What is Handicap Betting? An Explanatory Guide

What is Handicap Betting

Do you love to bet on your favorite sport and are looking to explore the betting world? Well, we are here to accompany you throughout your betting journey. In this guide, we will explore the handicap sports betting aspect of the betting realm. If you have questions in your head, like how handicap betting works and what you need to place a handicap bet, then this guide will help you. Moreover, we will be discussing how it works in different sports. 

What is Handicap Betting?

What is Handicap Betting

Handicap sports betting is a model of betting that evens out the gambling session on different sports based on situational factors. It is also known as spread or Asian Handicap betting, as it is more prevalent in Asia. In this betting model, traders usually provide additional deficit or surplus to their favorite bettor or betting team. Hence, betting under the handicap model may have adverse effects based on the trader’s choice of favorite or underdog team.

How Does Handicap Sports Betting Work?

Various factors affect a bet; by studying all of them, traders of bets, such as bookmakers or betting exchanges, decide to level up the game. In this kind of betting, traders consider the difference in abilities of two competitors. By providing extra benefits to people with disabilities, they more often even up the event of betting on a particular game.

For Example: 

In a 200m race, if J.J. Watt is competing with an average race in the city. Then, no doubt, J.J. Watt is more likely, and the bettor would bet on him. Just to even the situation, traders will give only a 150m running path to the average athlete. This way, he will be able to win against J.J. Watt. 

However, a bettor will enjoy a leveled-up betting session with competitive odds. This is how handicap sports betting works.   

Types of Handicap Betting

Types of Handicap Bets

We already know about the purpose of handicap bets, but what are their types? If you are confused by this question, then this section is going to help you. Well, both types of handicaps serve the same purpose of leveling up the betting market. Let’s check each type carefully:

1. Asian Handicap Betting

This type of handicap betting has its roots in Indonesia. Points are given to those who are handicapped in the betting so that they can win the match against the strong team. This betting has gotten the most attention in the 21st century. 

2. European Handicap Betting

European handicap betting is a subtype of Handicap betting. In this kind, traders usually even up the betting market by giving points. This way, they try to eliminate the chances of drawing the match.  

When and Where is Handicap Betting Used?

To know handicap betting precisely, it is crucial to learn the areas and sports where handicap betting is common. If you want to place a bet on the handicap betting market, then knowing it entirely is essential. Well, let’s check the sports where handicap bets are prominent and on what occasions handicap betting is employed in the market.   

Sports Where Handicap Betting is Common


Let’s check the sports where handicap betting is common:

1. Football Handicap Betting (Soccer)

Football is the most commonly known game for handicap betting. It allows users to have even competitions. Handicap betting in football may seem tricky to you at first, but it is not something that you can’t understand. It is placed in the same way through which every other sports bet is done. Suppose you have two teams, such as Liverpool and Newcastle. Moreover, the trader will give the beneficiary team some digital points. This way,  the football handicap betting works. 

Furthermore, if you want to fetch more information on football betting, then our dedicated guide on the football betting world and how to place a bet on football, you must visit our other guide on football betting.

2. Basketball Handicap Betting

Basketball betting is the most famous type of betting in America. It also works the same way; in basketball handicap betting, traders will give virtual points to the favorite team, and then it shows up like this:

Team A (+5 points) 

Team B (-5 points)

3. Tennis Handicap Betting

Tennis is another sport in which handicap betting is common and mostly placed. This sport has the most chances for handicap betting. Handicap betting works in the same way in this sport as well. The trader will provide extra points at the start of the match. This way, they maintain a balance, and tennis handicap betting becomes possible. You can check more tips and strategies for tennis betting in our dedicated article, Tennis Tips and Strategies

4. Rugby League Handicap Betting

Rugby is another famous sport in which handicap bets are prominent. If you are fond of rugby, then knowing about handicaps in rugby is important. Traders and bookmakers distribute points to make the game more unpredictable and to balance the match. Moreover, there is an example that you must check:

  • Team A (+8 points)
  • Team B(-8 points) 

5. NFL Handicap Betting

You can place a handicap bet in the National Football League. This is the most awaited league in the nation, where every football enthusiast waits for the league, especially the bettors. One can try their luck in NFL handicap betting. This also works the way football handicap betting works. The trader will give virtual points to the team fighting with some disadvantages. For example: 

  • Atlanta Falcons: +5 Points
  • New York Giants:  – 5 points

If you want to know how to bet on the NFL, you can check our guide to learn more about “how to place a bet on the National Football League.

Occasions When Handicap Betting is Employed

Occasions When Handicap Betting is Employed

In this section, we will check out the situations where you can employ handicap bets. Moreover, you must know the instances where handicap bets can be employed. 

1. Unevenly Matched Teams

The primary situation for which handicap bets are designed is for uneven matches. Those matches that have uneven teams and uneven chances of winning are most likely to have handicap bets. 

2. Injuries And Suspensions

Injuries and suspensions are when Match’s winning potential gets uneven, and all the bets are suspended or lost. Hence, the need for handicap betting comes into play. Moreover,  these are situations when the winner of the match can be uncertain, and the decision of the winning team can fluctuate based on the capabilities. 

3. Competitive Balance in Tournaments

To balance the competitive spirit of every better irrespective of the team they have placed the bet upon. Almost every bettor must have faith in the traders. Moreover, the competitive spirit can help every bettor not to lose the hope of winning. 

How to Place a Handicap Bet?

How to Place a Handicap Bet?

Do you want ot place a handicap bet? Then this section can help you out. In this section, we are going to explore the stepwise procedure of placing a handicap bet. Well, placing a handicap bet is a straightforward procedure; you don’t need many technicalities for that. Let’s check that out.  

Step 1. Selecting a sportsbook or betting platform

The first step to getting started with handicap bets is selecting a sportsbook or a betting platform. Well, there are various online betting platforms available on the internet. You can choose any one of them. You can check our list of online betting platforms.  Well, there are so many betting platforms, such as Bet365, Betfred, etc

Step 2. Choosing the event and market

Download and install the app on your device, and now you are all set to get started with handicap bets. You must choose a sport, market, and relevant odd for your bet. Make sure you make an informed decision.

Step 3. Understanding the handicap lines and odds

To make an informed decision, it is crucial to understand the lines and odds running in the market. It is always essential to analyze the market first and then get started with the bet. 

Step 4. Placing the bet and calculating potential payouts

Now that you have analyzed everything. You are required to choose your player and place the bet on the platform. 

Step 5. Managing bankroll and responsible gambling

Now, when you have placed your bet. It is also possible you get addicted to gambling. If you feel a bit addicted, then you must check our article on “How to stop gambling.” Moreover, remember to gamble responsibly and manage your bankroll wisely.

Advantages of Handicap Betting

There are various hits and misses for handicap bets; in this section, we will explore all the hits related to handicap bets. So, without further ado, let’s get started with the advantages of handicap betts.

1. Enhanced odds for favorites

It keeps enhancing its odds for the favorite or marginalized player. This way, you can perform well and reduce the chances of loss in the bet. All in all, it helps you to win the bet.

2. Increased opportunities for bettors

As the betting world is booming, bettors, traders, and bookmakers are also willing to explore more betting. Just to expand the market, they have brought up with handicap bets. This kind of betting helps to expand the betting market, and it reduces the risk of loss, which is why most bettors get motivated to bet.

3. Potential for Reduced Risk

Another positive side of handicap bets is the reduced risks associated with the type of betting. Bettors can be satisfied by leveling up the risks and challenges associated with betting. This way, bookmakers and traders can ensure the same rate of participation of every bettor. 

Risks and Considerations

In this section, we will look for the risks associated with betting, especially in handicap bets. Moreover, risk considerations are the major thing every bettor must note. 

1. The Potential For Losing Both Sides of The Bet

When the traders and the bookmakers choose a favorite team, then the team with the capabilities doesn’t need to win the match; it can also be possible that the bookmaker’s favorite site could win the match. Hence, there are chances of equal loss of the bet for both teams.

2. Dealing With Tie or Push Outcomes

Most sportsbooks and traders experience that match either get a tie result. If not, then there is a chance for traders to push the outcomes. This generally happens when either the team has any fallout or incapability in terms of winning the match.

3. Proper Research & Analysis

You must consider the research element while placing the bet, precisely the handicap type. Moreover, it is one of the most essential tips for every bettor. One must do the research part beforehand. This can help the bettor toi identify the winner. 

Strategies for Placing Handicap Bets

Strategies for Placing Bets

If you are new to handicap bets, this section will help you. Here, we have mentioned four tips and strategies for betting, especially handicap bets. With these strategies, you can outperform your competitors more efficiently. Let’s check the strategies. 

  • Using Statistical Data and Analysis: You must use the approach of research and analysis of previous performance whenever you are placing a bet.
  • Tracking Team or Player Performance: You must track the previous performances of every player. This way, you can make more informed decisions and tackle your competitors.
  • Understanding the Context of the Match: Another tip that you must follow is understanding the context of the match. This way, you will better be able to choose the team on which you will win the bet. 
  • Bankroll Management Strategies: The Bankroll management strategy is another tip that you must follow whenever you go for handicap bets. You must allocate your budget accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What does +1.5 handicap mean?

This means the team has an advantage of 1.5 points. This advantage would be added when the match ends. The trader will add the points to the final points of the team.

Q2. What is an example of a handicap in betting?

In handicap bets, traders and bookmakers try to level the game by balancing the points virtually. They give points to those who are more likely to lose the game due to certain infirmity. 

Q3. How does handicap betting work in rugby?

Handicap bet acts the same in every sport. They provide extra points to the team who is battling with the infirmities. Moreover, in rugby, traders serve virtual points to the team, and then they carry forward with the game. At the end of the game, they calculate the final score by adding and subtracting the virtual points. 


Handicap betting is a way to even up the betting platforms and level all the bettors. This helps to remove unevenness and to create a more justified market for bettors. Well, in the above guide, we have covered everything about it in the above article. We hope you have got everything about handicap bets from our article. If anything, you want to know more, then you can let us know in the comments.

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