Betting Guide

What Is Handicap In Soccer Betting?

A look at the nuances of the handicap betting


Handicap betting is one of the most famous markets in soccer betting, but also one of the more confusing ones.

Quite often, casual bettors find it difficult to understand the rules of the handicap market in soccer. Nevertheless, the handicap market is quite popular among soccer bettors, and it is advisable that bettors learn all the rules of this particular market before trying their hands at soccer betting.

Basically, the handicap bet entails that you bet on one of the participants while giving them a handicap. For instance, if you want to bet on a game where there is a clear favorite, and hence, not much money available in the match result market. For such games, the handicap market provides a great alternative. Let’s see, what does the handicap bet actually mean?

What does backing Barcelona (-1) mean?

Let’s imagine, Barcelona is playing against Leganes, at home, and they are huge favorites to win. For obvious reasons, betting on a Barcelona win will only get you meager odds. In such cases, you can explore the Asian handicap market and back Barcelona to win with a handicap. Putting your money on Barcelona (-1) will mean that you have to remove one Barcelona goal from the final scoreline, and then see the result. A 3-1 Barcelona win will mean that you have won your bet, but a 2-1 result will result in a loss. This bet will get you much better odds than a simple Barcelona win.

How about backing Leganes (+1)

This is another version of a handicap bet. For such bets, you need to increase one goal for Leganes in the final scoreline. If the game ends in a draw, then you have a winner in your bet. However, in case Leganes lose 2-1 to Barcelona, the bet would be considered lost.

Use of Decimals in Handicap market

Many bookmakers use fractions such as 0.5, 1.5 instead of 1 and 2 in the handicap bet to avoid the possibility of a tie. For instance, Barcelona (-1.5) would mean that you have to reduce 1.5 Barcelona goals from the final scoreline. The same logic applies to other handicap markets in football, you can read this Asian Handicap betting guide written by professional bettor.

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