How to use the handicap when betting on football

March 21, 2023

For experienced football bettors, hundreds of alternative betting markets are at your disposal to improve the way you bet with the ultimate goal of winning more money.

Of the many options people choose, one gaining in popularity is betting on handicaps, although it is certainly not the most popular right now.

When people bet on NFL or football games, the handicap is often used in other sports, such as basketball, and ice hockey, maybe the biggest. However, it can be used for football, and many successful football markets exist. If you choose the correct game, you can successfully place your bet.

We are talking about standard football handicap betting lines here, not Asian handicaps; here is a glimpse of what they are, how to use them, and how your football betting will improve.

What is a Handicap line?

Asian handicap betting is essentially an imaginary line created by the best bookmakers to make betting on an event more exciting. As far as football is concerned, you can bet on handicaps in any game, although the main reason people use Asian handicaps is to bet on favorites so that you will see them talk about a lot.

The Asian line handicap allows one team to lead the game and the other team to lose, so depending on which side of the Asian line you bet on, you will have a + or – a goal or multiple goals.

Use the score from the match, but don’t forget that handicap football can change the overall winner of your bet as bookmakers factor their handicap scores into the total score.

You need to know that you can bet on a team on the handicap, and they could lose, but your bet could still be a winner.

Handicap betting example. -2 Asian Handicap example

As we said, the most common use of the handicap is to favor the favorites, so let’s start with this example of handicap betting on football.

Manchester City host Burnley and, as you might expect, are the favorites.

Many bettors won’t be backing them to win the game but supporting them at the -2 handicap.

It means City start at -2, so to overcome this, they need to win by three or more goals for this -2 handicap bet to win. For Burnley to start +2, they must succeed, draw or lose by a goal.

Asian plate – 2 Man City. – Soccer handicap explained:

  • Any Burnley win = Burnley handicap win
  • Draw = Burnley handicap to win
  • Man City win 1 = Burnley handicap win
  • Man City wins 2 = draw with handicap
  • Man City wins three or more = Man City -2 Handicap bet wins

As seen above, -2 for Manchester City means they need a goal difference of three goals or more. It is the same as any other handicap, so if the handicap is -1, City needs to win by two points or more to win on the -1 handicap line.

You can also see where Burnley could lose, but your bet on Burnley could win. As you can see, many factors were involved in Burnley’s handicap win, including City winning by one goal.

-1.0,-1.5 Asian handicap example

This line is known in two ways, some bookmakers call it the -1.0,-1.5 Asian Handicap line, while others call it the -1.25 line. It works the same as the 0.75 line. If you underbet, you lose half; that’s how it works.

-1.0, -1.50 line

Team to win 2+ bets win

Team wins 1: half the bet loses

Tie: bet loss

The team loses: bet loses

Essentially, this market splits your stake at -1.0 and -1.5. If your team wins two games or more, then both bets win, and you win. If your team wins by one goal, the -1.5 element of the Asian Handicap is lost, and the -1.0 element will get your stake back, resulting in a half loss.

What is the Asian plate +1.5 line? It means your team needs to win 2+, or you will lose your bet.

How to Use Handicap Lines When Betting

The key to using the handicap correctly for betting on the football market is to give your bets real value. The most popular practice is to use it when betting on favorites.

In the example above, Manchester City would be an abridged price, around 1/10 (1.10 decimal odds), to beat Burnley at home on the regular victory line. However, on the handicap, if the Asian handicap is at -2, they will have about 1/1 (decimal odds 2.00) to win.

While they have to win by three goals to be the winner, this market gives you ten times the odds of a regular winning market if you think it will happen anyway.

The second way to use it is to use it to cover many different things, as seen in the Burnley line betting above. If they win, if the game ends in a draw, or if they lose by one goal, then your bet on Burnley will be a winning bet.

When you bet on Burnley with a handicap, you get much smaller odds, but you can open up other ways for your bet to win this way.

How handicap will improve your betting

Football handicap betting tips can certainly help you with your profits and losses and give you another tool that you can use against bookies.

For anyone new to handicap betting, the best place to start with your football handicap betting tips strategy is to pick the favorite team you want to get better odds on (preferably using Asian handicap 1). Find the teams you think will win by two goals, three goals, or more, and pick them on the handicap.

Sometimes you back a team to win, and they succeed but fail to cover the point line, so even though the team wins, your bet loses. But keep that off because the options you’ve chosen are valuable, and when you bet at these more enormous odds, you don’t need as many winners to make a profit, so you can afford to lose.

It’s a slightly different mindset and approach you must adopt when betting on a handicap, but it’s worth it. The next time you are looking for value in betting on the house and looking to increase your odds, look for handicap and give it a try.

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