Handicap Betting Explained

Handicap Betting

Every bettor knows what a 1×2 bet is, but what about the popular handicap betting? A widely popular market in Asia and around the world, handicap is a unique type of bet that levels the playing field between 2 teams that aren’t matched evenly. A handicap bet puts the favorite at a slight disadvantage to give the underdog better chances to win, but not on the pitch.

BetZillion will have handicap betting explained in this guide and help you learn more about it and point out the best sports handicapping sites online in 2021.

What Is Handicap Betting?

The handicap definition says that it’s a process where a bookie turns a sporting event into an even money contest. The bookie gives the favorite a virtual advantage or puts a team at a disadvantage to level the playing field. For example, it might give the weaker team an edge over the favorite to have even chances. By evening, the match becomes more interesting instead of letting the stronger team take the points home with ease.

To answer your question on what a handicapper is, it’s simply a punter that places bets on handicaps.

Handicap Match Betting

Here’s an example to show you what handicap means in betting. Match handicap betting is easily the most fun type of handicap betting. In a match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion, you don’t even need to look at the odds to know the favorite. The City has a huge advantage over WBA, but the bookie can even it out by handicapping City with a goal or two (-1, -2).

If you bet on Man City in this case, they will need to win by that margin for your bet to win. If you bet on WBA, your bet will win if they win, draw, or lose by fewer goals than the set line.

No Draw Handicap Match Betting

Handicaps usually work with full lines (-1, +2), but sometimes, they’re represented by decimals. It is no draw handicap betting that eliminates the possibility of a draw. This bet ensures that the match has a winner by adding the point decimal to the team’s overall score in a game.

If they have more points than the other team’s total, they are deemed the winner.

Handicap League Betting

Handicap league betting allows you to place these bets on a particular pro sports league. Many sites will show you free handicap examples using teams from specific leagues you can later bet on.

Asian Handicap Betting

Asian handicap is an alternative handicap betting type in which both teams are handicapped according to their form. You don’t need a handicap sports betting guide to learn how it works. In the simplest terms, the stronger team is given a goal handicap, while the weaker opponent is given a headstart with a goal or more.

How Does Handicap Betting Work?

Placing handicap bets online is very easy. The process is no different than placing any other wager. All you need to do is find a handicapped match to bet on and click on the odds. The selection will be added to your slip immediately, and the system will calculate the payout.

Handicap Betting Examples

Here are a few free handicap examples using Premier League matches if you want to learn how it works.

Let’s say Leeds is playing Manchester City. City is the obvious favourite, so to even the field; a bookie will give City a handicap of -2. If you place a bet on City and they win 1-0, they haven’t covered the spread, and your bet loses. To win it, City needs to win with a two-goal advantage.

In the case of handicap draw betting, the line will be set at -2.5 or something similar. In this case, the draw is eliminated from the equation since football doesn’t count half goals.

What Is the Difference Between Handicap and Spread Betting?

Spread and handicap bets are pretty similar, except for their main goal. In handicaps, the quality plays a role in handicapping a team, while point spreads allow you to predict the point difference a team wins with.

What Sports Can Handicaps Be Used for?

Handicaps are most commonly used in football, but they also apply to tennis, golf, darts, snooker, and rugby.

Football Handicap Betting

Handicap bets are most commonly associated with football. Soccer betting matches are available at all major bookmakers in 2021, including Paddy Power, SkyBet, and Ladbrokes. They offer a wide range of bets, including handicaps in different leagues. These also provide special handicaps such as 3-way handicap betting, focusing on three outcomes as outright bets.

Tennis Handicap Betting

Tennis is quite a popular sport for handicap betting. The bets are available when one of the greats, such as Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic, faces a qualifier or young player with no experience on the major stages. Handicaps in tennis can be applied to points, sets, and the outcome of a match.

Golf Handicap Betting

Golf handicaps work similarly to tennis handicap bets. They are available in majors where the greats play a field of unproven players.

Rugby Handicap Betting

Rugby is another sport like football played on goals, making it a perfect choice for handicaps. Nearly all of the sportsbooks on our list offer great rugby odds and handicaps, so you should be able to get a great return on these matches.

NFL Handicap Betting

The best American football betting sites offer NFL championship handicap betting. These bookmakers often have guides that define how to place your handicap bets and enjoy the best possible return.

Even if you’re new in it, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble putting your money on handicap NFL odds thanks to these guides.


We hope that BetZillion’s guide to what is the meaning of handicap in betting showed you why you need to bet on handicaps. It’s a much more exciting way to bet on football and other sports. Handicaps are often pretty lucrative so that you can make serious money on them.

Of course, it pays to use an Asian handicap betting strategy if you want to get the most out of these bets.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does handicap mean in betting?

    A handicap is a special bet usually available in football that handicaps the stronger team to level the playing field.

  • What does +1 handicap mean?

    It means that a team starts the match with one goal advantage. Handicaps are most common in matches where the difference in quality is too big to ignore. With handicaps, bookies make these matches quite more interesting for punters, allowing you to place a bet and get a solid return by handicapping the favorite.

  • How does a handicap bet work?

    The handicap bet gives weaker teams an advantage or handicaps stronger teams to even out matches that are not close.

  • How do you bet on Asian Handicap?

    Betting on Asian handicaps is easy. Just find the odds you want to bet on and click on them to place your bet and possibly win.

  • What is the difference between Handicap and Asian Handicap?

    The European and Asian handicap is mostly the same, with draws being possible in the European variant.

Writer & Tipster

Jimmy is our on-duty tipster and writer. His favorite sports are cricket, tennis, and basketball. If you’re looking for the best betting tips in the business, Jimmy’s your guy. His tips and events previews are among the most read at BetZillion.

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