Asian Handicap

For Intermediate

For many novice sports bettors, the Asian Handicap bet sounds quite mysterious and exotic. However, while it might sound complicated, this is one of the easiest and most interesting bets that you can make in soccer (football). The bet is most popular in the Asian market, where it got its name from. You’ll find great Asian handicap betting sites from our complete list of online betting providers.

The Asian Handicap bet falls under handicap betting, and works in a similar way to European Handicap and spread betting. Handicap betting is hugely popular with bookmakers when faced with two very different teams. If one team is weaker than the other (in performance and/or skill), a handicap bet will help to even things up and make for a more interesting proposition.

Asian Handicap Quick-Facts

  • Helps to make lopsided contests more interesting to bet on.
  • Gives the underdog a better advantage.
  • Better odds usually given on favourites.
  • Both teams are given a 50-50 chance of winning.
  • Underdogs can offer better value.
  • No draw option in the Asian Handicap bet.

Asian Handicap Betting Explained

When two teams are set to go head to head in a match, bookmakers will begin to establish odds on the outcome of the event. But what happens if one of the two teams that are scheduled for a clash is not as strong as the other?

Why would anyone bet on the weaker team on the day, when the stronger team is practically a sure thing?

This is a dilemma faced by sports betting providers since odds on the weaker team would need to be astronomical in order to generate enough interest in taking the risk.

A simple and effective solution to the issue is to simply handicap the stronger team by implementing a points or goal difference on the match.

Asian handicap betting example

The idea of the handicap is to simply even teams out a little, which is usually done by adding an imaginary goal, known as a virtual head startin favour of the weaker or ‘underdog’ team. In order to win, the favourites (stronger team) would need to overcome the goal difference (or points difference).

Handicap situations result in:

1. A more interesting and more equal contest

2. Increased odds for the favourite to win

If the bookmaker handicaps the favourite to win by -1, the betting interest in the favourite will understandably begin to decline. Since they have more to overcome, many bettors may begin to feel that the chances of them losing are higher. In order to ensure that enough interest remains in betting on the favourite, bookies will offer much higher odds on the favourite to win.

On the other hand, the underdog or weaker team receive lower odds but, with the added handicap on the favourites, generates more betting interest plus increased odds for the outsider win.

Let’s look at an example of handicap betting in a soccer betting scenario you would most likely come across at a sports betting site. In our example, Team A is the favourite to win (stronger team), while Team B is the outside win or underdog.

There are two possible handicap bet options here: -1 (0-1) or -2 (0-2). We show you how these handicaps would work on the actual goal result.

Actual Goal Result Team A – Team B -1 Handicap (0-1) -2 Handicap (0-2)
0-0 0-1 0-2
1-0 1-1 1-2
2-0 2-1 2-2
3-0 3-1 3-2
3-1 3-2 3-3

Asian Handicap Betting Tips

The point of the Asian Handicap betting strategy is to eliminate the possibility of a tie result through various betting variations. This gives you the familiar 2 way betting option for an outright winning payout. However, what sets the Asian Handicap apart from other forms of handicap betting strategies, is that you will get your money back on a tie result.

There are essentially two main variations of the Asian Handicap:

  • The Half Goal Handicap
  • The Whole Goal Handicap

With the Half Goal Handicap betting option, a half point is added to the results (0.5) which ensures that there can never be a draw result. With the Whole Goal Option, if the end result is still level after the handicap is accounted for, the draw results in all bets being refunded.

Asian Handicap sports betting IG

A typical soccer betting example using a standard 3 way betting system (1X2), may look like this:

  • Team A
  • Team B
  • Draw

However, if you choose to take the Asian Handicap betting option, you will end up with a bet that looks more like this:

  • Team A -1.5
  • Team B +1.5

As you can see, the draw (tie) option has been eliminated. The two teams have also received half goal handicaps based on their current performance. In the above illustration, you may deduce that Team A are the favourites to win, which is why they have received a -1.5 handicap. Team B are weaker going in (underdogs), and have received a +1.5 head start. From a practical point of view as a bettor, the team that manages to score the most with its handicap will be viewed as the winner. In other words, if you put your money on Team A to beat Team B, Team A would need to win by 2 goals or more to overcome its handicap of -1.5 goals.

Asian Handicap FAQ

  • What sports will I find Asian Handicap Betting in?

    While Asian Handicap betting was initially established for soccer, more and more sports are starting to offer this betting option including hockey (ice hockey), basketball and tennis.
  • Are there any advantages to Asian Handicap betting?

    Yes, there are. Asian Handicap betting, like all handicap betting types, offers a more interesting contest between two unevenly matched teams. The stronger team is handicapped, but made an attractive bet through higher odds. The weaker team is also more attractive thanks to a clear goal or points head start being applied.
  • Will I find Asian Handicap betting on my mobile sportsbook?

    Yes, you will. All good sports betting sites that feature a mobile betting platform will offer Asian Handicap betting.

Final Thoughts on Asian Handicap Betting

Asian Handicap betting can be a great way to find interesting betting markets, particularly where an outright favourite is pitted against a clear underdog. As long as you are aware of what the point or goal difference is going in, Asian Handicap can be an excellent addition to your sports betting strategy.