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Football Handicap Betting

Most of my football bets are based on the Handicap markets as I find better value, especially when playing the Asian Handicap markets as you can insure your bets by having an element of the draw on your side.

Here is a guide on the best football markets to concentrate when using the Handicap markets.

Match Winner Asian Handicap

When backing a team to win the match I always use the Asian Handicap markets. This is down to TWO main reasons. Firstly, the bookmakers don’t make such a bigger margin so you are already getting value and secondly your increasing your chances of backing a winner as the draw has effectively been eliminated from the equation

I find it’s best to use the Asian Handicap when the game is evenly matched. For example; I fancy Watford to get something out of the home match against Southampton. But I am weary the match could finish as a draw so by looking at the Asian Handicap market I can find a bet I’m much more comfortable with:

I can back Watford +0.25 goals at odds of 1.625 – this means that half of my stake is placed on Watford +0.50 and half on Watford 0.00. So if the match ends in a draw: half of my bet wins at odds 1.625 while the other half is refunded. It’s a great way to protect your stake.

Alternatively, for a bigger reward I could have backed Watford -0.25 goals at odds of 2.250 but if the match ends in a draw only half of my stake is refunded, while the other half is lost (failed to over -0.50 handicap)

Total Cards

Another market I like using for football matches is the “Total Cards” market, it works very much the same as the total goals market which is a more mainstream market you maybe familiar with.

For example, a local derby between Everton v Liverpool will have the Total Cards market at Over/Under 5.5 cards. Which is quite high as the bookmaker expects quite a few cards due it being a local derby. However, I like to focus on the referee in question and find out his statistics on how many cards he issues per game and his history.

Bet365 offer some great in-play handicap markets and I would strongly advise to keep check on the total cards market in-play. As generally speaking, most of the cards tend to come in the second half as the players will accumulate fouls and eventually the referee will be dishing cards for repeat offenders.

With this mind, I tend look at the backing more cards in the second half by using the in-play Total Cards Asian Handicap market with Bet365. It’s a simple win or lose market – if your backing Over 5.5 Cards then you’ll need at least six cards to be shown otherwise you lose your bet.

Likewise, you can also profit from this market by backing Under in the Total Cards market by targeting end of season matches with nothing riding on that has a lenient referee.

Total Goals

One of the most popular markets with football is the Total Goals market. You can back goals on the Asian Line (2.25, 2.50 etc.) or the European Handicap (1, 2, 3 etc). Most people tend to forget that you can use the Handicap markets for goals but I find it much better value as your protect your bank by backing over 2.25 goals rather than 2.50 goals.

To explain, Bet365 will offer a goal line on the Asian handicap for each match that will range from over 1.00 to 3.75. So you can back in 0.25 increments – backing over 2.25 basically means half of your stake goes on over 2 goals and other half on 2.50 goals – so if there just two goals scored then half of your stake is refunded.

In the long run taking a much pragmatic approach to the goals markets by using the Handicap lines will improve your chances of increasing your betting bank.


About the author

Jon: I'm Jon and I've set up Handicap Guru to help people become more proficient at Handicap Betting. Don't let the name mislead you too much, I don't see myself as a 'Guru' as such, but I've successfully made money over the last few years betting on all types of handicap betting markets and wanted to share my knowledge with you guys!


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