Football betting: how to bet on Asian handicap markets

Football betting: how to bet on Asian handicap markets

Football betting
Written by James Martin on 17 Feb 2015

Originated in Asia, Asian handicap betting is now a very popular form of football betting all over the world. How does it work?

Asian handicap bets have gained immense popularity among football punters since they can be great value bets. If you’re not familiar with handicap markets, then let us explain in basic terms how it works.

“Handicap” means that one of the team, the underdog, is given a virtual head start before the game begins. On the contrary, the online bookmaker’s favorite will start the match with a goal deficit (a handicap), such as -0.5, -1, -1.5, -2, etc. At the end of the match, the football team with the most goals, after the handicap has been applied, is deemed the winner. For example, Schalke (+1) – Real Madrid (-1) means that the German team is given a one-goal start and the Spanish team a one-goal handicap.

Asian handicap is a variant of handicap match betting. It works the same way as explained above but the draw option is eliminated. As a consequence, there are only two outcomes for your bet: home win or away win. If a draw occurs, you get your money back. That’s why Asian handicap bets are so popular in football betting!

There is a large range of Asian handicap markets. Online bookmaker can offer a quarter-goal handicap (+/- 0.25, +/- 0.75…), a half-goal handicap or higher (+/- 0.5, +/- 1.5…) and a full goal handicap (+/-1, +/- 2…). In all cases, betting odds are usually attractive (between $1.85 and $2).

Full goal handicap

Let’s see an example of full goal asian handicap with an A-League match: Adelaide United (-1) v. Western Sydney Wanderers (+1). Say that you bet on Adelaide United (-1) at odd $1.89.

  • If Adelaide wins the match by more than one goal (2-0, 3-1, 3-0), you win your bet.
  • If Adelaide wins the match by only one goal (1-0, 2-1, 3-2), all bets are void because the match virtually ends in a draw (after the application of the handicap).
  • If the match ends in a draw or Western Sydney Wanderers wins, you lose your bet. The outsider, Western Sydney Wanderers, wins virtually the game due to the +1 goal advantage.

In some Asian handicap markets, you will see a zero goal advantage (0). Basically, it means that if the game ends in a draw, all bets will be void (like in a “Draw No bet” market) but teams will not receive any goal advantage.

Half-goal handicap

Now, consider the match Manchester City v. Newcastle. Bookies give Manchester City one and a half goal handicap (-1.5) and pay $1.82. In this case, odds are 46% higher than match result odds.

  • If you back “Manchester City (-1.5)”, you win your coupon if City wins the match by 2 goals or more.
  • If the match ends in a draw, if Newcastle wins or Manchester wins by only one goal, you lose your bet.

Quarter-goal handicap

Finally, let’s see what happens when the favorite receives a quarter-goal handicap or more (-0.25, -0.75…). A quarter handicap could be expressed in both ways: -0.25 or 0, -0.5. The best way to understand this handicap is to imagine that your stake is divided between two wagers: 50 per cent of your bet with a 0 handicap and 50 per cent of your bet with a -0.5 handicap.

For example, if you place a $20 bet on Manchester City -0.25 in the Asian handicap market, it means that you place a $10 bet on Manchester City (0) and a $10 bet on Manchester City (-0.5).

  • If Manchester City wins, then both bets are winners.
  • If the match ends in draw, then the first bet will be void and the second is a loss.
  • If Newcastle wins, then both bets are loses.