Asian Handicap betting is a form of betting on football which is increasing in popularity year by year. Named so because of it’s Eastern origin, Asian Handicap betting effectively reduces the number of outcomes of a football match by eliminating the draw from the equation. This guide will explain Asian Handicap betting in detail.
A football match has three outcomes; home win(1), away win(2) or draw(x). By eliminating the draw from the three possible results, the aim of the bookmaker is to handicap each team by way of either giving them goals (or fractions of goals) as a head start, or taking goals (or fractions of goals) away from a more favoured team. The aim of this is in theory to give both outcomes a 50% chance of winning.
This kind of bet can be rather confusing to a beginner, but our Asian Handicap guide will soon have you completely comfortable with betting this way and winning money.
A ‘0.0’ Asian Handicap is effectively a draw no bet selection. This handicap line is set when bookmaker/odds compilers consider the match in question to be a very close game, with no overwhelming favourite.
If the team you bet on win the game you are a winner. If the team draws the game, your stake is refunded. The only way you will lose your initial investment would be if the team you backed lost the match.
The half goal Asian Handicap effectively gives one team a 0.5 or more (all the way up to 11.5 in some cases) goal head start (+0.5) and the other team a 0.5 goal deficit (-0.5). This is classed as a straight win bet. The use of a fraction of a goal (0.5) means that it is impossible for the game to finish as a draw.
Example: Chelsea (-0.5) v Arsenal (+0.5)
Chelsea are classed as favourites and receive a -0.5 goal deficit. The only way of winning the bet here if you backed Chelsea would be if they won the game.
Arsenal are classed as underdogs and are given a +0.5 goal head start. To collect winnings from backing Arsenal you would need them to either draw or win the game.
Chelsea (-2.5) v Arsenal (+2.5)
If you back Chelsea (-2.5), you would need them to win by 3 clear goals to win your bet. If you back Arsenal (+2.5) you would win on any other result apart from a 3 or more goal beating.
The full goal Asian Handicap is slightly different to a fractional goal handicap. As a full goal handicap is given, there is the possibility of a handicap draw. In AH betting, a handicap draw is always settled as refunded stakes.
Let’s make a couple of examples of the full goal handicap:
Chelsea (-1) v Arsenal (+1)
Here, Chelsea have a full goal taken away from them. For this to be a winning bet Chelsea would have to win the game by 2 clear goals in order to cover the handicap. All is not lost though. If Chelsea were to win by just 1 goal, the game would be a handicap draw, earning you a refund. If Chelsea don’t win the game the bet is lost.
In contrast, if you were to back Arsenal +1 goal you would need a draw or a victory to collect your winnings. However, if Arsenal lost by 1 goal you would be refunded your stake due to it being a handicap draw.
The same principle applies to all other full goal handicaps. The more one sided a game is perceived by the bookmakers, the bigger deficit the favoured team will have to cover.
Split handicaps are exactly that. Your stake is split evenly between two outcomes The split handicap is a mixture of both the full goal handicap and the fraction of a goal handicap.
Here is an example of a split handicap:
Chelsea (0,-0.5) v Arsenal (0,+0.5)
If you back Chelsea, half of your stake is going on the 0 handicap (refund if draw) and the other half is going on -0.5 goals which means that Chelsea would have to win for that part of the bet to be successful.
Chelsea win = Bet is a winner
Draw = Half of your stake is refunded
Chelsea lose = Total loss
In reverse, if you backed Arsenal (0,+0.5):
Arsenal win = Bet is a winner
Draw = Half of stake is refunded, other half is a winner
Arsenal lose = Total loss
Here is an example of a bigger split handicap:
Manchester United (-2,2.5) v Burnley (+2,2.5)
Manchester United are strong favourites to beat a lower division opponent, so the handicap is set higher. Here are the possible outcomes and their returns:
Manchester United win by 3 goals or more = Bet is a winner
Manchester United win by exactly 2 goals = Half of stake is refunded (-2), half is lost (-2.5)
Any other result = Total loss
Below is a handy calculator of all the most popular Asian lines. By using the information above to get familiar with this style of betting and then using the table, you will soon know exactly how to play the Asian Handicap market, and what to expect from any outcome of a football match. ‘Push’ in the table below means you will get your bet refunded.
When it comes to Asian Handicap betting, Bet365 are the best option by far. They cover far more football matches than any other online bookmaker, and their depth of betting options within football matches are second to none. Bet365 also have a superb in-play betting platform which is priceless when it comes to live in-play Asian Handicap betting, which I will cover in another tutorial.