Asian Handicap Bets
Asian Handicap bets are probably less well understood than any other type of bet. They are popular particularly in football, but are also available in rugby, ice hockey, American Football, etc.
With an Asian Handicap bet, the underdog is given a goal (or half a goal, or 2 goals, etc.) as a handicap, and the favourite has a goal (half a goal, 2 goals) taken away from the final score. If the score with the handicap is a draw, the stake is returned.
This produces a win or lose for both teams in every game (or a money-back draw). It is very popular in Asia, where it was first introduced (and which gave it its name).
For example, if Chelsea are playing Everton, and the bookie believes that Chelsea are more likely to win, they might give Everton a +1 handicap, and Chelsea a -1 handicap. Those handicaps are added to the final score.
Let’s say you back Everton to win with a +1 handicap. If the final score is a 2-2 draw, then a goal is added to Everton’s score, and your bet wins.
If the final score is 1-0 (or 2-1, or 3-2) to Chelsea, a goal is added to Everton’s score and the adjusted score becomes a draw: your stake is returned.
So in effect, Chelsea need to win the game with two clear goals for your bet to lose. If there was a -2/+2 handicap, there would need to be a three clear goal victory.
OUR TOP TIP
Asian handicaps add a lot of excitement and value to football matches, especially in a ‘David v Goliath’ fixture, where they can provide real value. Every year cup games provide upsets, where a lower league team knocks out a team in the Premiership or Championship. Even more common is where the top team only just survives - it wins by a single goal.
Why should this be? It's often because the manager of the top team is resting his key players for a big league game, or possibly because one or two players are injured or unfit.
So if there is a game where the underdog has a good chance of giving the top team a scare, it could be good opportunity for a value Asian Handicap bet, for example at +1.5 or +2.5.