Many seasoned football punters have at some time bet on the handicap markets in order to increase the odds. Backing the favourite team to win minus one goal or more will certainly pay bigger odds than a straight win but it is never easy to predict a winning margin with any degree of certainty. This is where Asian Handicap betting comes into its own. While the odds are generally a lot lower than traditional handicap markets it is easier to win on the Asian Handicap or at least get the original stake refunded.
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Football backers are often put off the Asian Handicap because it looks too complicated, they don’t understand the odds and the fact that those odds are in decimal form can also be confusing. However, it is all really quite simple and, when used properly, can be a valuable betting medium.
Decimal odds can be confusing to those used to the standard fractional version but are actually easier to understand. The only real difference is that the original stake is included in the decimal odds. To put it simply; odds of 2.0 means that a £10 winning bet returns £20 or the original stake multiplied by 2.0. Similarly, that £10 bet at 1.5 would pay out £15.
The Asian Handicap system was designed to give each team an equal chance of winning by giving the supposed weaker of the two a head start be it one goal or more. The result is that any given bet is generally priced at in and around even money.
While the odds are not as big as backing a team to win minus one goal in a traditional handicap, the great thing about the Asian Handicap is that, by its very nature, there cannot be a draw. Should your selected team end up level despite a plus or minus handicap, the stake is refunded as it would be in a “draw no bet” situation. In Asian Handicap betting this is known as a “push”.
Asian Handicaps range from an advantage of ¼ of a goal to three and, rarely, more goals. The most popular markets are for whole goal handicaps of 0 and 1 which are equivalent to traditional handicap markets with the bonus of having the stakes refunded if your selection fails to win with or without the selected handicap. Half-goal handicaps are also very popular as a draw is impossible and the chances of winning are better than those in the whole goal markets.
One Goal Handicap
Selecting a team to win either -1 or +1 goal is quite a common bet for regular football backers but the Asian Handicap has the bonus of refunding the stakes if the selection fails to beat the handicap. Consequently the odds are shorter than standard handicap markets but the safety net of receiving the stake money back is often worth the lower price.
Half Goal Handicap
Since no team can score half-a goal, there can never be a draw (or “push”) in any match. Backing a team to win with a handicap of 0.5 will pay off if the selected team wins or if the actual game finishes as a draw. Again, the odds are lower but the chances of winning are now two out of three.
Quarter Goal Handicap
This is the bet that really confuses most newcomers to Asian Handicap Betting. Figures such as -0.25, -1.25, +0.25 etc beside the team’s name can be difficult to get to grips with at first but all they really represent is an each-way bet. If, for example, you back Team Blue with a -0.75 handicap then half your stake money goes on Team Blue -0.5 and half on -1.0. In bets such as these it is possible to win both bets, lose one and win one and even win or lose one with the other being a push. The payout will be reduced depending on the outcome of your bets but a small return is better than nothing if only one of your bets comes up.
The Asian Handicap is a form of spread betting but tailored for games that can be won or lost by a single point or goal and where draws are a possibility. It is ideal for soccer where a single goal can decide the outcome whereas spread betting is more suited for games where scores are measured in multiple points such as American football and basketball. These games can be won by tens of points which are covered in “spreads” while very few soccer matches end up in victories by huge margins regardless of the two teams in opposition.
Although Asian Handicap betting is growing in popularity it is still some distance behind traditional or European betting. Apart from the comfort of using a familiar system, European handicap betting offers bigger odds but, of course, the chances of being right, and consistently right, are smaller. Backing the winning team to win at odds of 1/2 would yield a profit of 50% which is an excellent return on the investment but often not enough to satisfy the backers. The obvious thought is that if the team are deemed good enough to be short priced favourites then surely they can win by a couple of goals. Therefore why not back the team to win minus one goal at bigger odds of 7/5? Fine, if it works out but a football game is never easy to predict and the chances of losing the bet are increased with each goal you add to the handicap.
As Asian Handicaps are designed to effectively make both sides equal and create, as near as possible, a 50/50 scenario, and the draw sees your stake refunded, your chances of a payout are increased dramatically, which combined with a bonus, makes almost your win certain. The downside is the fact that the best odds you will get are generally in the region of even money. However, if you can live with a 100% return on your investment then the Asian Handicap market is the better choice.
The key to winning with Asian Handicap betting lies in the word “handicap”. In traditional European handicap betting your choices are limited to one of three possibilities: home win, away win and draw. Only one of those results will see you make a profit while the other two will make your bookmaker happy. While the odds offered with Asian Handicap betting are smaller than backing a hot favourite minus one goal on the regular markets, odds of even money for your chosen bet, and a money back safety net in the event of a draw, is still very worthwhile.
To get started with Asian Handicap betting there are a few tips that should prove helpful.
There is nothing wrong in backing a short priced favourite as they are short odds for a good reason. Picking a team that is in form and choosing a -1 or -2 goal handicap against one that is struggling can be profitable at even money.
As is the case with any sport, form is crucial. Opt for teams that are scoring regularly and not conceding too many. Always check injury updates to key players especially strikers.
One Goal Handicap
To begin with, concentrate your efforts on the one goal handicap markets. Should your team only win by the selected handicap margin; the returned stakes from the push will allow you to fight again.
Half Goal Handicap
After you get used to placing One Goal bets, move on to the Half Goal handicaps. If you are confident that your selected team will win, the odds will be slightly bigger if you eliminate the possibility of a push should the game end level despite the handicap.
Greed is, unfortunately, a common failing for many gamblers. Winning small amounts regularly is far better than backing unlikely results and hoping for a big payout.
Remember that gambling is, and should be, fun. If the fun stops, it is time to stop gambling.