Guide to Asian Handicap Betting
If you've ever had the pleasure of wagering on sports, then you know full well that betting on the outright winner is only the tip of the iceberg. When you visit a sportsbook, you can usually bet on the spread, money line, point totals, and all sorts of prop bets. Yet soccer or football punters will also want to get intimately familiar with Asian handicap betting.
Don't let the name fool you, Asian handicap betting is offered on most continents as well as online. It's not only easy to understand if you take the time to learn how it works, but it's a great way to expand your horizons. Asian handicap betting is the perfect way to add excitement to otherwise irrelevant matches or simply improve your earning potential.
Making Sense of Handicaps
When wagering on soccer games, handicapping works a lot like traditional spreads. Namely, bettors are concerned with the margin of victory rather than just the outright winner. Additionally, handicaps can help simplify wagers by eliminating ties from the equation in some cases.
Handicaps can be negative or positive, which means your team may start the game with a virtual deficit of goals. Alternatively, your team might be granted a head start of extra goals before the match starts, at least as far as betting goes. Handicaps are especially popular when one team has a huge advantage on the field. For example, when Germany plays Canada, the German squad will obviously be heavily favored. You might find odds in the 1.05 range. Would you really want to wager $100 for a measly $5 profit? While it may be a sure thing, the paltry payouts aren't worth the minimal risk.
Now imagine a situation where you can take advantage of an Asian handicap on Germany of -1.5 with odds of 1.85. In this situation, Germany will effectively start with a handicap or deficit of 1.5 goals. In other words, you'll stand to profit $85 off a $100 bet if Germany wins by more than a goal and a half. Since there are no partial goals in soccer, Germany will need to beat Canada by at least two goals for you to win. As you can probably tell, the half goal means that ties are eliminated as a possible betting outcome, but this isn't always the case. These types of bets are known as half line Asian handicaps.
Whole Line Asian Handicaps
We've already discussed half line Asian handicaps, which eliminate the possibility of ties or draws. While they are the most popular among punters, you'll also find whole line bets. In a match between the USA and Holland you might be tempted to bet on the Dutch at -1. As you can probably tell, Holland will need to win by more than a goal for your bet to come through. If Holland wins with a final score of 4-2, then the adjusted score is 3-2 when factoring in the handicap. In this scenario, you would win. Yet if Holland beat the USA 2-1 then the adjusted score would be 1-1, which is a tie. That results in a push, which means neither you nor the bookmaker wins and you'll get your money back.
Split Line Asian Handicaps
Although split line Asian handicaps look peculiar, they are quite simple. When you place a split line wager, your wager will be split across two related bets, namely a separate half line and whole line bet. For example, in a game between Mexico and France you might find a handicap line of France -2.5, -3. In this situation, half of your wager will be placed on France winning by at least 2.5 goals and the other half will be wagered upon France winning by at least 3 goals. If France wins by a final score of 5-1, then you'll win both halves of your wager. Yet if France wins by a final score of 4-1, then the adjusted half line and full line scores would be 1.5-1 and 1-1 respectively. As you can likely tell, you would win the half line bet but the full line bet would be a push. It's also possible to lose both bets.
Interestingly enough, sites offer a choice of different lines. In the example above you might be inclined to bet on the underdog or the favorite by a wider margin for even larger payouts. When you visit gambling sites, the possibilities are usually endless.
Level Ball Bets
As we touched upon earlier, many sites make use of Asian handicaps to eliminate the possibility of losing on a tie. Keep your eyes peeled for level ball or draw no bets. In this situation a draw means your original stake is returned to you. It's as if you never placed your wager in the first place. If you place draw no bets as part of a parlay, any ties are treated as if you never bet on that particular match and the rest of your card caries on.
Pay Attention to the Odds
New Asian handicap bettors often overlook the odds. The handicap is just part of the equation. You'll need to consider the potential payouts not just the likelihood of a particular margin of victory. Many players prefer to use Asian handicap bets as part of an overall strategy. For example, when betting on a heavy favorite, you might choose to split your cash between wagers on the outright winner and some handicap bets with improved payouts. Just make sure you do the math to be certain it's worth your while.
Asian handicap betting doesn't have to end at kickoff. Many sites offer in-play or live betting with handicaps. That means you can hedge your bets, take some money off the table, or double down depending on how the game is going. Of course in-play betting isn't limited to handicap wagers. You can bet on everything from individual player performance to whether a team scores in the next few minutes. Just log onto to your favorite betting site while the game is underway to see what's on the betting menu.
Taking Advantage of Handicaps
At the end of the day Asian handicap bets are all about choice. They can be advantageous to both punters and bookmakers since they put more matches into play. These types of wagers give you a more prudent way to bet on the underdog, especially when you realize you can win even when the team you've backed loses.
Asian handicap betting is usually reserved for soccer or football bets. You can thank the lack of scoring, frequent ties, and low margins of victory in the sport. Although the bets can seem confusing at first, they are unbelievably simple once you get the hang of them. Hopefully this guide has put you on the right track. When you fill out your betting card, sites do a good job in showing you how much you stand to win and what it takes for you to be declared a winner. Why not visit your favorite bookmaker and put your newfound knowledge to the test? Try filling out a sample betting card while this valuable lesson is fresh in your mind. Be sure to keep this guide handy, so that you can refer to it as you play.