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Handicap and Asian Handicap Betting Odds Explained

Getting to grips with the Handicap markets can be difficult at first, but once you are familiar with the structure and layout of the markets it will become second nature.

Here I will look at the difference between the Asian and European Handicaps and the betting odds involved with these bets.

Asian Handicap

The betting odds on the fixed Asian Handicap lines will always be around the 1.90 to 2.10. This is due to the fact that Asian Handicap is there to balance up the sporting event, so the odds are illustrating it as around a 50/50 opportunity.

However, the alternative lines are there for punters who prefer to have one team with an additional handicap so the odds on offer will decrease if the handicap is your favour. Below is an example of Asian Handicap market will the alternative lines and how the odds would be reflected.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 16.45.24

As you can see from the highlighted orange highlighted line that the Asian Handicap is giving Liverpool a +0.75 goals start to even up the contest. As expected, the odds are around evens.

However, the Alternative Asian Handicap markets (I am using Bet365 as an example) will have a whole range of different handicap lines that are priced up accordingly.

Punters who are backing Liverpool might want more of a cushion than +0.75 goals so you can always back them with a +1.50 head start at odds of 1.400.

Asian Handicap Ties Explained

Backing a team playing off 0 on the Asian Handicap is effectively the same as “Draw No Bet”. So, by looking at the chart above for the Arsenal v Liverpool game, you can see that Arsenal can be backed at 1.300 on 0, meanwhile Liverpool are available at odds of 3.350 on 0.

Therefore, if the match ends up a draw then your stake is refunded.

Backing a team on -0.25 also has an element of the draw 0 (0, -0.50 equates to -0.25). So, in this instance backing Arsenal -0.25 at 1.475 would mean HALF of your stake is refunded if it’s a draw.

In summary, the Asian Handicap line will always be at level that makes the contest even. But most bookmakers will offer an alternative line with odds adjusted accordingly. I would always strongly advise using the Asian Handicap markets when possible – as you are eliminating the draw from the equation and the bookmakers don’t have such a big margin on these markets.

European Handicap

The European Handicap markets just deal in whole numbers and not fractions like the Asian Handicap. This means that the draw is still a possibility.

However, there is a similarity in terms of the alternative handicap lines offered. You can pick and choose what handicap you want for your selection and the odds will be reflected accordingly. See the European Handicap table below of the match between Arsenal and Liverpool for more information on how the odds fluctuate based on the handicap.

European Handicap Ties Explained

If the match finishes 2-1 to Arsenal but you backed Liverpool with a +1 handicap advantage then the end result is a 2-2 draw. Meaning, you would have needed to have backed the Draw +1 at odds of 3.75 to collect a winning bet. Any other bet would be deemed as a loss.

The initial principle is much simpler than the Asian Handicap but the outcome will need to calculated correctly at full time to ensure the result of the bet is either Arsenal Win, Liverpool Win or a Draw.

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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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