Asian handicaps – the basics

An article that briefly outlines the commonly used Asian lines which are becoming more prevalent in today’s global sports trading.

Categories: Football, Prices, The basics

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Asian Handicap betting is becoming more and more popular as it providers traders the opportunity to eliminate the ‘draw’ in a football game. For this reason, this form of bet has become popular not only in Asia but also in Europe. While handicap trading applies to several sports like hockey, Asian Handicaps remain very popular in football.

Handicap bets in general work by providing a team with an advantage or a disadvantage of goals. By doing so, the draw outcome of a match is eliminated, leaving only home and away wins as the choices. By awarding an advantage to one of the teams, the probability of either home or away win is balanced, and the odds are usually evens (or plus-minus 10%) for these bets. The advantage awarded in an Asian handicap could range from as little as 0.25 (quarter-ball) to much higher, such as 4.5, for a weak team.

Some examples will now clarify how Asian handicap bets work.

  1. Half-ball (0.5 goals advantage): One of the most popular bet formats. For example £100 is placed on Liverpool with a handicap of -0.5 (Liverpool have a -0.5 goals disadvantage) against Swansea City. Here essentially, Swansea is the underdog, and the bet is only a winner if Liverpool wins the game. Should Swansea get a draw or a win, the handicap tips the bet the other way. This system works for 1.5, 2.5 goal handicaps etc.
  2. Full-ball or an Asian Handicap of 1: This time, let’s say Manchester United have a handicap of -1 against Norwich City. In this case, the bet is won, should United win by 2 goals or more. Should Norwich draw or win, we will lose our bet. However, in case United win by exactly one goal, our bet will be a push or void bet, and our stake will be returned. This system works in a similar manner for handicaps of 1, 2, 3 etc.
  3. Deadball or 0 handicap: In this case neither team has a clear cut advantage. Say a game between Spurs and Arsenal. Let’s assume we back Spurs at a 0 goal handicap. Should Spurs win, we win our bet. We would lose the bet if Arsenal win the match. In the case of a draw, the stake will be refunded (void bet). This is the same as the western draw no bet

About Brooke G

Since studying International Economics, Brooke has worked for the past twelve years within recruitment and executive search headhunting in several sectors including sports betting. Brooke has a deep interest in quantitative approaches to generating profit from sports trading and he has built an extensive network of quantitative and statistical sports traders, hedge funds, agents and sports and affiliate groups within North America, Europe and Asia.

He is the publisher of Sports Trading Network which seeks to connect the members of this network with each other.
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