect them to win all the time. Of course, the odds would reflect that and, as a result, they would be quite low.
However, if all these matches were at home, the result would be less certain. It would effectively "even" the match by putting Real Madrid at a disadvantage. This is a typical example of how handicap betting works: one opponent gets the advantage and the other the disadvantage to counterbalance the superiority between two competitors. As a result, the odds on the favorite become more attractive as the likelihood of the team with the lesser chance of winning increases.
Handicap betting markets
There are a few different variations for this type of betting. Each variation is a little different. However, all are focused on the same thing: "equalize" the match. The two main variations are European or 3-way and Asian. What are handicap bets in Asian terms and what is the European handicap?
Asian handicap markets are perfect for soccer fans looking for an alternative to the more traditional 1X2 bets. This is a variation of the handicap match without a draw, as the draw does not count in this bet. They also offer the possibility of split handicaps, where your selection is made up of a choice of whole, half or quarter numbers.
To clarify what the Asian handicap actually is, we have the following example. Let's say you want to bet on Manchester United, which is -1 in the single Asian handicap market, vs. Sevilla. If Manchester United wins by two goals or more, your bet will be successful. In case they win by a margin of one goal, your bet will be returned. In the event that the match ends in a draw or a win for Sevilla, the bet will be lost.
The split Asian handicap splits your bet into two handicaps; for example, let's say you want to bet on Manchester +1 and +1.5 against Sevilla. The match ends 2-1 to Sevilla. As a result, half of your bet (+1) will be refunded as a game that effectively ended 2-2. The other half (+1.5) will be considered a winner as the match ended 2-2.5 for Machester.
Asian handicap levels
An Asian level handicap is offered in cases where there is no perceived difference in the skills of two teams. Both teams will start the match with 0 goals. So, essentially, you are betting on the overall winner of the match with the exception of a draw as the outcome. If the match ends level, your bet will be refunded.
Single Asian handicap
The single Asian handicap is ideal when there is a big difference in perceived ability between two teams. The presumed better skilled team will receive a goal handicap to eliminate the superiority difference. For example, they will start the match at -0.5, -1, -1.5 or -2 goals.
Split Asian handicap
The split handicap is available when the difference awarded between the ability of two teams is not clearly defined. The market will allow you to split your bet on one team into two handicaps. For example; The favored team will start with 0 and -0,5, -0,5 and -1, -1 and -1,5 goals. These markets are also commonly referred to as Asian quarter goal handicaps, in which case 0 and -0.5 would be listed as -0.25 or -0.5 and -1 would be 0.75, etc.
Benefits of the Asian handicap
Asian handicap betting has a lot of benefits. For example, you can react to match details that allow you to operate exactly as you would in any other soccer market. You can place bets before the match to get exchange opportunities or use the "Asian handicap" market during the match to make a profit.
Even if the team you backed lost, your bet can still win or be void, depending on the handicap. This reduces the risk of losing your bet compared to the classic 1X2 bet. Asian handicaps are markets of choice for many professional bettors, as this market offers a better value.
European or treble bets give bettors the opportunity to bet with the tie option. You can also find it under the name "Single handicap", as it is similar to the 1X2 bet. The handicap draw selection consists of betting on the match ending in a win for the team receiving the virtual deficit (-1 and similar), by the exact margin of victory offered.
The function is generally the same as in the Asian handicap: the handicap is placed to make it more difficult for the favorite to win the bet. However, the significant difference between these two is that European is always a whole number, which means you can match it with a goal difference. Asian is always -1.5 or -0.25 while European is always -1, -2, -3 goals, etc.
Another difference is that the European handicap does include the option of a draw. This does not represent the actual draw of the match, but "evens" the specific handicap set by the online bookmaker. Let's take an example to show how it works.
The German national soccer team plays against Andorra, at home. The German team has almost 100% chance of winning this match. 1X2 betting odds for the victory of the German team will not be higher than 1.01. The European handicap will favor Andorra with a number of goals (in most cases 3 or 4) and Germany has to beat them to be considered the winner of the match. This makes betting on this match much more interesting, as it is much more difficult to predict the exact outcome.
The differences between the two
As mentioned above, the main difference between the European and Asian handicap is the absence or presence of a draw result. However, that is not exactly what happens; in reality, there is no draw result.
When selecting the betting market with Asian handicap -1, if the favorite team wins by 1 goal, you will get your money back. You will neither lose nor win your bet. PSIf you place a -1 on the European handicap bet and your team wins by one goal, you will lose the bet. The reason for this is that in the European handicap, you cannot get your bet back.
The only bet on which you could win was if you placed a "draw" bet, in which you expected a win by a one-goal margin for the favorite team or player. This option does not exist in Asian handicap betting, as it is only a two-way bet.
European handicap bets on different sports
In addition to soccer, there are many other sports in which the handicap can be used. The essence of the bet remains the same. Soccer, basketball or tennis bets follow the same rules. In tennis betting there can be games or even sets difference, so be careful with that and don't mix it up. Most bookmakers have a handicap on a volleyball, handball, water polo or even darts and snooker offer. The European handicap can even be an option for betting on American sports like baseball or soccer.
When is the best time to use handicap bets?
Betting on European or Asian handicap odds represents a much higher risk than betting on 1 × 2. The European handicap is available at most bookmakers, while the Asian handicap is not so widespread (although it is very popular). If your favorite style of play is based on backing the stronger team to win (mainly in home games), then handicapping could be a great advantage for you.
With this type of betting, you can make big profits. Especially if you find matches in which the home team is expected to win by more than one goal. The odds difference can sometimes be huge: a 1.25 odds for the favorite can go up to 1.60-1.70 for the same team winning by two goals or more. This can make a big difference in your winnings and bankroll.
Although there are some disadvantages to this type of betting. In most cases, you place a bet based solely on the motivation of the team. The team may not even push for a second goal if they feel they have already won the game. The same goes for European and Asian handicaps.