Asian Handicap Betting Explained | The 2021 Guide

Asian handicap betting

Asian Handicap Betting – The best things to bet on in football?

The Asian handicap betting market is one that our professional tipster team loves to use in our £250 and £1,000 betting challenges. But is it ‘the best thing to bet on in football’? We believe this is a very subjective statement. The best things to bet on very much depend on your interests, risk tolerance, and knowledge of particular sports teams and competitions. However, we’re going to explain exactly why we opt for ‘Asian handicap’ and ‘Alternative handicap result’ markets in our predictions. They’re also two of the most popular tipping markets amongst the Clever Bets community.

If you’re new to this betting market, the Asian Handicap can seem confusing. As a result, we wrote this article to help clear things up for you. Do be aware that we are basing it on our personal experience as punters and you should always read the terms, policies, and rules of the sportsbook you are placing your bets on. If you need further clarification on bets, ask their support teams. Major sportsbooks deal with betting rule queries from their customers on a daily basis.

But let’s start by explaining the Handicap betting market. Before explaining the Asian handicap, you’re going to need to know what Handicap means, in the world of sports betting.

Handicap, Alternative Handicap Result, and Asian Handicap Meanings

What does a Handicap bet mean?

Handicap bets can be applied to result, goal, corner, card markets, and more. For the purpose of this guide, we will use the ‘result’ market to explain handicaps.

A handicap result bet is a betting market whereby the teams in the fixture do not start on an equal score. In reality, every game starts at 0 – 0, however, with a pre-match handicap bet, this would be amended. Let’s say you placed a stake on Manchester United to win, with the Handicap -1. This bet is the exact equivalent of you betting on Manchester United to win by at least 2 goals.

The same theory applies to in-play fixtures – however, the handicap applies to the current score of the in-play fixture at the time of the bet being placed. So if it was 1 – 0 to Manchester United, and you applied a -1 Handicap, you would require Manchester United to win by at least three goals. For example, 3 – 0 or 4 – 1 Manchester United, would win your bet. However, 3 – 1 or 2 – 0 would lose your bet because you placed -1 Handicap when Manchester United was already winning 1 – 0.

What does Alternative Handicap Result mean?

‘Alternative Handicap Result’ bets apply the same rules as ‘Handicap Result’ bets. However, some sportsbooks use the word ‘Alternative’ to categorize all of the different odds within their Handicap Result market. The ‘Handicap Result’ market tends to include one betting odds selection, and you can find the rest of the betting odds selections within the ‘Alternative Handicap Result’.

The separation is often used as a way of presenting the odds on their websites. You can think of the ‘Handicap result’ as the featured odds/bet amongst all of the different odds for that fixture. The alternative handicap result market is just where the other odds are put for that fixture.

Asian handicap betting - Nou camp celebration

What does Asian Handicap mean?

Alike Handicaps, Asian Handicaps are a type of football (soccer) betting market where you can place a handicap that increases or lowers the number of goals a specific team needs to scores or not conceded, in order for the bet to be successful. A variety of Asian Handicaps are available within certain fixtures at sports gambling companies, such as Bet365. Asian handicaps can be applied to result markets, goal markets, card markets, corner markets, and others. It depends on the sportsbook (gambling company) and the fixture.

If you were to place a bet of -1.5 Asian Handicap on a team, then you would deduct one goal from that team’s score. For example, if the result was 2-0 to your team, the final result after applying the handicap would be 0.5 – 0 and your bet would still win. However, if the team you bet on, only won 1-0, your bet would lose…

Example Calculation: 1 minus 1.5 equals -0.5, which would then make the final score, -0.5 – 0.

On the other hand, if you were to place a bet of -1 Asian Handicap on a team, this adds a layer of safety, whereby the bet would void if your team loses by one. For example, let’s say that you made a pre-match bet on a team to win with a -1 Asian Handicap. If your selected team won 1 – 0, your bet selection would actually void and your stake would be refunded to you…

Example Calculation: 1 minus 1 equals 0, which would then make the final score 0 – 0

The benefit of the Asian Handicap

Many of our predictions see us taking advantage of the ‘Asian Handicap’ and ‘Alternative Handicap Result’ markets. The key benefit we find when using the Asian Lines Handicap market is that it gives us a margin of safety in our bets (although no bet is ever guaranteed to win). On the other side, you can use the market to increase your odds and potential return.

Here’s an example of how you can add a margin of safety to your bet:

The ‘Alternative Asian Handicap +2’ market allows us to win a bet, even if the team we are backing loses by one. Additionally, if the team we are backing, loses by 2, this results in the bet becoming void and returning us our stake. At Clever Bets, we would typically opt for such a betting market in our £250 and £1000 race betting challenges, as it helps us to slightly improve the odds of our bets, whilst slightly reducing our risk due to the margin of safety, whereby the bet could void. Essentially, Asian handicaps can give you a higher or lower margin of safety in your bets.

What’s the difference between ‘Asian Handicap’ and ‘Alternative Handicap Result’?

The major benefit and logic behind using the Asian Lines Handicap markets, as opposed to standard Handicap, is that the odds are often slightly higher. Not only that, you have the potential of having your bet selection voided, and your stake refunded if your bet does not win. However, your bet selection will only be voided if certain scenarios occur in the bet.

Asian handicap betting - football pitch birdseye view

Different Types of Asian Handicaps, Explained Simply

You’ve probably come across the different forms of Asian Handicaps available. There are three main markets – the Whole Line, Half Line, and Split Line Asian Handicaps. Read on to see how to distinguish between the three:

Whole Line Asian Handicaps Explained (e.g. +1)

Like mentioned earlier, Whole Line Asian Handicaps give you the ability to potentially have your bet voided. This enables a margin of safety in your bet.

In this betting market, there are typically three potential ending scenarios with your bet:

  1. WIN – Your bet could win
  2. LOSS – Your bet could lose, and you could lose all of your stake
  3. VOID – Your bet could void, and you could return your whole stake

Half Line Asian Handicaps (e.g. +0.5)

Half Line Asian Handicaps stops the possibility of a match ending in a draw. Now, if you were to place a +0.5 Asian Handicap bet on a team, your bet would be successful if the team doesn’t lose.  Let’s say that the match full-time score was 1 – 1. That bet would win because the amended result would become 1.5 – 1 to your team after the handicap was applied. Alternatively, if the final score was 0 – 1, your bet would lose as the adjusted results would become 0.5 – 1.

The bet ‘+0.5 Asian Handicap’ basically reflects the ‘Win or draw’ market. We tend to use this in our betting predictions, as the odds can be higher than the win or draw market.

In this betting market, there are only two potential scenarios with your bet:

  1. WIN – Your bet could win
  2. LOSS – Your bet could lose, and you could lose all of your stake

Split Line Asian Handicaps (e.g. -1.0, -1.5)

Stakes on Split Line Asian Handicaps (also known as Quarter Line Asian Handicaps) are divided based on the outcome. Half of your total stake gets placed on the Whole Line Asian Handicap. Then the other half gets placed on the Half Line Asian Handicap. For settlement examples, refer to the Soccer Rules page on Bet365 (Note: Different sportsbooks may have different rules so pay attention to the rules and terms of the sportsbook you are using to place your bets).

In this betting market, there are often four potential scenarios with your bet:

  1. WIN – The bet could win
  2. LOSS – Also, the bet could lose, and you could lose all of your stake
  3. 1/2 WIN & 1/2 VOID – Half of your bet could win, and half of your bet could void
  4. 1/2 WIN & 1/2 LOSS – Half of your bet could lose, and half of your bet could void (half of your stake gets returned)

Now you know your handicap markets, don’t be greedy!

Glad you made it to the bottom of the article, and I hope you learned a lot here. Now, don’t be greedy – share this article show your friends exactly what this betting market means. Educate them and ensure they finally get a good understanding too, so they don’t miss out.


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