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Richard Miller
Author:
Richard Miller
Last Updated:
April 1, 2021
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Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.

Handicap Betting Explained In 2021

Handicap betting is one of the most popular alternative wagering types in sports gambling. Inexperienced bettors may find it complicated, but thanks to our guide, you will have handicap betting explained thoroughly. This betting type provides different possibilities for punters, which can help you improve your wagering style. Handicaps are used prevalently in the UK, but it is getting more common in the US as well. Let's dip into more detail about this exciting wagering type.

What is Handicap betting?

The principle of handicap betting lays behind giving a starting advantage to one of two confronted teams. Sportsbooks add a handicap margin to the final result to determine the outcome of the game. That advantage is added to the underdogs, which makes the game more attractive to bet on. Ultimately, the purpose of handicaps is to even out the chances for both sides. Remember how often you skipped the opportunity to back favorites on the traditional lines due to low odds. Thanks to handicap betting, those matches are drawing more interest from bettors since the prices are much closer to the figure of +100.

Sportsbooks apply a negative handicap value to the favorite side, while the underdogs are given a positive handicap margin. For instance, you won't find value in placing a traditional three-way wager on the clash between Manchester City and Cheltenham Town. However, when a lower-league side is given a three-goal advantage, you would definitely consider backing the Citizens to win by four goals.

Handicap betting opens a variety of different markets. Every reputable sportsbook offers handicap odds for a wide range of sports. Specific subtypes of handicap bets exclude a draw as the possible outcome of the game. It can increase your chance to win bets in comparison to three-way markets since your chances of a successful wager rise from 33% to 50%. In the following chapter, we are going to learn more about different varieties of handicap betting types.

Types of Handicap betting

The most popular type of handicap betting is the Asian handicap. This variety eliminates the prospect of a draw. It means that you may get your stake refunded in case the game ends in a tie. There are even more varieties of Asian handicap, which you can explore further in our dedicated Asian handicap guide.

The three-way handicaps are another variety of this betting type. It is also known as the European handicap. Unlike the Asian handicap, this subtype offers three possible outcomes of the game. It includes a draw as the possibility, in addition to wagering on either team to beat the handicap.

No draw handicap is another subtype where you can wager on only two possible outcomes. The handicap margin is set at the half-goal or half-point and therefore excludes a tie from the bet. Of course, since half a goal or half a point doesn't exist in sports, one of the teams will always win.

Handicap league betting is becoming more popular, and many bookmakers include it in their offer. You should be able to place this kind of wager before the season starts. Like the handicap match betting, the purpose of this variety is to give each side an equal chance to finish at the top of the table. It is an exciting approach, and you should wait for the season to end to find out if you win a bet.

Placing a Handicap bet: Step-by-Step

Even inexperienced bettors can benefit from handicap betting, and you shouldn't hesitate to place these bets. However, if you are not sure about the process, don't worry. It is the same as when placing any other type of bet. We'll walk you through all the steps, just in case.

Steps Box Background
  1. Find an online sportsbook: With so many sportsbooks on the betting market, it can be quite challenging to pick the one that suits you the most. However, you can quickly compare top online bookmakers and select the favorite one.
  2. Register an online account: After you complete the initial step, you need to sign up for an account. It won't take you more than a minute, but it is a required step to move on. Also, don't forget to deposit some money into your account.
  3. Choose your picks: We are about to make a real deal now. Navigate to the game you want to bet on and find the handicap market. Just click on the price, and the bet slip will appear.
  4. Place a wager: Now, you need just to enter your stake and click the Place Bet button. You have made it!
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Usual sports for placing a Handicap bet

The nature of handicap betting makes it suitable for different sports. It is most famous for sports where draws are happening quite often. Therefore, a soccer handicap might be ideal for you if you are still getting familiar with this kind of bet. It can be quite impressive due to low scoring games.

Hockey is another sport suitable for handicap betting since its' characteristics are similar to soccer. You can find a great offer of handicap markets for any NHL match.

Handicap betting applies not only to sports with a low number of points or goals. You can find it regularly in basketball or football. This betting type relates to totals so that you can enjoy it on NFL or NBA games as well.

Individual sports like tennis are not excused from handicap betting. You can find these markets for the match-winner, or totals. Indeed, the flexibility of handicap betting makes it applicable to almost any kind of sports.

Examples for Handicap betting

If you are still wondering what's handicap betting, it will be brighter for you with the following practical examples. We are going to explain it on the Premier League clash between Liverpool and Crystal Place, and on the Chicago Bears – Dallas Cowboys NFL game.

Winning example of Handicap bet

Liverpool is about to win their first title after 30 years. They have a perfect chance to celebrate it at Anfield as they are going to host Crystal Palace. You are quite positive that the Reds will not miss that opportunity, but the odds on the traditional markets are very slim.

You decide to take chances and head to the handicap market, and the bookmaker offered the following prices.

TeamOdds
Liverpool (-1.5)-130
Crystal Palace (+1.5)+110

The odds seem to bring good value, and you back Liverpool to win by at least two goals at $100. The Reds celebrated a convincing 4:0 victory, which means that you win a bet.

Losing example of Handicap bet

For example, an NFL clash between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys got your attention. You check the prices as follows.

TeamOdds
Chicago Bears (+4.5)-115
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5)-115

In an exciting clash, the Cowboys celebrated a 22:20 win. However, they didn't beat the -4.5-handicap margin, and that leaves you without any profits.

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Handicap betting for beginners: How to bet

If you want to try out handicap betting for the first time, you should follow some tips and tricks for being more successful. We are going to highlight just a few of them, which should help you increase your chances of winning.

  1. Compare the prices around different sportsbooks: You shouldn't hesitate to shop around for the best available odds. Compare the prices across different sportsbooks and take the most generous ones.
  2. Scoring records are vital: Extremely efficient teams should be in the center of your attention. Their ability to score can boost your chances of winning a bet.
  3. Search for professional picks: Handicap markets are available almost everywhere daily. It can be hard to narrow your choice to just a few picks. However, you can dive into Billy's List, sign up for free, and get help from professional tipsters.
  4. Is a team in a good streak?: Thanks to handicaps, the line between winning or losing a bet is even thinner. You should consider any information. It is always good to know if one team enjoys a good run.
  5. Don't underestimate the motivation: Cup matches are very tricky, and you should pay attention to this aspect before placing bets. An underdog may stun the favorite team, and you can capitalize a lot on more generous odds.

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Handicap betting for professionals: How to bet

Experienced bettors have built several strategies upon handicap betting. Due to the flexible nature of this wagering type, you can invent some on your own. The approaches you are about to see below can help you win more handicap bets.

It's worth backing small underdogs when they play in front of their fans. Since it is quite unlikely that they are going to lose by at least two goals regularly, the handicap at +1.5 can bring you excellent value odds. Even if your selection narrowly misses, you will be able to enjoy profits from your handicap bet.

With the increased popularity of live betting, you can capitalize on handicap markets as well. If underdogs, especially huge ones, score an early goal, it's time to consider placing a handicap bet. In case you are confident they are not going to withstand the pressure, you can make significant profits.

Backing huge favorites on the traditional markets often don't have enough value, but handicap betting is a game-changer. You can find way more generous odds at -1.5 handicap margins or higher. In the long term, backing favorites to win with at least two-goal margin might be profitable. That wouldn't be possible if you rely just on the moneylines.

Handicap betting: Try it now at one of the top 5 betting sites

We are sure you are eager to try out handicap betting now. So, don't hesitate, head to your favorite sportsbook and create an online account. Make your selections wisely, apply some tips and strategies from this article, place a wager on handicap markets. You will definitely enhance your gambling experience.

 
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Conclusion: The most popular alternative market
If you want to take your wagering experience to another level, then handicap betting is a perfect choice. You can enjoy different varieties of betting markets and find more generous odds in comparison to traditional lines. This wagering method applies to almost every kind of sport, which makes it very attractive. This article brings you handicap betting thoroughly explained, and you can start implementing strategies and tips!
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