Asian Handicap Betting Basics

Football Editorial - Football Betting Tips and Strategies

Tue, Nov 20th - Charles Gillespie

Asian Handicap is a form of football betting that uses spreads. As opposed to traditional 1X2 odds, Asian Handicaps eliminate the third draw outcome. This narrows the betting options down to two and makes the chances for success closer to 50%. The name “Asian” simply comes from the betting form’s origins and popularity in Asia-Pacific.

Handicaps, also known as spreads or lines in America, indicate the relative strength of one team over the other. The team that is favored will have a negative handicap that, in theory, equalizes its chances of winning with the other team. The larger the handicap, the larger the advantage one team has over the other.

Asian Handicaps use whole, half and quarter goals. The smallest possible handicap would be one quarter goal. On the high end, bookmakers would rarely offer handicaps greater than 3 or 4 goals. The bookmaker will create a handicap which balances the amount of betting on each team. This is called trading with parity and helps the bookmaker minimize risk. The payout for each side of the handicap bet will be close to even money.

To apply a handicap and determine the winning bet, you simply subtract the handicap from the favored team’s final score and compare it with the other team. Example:

Manchester United -1.5 vs.
Chelsea +1.5

With this handicap, Manchester United is giving 1.5 goals to Chelsea. At the end of the game, subtract the handicap from Manchester United’s score and re-compare the result. If Manchester United won the match 3 goals to 1, the same final score with the handicap would be 1.5 to 1, leaving Manchester United the winner against the Handicap as well. If Manchester United won only 2 to 1, the handicap adjusted final score would be 0.5 to 1 and an Asian Handicap bet on Manchester United -1.5 would lose.

There are a number of special circumstances which beg further explanation. When a team is handicapped using full goals, the handicap adjusted final score of a game could end up as a draw. This specific circumstance is actually not called a draw but is instead termed a push. A push is a situation when neither bet wins and the original wagers are returned.

Secondly, some bookmakers offer quarter goal handicaps. Wagers on quarter goal handicaps are split into two separate wagers with distinct handicaps. One wager is at the handicap that is a quarter goal higher and the other is at the handicap that is a quarter goal lower. An example 0.75 handicap would actually be two different wagers, one at 0.5 and one at 1. This creates a unique situation where bettors can have different outcomes for each half of their wager. They can win half and push half, or lose half and push half.

In addition to giving bettors more chances to win, the Asian handicap offers more competitive value with smaller bookmaker margins. Typically, the amount of money that bookmakers payout (the overround or vigorish) is less for Asian Handicap bets while typical 1X2 odds involve some of the lowest payouts of all football bets.

To help clarify quarter goal and push situation, the two tables below are provided as reference. The first table shows the result of your stake when risked on the home team. The second is for the away team.

Click here for the current Asian handicap odds for most fixtures

Betting on Home ( Home : Away )
Odds: Result:
0:0Bet Returned+100%+100%+100%
0:1-100%Bet Returned+100%+100%
0:1 1/4-100%-50%+100%+100%
0:1 1/2-100%-100%+100%+100%
0:1 3/4-100%-100%+50%+100%
0:2-100%-100%Bet Returned+100%
0:2 1/4-100%-100%-50%+100%
0:2 1/2-100%-100%-100%+100%
0:2 3/4-100%-100%-100%+50%
0:3-100%-100%-100%Bet Returned

Betting on Away ( Home : Away )
Odds: Result:
0:0Bet Returned+100%+100%+100%
1:0-100%Bet Returned+100%+100%
1 1/4:0-100%-50%+100%+100%
1 1/2:0-100%-100%+100%+100%
1 3/4:0-100%-100%+50%+100%
2:0-100%-100%Bet Returned+100%
2 1/4:0-100%-100%-50%+100%
2 1/2:0-100%-100%-100%+100%
2 3/4:0-100%-100%-100%+50%
3:0-100%-100%-100%Bet Returned

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Asian Handicap Betting Basics