Your Complete Guide to Handicap Betting

If you’re a punter who likes to get a bit more value from your bets, the handicap betting market is certainly one to be considered as it allows you to boost your match result bets by adding a fun and exciting twist.

The handicap market is one of the biggest offered by online bookies and we’re huge fans of handicap betting here at Which Bookie.

Below you’ll find all you need to know about handicap betting, including what it is and how it works.

What is Handicap Betting?

Handicap betting is a type of bet on the winner of a match but with a slight difference, they have a handicap which they also must overcome.

What it basically does is give a team a head start against their opposition, with the odds then being adjusted accordingly. The aim of a handicap will often be to give an underdog an initial advantage to begin with, which the more favoured team will be required to overcome.

For example, if you were to bet on Liverpool against Reading for example in the FA Cup, Liverpool would be a heavy favourite as they are one of the best teams in the Premier League taking on a side in the Championship.

A bookmaker may offer a market which will give Liverpool a -1.5 handicap. This effectively means they start the game 1.5-0 down and therefore in order for you to win the bet they must beat Reading by two clear goals to win.

Below you’ll find some of the more common handicap advantages available at bookmakers…

  • 0.5 handicap: Liverpool (-0.5) v Reading (+0.5)
    • Reading begin the game with a 0.5 goal advantage
    • If betting on Liverpool, they must win by one goal in order to win the bet
    • If betting on Reading, they need at least a draw for your bet to wi
  • 1 handicap: Liverpool (-1) v Reading (+1)
    • Reading begin the game with a one goal advantage
    • If betting on Liverpool, they must win by two goals for you to win
    • If betting on Reading, they must earn at least a draw
  • 1.5 handicap: Liverpool (-1.5) v Reading (+1.5)
    • Reading begin the game with a 1.5 goal advantage
    • If betting on Liverpool, they must win by two goals for you to win
    • If betting on Reading, they must not lose by no more than one goal

What is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian handicap betting is a market you’ll also find with bookmakers and works in exactly the same as above, except what the markets do is even up the handicaps to create markets that give both teams an equal chance of winning. 

Therefore the odds you’ll find on these will be as close to evens as possible, which is really useful for when the match result is largely in one team’s favour.

What Sports Can I Place A Handicap Bet?

You can bet on many different sports when it comes to handicap betting, and they’ll most commonly be found on team sports.

In American sports you may find that they are referred to as pointspread bets, but they ultimately work in the same way. Among the best sports to back the handicap markets include:

  • Football
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Cricket
  • Basketball
  • NFL
  • Ice Hockey
  • Golf

Where Can I Place Handicap Bets?

Handicap bets are available at most online bookmakers these days with brands such as William Hill and 10Bet offering an extensive range.

Here at Which Bookie we work with some of the biggest bookmakers in the UK and only bring you tried and trusted brands that have a wide range of markets, including handicap bets.

Head over to our bookmaker reviews category for all our favourite brands, while you can find some of our most recommended highlighted below…

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