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Handicap Betting Strategies

The Handicap betting markets can be a profitable experience, even for novice punters who are not so familiar with the world of sports betting.

I’ve explained how the Handicap markets work, so here are my favourite betting strategies to use when delving into said markets.

Back the “minnows” with a Handicap advantage

I’ve had success in recent seasons by targeting international friendlies and qualifying matches and back the smaller nations with a +3/4 goal advantage.

The landscape in International Football has changed dramatically over the last decade as even the smaller nations dotted around Europe are becoming more organized and difficult to break down.

The classic David v Goliath match rarely serves up any big score lines anymore and I would suggest taking on the giants like Italy, Portugal, Netherlands and Spain on the European Handicap markets. You will find great value in backing the underdogs in these matches with a +2 or +3 head start – there are no easy games in International football anymore (well, apart from San Marino and Gibraltar).

But you get the point. Don’t be afraid to take on the big names in International football as it’s very difficult to win by a large margin these days.

Use the Alternative Handicap to give the underdog a bigger advantage

The standard Handicap on any match will be -1/+1 goal. And as I’ve mentioned in the first point, there are no easy games anymore. Smaller teams now rely on a defensive approach that is hard to break down, so you can find a very high success on your bets if you back the underdog with a +2 or +3 advantage on the alternative handicap.

Yes, the odds will be much smaller – somewhere around 1.10 to 1.25 mark for a +3 goal advantage but by combining two or three of these selections together you will get a good return on your money.

I tend to avoid matches where the underdog is playing away from home, but it’s down to personal choice and whatever works best for you.

READ: 7 Awesome Handicap Asian Handicap betting markets

Become “anti-goals” and look for low-scoring matches

The introduction of goals galore coupons and headline offers on exciting, open and entertaining games allures to the fact that everyone wants goals. And this is reflected in people’s betting patterns.

Bookmakers will take the majority of bets on OVERS on the goals handicap markets. However, I like to think from the other side of the coin and find matches where I believe there will be no goals, or very few goals – I particularly like using 1st leg ties in cup competitions. As these matches tend to explode into life in the second leg and fairly tentative first 90 minutes.

You can usually find better prices backing the under goal line on the handicap – my preferred choice is the under 3 goals line – so the bet would win if two goal or less are scored and the bet is refunded if 3 goals are scored (although be sure to check the terms with your bookmaker) – and it’s of course considered a loss if you see 4 goals or more.

Novelty Handicap Markets offer Good Value

I tend not to pay too much attention to the novelty bet markets but Bet365 offer an excellent range of handicap markets. In particular, the Premier League season handicap market will give you a good run for your money.

How it works is that every team (based on Bet365’s predictions) are given a points handicap. So Chelsea would start on 0 points, Man City on +1 and while Norwich would be given +42 points. Every team is priced at 15/1 to win the league and the team who sits top of the table with their handicap included wins the bet.

It offers good value as quite frankly the bookmakers do not know how to price this up and what handicap will turn out to be correct. So always be sure to check out any of the special handicap markets on offer to spot any value you think the bookmakers have missed.


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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