In this guide, I will give you the low-down on what you need to know and do to make your own Asian handicap bets more profitable.
But before we get going I must tell you one thing – this is not a scientific formula that gets results every time. As any seasoned bettor will tell you, winning every bet that you place is going to be an impossible task. But, what you can do is limit the mistakes that you make and in turn, see the number of winners that you have increase.
Also, just wanted to highlight that this is a personal view on the bet365 brand and solely my opinions and experiences.
The easiest part to be more profitable with your Asian Handicap bets is to choose the right bookmaker. Whilst there are dozens if not hundreds to choose from, the number that offer extensive Asian Handicap markets at a competitive price point are actually few and far between. But, there is one bookmaker that stands head and shoulders above the rest…
Bet365 are easily my number one choice of bookmaker for Asian Handicap bets. The main reason is simply the coverage that they provide for the market, which is absolutely superb. Whilst there are plenty of bookmaker who offer a number of AH markets, NONE even get close to bet365.
The second reason is that their pricing is pretty much as good as you are going to find. I always run my bets through Oddschecker.com before placing to ensure that I’m getting the best price and time after time, bet365 are right at the top. For me, they couldn’t be more convenient.
Alternatively, if you want to find out more about bet365 and why I rate them so highly, then you can do by simply checking out my bet365 review.
We all know that backing a heavy favourite in any match isn’t going to be making anyone rich quickly. When teams are priced at odds of 1.50 or even shorter most people would just walk on by to find something a little more enticing. But, this is the exact reason why Asian Handicap bets exist; to be able to back these short priced favourites with a certain goal deficit. The deficit in return evens the pricing out, making these bets a lot more appealing.
In fact, taking on the favourites is the bread and butter of Asian handicap betting and it gives me that reassurance that my profit is going to come from a result which is likely to go my way. Take a match between two greatly uneven teams; let’s say Arsenal play Hartlepool United in the FA Cup. I can confidently expect the Premier League team (Arsenal) to thrash the League One team (Hartlepool) by a good few goals, especially given that they have been scoring highly in their last few games and Hartlepool have conceded two or more in their last three.
I would look to wager on an Arsenal win with a -2.0 Asian handicap against the League 2 team. That means Arsenal must win by three goals or more for me to win the bet and if they only win by two to effectively level the score, then I will still get my stake back.
Whilst a Premier League team versus a League 2 team won’t happen every weekend, you will be surprised (or not) to see just how many similarly priced games like this there are in all of the major European leagues making them a hot bed for Asian Handicap punters.
I know, I know – this may seem a bit obvious. But you would be surprised at how many punters out there don’t really understand the bets that they place and this is certainly the case with Asian handicaps.
I’ll admit it, I couldn’t get my head around the Asian handicap system at first but after spending a bit of time reading a few articles I felt clued up and confident enough to start betting for a profit. Luckily, you can find out all you need to know about the ins and outs of Asian handicap betting with these articles that I wrote.
Asian handicaps are often always associated with football betting because they were initially used specifically for the sport which tends to give low scoring matches that often end in draws. In effect, Asian handicaps were created to try and provide more interesting betting possibilities. I for one can vouch that betting in the win-draw-win market week in and week out can be a bit boring!
With the growing popularity of Asian handicaps in general, other sports are beginning to take on the betting format. When I go to any good online betting site, I am starting to find that a lot of sports such as rugby league, rugby union and tennis have Asian handicap options where there are two outcomes with half number handicap values. I have even seen Asian handicaps in the darts!
You can use your own knowledge of different sports to use these new Asian handicap possibilities to your advantage. Take rugby union and rugby league for example – if you are a fan and know which teams are going to score a lot of tries against the smaller teams then what are you waiting for? Get an Asian handicap bet on them to overcome a points deficit!
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that look to use your knowledge base of different sports to implement an Asian Handicap betting strategy and don’t just limit yourself to football.
Making a profit from Asian handicap betting is all about doing the research. Now, I know you may not have the time to sit sorting through page after page of form graphs and head-to-head statistics so I’m going to give you a few hints on how you can do the necessary research quickly and effectively.
When I make my Asian handicap bets, I first start by having a look at the fixture lists of all the weekend’s football throughout the UK football leagues. You can do this in foreign leagues or in other sports if you feel confident that you know enough about them. From this I make a short list of the fixtures where I think there could be a convincing win for the favourites.
After compiling my short-list, I look to see what other people are going for on social media sites such as twitter or on betting blogs. Often, these full-time tipsters do a lot of research into their bets and they can give some really good advice on which teams to back. If anything, seeing what other people are taking a punt on can reassure your own choices.
Once I’ve done this, I get serious with my short-list. Maybe whilst watching Soccer Saturday with a cup of coffee, I sit down with my laptop and take a bit of time to back up my own instinct and intuition by checking the form of the teams I have backed. I do this by looking at Whoscored.com and Soccerbase.com where I can find overviews and in depth statistics. I don’t go into the nitty gritty of the stats, I just see whether the teams I am thinking of backing have been scoring highly lately whilst checking that they have a strong defensive record.
When I am sure that the teams I want to back are likely to score a lot and be strong at the back then I do the same for the opposing team but in reverse – I want to make sure that the opposition won’t score a lot of goals or be hard to breakdown in defence.
It really doesn’t take that long to do this research and it gives me that added reassurance that the games I want to place an Asian handicap on are going to be one sided affairs. What’s more, seeing the current form of the teams I am backing can give me more insight into how big an Asian handicap I can stretch to.
Whilst all the information above is very true, there can be a lot more work involved if you choose to do so. Check out the strategy section where you can find a ton of other articles expelling how I make my selections.
Being more profitable with your Asian handicap bets simply requires a little bit of time and effort to really get your head around the numbers and analyse the statistics. That way I can find out where the big winning margins are.
It’s really not as difficult as it looks and you could be seeing an improvement in your own Asian handicap fortunes just by following the advice above.
The Asian Handicap markets maybe a mystery to some punters but it shouldn’t be – as once you’ve grasped the basic principles it’s very easy to follow. Using the Asian Handicap will change the way you approach your sports betting selections and can increase your betting bank in the process.
As you’ve probably guessed the Asian Handicap bet originated in Asia and is more in line with the American style of betting which, for example, offers the underdog a handicap of +0.5 goals. This makes it a more level playing field and effectively eliminates the draw as if the match ends 1-1 then your bet still wins if you have backed the underdog with +0.5 goals or you lose if you have backed the favourite -0.5 goals.
In simple terms the Asian Handicap market is offering you a 50/50 chance of winning and they will adjust the handicap according to the strength of both teams. The odds on offer for both teams are generally around Evens (around 1.90 to 2.10) but one team will have a certain handicap to cover.
Before we look at an example however, it’s important to remember that the Asian Handicap market is different to Handicap markets.
The Asian Handicap offers a 50/50 chance of winning and adjusts the handicap line accordingly, while Handicap markets change the odds on offer around the handicap of +1, +2, +3 goals etc.
Here is a working example of an Asian Handicap market against the more traditional Fixed Odds market:
TRADTIONAL FIXED ODDS:
Southampton – 1.95
Draw – 3.60
Everton – 4.33
ASIAN HANDICAP MARKET:
Southampton -0.5 goals – 1.950
Everton +0.5 goals – 1.950
The market on the match between Southampton and Everton is favouring Southampton to win the match, so the Asian Handicap is giving Everton a 0.5 goals head start. So if you fancy Everton to get a result, but would also like the draw on your side too then the Asian Handicap market gives you that insurance.
This is a fairly basic example but the handicap can range from 0 goals (which is the same as the draw no bet market) up to 3.75 goals, depending on the strength of the teams involved.
*Remember that the Asian Handicap moves in increments of 0.25 goals, for a clearer understanding of how this works and impacts your returns please read the table below.
Bookmakers will usually show the handicap as displayed above but some bookmakers will use the longer format. The below two bets are exactly the same but can be shown differently
Arsenal -0.25 goals
Arsenal 0.00, -0.50 goals
What the selection “Arsenal 0.00, -0.50” is saying, is that half of your stake is placed on Arsenal 0.00 and the other half on Arsenal -0.50 goals. So if Arsenal draw the match then only half of your stake is considered a losing bet as it failed to cover the -0.50 goals handicap but the other half is refunded. This is highlighted in the table above in red text.
When you are looking through the Asian Handicap betting sections of a bookmaker, you may come across ‘Alternative Asian Handicap’. The alternative bet means that you can offset the number of goals for each team with the odds then reflecting this accordingly.
If we continue to use the Southampton v Everton example above to get the market to even money for both results the game needed to be offset by just 0.5 goals. But, you can bet on markets that will offset the game by a greater number of goals. This may be 1.5 goals, 2.5 goals, 3.5 goals and so on. As the number of goals increase the odds will start to fluctuate more.
For example, if the alternative Asian Handicap bet of -1.5 goals was given to Southampton then you will be looking at odds of around 3.00 for this, due to the probability of them winning by 2 or more goals (which is essentially what a -1.5 goal handicap is) is less likely. Again, if we were to increase the handicap further to -2.5 goals then you would be looking for the price to increase again, likely to around 5.00.
This works both ways for both a negative and positive handicap. Everton to win this bet with an Asian Handciap of +1.5 goals would be significantly lower – around 1.50 – than the original +0.5 handicap that is currently in place to make an even money bet.
To be successful at Asian Handicap betting you need to show discipline, patience and have enough knowledge about the sport your betting on to make an informed decision. Here is a summary of how the Asian Handicap markets work:
Now you understand the basics of Asian Handicap betting and which bookmakers offer the best value, you’ll need to find a betting strategy that suits the handicap markets.
To make the most out of the Asian Handicap markets you’ll need to adjust your mindset as the betting conditions have change with the draw being eliminated from the equation.
I like to follow the below points when using the Asian Handicap markets.
This may sound like an obvious point but you really need to understand the circumstances that surround the match you are betting on. As the handicap markets are very specific.
i.e. Backing Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace in the match winner market is very different to them covering the -1.5 goals on the Asian Handicap.
You should ask yourself the following questions;
Arsenal may have a crucial Champions League game following this match so will they really push themselves if they go 1-0 up? Probably not, so the chances of them covering a handicap bet is low. Likewise, they might be coming off the back of a tough European trip and will be tired for this game.
All of this information has to be taken into consideration before making your bets. You might find that you change your original thoughts and back Crystal Palace with the +1.5 goals advantage – as even if Arsenal do win the match by one goal you still win the bet.
Another strategy I often use on the Asian Handicaps works on the basis of opposing the leader in-play in football matches.
It’s common knowledge that when a team takes the lead in a match they will often concede the next goal. This is down to various reasons – teams will subconsciously sit on their lead and the opposition will have the onus to push forward and attack.
Here is an example of an in-play match;
Reading 1-0 Leeds (30 mins)
The Asian Handicap market would be priced up accordingly:
Reading -0.25 = odds of 2.000
Leeds +0.25 = odds of 1.700
I would always advise people to make up their mind on a match or event before looking at the odds and handicap lines. You should always evaluate the match and have an idea of what score you think it will before checking the odds – this is especially crucial for Asian Handicap betting.
If not, you might be swayed by the handicap given to the team on the basis that is the line that bookmaker thinks it should be. You might see Man Utd are set at -2.5 goals against MK Dons in the League Cup but it doesn’t mean they will cover it.
Always have an idea in your mind before you look at the bookmaker’s handicap lines and odds. And never be influenced by their prices! It may sound obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people base their selections on the prices quoted by the bookmaker thinking that the favourite will always win.
Another great way to make the most of the Asian Handicap markets is to find false favourites and back against them.
As the Asian Handicap market is designed to balance out sporting events, if you can find a favourite that is way underpriced then you can use this to your advantage and back the underdog with +0.5 goals start at a decent price – meaning that if the favourite fails to win then your bet is a winner.
An example would be looking to oppose the big teams (Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid etc.) when they have nothing to play for.
End of season matches against relegation or European chasing candidates are a prime example when to back the underdog on the Asian Handicap. The bookmakers will always price up the big teams as favourites in a match, but there are certain times of the season when they are considered to be false favourites.
Once you are comfortable with Asian Handicaps and how they work, you’ll need to find the best online bookmaker to suit your needs. Whether it’s the best odds available or the volume of markets that heads your list of priorities you’ll need to make an informed decision on which bookmaker to use.
Personally, I use a few bookmakers on a regular basis depending on my need at the time.
Here are my top three online sportsbooks for Asian Handicap Betting:
Next on my list of top bookmakers for Asian Handicap betting is Paddy Power, who have consistently been solid in their handicap betting offerings over the years.
The Irish based bookmaker are well known for courting controversy with their aggressive marketing campaign but they should, however, be noted for the range of Asian Handicap markets both pre-match and in-play.
The website is very user-friendly and especially clear for beginners who are making their foray into handicap betting. The prices are generally very good, although you may find better value elsewhere, but it’s the alternative Asian Handicap lines that they offer in-play that really stick out for me.
And even if in-play isn’t your thing, you will find plenty of pre-match Asian Handicap markets that range from half-time, full-time, goals and cards markets.
The final positive for Paddy Power is the accessibility of the website on an Android or iPhone mobile device. The interface is so smooth and quick I never both to download the mobile app as the web interface on my mobile is excellent – which great news for those who like to bet on the move.
Up next in my list of top Asian Handicap bookmaker is 888sport. The relatively new kid on the block has increased its presence over the last few years and this is mainly due to their growing influence in the handicap markets.
You will find some of the biggest Asian Handicap spreads around of 888sport. For example, they had the recent match between Liverpool v Bournemouth up to 4.50 goals – although any backers of Liverpool -4.5 goals would have had their fingers severely burnt as they only won 1-0.
To complement the wide spreads on offers are the volume of markets that 888sport have. Whether you want to bet on the Premier League of the Norwegian 1st Division, 888sport will have an Asian Handicap market on the event.
The only gripe that I really have with 888Sport if their design. I find it a little dated and clumsy to be honest, but once you get used to it isn’t terrible.
As you now know, my number one pick for any handicap bets that I make is bet365. It’s actually not as common a betting market as you would think, but bet365 have both sets for just about every match going.
I’m a bit of trooper for Asian handicap betting when it comes to finding the best odds, so I’m always checking other sites such as Paddy Power and 888Sport to make sure I get the best price. One thing I will say is that you shouldn’t be afraid to have more than one betting account on the go to make sure you are getting maximum value for your bets.